Mozilla has a dilemma about Firefox. The browser has remained struggling when it comes to attracting mobile users. Thus, the company could not help but worry about the future of Firefox. It is possible that it would become irrelevant if browsing continues to be dominated by tablets and smartphones.
According to Net Applications, one in each six Internet user in April surfed the Web through mobile browsers. In the past 12 months, the popularity of mobile browsing has increased over 5%, with total growth rate of 48%, still according to data from the online usage tracker.
Data also indicate that the obvious shift towards mobile use for Internet browsing has been hurting Mozilla the most. In fact, Firefox’s overall user share dipped to just 14.1% in April, the lowest level for the browser. It is falling far behind Android browsers and Google Chrome, but just a little behind Apple Inc’s Safari.
Mozilla has long offered its Firefox on Android. But still, the app’s user share remains insignificant that it was not even noted by the Net Applications report for April. Firefox OS, the mobile operating system based on the browser, has also been garnering very limited support, making is also negligible in the analytics firm’s report.
Bad times looming ahead
That is not the only bad news that is hounding Mozilla these days. It makes it worse that Firefox’s desktop usage share is also dwindling. In April, its market share fell to 17% of total desktop browsers. That compared to 20% market share in the same month last year.
According to analysts, if this trend would continue, Firefox would soon be demoted to No. 4 browser on desktop and mobile. It may take just around four months before that happens. Furthermore, this bad news may also pose an impact to the renewable contract that makes Google the default browser for Firefox. This contract was last modifies in 2011 and will have to be negotiated about and renewed in November.
Google is still the biggest winner in the mobile browsing market. The Android browser and the Chrome are also helping boost the search engine’s browsing position. The user share of Chrome jumped up to 447% in the same period.
Overall, Google accounted for about 20.9% of each browser used last month. But Google is just No. 2 in the list of browsing usage in April. Microsoft Corp’s Internet Explorer remains as the most used browser, mainly because of its strength over desktop users (but its mobile is also suffering).