Safari’s browser market share tops 4 percent

An article at Switch To A Mac cites statistics indicating that Safari Market Share Rises to 4.03 Percent - Up 45 Percent Year Over Year (via Surfin’ Safari). According to the story Safari’s growth rate has slowed slightly over the last few months, but continuously increasing market share with over 45 percent compared to the same month last year is fantastic.

The stats for 456 Berea Street are a little different. The numbers I’ll mention are all from AWStats. In November Safari had a share of 5.8 %, which is actually a decrease from the last few months. The percentage of Mac users has also decreased slightly to 13 %, so that is the likely explanation for Safari’s dip.

IE 7 is already grabbing a piece of the Internet Explorer share, with 23.6 % of Internet Explorer users during November. Firefox is the number one browser at 50.2 %, Internet Explorer is second with 35.6 % of users, and Safari comes in at third place.

Speaking of browsers and market share, it’s interesting to note that the number of Firefox users has increased on sites with a much broader audience than Web developer sites such as this. One of our clients, a government agency, has seen Internet Explorer’s share drop from around 95 % to just over 80 % during the past year. Other large client sites display similar trends.

I really hope that Internet Explorer 7 does not lure a large number of people into switching back to an inferior browser. The Web needs a diverse and competitive browser eco system to prevent those who do not care about universality from going back to creating IE-only websites.

Posted on December 5, 2006 in Browsers, Quicklinks


  1. I think the fact that your Safari stats are decreasing is an indication of your weblog become more main stream and less designer/developer niche.

    I think as personal design/development blogs first hit the shelves, they see a prominent safari appearance because most of the early adopters and people checking things out are going to be in the same line of work and most likely use a mac.

    But as a weblog ages and more users add it to their weekly repertoire, you’ll see more generic windows users. I’d be willing to bet that even though safari has slightly dropped, the number of people visiting the site daily has slightly increased?

  2. The 50% Firefox share is more shocking to me. Wow!

    So if 13% of your traffic is from Macs and only 5.8% of your traffic is from Safari, then it seems to me that the majority of your Mac users are using Firefox or something else other than Safari. That’s about the same as I’ve found on all of my other sites - more Mac users, but less of them actually using Safari. Interesting.

  3. I can’t see how anyone who’s made the switch to Firefox (or Opera or Safari) could be lured back to IE7. Seriously, are there any advantages at all?

    However, the companies that control the setup and installation of their employee’s computers will (eventually) upgrade IE6. Unfortunately, they will probably move to IE7 without any consideration of the alternative.

    The people in charge of these mass upgrades need to be made aware that there is a choice. Whether this education comes in the form of promotional advertising by Firefox (or any other IE competitor) or a quick email from the Network guy to the CTO, now is the time.

  4. December 6, 2006 by ErikHK

    I wonder if the IE7 trend will suffice, or if it’s still people “just checking it out”. Anyway, nice to see that a really competent browser takes market share!

  5. What about those of us who use a feed reader to read your site? I use NetNewsWire, so my Safari “userness” would only show up when I do something like click over to make a comment as I just did.

  6. “What about those of us who use a feed reader to read your site?”

    I don’t have any experience of gathering stats regarding feed readers, but I’d assume it’s an absolute crap shoot. Feed readers simply request the RSS (or whatever) file from your server every 30 minutes (or whatever they’ve been set to).

    If you provide a full content feed, you’ve no idea how many people read your content in the newsreader. If you don’t provide a full content feed, I guess you’re all set.

  7. Interesting that you’re seeing it too. Firefox does seem to have picked up some significant market share this last year.

    I’ve seen a real ‘joe public’ site I manage for a client shift from around 92% IE to a current 86% IE, with Firefox up to 11% and Safari up by a percentage to 2%. Mac users are also up a percentage point at 3%, which also implies a third of Mac users prefer Whiskers, I mean Firefox, Camino or Opera :)

  8. Just for comparison, I had a look at the stats for the corporate site of the company I work for (November data). About 80% are IE (5% IE7, rest IE5/6) 8% Firefox, mostly FF2 The rest breaks as 5% Opera, 4% Safari and the rest anything else people might use, or undeclared/hidden browser ID.

