June 13, 2009

how's that 11 million downloads workin' for you, apple?

As I mentioned yesterday, Apple's PR team announced that Safari 4 had been downloaded 11 million times!!! just three days after the release. Even more exciting, they suggested, 6 million !!! of those downloads came from Windows users.

I'm not the first to suggest that most of those downloads probably were not actually users seeking out Safari 4 but rather were users receiving and accepting the automatic update from Mac or from the Apple Update Service on Windows. (This service is installed on every Window machine where users have installed either iTunes or QuickTime.)

Still, 11 million total downloads in three days and 6 million downloads on Windows sounds really quite impressive. But what does it actually mean? That's hard to say unless you know whether or not the downloads are 1) unique, 2) new downloaders, 3) updates from beta, or 4) updates from previous major releases.

Since Apple isn't disclosing any of that, I thought I'd do some investigation and see what can be learned from looking at the last few days of browser usage stats.

This graph charts the daily usage changes for the Windows versions of Safari. You can see the fluctuation from weekdays to weekends in both the individual version trends and in the combined trend.

note: This does not represent increased usage of Safari on weekends. The number of users and amount of usage of all browsers falls on weekends. IE 6 falls dramatically more on weekends than any other browser and so the relative share of all the not-IE 6 browsers goes up on weekends.

I've added a trendline for the combined version plot so you can see the overall direction that WIndows Safari is headed. What you can see from the chart is that Windows Safari usage is mostly flat at just under half of one percent of total Web usage. (More precisely, 0.45%)

Windows Safari 4.0 beta usage had already slightly surpassed Windows Safari 3.2 usage but with the release of Windows Safari 4.0 final, you can see a hefty drop in Windows Safari 3.2 and an equal rise in Windows Safari 4.0 usage.

Still, the top line is damn flat given Apple's claims which seem intended to suggest that millions of new Windows users are flocking to Windows Safari with the release of version 4.0.

(data from Net Applications)

Posted by asa at 10:24 AM