Although available as a public beta since February 24, the final version of Safari 4 was introduced on Monday at WWDC 2009. Less than a week later, more than 5 million Mac users, and 6 million Windows users have downloaded it. Not surprisingly, Apple (s aapl) is pleased.
“Safari 4 is an incredible success on Mac and Windows with more than 11 million downloads in the first three days,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “Safari users love the incredible speed and innovative features like Top Sites, Full History Search and Cover Flow.”
The Safari 4 beta made up a small minority of total usage. With 5 million downloads for the OS X version so far, it’s likely that Safari 4 will be the majority browser among users very soon, possibly by the end of the month. That growth will only accelerate as Safari 4 becomes the installed browser on new Macs sold, and will jump again when Snow Leopard is released in September. By the end of the year, it’s possible Safari 3 will have single-digit usage among Mac users. Compared to the uptake of new versions of Internet Explorer on Windows, that’s lightning fast. Of course, even 6 million downloads of Windows Safari so far won’t do much to gain market share in general.
It still is, and will likely continue to be, a Windows world when it comes to web browser market share, but at least on the Mac Safari 4 will be the future.