Safari Turns 20 Today: 'Fastest Web Browser Ever Created for the Mac'

Today marks the 20th anniversary of Apple's co-founder Steve Jobs introducing Safari on the Mac at the 2003 Macworld Expo in San Francisco. Apple advertised Safari as the "fastest web browser ever created for the Mac" at the time.

Safari Turns 20 Feature
Apple said the original version of Safari loaded pages over three times faster compared to Microsoft's Internet Explorer on the Mac. Internet Explorer was the Mac's default browser between 1998 and the release of OS X Panther with Safari in October 2003, as part of a five-year agreement between Apple and Microsoft.

"Safari is the fastest browser on the Mac, and we predict that many will feel it is the best browser ever created," said Jobs, in a January 2003 press release. "We are bringing innovation back into this category with the first all new browser created in many years."

A public beta of Safari was made available for OS X Jaguar in January 2003, with key features including the WebKit rendering engine for faster browsing speeds, Google search capabilities integrated directly into the toolbar, improved bookmark management, optional pop-up ad blocking, a simpler file download process, and more.

A mobile version of Safari was released for the iPhone in 2007 and for the iPad in 2010. The browser continues to use WebKit across all of Apple's platforms.

Safari was eventually overshadowed by Google's Chrome, which was released in 2008 and is now the world's most popular web browser across all PCs and Macs. Nevertheless, Apple says Safari remains the world's fastest desktop browser and is 50% faster on average at loading frequently visited websites than Chrome on the Mac.

Tag: Safari

Top Rated Comments

Middling Avatar
9 months ago
Shout out to KHTML ('') from which Apple forked WebKit. This little open source browser engine from an open source *nix desktop environment was the genesis for the vast majority of browsers in use today. What a success story.
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
polyphenol Avatar
9 months ago
Anyone else remember Safari on Windows?

I used to do anything to avoid IE - and usually used, and still use, Firefox. But as a second string, my alternative alternative, I used to install Safari - until Apple dropped it.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
philcourage Avatar
9 months ago
I've tried many browsers over the years only to go back to Safari. I don't know if that's a testament of how good it is or how lazy I am.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple Knowledge Navigator Avatar
9 months ago
Call me crazy, but I genuinely believe Safari is the dark horse of Apple. It’s the one app that I can’t imagine switching to another as a default - and that’s high praise given Edge is an excellent Mac browser, which I use for business.

The first time I used Safari I had no idea a web browser could be so bloat free. That was the era where commercial crud would litter your ‘toolbars’ and so forth.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Osxguy Avatar
9 months ago
The best thing about safari is the built in interoperability between devices.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rizzo41999 Avatar
9 months ago
I find Chrome to be a bloated mess. I alternate between Safari and Firefox.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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