Mobile browsers market share quick overview in the EU

Why do we care about mobile browsers market share? As internet traffic has switch to mobile devices (many websites have 4 out of 5 visits from mobile phones) is important for a digital marketer to know what the main browsers are used to access his websites. Market is dominated by Google Chrome and Apple’s Safari, 9 out of 10 EU users being fans of those browsers. Despite both browsers perform same action, there are differences in how they display a website or even how they track users, so we need to know what our audience technology is to improve the experience provided.

DMA will hit Apple more than Google

What requires DMA enforcement? Theoretically from March 2024 any update on iPhones or Google Android devices will prompt EU users with choice of their browser from a predefined list. The list of browsers is made upon availability and that will make a difference.

Going back to the process of choosing the browser there is no specific order to list the options, all are random displayed and does not have Safari listed. There is no official Apple Safari app listed on Google Play, there is a so-called iOS browser Safari app being listed by an unknown developer.

On the Apple side we have Google Chrome as one of the top-rated apps. Even many iPhone users stick with Safari as they are very familiar with, there were already others that preferred downloading Chrome and make it default browser (against Apple warnings). Now Apple will be forced to provide at first update the choice of browser and disable Safari as a default one. On iOS, despite Opera enthusiasm, we will see more people picking Chrome, that will improve his market share against Safari.

The other difference in mobile browsers market share will be made by EU Commission decision to not include Samsung Internet Browser as a dominant player. We will keep seeing Samsung smartphones delivered with this browser default, as well as for other Android brands that did not pick Chrome as default browser (like Xiaomi).  This will preserve Samsung Internet browser market share around 6,5% as it was in last 12 months.

Opera and Firefox may see some increase in their market share especially from Android users, less from iPhone users. Even this increase will be 100%, we won’t see major changes in terms of market share, probably over 2% for Opera, close to 2% for Firefox.

Chrome will keep going, Safari will keep losing market share on mobile devices

My estimate for next year is that Chrome will keep improving maybe up to 65% (last 12 months went to 61,35% from 58,52%).  Safari will drop at under 25%, probably 22-23% (last 12 months went to 28,66% from 31,61%). Samsung will stick at 6,5% and other browser versions will be small to count for. A detailed report of mobile browsers market share in Europe for the past 12 months is here.

Bottom line, Chrome and Safari will still be used by about 9 of 10 Europeans. Some two thirds of all European mobile internet users will use Chrome and less than one quarter will use Safari (two years ago was at his peak with one third of users).

As for the default search engine where DMA imposes same rule of free choice, we don’t have a real competitor for Google in the EU. However, there are AI tools that already have an impact over number of usual searches and the way searching process is evolving. That’s another topic to discuss.