Africa’s most popular web browsers. (Image source: Networtech)
Accessing the internet requires a number of elements to come together. Firstly you will need a device that is able to connect to the internet, this could be a mobile smart phone, a laptop, tablet and so on. Secondly you will need an internet connection, this could either come from a mobile service provider or an internet service provider. Thirdly you will need to select which web browser you would like to use. There are many options and different people have different preferences when it comes to selecting a preferred internet browser.
Just like anything else in the technological sphere internet browsers face a constant challenge to improve on speed and efficiency because ultimately that is what people want in an internet browsers. They want the browser they are using to allow them to search the web at speed, we know how impatient people get when on the internet, and the browser should be reliable, meaning it should not crash and interrupt the user whilst surfing the web.
With this in mind, StatCounter’s global research revealed the top 9 most popular internet browsers in Africa:
9) Blackberry Around 2009 Africa was hit by a wave where it looked as though Blackberry was taking over and would dominate the mobile sector. The phase however did not last long as Blackberry failed to keep up with their competitors and as a result the devices and the browser on the devices fell away. There is however still people in Africa using the Blackberry browser making it the 9th most popular browser in Africa with 1.25% of the browser market share.
8) Samsung Internet Samsung Internet is the internet browser that is available for all Samsung devices. In 2012 it replaced the stock browser on all Galaxy devices and tablets. Considering Samsung is a popular brand in the smartphone market their standardized browser is the 8th most popular internet browser in Africa making up 2.51% of the market value. This indicates that the majority of users are still downloading alternative browsers.
7) Internet Explorer Internet Explorer was released in 1995 as a part of Microsoft’s Windows line of operating systems. Internet Explorer was one of the most widely used web browsers, attaining a peak of about 95% usage share world wide during 2002 and 2003. Although it managed to beat off competition of other browsers in the 90’s and early 2000’s, Internet Explorer eventually fell victim to new browsers and new operating systems which do not run the browser. Despite this Internet Explorer is Africa’s 7th most popular browser with 3.45% of the browser market share.
6) Safari Safari is a web browser that was developed by Apple for the use in its devices. It was first released for the use in Apple’s Mac computers in 2003 and was eventually included in all IOS devices since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 and is now the default browser of all Apple devices. Safari is Africa’s 6th most popular internet browser making up 3.72% of the market share.
5) UC Browser UC Browser is a mobile browser which was developed by Chinese company UCWeb and is owned by the Alibaba Group of China. The browser was first developed as a JEME only application in 2004 but has since developed into a full web browser that is available for download on a variety of platforms including Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Java ME, Symbian and Windows. With a market share of 4.25%, UC Browser is Africa’s 5th most popular internet browser.
4) Android The default web browser which comes standard on all Android devices finds itself as number four on the list and is the highest ranked of all the default web browsers. With a market share 4.8% Android’s default browser is the 4th most popular internet browser in Africa.
3) Firefox Mozilla Firefox or more commonly know as Firefox was created in 2002 by the Mozilla Foundation and its subsidiary the Mozilla Corporation. Firefox is a free and open-source web browser which is available for download on Windows, macOS, Linux operating systems and Android. Firefox for iOS, was released in late 2015, but this version does not use Gecko (unlike other platforms) due to Apple’s restrictions limiting third-party web browsers to the WebKit-based layout engine built into iOS. Firefox is Africa’s 3rd most popular web browser making up 8.8% of the market share.
2) Opera Opera is a web browser which is available for download on Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems. It is developed by Opera Software. It is also available as Opera Mobile, Opera Mini and Opera Coast – on devices running Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Symbian, Maemo, Bada, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile operating systems, and as Opera Mini on Java ME-capable devices. As Opera is available on all these different platforms it is logical to see it as Africa’s second most popular web browser with a market share of 33.63%.
1) Chrome Google Chrome is a freeware web browser developed by Google. The web browser was first released in 2008, for Microsoft Windows, and was later adapted to run on Linux, macOS, iOS and Android. Google Chrome is also the main component of Chrome OS, where it serves as a platform for running web apps such as Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs and others. Chrome is Africa’s most popular web browser making up 35.15% of the market share.
By Dean Workman
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