Tag: Europe

The Performance Implications of Android Dominance

When working with customers in Europe or who serve their data in the US and Europe, I am stunned when they ask why their performance is so much slower in certain European countries compared to the US.

Glimpsing at some publicly available stats (thank you Statcounter!), the reason is clear: Android is the dominant Mobile platform in Europe.

Mobile OS Breakdown – Europe – March 2021 to March 2022

This doesn’t hold true everywhere in Europe – in the UK (yes, it is still in Europe!), Android and iOS have nearly equal Mobile device market share.

Mobile OS Breakdown – UK – March 2021 to March 2022

But in Germany, the divide is vast, with Android clearly dominating the playing field.

Mobile OS Breakdown – Germany – March 2021 to March 2022

But there is yet another divide that is greater than even the Android/iOS split – the Android version difference. Depending on the country, your performance could be dependent entirely upon the versions of Android that the visitors use.

Starting with Germany in Q1 2022, Android usage is dominated by the three latest OS versions: 10, 11, and 12.

Android OS Breakdown – Germany – 2022-01-17 to 2022-03-27

But in countries like Spain and France, Android/9 is still a prevalent OS. This version of Android runs on much older hardware and is more likely to experience degraded performance compared to those running 11 or 12.

Android OS Breakdown – Spain – 2022-01-17 to 2022-03-27
Android OS Breakdown – France – 2022-01-17 to 2022-03-27

For teams trying to design performant web sites, this is a critical piece of information. While Mobile is the dominant platform, sites need to be designed to deliver excellent user experiences for all visitors. And in Europe, this means Android users.

What can you do?

  • Focus on rendering – Get your critical content and functionality on the page as quickly as possible. Items that are secondary (ads, tracking, marketing, etc.) can be delayed
  • Reduce your JS as much as possible – Older Android versions struggle with hardware limitations, so reducing the upfront JS processing will be critical
  • Optimize your images – Sounds simple enough, but using an image management service that provides the right image for the device that is viewing the content will make your site device appropriate

And, most importantly, use an Android device. If you make your development team use Android for a week, they might get the message that they need to do more to reach into this neglected Mobile population.


If you’re a browser geek like I am, check out this post I wrote in 2009 about the browser stats. The world is a very different place now.

Browser Wars: StatCounter Data for Europe

In the previous installment in this series, I looked at the browser share in North America. Across the water in Europe, the browser distribution metrics show the unique flavor that this continent brings to this fluid arena.

In Europe, MSIE7 and Firefox 3 are effectively tied for the lead as the most dominant browser, followed distantly by MSIE6. As in North America, MSIE8 has substantially increased it’s market share since its March 19 2009 release, but it has not caught up to Europe’s favorite son, Opera 9.6.

browser-wars-eu-mar1-apr172009-line

What is clear is that MSIE8’s gain is MSIE7’s loss. Comparing March 1-19 with April 1-19, the shift away from MSIE7 is almost equal to the shift to MSIE8, meaning that people that are upgrading to MSIE8 in Europe are doing so, in the most part, directly from MSIE7.

There is little or no change to the MSIE6 install base, indicating that this is an entrenched population, likely in large corporations or government agencies.

browser-wars-eu-mar1-192009-bar
browser-wars-eu-apr1-172009-bar

Like in North America, the big factor to watch is how quickly the MSIE6 population decreases. Europe already has an entrenched population of alternative browser users, mostly with Firefox 3. When Opera 10 and Firefox 3.1 are released, it is likely that these people will move directly to these browsers.

What remains to be seen is how the strong anti-Microsoft sentiment in Europe affects the adoption of MSIE8.

Reader Recommendations: Travel Power Adapters

There is a slight chance that I could be going to Germany at the end of the month, so I need some help.

I am looking for reader comments/suggestion on a solid, robust, multi-country power adapter for my emergency bag (I fly off to foreign countries to solve Web performance issues almost daily — NOT!).

So far I am looking at the Kensington or the Belkin. But I want to hear what you folks out in radio-land can contribute to my buying decision.
Thanks!

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