On the day that news broke about a mobile version of Firefox (initially for the Nokia N900, with support for other devices to follow), I also spotted a ZDNet article stating that Firefox 3.5 is now the world’s most popular browser. Great news, but a bit of a surprise as not two months ago I reported that Firefox had gained market share but still had less than a third of the market share owned by Internet Explorer. Could Firefox really have accelerated in adoption so much in the space of a couple of months? The answer: unfortunately not.
As the saying goes, the devil is in the detail. Note that the title specifically states Firefox 3.5, and it’s compared against Internet Explorer versions 7 and 8. Firefox (according to the StatCounter survey) has 21.93% of the market, followed by Internet Explorer 7 with 21.2% and then Internet Explorer 8 with 20.33%. So, with Internet Explorer 6 holding 14.12%, the total Internet Explorer share is 55.65%. This compares to 32.42% for all versions of Firefox.
However, this does show growth for Firefox and shrinkage for Internet Explorer since September, although the fact that the figures come from two different sources make that statistic a little unreliable.