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Internet Wars: Chrome overtakes Internet Explorer & Samsung beats Apple to mobile top-spot

New reports from web analytic firms StatCounter reveals latest shake-up in internet and software dominance

Website analytics company StatCounter have revealed its latest report covering global trends of internet access and software popularity. Dubbed ‘Internet Wars’ the report contains two major power shifts: in terms of mobile internet access Samsung has overtaken Apple whilst Chrome have has stolen Internet Explorer’s browser crown. See below for a full break-down of the report:

Mobile: Samsung & Chrome lead the way

In terms of mobile vendors the changes have been somewhat expected. 12 months ago Nokia was the number one vendor for connecting to mobile internet but they’ve now dropped to third place as Samsung overtakes Apple by a small margin.

In terms of mobile browser usage the global market shows Android’s default browser out in front with 29% compared to Safari’s 25%; but in the US and the UK the Apple products are clear leaders – taking 55% and 48% of the market share respectively.

This is a direct reflection of mobile OS trends where Android are ahead globally (38%, up from 26% last year) but with the US and the UK showing a pretty clear preference for the iOS. In the US Apple takes 55% and Android 39%; in the UK Apple gets 48% and Android has 30%. The UK also proves to be a bit of a hold-out for Blackberry – holding on to a respectable 15% of the market.

Browsers & Operating Systems: Internet Explorer beaten, but Windows remains dominant

The browser wars have seen Google overtake Microsoft’s Internet Explorer for the first time in June this year, with Firefox and Safari taking third and fourth place respectively. Chrome took 34% of the market, compared to IE’s 32%.

StatCounter’s report also took in the balance of power with operating systems, showing Windows 7 actually increasing its internet usage share to 51% despite the fanfare-launch of Windows 8. And 12 years after its launch, Windows XP is still hanging in there with 21% of the global market, comfortably above Apple’s consistent third-place OSX (over 7% share).

In the UK specifically Windows 7 still keeps its top-spot with a 49% market share, but – unlike in the global market – Mac’s OSX takes second place with 11%, beating out Windows XP’s 10% share.

It was also revealed that despite reports of Facebook’s declining appeal amongst teenagers the site has still managed to increase its market share – at least in terms of referall traffic, the metric that StatCounter uses.

Social media: Facebook still king, though UK has a soft spot for Twitter

Worlwide Facebook has increased its referral influence from 61% in June 2012 to 71% in June 2013. Other social networks still barely register on this scale – with StumbleUpon falling from 9% to 5%, Pinterest taking the number two slot with 8% and Twitter taking up third place with 7%.

In the US Pinterest had a far more dominant position, climbing to a healthy second place in terms of referral traffic with 22% of the market share compared to Facebook’s 52%; whilst in the UK it was Twitter that took the number two spot, with 16% of referral traffic compared to Facebook’s 62%.

However, it should be noted that referral traffic – whilst a useful metric – is by no means the be all and end all of social media influence.

A recent essay by Ethan Zuckerman for the Atlantic pointed out that whilst Facebook may dominate in terms of user figures, the influence it create tends to be fairly insular – with links spread amongst individuals that are already friends. Zuckerman counterpoints this with Reddit – which is far less popular in terms of actual user figures but might be considered more influential as it manages to  spread content amongst strangers, reaching further flung areas of the web.