The browser wars may be set for a resurgence after new figures showed Apple’s Safari browser now has over one billion users.
A study by Atlas VPN (opens in new tab) pulled data from GlobalStates and InternetWorldStats to find that Safari now boasts almost 20% of all internet users worldwide.
However despite Safari hitting this monumental goal, it doesn’t even come close to Google Chrome’s colossal numbers. According to the numbers, Google Chrome has well over 3.3 billion worldwide users, around 64% of the total browser market, followed by Microsoft Edge in third place with over 212 million users and a little bit above 4% of the market, but ahead of Firefox in fourth with over 179 million users and around 3% of users, and Samsung Internet with nearly 150 million users or 2.85% in fifth.
Security and availability
Atlas VPN attributes the popularity of most of the top browsers to their wide availability and security features. Chrome is a little different. Atlas VPN claims Chrome’s “application drive design” attracts a lot of people. Google owns a lot of widely used apps like YouTube, Maps, and Drive, which many people use frequently. Those apps, Atlas VPN asserts, lead people to try out Google’s other services and eventually download Chrome.
Safari’s success gets tied to the fact that it’s instantly available on all iPhones and Macs. What expands on that success, according to the study, is the browser’s security features. Namely, its Intelligent Track Prevention feature which prevents bad actors from tracking people across websites.
Microsoft Edge and Samsung Internet are similar to Safari minus the security features. Edge is the default on all Microsoft devices, plus there was that period of time when it was difficult to switch default browsers, which led to an increase in users, according to Atlas. And Samsung’s proprietary browser is on all of its mobile devices, so the app saw high adoption.
Firefox’s popularity is tied to its security features. The browser has tons of extensions that protect people from various forms of malware. It also has the Secure Shell network protocol, which ensures safe communication between devices and is one of the few browsers that support it.
> New Microsoft Edge feature solves one of the most common file-sharing frustrations (opens in new tab)
> Microsoft Edge remains in second place - but it's still miles behind Chrome (opens in new tab)
> Browser wars: Has Microsoft Edge completely lost its way? (opens in new tab)
Analysis: Safari’s next potential update
From June 6 to June 10, Apple will be holding its big WWDC 2022 developer conference. People are expecting to see the next iteration of iOS, macOS, and Apple’s new microchip. It’ll be interesting to see what security changes Apple will bring to its software and how it will impact Safari.
2021 was, maybe, not a great year for Apple in terms of security. Expect to see Apple make renewed efforts on that front.