OS X Mavericks adoption slowed significantly in December

“OS X Mavericks’ uptake slowed significantly in December, putting a crimp on Apple’s plans to move customers to the new — and free — operating system,” Gregg Keizer reports for Computerworld. “Data from Web metrics company Net Applications also showed a worrisome fragmentation of the Mac operating system market, with three older editions, including 2009’s OS X Snow Leopard, crowded around the 20 percent line, each accounting for between one-sixth and one-fourth of the user base.”

“The slowdown in Mavericks adoption last month was in contrast to the rapid uptake in November, when the free operating system upgrade vaulted from fourth place among the various editions to first,” Keizer reports. “At the end of November, 32 percent of all Macs tracked online by Net Applications were running OS X Mavericks, a 21-point increase over the month prior. In December, Mavericks gained just 5 percentage points, climbing to a 37 percent share.”

“Still, Mavericks’ December gain was twice that of OS X Mountain Lion in the second full month of its availability,” Keizer reports. “OS X Snow Leopard again resisted major defections, losing just 0.7 points in December to slip to 19.5 percent of all editions. Users of Snow Leopard have stubbornly stuck with their aged operating system — which may have already seen its final security update — in large part because it was the last version of OS X to let them run applications compiled for the PowerPC processor. Its successor, OS X Lion, also orphaned many Macs made before 2008.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Older Macs wil get upgraded in due time. There are a lot of white plastic MacBooks and other Macs out there that simply cannot run Mavericks.


    1. Also, at each OS upgrade, Apple leaves some Mac models behind. But Macs remain usable for a VERY long time (and Apple continues to support previous OS versions with maintenance updates for about another three years), so many users just keep using their existing Macs, or they get sold to new owners who keep using them.

      Therefore, some of that 20% for Snow Leopard are using the first 32-bit Intel Macs from 2006, and cannot upgrade, but their Macs still work perfectly fine for them. Same for the group running Lion. My old “late” 2006 iMac ran Lion as my primary Mac until very recently (because it cannot run Mountain Lion), then I got a 2011 refurb Mac mini about one month ago (which now runs Mavericks).

      This has become more prevalent recently because Apple has started releasing major updates on a yearly cycle. The “worrisome fragmentation” is nothing more than the natural side effect of getting new major releases every year, instead of every two to three years like before.

      Also, a significant percentage of Mac users are recent converts from the Windows world. They often have the mindset of “if it works, don’t mess with it” (even if the upgrade is free). They are used to upgrading their OS when they buy a new computer.

    2. To Snoop and Ken, So right.
      On the nice side, looking at the comments for the article on its site, shows that many more people support Apple and are willing to talk back to trolling article writers.

      Only on sites like Yahoo Financial are the trollers and paid writers still in a majority.

      Just a thought for the new year.

  1. This version is not without its own issues, Adobe Master Collection was a pain to get fixed and it was late Dec. before the After Effects fixes actually worked. XCode 5.2 opens and crashes everytime still (so no upgrading there).
    Crack the whip Timmy Boy!

      1. I do not code production with beta’s, GM’s, or DP’s.
        I did make a mistake, and was referring to 5.0.2, not 5.2.
        1 star… hmmm the fanbois really do not like constructive feedback, as this was not negative.
        I didn’t say I didn’t like Mavericks, or anything negative about Apple, other than the XCode team needs to sharpen their skills, and that Tim C needs to crack down on slipups. 15″ MBP/retina clean install should never have XCode crashing on startup. That kind of crap Microsoft doesn’t even do, and Visual Studio runs on machines M$ has no control over!

    1. While I love the iPad there are many things I can’t so on it. Like editing HTML is harder and I find coding XML very hard. I use Xcode and text wrangler on my Mac but there are just many things ipad can’t do. I do love it and maybe someday it will be easier.

  2. I don’t blame them for not updating. I put it on my iMac and MacBook. The MacBook is back on ML after Mavericks nearly destroyed my book library — made a backup before updating, and will now, more than ever, ALWAYS make a backup before letting Apple give me their version of a ‘faster horse’. They clearly don’t even know which end of a horse to not walk behind anymore.

    1. You should always make a backup anyway, but especially before upgrading an operating system a major version. This isn’t some revelation you should have because Mavericks is “flawed” or something.

  3. “…putting a crimp on Apple’s plans…

    Apple is, first and foremost, a new products company. When you forget that, you end up writing silly conclusions like the one this article asserts.

    There are many valid reasons for leaving computers at 10.6 (or earlier). Apple removed the entire Podcast Producer solution, for instance, so what was free to institutions who wanted to continue automated recording and distribution of meetings or classes must keep their machines running the old version or purchase a commercial solution or finagle open source solutions to work.

  4. Macs stay in use for years, even decades, so some degree of fragmentation from old systems is expected.

    That’s different from Android, where those types of cell phones need to be replaced every year or two.

    1. I was disappointed too, mainly because it slowed my Imac down significantly and my email kept failing. The slow down I believe was due to Mavericks taking significant more RAM.

  5. How do people get paid to write such uninformed crap?

    Snow Leopard was the last version to support Rosetta, which enabled running older non-Intel apps. Some people cannot move to any newer OS X version because they need those applications.

    Mountain Lion was the last version to support many older Macs. Those owners will not adopt Mavericks. It is a real problem for companies that build durable and robust hardware.

    To say that 20% of Apple’s user base is still productive with apps that are more than eight years out of the box and 40% are getting good use out of hardware that is more than four or so years old speaks very well for Apple and its products.

    The real question should be: “How is the adoption rate among the 60% of current owners who don’t have a compelling reason not to upgrade?” I suspect Apple is doing just fine.

  6. This week I decided to put Mavericks on a Mac Mini Server I have at the house to replace Snow Leopard and Boot Camp will not download the drivers necessary to do a proper install of Windows 7. Tried to call Apple to report the problem as I saw nothing on the boards about it and the scripted phone hack tried to steer me into buying a service plan- not what Apple advertises or tries to do.

    Not trying to get freebie repairs or walkthrough tech support- just to report a problem where Mavericks on a Mac Mini Server shows files do not exist when Boot Camp tries to download the drivers. This problem does not exist on any other Macs I own or have access to- just this model.

    Not up to Apple’s reputation or my expectation.

    I think the decision to give away Mac OS instead of selling it at any price is so they can essentially abandon traditional 90 day customer support when you bought a copy of Mac OS. By giving it away you get no warranty.

    BTW- The Boot Camp files available for download at Apple online do not work on this model- which is supposed to be supported. This is not cool. I need Boot Camp to run Media Center, which I understand does not run well on Parallels or VMWare Fusion with a Mac mini.

  7. If the Mac market is fragmented, WTF is Windows market?

    The guy is clueless , adoption was always going to slow down, it’s called “reaching saturation”. Most users who can upgrade, have done.

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