Opera edges Safari as No. 1 mobile browser. Or does it?

It all depends on what's being counted

Opera regained a slight lead over Apple to become the most-used mobile browser in May, according to data from StatCounter. Or maybe not.

It all depends on what's being counted.

StatCounter tracks a sample of more than 4 billion page views per month, across 3 million Web sites, and identifies what brand of mobile browser requested them. In May, just less than 25% were requested by Opera, presumably Opera Mobile, a stand-alone downloadable browser for mobile devices, but not Opera Mini, which is a server-based browser designed for less powerful mobile phones.

Browsers on mobile devices increasingly are based on full-blown HTML rendering engines, either in the handset itself or on servers. Besides Opera Mobile, Firefox has a mobile browser in beta, Bitstream offers Thunderhawk, and Skyfire has a server-based offering. Microsoft is shortly releasing a much more capable mobile browser, to be called Internet Explorer Mobile 6.

According to StatCounter, the Apple iPhone Safari browser was second, with just over 22%. Remaining in third place, was the Nokia browser at nearly 18%.

But the mobile version of Safari also runs on the Apple iPod Touch, which is almost identical to iPhone but without a cellular radio: it has only the Wi-Fi connection. According to StatCounter, the "iTouch" made 15% of the May requests.

So if you look at the total of Safari mobile browser requests, that share jumps to 37%, a big lead over Opera. Still, that's a decline from the high point of the combined count: 42% for Safari in April. Since then, the page request percentage for Safari on both devices has been declining.

Opera's low point was in April with just over 21% of page requests.

Nokia has been hovering around 18% so far this year, with RIM's BlackBerry browser showing steady growth, rising about 2 points to just under 7% of page request in May.

The Android browser has been holding steady so far at around 2% of all requests this year.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobile browsersApplesafari

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Cox

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?