Safari Catapults To #2 Browser On TMO With 24% Of Traffic, Internet Explorer & Chimera Take Brun

Web logs can tell you some amazing things, if you know how to interpret them, and they offer the advantage of not being able to lie. As such, we can get an outstanding glimpse into browser use, or at least a barometer of that use as it pertains to The Mac Observer (TMO).

In the first 8 days since its release, Safari has catapulted to the #2 slot, with a significant share of TMOis traffic. During that 8 day period (January 7th through January 15th), Safari was used to pull up 20.72% of all TMO Web pages requested. January 15th itself saw 20.41% of Web pages being called from the browser.

Safari is Appleis new KHTML-based browser that Apple introduced at Macworld Expo. The company said that it was downloaded some 500,000 times in the first three days of its release.

During the same 8 day period, Internet Explorer remained the #1 browser with 46.92% of all Web pages being called by an MSIE browser, or one claiming to be MSIE. Historically, IE has been the top browser at TMO, and this was the case for several years. It should also be noted that all of these percentages include total traffic from all platforms visiting TMO, and that 1/3 of that traffic traditionally comes from Windows machines.

Overall stats for January 7th through January 15th

  • Internet Explorer (46.92%)
  • Safari (20.72%)
  • Mozilla (9.72%)
  • Netscape (7.51%)
  • Chimera (7.24%)
  • Netscape Compatible (3.08%)
  • Opera (1.04%)
  • All the rest... (less than 1% each)

Where these numbers become even more interesting is when they are compared to Decemberis traffic. In order, we had:

  • Internet Explorer (57.29%)
  • Chimera (13.14%)
  • Netscape (10.14%)
  • Mozilla (7.18%)
  • Netscape Compatible (6.27%)
  • Opera (1.17%)
  • All the rest... (less than 1% each)

From that, itis easy to see that Internet Explorer and Chimera took the brunt of the market share loss. Internet Explorer lost 10.37 percentage points, an 18.1% loss, and Chimera lost some 5.9 percentage points, a much more significant 44.9% loss in market share. Surprisingly, Mozilla gained 2.54 percentage points between the two time periods, while Netscape lost about the same share Mozilla won (2.63 percentage points). It is possible that the two are related. Opera remained static, while "Netscape Compatible" refers to browsers as identifying themselves as that, whether or not they are a Netscape browser.

For those keeping score at home "All the rest..." includes, in order: Scooter, grub-client, Phoenix, Galeon, webcollage, iSiloX, Teleport Pro, iCab, Konqueror, Plucker, and larbin (and an additional 452 browsers that did not register enough requests to be significant, seriously). Thatis a motley crew, to be sure. These browsers vary from month to month, and usually include a few Lynx requests as well.


The conclusion to be drawn from this is that the same type of Mac user that is drawn to Chimera is drawn to Safari. From our Observations, those users tend to be more technically savvy, want an alternative to IE, and definitely tend to hang out more towards the bleeding edge.

At the same time, it also appears that there are many Internet Explorer users who are not so happy with their browser of choice. With a statistically significant number of those Windows users browsing through Internet Explorer (most of that 33% of our traffic on Windows), that suggests that the number of Mac users wanting an IE alternative is even higher than the overall percentages suggest.

Considering the fact that Safari is a beta product that has been released for just one week, the number of people using it at TMO is remarkable. That said, it should be pointed out that there is a difference between the percentage of users using Safari is possibly different than the percentage of Web pages being called. We do not have this particular data broken down by the user, so it is possible that only our top readers in terms of browsing are using Safari, or even that the opposite is true -- something towards the middle being most likely.

We also want to make sure that you realize we are comparing one week (8 days) of data to a full monthis worth of data, and that this could also skew the results. We will examine this subject again in the future.

What seems to be incontrovertible is that Apple has a hit on its hands, and that some Mac users want a new browser.