Google Chrome has surpassed Apple Safari for the first time to rank as the third most-popular browser in the United States, a Web analytics firm says.
For the seven-day period ending June 27, Chrome had 8.97% of the U.S. market, while Safari had 8.88%, StatCounter reported Monday. Microsoft Internet Explorer continued to lead the market with a 52% share, followed by Mozilla Firefox, 28.5%.
"This is quite a coup for Google as they have gone from zero to almost 10% of the U.S. market in under two years," Aodhan Cullen, chief executive of StatCounter, said in a statement.
Globally, Chrome has been well ahead of Safari for some time with 9.4% of the market versus 4%, respectively. IE has had 53% of the world market and Firefox 31%.
StatCounter bases its findings on an analysis of 3.6 billion page views, including 874 million in the U.S. For the period ending June 27, StatCounter collected information from more than 3 million Web sites.
The latest browser numbers reflect how competition between Google and Apple is growing to encompass the browser, as well as the smartphone markets. In the latter, smartphones built around Google's Android operating system compete with Apple's iPhone.
"There is a battle royal going on between Google and Apple," Cullen said.
StatCounter is not the only Web analytics firm to report rising usage of Chrome. The latest figures from Net Applications show that Chrome rose to more than 7% of the global market in May, while Safari stood at almost 5%.
Google moved Chrome 5 for Windows out of beta in May and also took the Mac and Linux versions out of beta. The moves resulted in a significant boost in Chrome usage.
However, as the defacto browser for Macs and the iPad, Safari's growth is expected to continue rising. Apple has sold more than 2 million iPads since releasing the tablet in April.