Understanding Shifts in Fx Market Share

Ken Kovash

6

While most of us have a pretty good understanding of Fx’s market share, I thought it’d be cool to explore ways to better interpret some of the information we see from third-party sources. For example, Net Applications provides a monthly breakdown of approximately 50 different browser versions. Their overall methodology isn’t perfect, but this type of drill-down data might allow us to come upon an interesting phenomenon… or simply allow us to better understand the change in our market share over time.

It *seems* as though IE7, Safari and Opera have each enjoyed their own successes this year, but is this really the case? To answer this, I considered that a certain slice of the overall market share pie is “up for grabs” each month and then looked at how those slices have evolved since early 2007 (e.g., is Opera Mini or Safari 3.0 grabbing a disproportionate slice of that pie?).

Using this methodology, here’s what I found:

  • Firefox has performed phenomenally this year relative to the competition
  • The size of the market share pie that changes hands each month is extremely tiny (relative to my expectations)

Comparing an average of Jan-Feb numbers to Aug-Sept numbers, Firefox netted nearly 60% of new users (or those who switched browsers). The other big winner? Opera Mini claimed 23% of new users. Safari and Opera Desktop each saw gains about 1/7 the scale of Fx, and IE was essentially responsible for all loses.*

pie

The second part of the story is that even with our success, our market share number has increased by 0.8% since early this year (e.g., from 15.0% to 15.8%). All of this is a long way of saying that it’s very difficult to move the needle with respect to market share… though, relative to our competition, Fx rocks!

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* This methodology is based on an absolute gain of users. For those curious, below are the raw numbers that I used. The source can be found at http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?qprid=6. When you take the numbers below and assume that 1% of market share equals X number of users, you’ll arrive at the pie chart above.

data

6 responses

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  1. Jesse Ruderman wrote on ::

    This post is public but embeds images from intranet.mozilla.org. This kinda breaks Planet for most Firefox users by causing multiple http auth dialogs to pop up.

  2. kkovash wrote on :

    Thanks Jesse. I think I’ve correctly made the image changes.

    Ken

  3. monk.e.boy wrote on ::

    Hello, I really enjoyed your blog.

    I could see the images in RSS, but not when I try to comment?

    Anyway, check out my URL for amazing graphs and pie charts. Open source and because its flash its got some nice animations.

    Cheers,

    monk.e.boy

  4. rbgray wrote on :

    I find the cited Net Applications source data weird in that there are no tallies for SeaMonkey or Camino… (Yet there are tallies for game system consoles?!)

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