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Apple's mobile Safari & Apple TV products see increased pressure in 2015, Adobe study says

According to the latest statistics gathered by Adobe Digital Index researchers, Apple's mobile Safari product is being outpaced by Google Chrome, Apple TV views slumped over the holidays and the company's brand image took a hit on social media in February.

In data culled from 600 billion website visits between January 2015 and January 2016, Adobe saw Google Chrome browser usage on smartphones outpace Safari by 127 percent globally. Both browsers experienced year-over-year growth, however, with Chrome netting a 75 percent bump to Safari's 33 percent rise over the same period.

Becky Tasker, Managing Analyst at Adobe Digital Index, told AppleInsider the slight shift favoring Chrome might be explained by its unified experience across multiple platforms and operating systems. Apple has rolled out its own innovations in browsing session portability, including Continuity features like Handoff that let users pick up on a Mac where they left off on iPhone, but integration is limited to Apple's ecosystem.

Narrowing the data to iOS device owners, browser usage unsurprisingly trends toward Safari, which comes preinstalled on all Apple products. Echoing the overall smartphone market, both Safari and Chrome saw respective 34 percent and 19 percent increases in measured visits.

In a survey conducted as part of the study, 43 percent of iOS device owners said they prefer using Safari for their Web browsing needs, while 33 percent chose Chrome.

On a related note, site visits from OS X were down 5 percent year-over-year, but Macs experienced an uptick late last year and is now leading Microsoft's Windows. Overall, however, mobile device proliferation is sucking the air out of the room.

Breaking down share by device type, smartphones drove 76 percent of all mobile visits to the sites monitored by Adobe, with 46 percent originating on iPhone. Android smartphones were responsible for 30 percent of aggregate views. Tablets drove a meager 24 percent of mobile visits, with iPad taking 18 percent of the whole as compared to Android's 5 percent.

On Apple TV, Adobe found authenticated viewing, or watching content that requires a sign in to stream, dropped 8 percent from August to December of last year. Prior to the dip, Apple's set-top box was leading Roku, at one point touching an apex of over 50 percent, but the industry stalwart gained 4 percent over the same period to cross over at the end of 2015. Apple regained its lead in January.

Tasker says aggressive price cuts and 4K HDTV compatibility likely contributed to Roku's rise over the holiday shopping season, a time window in which Apple announced and released a fourth-generation Apple TV device that outputs at a max resolution of 1080p.

Amazon Fire TV products and gaming consoles take small shares of the authenticated viewing market, but not enough threaten Apple TV and Roku's dominance in the space.

Finally, Adobe took a look at social media buzz ahead of next week's "Let us loop you in" event. Interestingly, overall social sentiment is down month-over-month and now sits below two percent for North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific regions. It's not exactly clear what, exactly, is suppressing mindshare, though Apple is embroiled in a high-profile court case with the U.S. Department of Justice over iPhone encryption.

As for specific products expected to debut at Monday's event, iPhone SE dominated global social media mentions measured from Feb. 24 to Mar. 8. Following close behind were combined mentions for a 9.7-inch iPad Pro and iPad Air 3, which are rumored to be one in the same.