It’s no secret that mobile devices are growing more and more valuable to Web developers, manufacturers, and marketers alike. This mass-movement that shifted the importance from desktops to mobile devices was dictated overwhelmingly by the popularity of Apple and Android products.
This summer has marked Google and Mozilla’s full commitment to the mobile platform. In late June, Google introduced Chrome to the iOS market (which even spent a few weeks as the top free app on iTunes). Mozilla’s focused much of their attention this summer to Apple’s rival, releasing two updates in two months that improved the usability of Firefox on Android devices. As a result, both Apple and Android users now have a variety of high-profile choices when it comes to replacement Web browsers – but are they actually making the switch? Chitika Insights’ latest study aimed to quantify the answer to this question.
The Insights team analyzed a week’s sample of U.S and Canadian Web traffic, which encompassed hundreds of millions of online impressions from our ad network between August 28th and September 4th, 2012. This gave us a large enough sample size to accurately represent the Web browser share distribution among Apple (iOS) and Android devices.
Over 91% of Android impressions were referred from the default Android Browser, while about 85% of iOS traffic was from Safari. One point of interest – on Android devices, the mainstream alternative browsers (Chrome, Firefox, and Opera/Opera Mini) make up all statistically significant non-native Browser usage. Compare that to iOS, where 14% of impressions are referred from a variety of smaller, exclusively mobile browsers (Dolphin, Atomic, Mercury, etc).
Despite the mixed numbers, Google and Mozilla’s venture into the mobile browser realm has likely been as effective as they’d have hoped. While both Chrome and Firefox’s share of iOS and Android Web traffic are meager, their modest performances shouldn’t be taken as a statement about poor usability – both browsers received mostly positive reviews from critics. These figures are more a testament to mobile users’ complacency. The vast majority are fine with the performance of the default browsers on their phones and tablets, and don’t see the need to commit to an alternative.