Hate mail and the threat of a lawsuit have followed the release of a study from AptiQuant that indicates Internet Explorer (IE) users have the lowest intelligence quotients (IQs) of all browser users.

AptiQuant CEO Leonard Howard says the company has been receiving hate mail from IE users since yesterday and now a lawsuit has also been threatened.

AptiQuant, a Vancouver-based psychometric consulting company, released the report on a trial it conducted to measure the effects of cognitive ability on the choice of web browser. It offered free online IQ tests to more than 100 000 people and then plotted the average IQ scores based on the browser on which the test was taken.

Results showed IE users scored lower than average on the IQ tests. Chrome, Firefox and Safari users came in with slightly higher than average IQ scores. Meanwhile, users of Camino, Opera and IE with Chrome Frame had exceptionally higher IQ levels.

“I just want to make it clear that the report released by my company did not suggest that if you use IE that means you have a low IQ, but what it really says is that if you have a low IQ then there are high chances that you use Internet Explorer,” says Howard.

He added that the company did not feel threatened at all by the lawsuit threats because they have all the scientific data and logs to back their claims.

“A win in a court would only give a stamp of approval and more credibility to our report,” he quipped.

Howard adds the company was surprised by the unexpected attention the study received. The idea of the study was first mooted when the company wanted to add new features to its web site and found IE versions 6.0 and 7.0 extremely difficult to work with.