Apple's Safari showing *major* growth amongst browsers?

by M. David Peterson

Update: MonkeyT (love the nickname! :) has showcased both class and style, while at the same time bringing an EXTREMELY well thought through counter-viewpoint/argument (not the bad, angry kind of argument, but the good "this person knows where they're talking about" kind) to this matter. While I continue to stand behind the notion that theres more to these numbers than meets the eye, I officially retract from my comment's that these numbers have nothing interesting to do with Safari.

After reading MonkeyT's follow-up I now realize I was completely off track, as there's DEFINITELY some interesting way's to look at this from a positive Safari-based perspective.

Thanks MonkeyT! :)

[orig. post]
AppleInsider | Apple's Safari showing major growth amongst browsers

The popularity of Apple Computer's Safari Web browser continues to grow at a noticeable pace this year, with recent market share figures pointing to an over 75 percent increase in usage over the past twelve months.

If I'm Mozilla, I'm excited, as "over 75 percent increase" on a solid 10% market share would mean something significant.


2006-04-19 19:13:54

Actually, if they're real, the numbers AppleInsider is reporting are telling a remarkable story about Safari.

Remember, Firefox has the ability to gain share from practically any existing desktop machine out there (Windows, Linux or Mac), while Safari can only be used on a small fraction of the pre-existing hardware. If you assume (incorrectly) that all of the new users for both Firefox and Safari were entirely swiped from Windows, then for every 10,000 people, Firefox swiped 267 while Safari gained 181. The difference is that the Firefox users joined the party for free, while the new Safari users actually purchased hardware to join these ranks.

Now we know that not all of these new users came directly from Windows: a measurable chunk of them probably already lived on the Mac platform and simply traded Safari for Firefox or vice versa. But (even if you use the most generous numbers I've seen for actual Mac usage - not just retail marketshare) you're left with no more than 10% of existing computer users are currently sitting in front of Macs. The fact that Safari (which can only steal users from a small percentage of the populus without them making a significant hardware investment) has a growth rate that is over 60% of that of Firefox (which can steal share from the entire market without the user having to spend any money at all) is extremely impressive.

M. David Peterson
2006-04-19 23:22:54
Hey MonkeyT,

I must say that the fact that you chose not to provide a link, but instead of using just your first name, chose a nickname instead... I like that :) It's show style.

I like people with style... Style and class tend to go hand in hand... all good things :)

Adding to this, you also have some really good points. I need to think about them some more to internalize things a bit, but I doubt much this extended internalization will require any extended vocalization < - I'm not quite sure if that's the word I'm looking for here (or if technically speaking its even a word :) ... but its late... thus the need to internalize your comments at a time my brain is more capable of such endeavors.

None-the-less, I am aware enough to know that you have brought out some points I hadn't even considered. Thanks! I appreciate your willingness to spread some knowledge my direction. :)

I'm a big fan of knowledge... can't get enough it really. Sometimes this isn't a good thing, as there are some things in life I wish I didn't know anything about. Of course, growing up with five sisters means there's LOTS of things I wish I knew nothing about.

Such is life :)

In this case, however, I think the added knowledge will result in good things for sure.

Thanks! :)

2006-04-22 10:04:13
With respect, this strikes me as an odd discussion. The question, it seems to me, is not so much whether the increase in Safari users is statistically significant, but why Safari use is growing.

Personally I use Safari a) because it came bundled with my Mac, b) because it's faster and simpler than Explorer (which I still use for some pages built specifically for Explorer, stuff like registration sites). Safari does what it's supposed to do well and stops there. The last update for Explorer I downloaded on a PC promptly added a strange bar with all sorts of links to sites and an Adobe viewer which took me some time to get rid of, ie the exact opposite of what I wanted (an efficient browser, not a gas factory). Not all Apple software is streamlined. I recently, unfortunately, updated i-Tunes and took some time to work out how to get rid of the permanent ad for Music Store, with a sort of déjà-vu feeling of a few years back toothcombing Word to find out how to stop it being "helpful".

So my guess, probably totally subjective, is that Safari is gaining ground because it is pretty well transparent and does what it's supposed to do (akin to Google, for example). My kids prefer Firefox for the skins and the ubiquity between Mac and PC.

All the best.

M. David Peterson
2006-04-22 15:37:01
Hi Huxley,

You do bring up some good points. One of the gripes I have at the moment with IE7 is that instead of following the lead of "simplicity in design" they've taken more of a "atomic-bomb-proof tank." Everything about it feels and act's heavy. Of course, when it gets going (in a single tab, mind you) it's fine. But as soon as you open another tab, its crawls to a snails pace to render the new tab before picking back up again.

To give MS a bit of defense, they are undertaking the development of a web browser with the requirement that they can't break existing web sites and browser-based applications in the process. So the luxury of being able to start from scratch, without any real concern for supporting an expansive user base, is simply not something they can do.

Then again, the rendering engine on the inside shouldn't have anything to do with the shell on the outside, which is really where my gripe is. Like you, I REALLY appreciate simplicity. For example:

> Fx Screenshot <

The first thing you'll probably notice is the skin... very much influenced by Safari's simplicity (and brushed metallic look-and-feel.)

So anyway, yeah, I'm with you on this.

Thanks for taking the time to comment!

Eko SW
2006-08-22 23:41:41
I love Safari for its very simple yet clear interface.
I mean, let me skinned the Fox!!!