Safari Still Winning the Mobile Browser War
Apple’s mobile Safari browser is beset on all sides by eager challengers, but it continues to hold its own, as the latest market share data from Net Applications shows.
Safari for iOS captured 61.79 percent of all mobile browser Web traffic in March, according to Net Applications.* That was a nice jump from the 55.41 percent it grabbed in February — enough to reaffirm Apple’s dominance of the space for the time being.
Not that it particularly needs reaffirming; mobile Safari certainly isn’t in danger of losing its lead any time soon. Even Google’s Android browser, despite the legion of devices on which it runs, only managed to capture a 21.86 percent share. It was trailed by Opera Mini, which claimed 8.4 percent. Bringing up the rear? Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, with a 1.99 percent share, and BlackBerry, with a piddling .91 percent.
Why does iOS generate so much more traffic than Android when Android has a a greater share of the smartphone market? The most obvious answer is that there are quite a few Android phones out there that simply don’t see much use as smartphones. In other words, iOS users may be generally more engaged with their mobile devices. Or, as Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster speculates, Web browsing on iPad could be spiking mobile Safari’s market share.
“We believe that iOS’s contribution from tablets, which are likely to generate more traffic than a smartphone, is greater than Android’s,” Munster theorizes. “We believe that iOS is likely to continue to lead in mobile traffic generation in the U.S. for at least the remainder of the year.”
*Net Applications’ mobile browser data encompasses 160 million visits to more than 40,000 websites each month. You’ll find more details about the company’s methodology here.