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.*
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!
* 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.