Intrigued by the charts I saw here about over 50% of web users now having support for HTML5 Video I wanted to dig in a little bit deeper myself:
The first thing I did was look at mobile browsing in the entire world and found that Symbian by Nokia is easily the largest device:
After focusing on only US statistics however, which makes sense for most of the brands I work with at Rain, as expected Blackberry, iOS and Android were all looking pretty competitive by the end of the year with iOS at 37%, Android at 27% and Blackberry at 26%:
As a mobile developer it's really important to focus my energy and time on the browsers that people are actually using. As much as its a feel good to support Opera Mini, Palm and others, it may not be very a practical use of time and money. Unfortunately for us though, BlackBerry is a little bit of an unknown. While BlackBerry 6 includes a cutting edge web browser, older versions offer very little support for the latest standards. To make matters worse their emulator has historically only run on a PC. Thankfully frameworks like JQuery Mobile have gone out of their way to accomodate BlackBerry. Hopefully that will be enough to support it until BlackBerry 6 adoption becomes the norm. On one of the mobile-web mailing lists I follow much discussion goes on about supporting even much older and less capable devices than the BlackBerry. Clearly in the United States that doesn't seem like a good use of time.
Moving on to desktop browser statistics I was shocked to see IE7 adoption rates dropping below where Firefox is by the end of the year. Thank goodness for that:
Here's an even clearer message (IE (all versions) ends the year with 48% total usage in the US):
Here is another interesting statistic, mobile vs. desktop. It's my opinion that this trend will only continue to grow until we see desktop eventually down to under 66%:
It's been an exciting year for browser growth, both in mobile and in the desktop realm. HTML5 has hurled itself to the forefront of browser innovation and this year IE9 promises to add mainstream support for some of the most exciting technologies out there. Right now it's a good time to be a web developer. In 2011 web developers can start applying HTML5 technologies without a lot of worry about supporting older browsers, because looking at the statistics people just aren't using them anymore!