Back in June at the I/O developer conference, Google announced they are bringing their Chrome web browser to the iOS platform. Many Apple fans prefer Chrome over Safari on desktop machines, so the unveil was met with a lot of excitement from iOS users. However, it looks like Chrome has a long road ahead if it hopes to become a prominent power on the iOS web scene.
A new study by Chitika shows that after Google Chrome for iOS has been at the top of the App Store charts for weeks, it has earned a 1.5% marketshare of all web browsers on iOS. Safari dominates with an 85.6% marketshare, while other third-party browsers take up the other 13%. Chrome’s overall 1.5% browser share translates to a 10.3% share of the total iOS third-party browser market.
One of the main hurdles Chrome faces in its battle for relevance on the iOS platform is that its performance is crippled by Apple’s security protocols for third-party web browsers for iOS. While Mobile Safari can use its own rendering engine, Chrome can’t, which makes it slow and the experience worse than it would be without the restrictions. iOS also doesn’t allow users to set their default browser to something other than Safari either, which is another major obstacle to user adoption.
It must be noted that there are some flaws with Chitika’s report. The analysis has been based on impressions from Chitka’s vast ad network in the U.S. so sites that use Chitika’s ads may not reflect the web’s usage as a whole. The analysis also could not determine repeat users, or if users preferred Chrome for a short time before switching back to Safari.