In recent times, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been trying to shift consumer focus away from market share in unit terms while emphasizing different usage statistics, arguing that even though people may buy competing devices, they might not be using them as much.
Well, if the Mac maker is looking for more ammo, it needs to look no further than new data out from Net Applications. The mobile version of Apple's Safari browser has now reached 61.8% in March, well ahead of Google's (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Android browser at 21.9%. Opera Mini ranked third with 8.4% share, and Google's Chrome grabbed a 2.4% share. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Internet Explorer earned just 2%.
Chrome for Android only launched just over a year ago, which means all smartphones running older versions of Android (which is a lot) don't get the popular browser as a default. It can still be downloaded manually from Google Play, but the figures imply that most users just stick with what's already there.
Browser usage is just one of the numerous ways in which tech heavyweights vie for consumer mindshare, since browsers allow companies to shape how we view the Internet. Browser choice has even landed Microsoft in hot regulatory water recently, when it agreed to pay up a $732 million fine to the European Commission.
While you may think that Apple's mobile browser share would draw regulatory scrutiny, it's still hard to argue that Apple's mildly anticompetitive practices are translating into total market domination, since regulators tend to focus more on unit share over usage share.
Still, the figures raise an obvious question: Why aren't Android users browsing the web more?
Fool contributor Evan Niu, CFA, owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com, Apple, Facebook, and Google. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.