It’s not news that Internet Explorer is losing market share, but the question is “who is winning?”

EMI recently completed a comprehensive web analytics assignment for a large consumer, membership organization. Using a combination of server-based web data capture and Google Analytics, EMI analyzed user demographics, page frequency, site paths and many other factors.

It didn’t surprise us that Internet Explorer’s market share had declined significantly over 2010. In January, IE enjoyed a 70.8% share; by the end of the year, it was 63.4% — a 7.4 point decline. In the past we’ve seen that most of IE’s share loss was Firefox’s gain, but this no longer appears to be the case. During this same time period, rather than showing an increase, Firefox’s share actually fell slightly (from 18.8% to 18.5%).

For this client, the big winner in the browser wars was Safari (which includes the WebKit-based Android browser), growing from 7.8% to 12.2%. Chrome was in second place with a 2.1 point gain (from 2.1% to 4.2%).

Graph with browser share
Most of Safari’s gain can be accounted for by the increase in Apple Mac’s share, which grew from 9.8% to 12.7%. But the big story, and the trend for 2011, is mobile access growth. The “iFamily” (iPods, iPhones and iTouch) share more than doubled: from less than 1% at the beginning of the year to 2.1% by the end. Android devices started from nearly nothing at the beginning and ended the year with a 1% share of all users’ operating systems.

The takeaway for e-marketers? The small screen is big, and getting bigger in 2011. EMI has found that an ever-increasing number of consumers are using their mobile devices to access the web. This shift has significant implications for information structure, site architecture, graphic design and technology platforms.

Next update: what mobile devices are consumers using?