Google’s Android has become the most used operating system in the world. Apple, which played second fiddle to Microsoft’s Windows for about two decades, has become a major force in mobile and has a resurgent position among traditional PC notebooks and desktops. Still, there is an area where Google dominates Apple.
The. Browser. Wars.
Google claims Android runs on more than 1.6-billion devices throughout the world. Of course, they’re not all the latest versions of Android, which, after a year has barely hit double-digits. Apple claims more than 1-billion iOS users. Which browsers rule in which domain? It’s really divided.
Analytics.USA.gov tracks web browser data and shared some interesting trends and details regarding internet browser usage. Who is tops? It depends upon the platform; Mac, Windows, Android, or iOS (nothing else really matters).
Among Android devices, Google’s Chrome rules with nearly 90-percent penetration. That’s dominant, right? Except that on the 1-billion or so iOS users, Apple’s own in-house Safari browser tops 96-percent. That’s dominant, too.
Windows is the outlier. Chrome is used by nearly half of all PC browser users, while Microsoft’s own Internet Explorer has fallen to barely one third. Mozilla’s Firefox comes in third at low double digits, and Microsoft’s new Edge browser, only available on Windows 10, hits just 5-percent browser usage.
What about the Mac?
Chrome has a strong presence with more than 36-percent usage, while Apple’s own Safari browser reigns but at barely 50-percent. Firefox drops to low double digits.
Across all platforms, Google’s Chrome dominates all browsers, including Apple’s Safari. It’s tops on Android, tops on Windows, and a close second place finisher on the Mac. Only on iPhone and iPad does Safari dominate even more than Google.
The Whole Story
These statistics are indicative of where Google dominates Apple but don’t tell the whole story. For example, among iPhone and iPad users, Apple’s own Maps is used far more than Google Maps. In fact, Google’s applications– other than YouTube– have less presence on iOS devices than on Windows and Mac. I checked the Mac360 server logs and the above statistics remain similar to our site visitors.
Google has become a dominant player everywhere except iOS and OS X. Other than iTunes on Windows and Apple Music on Android, Apple has almost no presence outside of its own devices. Today, both Google and Microsoft publish many apps for all major platforms; Windows, OS X, Android, and iOS.
Only Apple is the app outlier. Why?
Google and Microsoft make their money via software. Apple sells hardware, therefore, has little incentive to publish an app for Android or Windows. The exceptions– the aforementioned Apple Music and iTunes– generate billions in revenue for Apple.