The growing popularity of smartphones and media tablets is having a significant impact on the global browsing market, according to Net Applications. Smartphones and tablets accounted for more than five percent of all browsing activities globally in June -- with the iPad alone accounting for more than one percent of the entire global market, the web-metrics firm said Friday.
In the United States, smartphones and tablets accounted for 8.2 percent of all browsing activities during June. Apple's iOS-based iPhone and iPad, which run its Safari web browser, led the mobile onslaught by amassing a combined five percent share of the U.S. browser market.
Android -based smartphones commanded 2.6 percent of the U.S. browser market, according to Net Applications. By contrast, Research In Motion's BlackBerry platform accounted for only a 0.57 percent share.
Majority Control for Now
According to IDC, tablets are on pace to reach shipments of roughly 50 million units in 2011 versus nearly 18 million in 2010. What's more, the research firm anticipates global smartphone growth of 49.2 percent this year.
By contrast, Gartner is forecasting a modest 9.3 percent growth for the global traditional PC market this year. The obvious conclusion from these forecasts is that the dynamics of the browser market are about to undergo a major sea change.
Internet Explorer continued to lead the global browser market in June with a 53.6 percent share, according to Net Applications. Moreover, IE8's 30 percent slice of the pie made it the world's most popular browser release currently available.
For Microsoft , however, the writing is on the wall. The software giant's ability to maintain majority control of the browser market in the long run will heavily depend on the success of its next-generation Mango mobile OS and future tablet plans along with Windows 8 for PCs and laptops.
A Huge Success
Microsoft's latest IE9 release only accounted for 5.6 percent of the global browser market in June. However, IE9 now holds a 15.61 percent share of all PCs running Windows 7 globally -- the software giant's targeted audience.
If we compare the performance of IE8 over an equivalent period following its introduction in mid-March 2009, the use of Microsoft's prior browser release rose at a significantly faster rate. Still, there is far more competition on the browser front these days, which means that any comparison with a past browser release has limited value, noted Net Applications Executive Vice President Vince Vizzaccaro. (continued...)