2012 was certainly an exciting time for Google Chrome – we finally got reasonably-priced Chromebooks that are starting to go mainstream, Chrome for Android and iOS was released, and Chrome finally surpassed Internet Explorer as the most popular browser of users around the world. The latter actually happened all the way back in May 2012, when Chrome’s user share had risen to 32.4%, as opposed to Internet Explorer’s 32.1%.
Now, Chrome is all the way up to 36.4%, while Internet Explorer has continued to decline to around 30.8%. Firefox is declining, too – it fell 3% to 21.9%. Safari is rising in popularity, but it’s still at just 7.9% overall.
The mobile Chrome browser, currently available on Android and iOS, isn’t doing too hot, though. Since its release on Android back in February, it has only gotten to about 1.5%. However, there are lots of reasons behind this: since Chrome for Android can only run on devices running Android 4.0 and higher, that immediately excludes more than half of all Android devices currently on the market, thanks to Android’s extreme fragmentation. Additionally, many Android devices – even newer ones – still bundle the stock Android browser with the phone’s software, rather than Chrome. This is changing gradually, particularly with Nexus devices, but it’s still something to note. As time goes on, and people buy newer Android devices running the latest software, and as Google starts to phase out the existing stock Android browser, Chrome for Android is sure to increase.
Additionally, iOS users generally seem happy with their devices’ stock browser – especially since Apple makes it practically impossible to actually change the default browser that one uses.
Hopefully, as Google continues to actively develop Chrome, it will get better on mobile devices, and eventually the gap between desktop and mobile versions will be bridged, as Google has already promised.