Opera drops on mobile as Chrome leads on desktop
According to StatCounter's Q3 2012 stats, WebKit browsers appear to be cementing their dominance. As outlined on mobile strategist Peter-Paul Koch's QuirksBlog, Opera's mobile share dropped, enabling the Android browser to match Safari's 24 per cent share. On the desktop, Chrome finally overtook Internet Explorer, seemingly grabbing a chunk of Firefox's share.
Koch noted on his blog that "Opera has had such hiccups before, and might easily reverse itself next quarter". He's in the past said it's an important browser, adding that developers concentrate on the iPhone too much, and so non-WebKit competition is healthy. Speaking to .net, he affirmed that he'd like to see Opera rise again next quarter, because the opposite would see WebKit browsers further strengthening, bringing to the industry an obvious pro but a less obvious con: "If Safari and Android continue to rise in share, on the one hand we'll get a more unified web dev experience because both are WebKit-based, but on the other hand a lot of swearing because the Android 2 default browser isn't very good, and still makes up more than half of the Android market."
On the desktop, Koch said Chrome and IE switching places was less notable. Chrome, IE and Firefox all still have large shares of the market and since "you already tested in multiple browsers, you'll continue to do that". On the accuracy of the statistics in general, Koch thought that "the percentages themselves will likely be off," but developers should nonetheless be taking notice of the general trends they show: "I trust the trends. IE and more recently Firefox are going down, while Chrome is going up. That is really happening, even though IE may still be the largest browser."