updated 11:50 am EST, Tue March 1, 2011
Net Applications shift lowers Firefox and Apple
Net Applications said it was forced to rework its Internet market share figures on Tuesday after the CIA updated its Internet usage to better reflect worldwide computer use. The surge in Chinese users relative to the US meant that alternatives to Microsoft lost share in February. Firefox had not only been "over-reported" and dropped a full point to 21.74 percent, but Internet Explorer made an artificial jump from exactly 56 percent to 56.77 percent, its first market share gain in half a year.
Apple also lost some of its share due to the prevalence of Windows PCs, basic feature phones and Android in the southeast Asian state. After cresting at two percent, iOS dropped down to 1.81 percent, a still high but significantly lower figure. Macs also dipped from a near-record 5.25 percent to 5.19 percent.
Despite biases in its favor, Windows' market share was still virtually flat at 89.69 percent. Any gains made from lower share from most rivals was lost to a sharp spike in users of basic Java ME phones, which thanks to China passed the one percent mark for the first time.
Other browsers also increased their share at the expense of Firefox and, to a lesser extent, Opera. Google Chrome was still on the rise at 10.93 percent, and Apple's desktop Safari app hit a new high of 6.36 percent.
Although the Chinese government officially endorses more open platforms such as Android and Linux, many in the country still depend primarily on Windows more than in other countries. The nation is also more likely to be using obsolete versions of Windows or Internet Explorer due to PCs being used for longer and sometimes being incapable of running newer versions.