Regular readers will know that I keep my eye out for Mozilla-related news on the web and often link to the stories and blog posts that I find. Today, while mucking about in the various search tools I frequent for Mozilla-related news, I ran acorss a number of articles and blogs discussing Safari's doubling market share since February
What does that mean and what's the total potential maket there?
Jobs says there are 7 million OS X users. I thought it would be nice to try to find some data that backed that up. According to published reports, Apple has been between 2 and 2.5% of global PC sales for the last few years (more on this at Google.) There have been about 120 million PCs sold each year for the last few years. If few of the Apple sales were upgrades of machines already running OS X then it's quite possible that there are 7 million OS X users out there - so Jobs may not be wildly off-base.
If oneStat (which says Safari has 0.25% of the browser market) and Global Reach (which says there are 620 million intenet users) are to be belived, then Safari has about 1.55 million total users today.
What about Mozilla/Camino/Firebird on Mac OS X? I really don't know. This paragraph is wild speculation based on shakey numbers :-) Roughly 10% of Mozilla downloads (seamonkey+camino+firebird) are for OS X. If Mozilla's has 1.6% of the total internet market (according to oneStat) then roughly .16% of the intenet should be using OS X Mozilla. That would be about 1 million Mac OS X Mozilla users (based on the Global Reach number).
So what does this mean for OS X as a browser market? If Safari is 1.5 million users strong and Mozilla/Camino/Firebird is 1 million, that leaves 4.5 million Mac OS X machines out there that are still up for grabs.
If users realize that there's something better and can be enticed to take the plunge and download a better browser, there is definitely room to grow, for both Safari and Mozilla/Camino/Firebird, in the OS X installed base.
I personally can't stand IE on Mac OS X and I'm sure that, as the word spreads about Safari and Camino/Mozilla/Firebird, more and more users are going to want to upgrade to a more capable application. While it's not a huge block of users (just under 1% of today's total intenet population if the relevant above numbers are legit) I think it's one that's worth going after.
Tabbed browsing, pop-up blocking, faster page rendering, faster downloading, better support for the standards and the real-world web - the reasons to get off of IE are abundant.
Oh, I almost forgot; the market share growth statistic from all those "Safari doubles market share" stories, when mapped against actual users gained, is roughly 1/3rd of the user growth that Mozilla had in the same period. Still, quite impressive for a product that only recently came out of beta.
note: I suck at math and I've got a reputation for unrealistic predictions and wild, unfounded speculation. On top of that, I only use OS X about three days a week so pretty much everything I just said is probably rubbish.