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Adobe takes a close look at Apple before the March 21 event

Next Monday will be a big day for Apple enthusiasts (and mobile phone users everywhere), with the iEmpire gearing up for its mysterious “Let Us Loop You In” media event. But in anticipation of all the excitement, the Adobe Digital Index team has taken a closer look at the Cupertino-based firm and its competitors, looking into consumer data from Adobe Analytics, Adobe Social, and Adobe Primetime. And while Apple is still as powerful as ever, competition may be heating up when it comes to their market dominance.

As per Adobe Digital Index’s market research, website visits from Chrome on smartphones outpaced those from Safari by a whopping 127 percent. Even when examining iOS device browser usage, Safari wasn’t that much more popular. Forty-three percent of iPhone users prefer the native browser (Safari), but a surprising 33 percent would rather use Chrome. Both browsers, however, saw a significant year-over-year increase in visits — 34 percent for Safari, and 19 percent for Chrome.

When it comes to tablets, it looks like the variants on the iPad haven’t done much for the market. While smartphone page views have grown 18 percent since 2012, tablet page views have seen much less robust improvement — pageviews have gone up just 4 percent in the last several years. And whereas smartphones drive 76 percent of all mobile visits (with 46 percent coming from iPhones and 30 percent coming from Android devices), tablets account for just 24 percent. That said, the iPad is certainly more popular than any Android competitor — tablets comprised 44 percent of mobile device sales last year, 84 percent of them bore an Apple logo. Still, interest in these devices are slowing, with visits from iPads down 7 percent from last year.

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But perhaps most concerning for Apple is Adobe’s finding that social sentiment for the Apple brand fell in February. According to the market report, “Across North America, EMEA, and APAC, consumer sentiment has been trending toward disappointment. Of the rumored products to be revealed, iPhone SE drives the most conversations on social.”

So pressure’s on, Apple. Monday’s announcements better be good ones.