Safari is the world's second-favorite browser, but it won't be for long

Macos Big Sur Preview Safari Hero
Macos Big Sur Preview Safari Hero (Image credit: Rene Ritchie)

What you need to know

  • Google Chrome accounts for more than 65% of the global desktop web browser market.
  • Safari sits in second spot with 9.84% of the desktop market.
  • Edge and Firefox are vying for Safari's second place.

Apple's Safari is the second most popular desktop web browser behind the dominant Google Chrome — but it is highly unlikely that it will stay that way for long.

While numbers shared by StatCounter currently list Safari as having 9.84% of the market behind Chrome's massive 65.38% majority, it's the browsers in third and fourth spot that are worth taking note of — Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox, respectively. Both have seen increases in the number of users over the last year and it seems like only a matter of time before Safari finds itself sitting in third place at best and fourth at worst.

Chrome sits clear at the top of the pile with more than 65% of global usage.

Statcounter Desktop Browser Usage 202101

Statcounter Desktop Browser Usage 202101 (Image credit: StatCounter)

It is of course fairly easy to understand why some browsers might have larger user numbers than Safari. Apple's browser is only available on macOS which severely limits its appeal. By contrast, Chrome, Edge, and Firefox are all multi-platform browsers and a presence on the Windows side of things immediately opens the door to a huge number of potential users. However, it seems clear that plenty of macOS users are also browsing using Chrome rather than Safari — the default web browser that comes installed one every Mac that Apple sells. While many would say that Safari is the best Mac web browser it's clear not everyone would agree.

Apple did offer a build of Safari for Windows users many years ago but in a world where Chrome dominates and Internet Explorer/Edge come pre-installed on Windows, the number of people installing Safari was always small.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.