At its I/O developer conference last month, Google launched Chrome for iOS. Despite the fact that it’s being held back by Apple’s security protocols and can’t use its own rendering engine, Chrome has been among the most popular free downloads in Apple’s App Store since then. According to the latest data from online advertising network Chitika, Chrome for iOS currently has a market share of about 1.5% on its network. Safari, of course, continues to have a virtual monopoly on iOS browsing, but according to Chitika, Chrome continues to see moderate growth on Apple’s mobile platform.
In total, Chitika found, about 14.5% of iOS users currently surf the web on a platform other than the stock Safari browser. Most of this traffic, it’s worth noting, though, doesn’t necessarily come from dedicated third-party browsers but from people who arrive on a given site through an app like Facebook.
The company’s data is based on an analysis of “hundreds of millions of impressions” from Chitika’s ad network in the U.S. and Canada. The caveat here, of course, is that the sites that use Chitika’s ads and the users that visit them may not be 100% representative of the web as a whole, but the company’s numbers have generally aligned pretty well with data we’ve seen from other sources.
It remains to be seen how well Chrome for iOS will do in the months to come. Once the novelty wears off, the fact that Apple doesn’t allow its users to select a different default browser usually means people just revert back to using Safari. It’s not clear how much of Chrome for iOS’s current market share is driven by repeat users or just a steady stream of new users who just use the app a few times before moving back to Safari.
Chitika conveniently just launched its (almost) real-time tracker for keeping track of Chrome’s market share on iOS, so you can keep track of this data yourself if you feel so inclined.