Report: Google's browsers take top spot in U.S.

When it comes to browser market share, Google is now king of all it surveys.

According to a new report, the combined usage of the company’s mobile and desktop browsers has finally overtaken that of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer in the United States. Google’s browsers, which include Chrome and the default browser in Android, held nearly 32 percent share of the U.S. market in April, compared with about 31 percent for Internet Explorer, according to Adobe, whose Digital Index service tracks browser usage.

Usage of Google’s browsers topped Internet Explorer in other markets last year, according to Adobe Digital Index.

The report underscores the large and growing importance of mobile devices. Internet Explorer remains the most used browser on PCs, with 43 percent share in April, compared with 31 percent for Google’s Chrome. But Google was able to overtake Microsoft in the browser wars because of the disparity in their mobile strengths.

On mobile devices, Chrome had 14 percent of the market in April and the Android browser has 20 percent. Internet Explorer, by contrast has less than 2 percent of the market.

Conversely, Apple’s Safari, with 25 percent share in April, has now become the third most-used browser in the U.S. because it is the most popular mobile browser. Safari had 59 percent share of the mobile browsing market, but just 10 percent of the PC browsing market. Safari is the default browser on the iPhone and iPad.

The report also highlights the decline of Mozilla’s Firefox. Once the second-most popular browser behind Internet Explorer, Firefox is now the fourth most popular browser, surpassed by not just Google’s browsers, but Safari also. Like Internet Explorer, Firefox has struggled to gain usage on mobile devices. Like Internet Explorer, it’s also seen a drop in usage on PC’s.

Firefox had less than 9 percent market share overall in April, down from nearly 20 percent two years ago. Its share of the desktop market is now 12.5 percent, while its mobile usage is less than 1.8 percent.

Adobe determines market share by looking at the browsers used to visit some 10,000 consumer Web sites in the United States. Market share corresponds with the portion of visits to the average Web site made with each browser.

The new report echoes that of other reports in recent months and years that have shown the rise of Chrome and mobile Safari and the decline of Internet Explorer and Firefox.

 

Troy Wolverton Troy Wolverton (256 Posts)

Troy writes the Tech Files column as the Personal Technology Columnist at the San Jose Mercury News. He also covers the digital media, mobile and video game industries and writes occasionally about Apple, chips, social networking and other aspects of technology. Previously, Troy covered Apple and the consumer electronics industry. Prior to joining the Mercury News, Troy reported on technology, business and financial issues for TheStreet.com and CNET News.com.