Understanding Browser Market Share: Which browsers to test on in 2023
By Sourojit Das, Community Contributor - March 14, 2023
The Web Browser is unquestionably the most popular entry point for users to access the Internet. The development of web browsers has led to the replacement of many traditional “thick clients” (installed only on local systems) with the browser we know today, increasing its usefulness and prevalence. The web browser is an application that allows access to the web server, sends network requests to URLs, obtains resources, and represents them interactively. Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Opera are some of the most popular browsers in use today.
With so many browsers available in the market, testing applications for cross-browser compatibility has gained popularity in recent years, and there is a good reason for this. While technology is rapidly developing, humans are not. Significant numbers of individuals are resistant to change, or, more specifically, “avoid upgrading their technology.”
In this instance, browser compatibility testing enables businesses to guarantee that no customer is left behind or has an undesirable experience. Even while browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox dominate the market, there are still people who use earlier versions of these browsers or other browsers. Nevertheless, their numbers are too great to be ignored.
Not all browsers and devices operate on the same settings; they confront varying degrees of browser compatibility difficulties. This discrepancy is the reason why a lack of application homogeneity across browsers and devices may be observed. You would prefer that all of your potential users have access to the application’s functionality.
This is why cross-browser testing is essential. If your website is not tested and debugged on several platforms and browsers, it will not function the same on all of them, generating user frustration and negatively affecting your business.
However, in order to best perform cross-browser testing it is critical to understand the browser market share in 2023 in order to understand which browsers to test on.
The Browser Market As It Stands in 2023
Web browsers continue to advance at the same rapid rate as technology. Due to the continuous introduction of new features and upgrades, it can be tough to keep up with the latest and greatest browsers available on the market. This article will examine the best browsers of 2023, highlighting their essential features and capabilities so that enterprises may make an informed choice.
Overall Browser Market Share 2023
Browser Market Share 202312 months trend for Browser Market Share
A recent market study by Statista shows Google Chrome to be the leading browser in terms of browser market share with 61.80% of all users preferring it. Safari follows with 24.36%, with Edge, Firefox, and other browsers making up the remainder of the list.
However, this list is formulated with both the desktop and the mobile market in consideration.
Desktop-based Browser Market Share Stats 2023
If only desktop-based browsers are considered, then the browser stats change a little bit, with Safari losing its user share; and Firefox and Edge/IE making significant gains as can be seen below
Mobile-based Browser Market Share Stats 2023
When it comes to checking mobile-based browser stats, Chrome and Safari still hold the lead, whereas Samsung Internet Browser significantly improves its rank by coming up to third place.
Also notable is the omission of Firefox and IE/Edge from this list with Opera and UC Browser supplanting them in their positions.
Mobile Browser Market Share 2023
Should volume and market share be sufficient enough to decide the browsers to test on?
The short answer is No.
First, basing the decision only on volume would exclude a number of market-available browsers. The app’s target market must also be evaluated. For instance, millions of people continue to use Windows XP, and these users are likely to employ Internet Explorer. If the target audience uses Internet Explorer, the website must be fully functional on IE.
Business indicators and value addition may also play a significant role in determining the outcome of this choice. Safari is the second most popular browser, with the majority of its users operating it on Apple devices, which is indicative of affluence. Although having a lower user base than Chrome, these characteristics make Safari an important browser for testing.
Run Cross Browser Tests on Real Mobiles and Desktops
Moreover, with 60% of website traffic coming from mobile devices, it is apparent that users access websites via smartphones. Thus, testing websites on mobile browsers such as Samsung Internet is necessary to ensure mobile compatibility for a wider audience. Even standard browsers such as Chrome and Safari should be tested for mobile versions to guarantee that users can effortlessly access websites using these browsers.
Eventually, a mix of market share, value, and the type of the online application will assist users in narrowing down the browsers that an application or website must be compatible with.
Read More: All about Mobile Browser Automation
Should browsers like Edge, Safari, Samsung Internet, and IE be relevant for cross-browser compatibility?
Since it is quite clear from the browser stats that Google Chrome and Safari are the top browsers as per the browser market share, a common question could be to consider if other products like Edge, Safari, Samsung Internet, and IE be considered relevant for cross-browser testing.
Safari is predominantly used by Apple iPhone, Mac, and iPad users, who have far larger spending capacity than users of other devices. This may be applicable to luxury brands, for example.
Microsoft, which produces IE and Edge, remains the favoured platform among individuals who value familiarity, corporations that rely on Microsoft Office tools, and others.
Given that Edge was introduced with Windows 10, a large number of users of older versions of Windows continue to use Internet Explorer despite its poor performance and lack of modern features. Edge has yet to gain market share relative to subsequent versions of the Windows operating system.
Samsung Galaxy is a popular Android device series, and Samsung Internet has a market share of 2.68 percent, which is close to that of Firefox, making it an important browser to test your website on.
Furthermore, the browser market stats for some mainstream countries are quite different from the general trend.
For e.g. in Germany Chrome has a significantly reduced primacy in the browser market stats, making Firefox, Edge, Samsung Internet and even Opera significant players in the market.
Whereas in India, Opera props itself in second place, going against the general market trend
Thus a more holistic approach must be taken for cross-browser testing, to ensure that browser-testing in 2023 encompasses all user categories.
Pro Tip : Millions of QA testers and developers use Browserstack Live to instantly access more than 3000 genuine browsers and devices and to produce exceptional user experiences. Check out the article on Cross Browser Compatibility Testing beyond Chrome to know more
To Sum Up
Given the discrepancy in the implementation of open web standards by different web browsers, cross-browser testing is required for web developers to achieve compatibility. It is the only approach to provide a uniform user experience across browsers and devices.
While Browser Market Share is a major consideration with which to choose which browsers to test on in 2023, other factors such as application-specific features, target audience, and geographical constraints must be considered to holistically ensure robust cross-browser testing.
Teams can begin cross browser compatibility testing manually with a real device cloud-based solution like BrowserStack Live or with automation tools like Selenium, which is trusted by the majority of enterprises in the automation testing industry.
Depending on the market share, it is essential to test on both the old and the most recent versions of different browsers. Perhaps most significantly, it is essential to test on actual devices, taking into consideration real user conditions for more reliable test results.
Using a cloud-based testing infrastructure such as BrowserStack to perform cross-browser testing is preferable than purchasing and maintaining a digital lab of actual devices.