    92% Windows, 5% Mac, rest everything else

    This is for a site of a publishing company, with internal hits disregarded (CMS based, and the admin pages caused skew)

    Another of our sites is targetted at entrepreneurs, and has a different balance: 70% IE (10% of the total is IE7) 24% Firefox 3% Opera 2% Safari

    The users for this site evidentally like Firefox!

    None of our sites are showing more than 90% IE use, and most hover around 80%. Windows users tend to be about 90% of our users. All data from AWStats, with traffic from company premises uncounted (by IP)

  9. Similar stats here: Safari on the rise, Firefox as well and more mac-users all around. The only thing I find disheartening is that after being available for download for over a month and a so-called “automatic” update for Windows users, IE7’s share is just 3-4% on most sites I monitor. We’re going to be stuck with IE6 for a good while still it seems…

  10. I’ve just switched to a Mac, but Firefox is still my default browser. I can’t do without my webdev plugins, and F5 not being the refresh-button in Safari disturbs me no-end.

  11. Your readers are obviously designers… Stats from Norwegian general news site

    IE6: 74,1% Firefox 1.x: 7.0% IE7.x: 5.8% Opera 9.x: 3.7% Firefox 2.x: 2.8% Mozilla 1.x: 2.4% Safari 2.x: 1.3%

    Operating systems: WinWhatever: 94% Mac OSX: 2.7%

    Quite a different world over here…

  12. December 6, 2006 by Johan Kronberg

    I’m sure IE7 will only take shares from earlier IE versions.

  13. I’m running Windows Vista at home and Firefox 2 has slowed considerably. It’s so slow, in fact, that while I’m waiting for a page to load in Firefox, I’m able to launch IE7 and load the same page before Firefox finishes.

    Despite the reappearance of annoying ads, I’ve already dropped Firefox in favor of IE7 at home. I’d rather see content and ads quickly than wait forever for page loads. I still use Firefox for site development.

    Vista will appear preloaded on home computers at the end of January, 2007.

  14. I’m just a tiny lil’ blog on web development and marketing, but I’m seeing:

    1. Windows (66.3%)
    2. Macintosh (32.4%)


    1. Firefox (52.0%)
    2. Internet Explorer (32.9%)
    3. Safari (10.7%)
  15. Erwin: it appears that Microsoft are spreading out their IE7 downloads over a 3 month period.

  16. Across various sites (ranging from 1000 to 3.4 mill page views a month) with various topics, I probably generally say Firefox is soemwhere around 15-20%, with much bigger margins in areas.

    Safari would be more like 2/3%, Opera anywhere between 2% and 5% (version 8 and 9 combined) and IE most of the rest. IE is mostly 6+, there’s already a pretty small proportion of people using anything older. IE5/5.5 usage tends to be below Opera and Safari, so we tend to aim more at those different browsers, than backwards compatibility with IE.

    It all does fluctuate across sites,a nd we do have a pretty broad range, though our most popular ones are all techy/gadgety/computery sites.

  17. Aaron: I agree. If companies are going to switch to a new user interface anyway, now is the best time to be promoting Firefox (etc.) to corporate folks.

    I think one of the best ways is for employees to mention the fact that they prefer it and that they believe it will improve their efficiency to their IT department and/or boss.

    Carl: I’m not sure what’s causing that, but I’ll bet it’ll be fixed by Firefox 3 (expected for late Spring 2007). In the meantime, you should post over at There’s a good chance they can figure it out for you.

  18. February 13, 2007 by samuelnyc

    This article is a bit misleading. It be clarified that, perhaps 50% of users visiting THIS site are using Firefox. According to market share, Firefox is clocking in somewhere around 13% globally, vs. IE which is still up around 73%.

  19. February 13, 2007 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    samuelnyc: It is clearly stated that the stats are for this particular site.

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