Android isn’t the only Google product that gobbled up market share in 2011. Its Chrome browser also had an amazing year. By one measure, StatCounter, Chrome went from 15 percent market share a year ago to 27 percent share in December, 2011. Chrome ended the year two points above Firefox’s 25 percent share (which is down from 31 percent a year ago). Even as Google recently renegotiated its deal to maintain the default search spot n Firefox for the next three years (to the tune of nearly $1 billion), it keeps taking share in the market.
If you look at other data, the numbers are different, but the trend points in the same direction. According to NetMarketShare, which counts browser share differently, Chrome is still slightly smaller than Firefox. Chrome ended the year with roughly 19 percent share versus 22 percent for Firefox. But Chrome’s numbers are going up, while Firefox’s are coming down—Internet Explorer’s share is also dwindling.
Interestingly, Google has not been able to replicate this success to the same degree with its mobile Android browser, which is dwarfed by mobile Safari across iOS devices (52 percent to 16 percent). And yet, on the desktop, Safari doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. The real milestone will be if Chrome can ever topple IE which currently still has anywhere from 39 percent (StatCounter) to 52 percent (NetMarketShare) market share, depending on which numbers you believe.