Internet metrics firm Net Applications has changed the way it calculates the market share of operating systems and browsers, and the results have hit Apple hard.
Net Applications is one of the key internet intelligence firms and had based its market share data on the number of hits received on its 160 million-strong computer network. However, the firm has decided that this approach is too US-centric and has changed the methodology.
"We have implemented retroactive country-level weighting in our reports. This means that we adjust our reports proportionally based on how much traffic we record from a country versus how many internet users that country has," said the company in a statement.
"For example, although we have significant data from China, it is relatively small compared to the number of internet users in China. Therefore, we now weight Chinese traffic proportionally higher in our global reports. This change produces a much more accurate view of worldwide usage share statistics."
The estimate of Apple's operating system share has fallen from 9.77 per cent to 4.73 per cent based on the new methodology, while the Safari browser dropped from 8.4 per cent to 4.21 per cent and the iPhone fell by over 50 per cent.
By contrast the estimate of Linux operating system market share rose by over 18 per cent to 1.17 per cent, and Microsoft saw a modest increase in its estimates.
The recalculation was also bad news for Google, since it boosted the share of China's Baidu search engine to nine per cent of the global market, giving it 51 per cent of its home market.
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