US: The connection between browser usage and smartphone ownership
April 10th, 2024, Kineree Shah

US: The connection between browser usage and smartphone ownership

A majority of Americans (58%) say Google Chrome is their go-to internet browser, which is nearly three times the share of its nearest competitor, Safari (15%). Mozilla/Firefox and Microsoft Edge (formerly known as Internet Explorer) are each used by 8% according to data from YouGov Profiles. However, a pattern emerges when delving into smartphone users' preferences.

Google Chrome’s strength is lower among iPhone users, with only 44% opting for it. On the other hand, Safari, benefiting from its status as the default browser on iOS devices, sees a substantial increase in preference among iPhone users in comparison to all US adults, (33% iPhone users vs. 15% general population). This uptick for Safari among iPhone users compared to those with other smartphone brands indicates that many individuals tend to stick with the pre-set browser that comes installed on their devices.

For users of other smartphone brands such as Samsung, Google, Motorola, and LG, Google Chrome's preference increases in comparison to general population, with 70%, 70%, 67%, and 64% respectively, reinforcing the idea that default settings play a crucial role in shaping user preferences. In contrast, Safari's preference drops dramatically among these users, ranging between 2% to 4%, further underscoring the loyalty and convenience to default browsers tied to the respective device ecosystems.

Preferences for Mozilla/Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and Opera exhibit more consistency across different phone brands, albeit with slight variations. This consistency might suggest a base of users who actively choose their browsers based on features, security, or personal affinity rather than sticking with the default option.

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for the US is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.