Apple's Safari browser is gaining usage share dramatically, with its largest increase ever during the month of July. Net Applications provides metrics on a regular basis showing how various web browsers are faring in terms of usage, and the July figures showed Safari being used by 8.1 percent of all web users.
That's the largest single increase in a single month for Safari, with iOS devices making up more than a third of the usage for the browser. Safari's growth rate even beat Google's Chrome in July -- Safari's share jumped .6 percent for the month, while Chrome grew at only a .3 percent rate.
Safari has shown continued growth for 17 months straight, while Microsoft's Internet Explorer has been declining. IE still has the lion's share (no pun intended) of the browser market at 52.8%, but has shown solid declines for quite some time. Internet Explorer 9, the latest in the IE family of browsers, is showing continued growth as more businesses adopt Windows 7, but the overall browser share for IE is declining.
Firefox and Opera are also showing declining usage share, with Opera down to a measly 1.7% share -- about where it was in late 2007. Safari still has a long way to go to be on top of the heap, but the gains it is making show that Apple's strength in mobile devices and recent growth in Mac sales is also having a positive effect on Safari's usage.
For a detailed dive into the data, take a look at Net Applications' browser statistics.