Firefox is blaming Apple and Google for its failure, but is it really their fault?

Ariel Ariel
Sep. 30

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps #133 - Already Breaking Records. Check out the full article for more insights.


Earlier this week, browser maker Firefox released a report that blames Apple, Google, and other OS makers for the lack of demand for Firefox.

I used to love Firefox, and for many years it was my browser of choice. But in my case, it was Firefox that made me stop using Firefox, not anything else...

According to Firefox, built-in browsers mean users won't download non-first-party browsers. If you're old enough this should feel like deja vu.

So I looked at downloads. If Firefox is right, all third-party browsers should have a fairly similar number of downloads, right?

They should, in theory, but let's see if theory = reality.

I used our App Intelligence to compare the downloads of the top browsers in the App Store right now, which include DuckDuckGo, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Brave, Opera, and Firefox Focus. Yes, Firefox has two separate apps. Oh, and Google Chrome.

FYI - There are a few browsers in the Utilities category I chose to omit because they don't come from a known brand.

If we ignore Chrome for a moment the answer here is maybe.

Of the bunch, and ignoring Chrome, Firefox is doing pretty well. When looking at downloads from the App Store since the beginning of 2022, Firefox comes in right behind Microsoft Edge with 4.8 million downloads, according to our estimates.

Edge is surprisingly more popular with 6.5 million estimated downloads. And this is on Apple's App Store, where Microsoft doesn't have any sort of magical abilities.

4.8 and 6.5 aren't that far apart, so maybe something is capping demand for browsers.

Let's unignore Chrome, the leader of the bunch and by a mile!

Google Chrome saw 63 million downloads in the same period. And like Microsoft, Google doesn't have any magical abilities on the App Store. That's why I'm focusing this specifically on the App Store.

When you consider Chrome's downloads I think it's hard to say downloads are capped by some force.

I agree that it's harder to get people to seek an alternative to something that works well, but if Chrome can do it, so can Firefox. And I don't mean to pick on Firefox here but the data tells a slightly different story that can't be ignored. And that's why I don't think we'll see a reply of what happened to Microsoft with Internet Explorer.

App Intelligence for Everyone!

The insights in this report come right out of our App Intelligence platform, which offers access to download and revenue estimates, installed SDKs, and more! Learn more about the tools or schedule a demo with our team to get started.

Are you a Journalist? You can get access to our app and market intelligence for free through the Appfigures for Journalists program. Contact us for more details.

All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.

Tagged: #browsers

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