Blog Post

Safari 4 Sees Huge Demand, 11 Million Downloads So Far


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.”

Safari 4 is a solid upgrade, and the rate of uptake is impressive, too. Consider last month’s breakdown of Safari versions from Net Applications.


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.

23 Responses to “Safari 4 Sees Huge Demand, 11 Million Downloads So Far”

  1. Regarding top tabs, it’s unusual for Apple to suddenly retreat from a change in the user interface. It often takes years of bitter complaint for that, see: BRUSHED METAL. The fact that top tabs was introduced and discarded so quickly suggest to me that there was massive negative feedback, so I think it unlikely you’ll see a return of top tabs.

  2. In my personal experience on my Mac, Firefox is a dog compared to Safari 4 beta, so I’ll stick with Safari for now. I’m enjoying the new features like Top Sites. Unfortunately, I’m also enjoying the tabs on top in the beta, so I WON’T be upgrading to the official Safari 4 release unless they add that feature back.

  3. Lara Croft

    I tried Safari 4 on Vista and while it does seem snappier than FireFox, it also chews up a lot more memory for my 80-tab test, almost 25% more memory. I also noticed that the Safari keeps the CPU busy (some times more than 50% CPU utilization) while FireFox doesn’t. Probably some background task (indexing?) that I haven’t learned about yet. Safari also keeps doing I/O writes when I’m not even surfing (and there isn’t any streaming media on any of the pages, either). I don’t know what it’s doing, but looks strange.

    Using my 80-tab test, I see that 14 tabs are displayed, 13 first tabs plus whatever tab you’re viewing that comes after the 13th. So, if I’m viewing the 75th tab, then the tabs shown are #1 … #13 and then #75. Is there a way to set it up so that the tabs can be scrolled like in FireFox?

    I’m turning off my Safari 4 now and going back to FireFox, at least until I understand what those I/O writes are.

  4. AppleHater

    in reality safari has not been downloaded 11million times. itunes has and because they trick you into piggyback download safari well the numbers are…

  5. People are visuals creatures, and for that reason I like Top Sites. I know when my favorite comics update, a few blogs I read, and what the headline picture for a few news sites. I suppose I could put those sites in the BookMark Bar, assuming they have feeds, but then I have to click on the feed to get to the website. I also like see what I’m looking at lately, my own person zeitgeist in 24 websites or less.

  6. 2 points. Iusing safarito download fire fox, Igot 6+kips. I stopped and tried Camino and got over 600kips.????

    Top sites is a just the kind of thing nobody really needs.Why have a special tool bookmark button to show you a sample when you can click a link in the bookmarks bar and see the whole sight.

    More eye candy

  7. Allister

    Mike, when you’ve got 40+ tabs open including WordPress blogs you need to post to and you are downloading lots of files and you want control over those, then you’re better off running FF3. It’s no slower than Safari in the real world. After all, just about any browser can render a page faster than your internet connection can download it.

  8. Joeypk07

    Ted, using them Mighty Mouse I like to set the scroll ball button as button 3 under my mouse prefs and that will also accomplish the same thing. That way I can open the link as a new tab with just the mouse. This requires that the (command-click) option be selected under the tabs preference in safari. To that end you can also open the link in a new window by holding down the option key when clicking with the scroll ball. Or if you don’t have a mighty mouse command-option and clicking. I find that I don’t always want something opened in a new window and I don’t always want something in a new tab so you have the option for all without the gyrations that you’re suggesting.

  9. I’d be interested in giving Safari another try, but I’ve gotten hooked on all of the nifty shortcuts I’ve got set up in Firefox — extensions for saves and the like, using keywords to pull up a site, etc. — and I don’t know how to duplicate all of that with Safari.

  10. in firefox to open a link in a new tab you just click.
    In safari you either need to control click or right click and chose it from the menu.
    Otherwise you get all these open windows. Ugh.

  11. Safari is great – except – I want to use shortcut keys to switch between tabs. Firefox lets me hit command + 1 for the 1st tab, command + 2 for the 2nd tab, and so on. Safari uses commant + 1 to open my first bookmark, which is significantly less useful. If I could switch that, I’d happily use Safari 4.