Safari Browser Share Steps in Ring with Big Three, Wrestles Market Share

Paul Lilly

Every month we examine the state of the browser market in terms of market share, and it's usually more of the same. Internet Explorer, while still dominating with over a 50 percent share, slides downward month after month. Firefox, still the biggest threat to IE if looking at the numbers and not the trend, also continues to lose market share, but at a much slower pace. And Chrome, which popularized the concept of a minimalistic browser interface, just keeps gaining ground. While all this has been going on, Apple's Safari browser has been closing in on the big three.

Let's start with Internet Explorer. IE's share dropped from 53.68 percent in June to 52.81 percent in July, and is down from 66.97 percent in August 2009, which is as far back as Net Applications will let us look. Firefox, meanwhile, went from 21.67 percent in June to 21.48 percent July, and has been losing share almost every month since November 2009 when it held a 24.72 percent share of the market. And then there's Chrome, which has gone from 2.84 percent in August 2009 to 13.45 percent in July 2011. With the exception of June 2010 (7.24 percent) to July 2010 (7.16 percent), Chrome's share has gone up every month.

Those are the big three that dominate the headlines, but with Apple grabbing a larger slice of the PC (as in personal computer and not Windows-based PCs) pie, the company's Safari browser is emerging as a viable threat in the browser game. Safari's share rose from 7.48 percent in June 2011 to 8.06 percent in July 2011, gaining more ground than Chrome, the only other browser adding positive numbers.

This isn't a new trend for Safari, either. Like Chrome, Safari consistently increases its army of browser users month after month, having doubled its market share from August 2009 (4.07 percent) and is fast approaching double digits.

Do you think it's time to take Safari seriously, or do you think it's about to peak? What browser(s) are you using these days?

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