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Mobile browser usage almost set to overtake desktops

By John Faulds /

Any visitors to our Facebook page would realise that we've been following the development of the mobile Internet closely with the take-home message being that more and more, people are using their smart phones and tablets to visit websites. Some of those articles quote different statistics to illustrate this movement, but recently we decided to take a look at the stats for some of the websites that we've developed ourselves.

And despite global browser usage statistics showing that Internet Explorer is Australia's most popular browser, followed by Google Chrome, studying 21 of our own sites told a different story.

StatCounter's graph of browser usage in Australia for the last year

Rather than being in fourth place, Safari was the most used browser for 38% of the sites we looked at compared to 47.7% for Internet Explorer, and the reason that figure is so high is because most people are using Mobile Safari on their iPhones and iPads. Mobile Safari was used more than the desktop version for 80.9% of the sites, and surprisingly it's not all people using iPads, as tablet usage was only higher than other mobile devices for 38% of the sites. So it would seem that there's a lot of people using their iPhones (or iPod Touches) to visit sites we've created.

Here's a table that illustrates the popularity of the different browsers from the 21 sites we looked at.

Browser Popularity December 2012–March 2013
Internet Explorer10632

If you're wondering why the numbers for Firefox don't add up to 21, it's because it was actually the fifth most popular browser for one of the sites we looked at.

And of the sites included in this analysis that have specific mobile optimisation work done, we've seen significantly better engagement from people using mobile devices, in other words, visiting more pages, spending more time on the site, and lower bounce rates.

As we've noted before, getting your site mobile friendly isn't as hard as you might think, so get in touch to find out how we can help.