Did Apple’s OS X Mavericks hit a roadblock?

“Other than freaking out Microsoft, which continues to charge up to $199 for a copy of the latest version of Windows, making OS X Mavericks free was considered a sure way to encourage quick adoption by Mac users,” Gene Steinberg writes for The Tech Night Owl. “Indeed, for the first few weeks, it did appear that loads of Mac users had downloaded and installed the upgrade.”

“According to a published report, however, it does appear that the popularity of Mavericks may have hit the skids, while the user base of OS X Snow Leopard, circa 2009, remains reasonably constant at 19.5%,” Steinberg writes. “After hitting 32% in November, according to Net Applications, which tracks online traffic, Mavericks ‘merely’ increased to 37% in December. This, according to the article in question, must be a troublesome development. You see, some 22% of Mac users are still running Mountain Lion and 16.3% have stayed with Lion.”

“The article uses the dreaded ‘fragmentation’ word to create fear, but the numbers require a more linear analysis. You see, the rapid growth of Mavericks the first few weeks would largely have consisted of early adopters. The numbers in December likely consist largely of those who set up new Macs on which OS 10.9 was preloaded,” Steinberg writes. “The real question is how many of that 63% of remaining Mac users can actually upgrade to Mavericks.”

Much more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Sarah” for the heads up.]

Related article:
OS X Mavericks adoption slowed significantly in December – January 3, 2014


  1. Killing SyncService in Mavericks—which forces the use of iCloud for syncing contacts, calendar, etc.—is a big oops that might be helping reduce the adoption rate.

    1. Downgraded to Mountain Lion due to this appalling move. No warning whatsoever. I won’t upgrade or buy any Apple product unless this is changed. Apple, bring back USB syncing!

    2. Downgraded back to ML on my MacBook, because of the mess Mavericks made of books [not] in iTunes. What a disaster. Running Mavericks on the work iMac just to make sure our stuff works, but would go back to ML if I had any brains.

      1. My Time Machine external Seagate HD backup was destroyed by Mavericks and I did not clone my internal HD before installing Mavericks. Between the destroyed drives, glacial Finder, Mail and other unacceptably poky performances, I am wondering “How difficult is it to revert to ML?” Is there a simple way to do this?

    3. We updated one machine, and the others will remain at Snow Leopard. There just aren’t any must-have improvements. Mavericks adds fluff and an ugly interface, but no performance improvement. And it shoves iCloud further down user’s throats. Not impressed. Cook and Co need to realize that Mac users know how to manage, find, and launch applications, and switch between them. Adding still more ways to emulate the Windows 8-like tiles (“Launcher”) and other mobile OS crap is not an improvement. Tags and tabbed browsing are greatly over-rated.

      1. It’s worse than that — instead of performance improvements, we get performance degradation. And the iCloud BS adds insult to injury. I don’t want cloud services to be a requirement of my OS.

    4. Excuse me clueless troll (aka KC Marc Bob Mike George)

      Don’t you think using a series of first names was kind of obvious (seeing as almost every legitimate reader uses a handle and not just their first name?)
      Second it’s pretty well known that it’s fairly easy to “game” the vote counters don’t just go in and give all your posts 8-10 +5 votes. It’s pretty obvious
      Thirs your posts are too much in the same tone, try to at least make it look like it was different people posting,

      You are going to have to step up your game
      BTW are you just a hater or is there actually money to be made posting nonsense on Apple web sites. And if the latter and you don’t mind my asking, who is that afraid of apple that they would pay for this kind of nonsense?

      1. Tess — I posted once and only once, as I always have. I can’t vouch for anyone else, but it’s rather insulting how often fanboys on MDN roll out the pathetic “troll” accusation whenever people chime in with constructive criticism.

        Perhaps you should be a bit more circumspect before making your wild baseless assertions.

        1. Dude look at your posts… (even on this page) you are obviously a troll, and not a terribly subtle one.
          The “accusations” are hardly “baseless”
          I could be wrong (that you are all the same person) but it really does seem like you are.
          You need to stop letting the hatred of a company (and those who purchase it’s products) drive your life.
          We aren’t on the same footing you and I, you are the apple hater who haunts apple news forums pretending he isn’t what he really is.

          1. – laughing –
            You only deceive yourself. Can’t even discern between constructive criticism and “hatred”. You, sir, are a religious nut who can’t discern different shades of color.

            Look in the mirror before throwing stones. YOU are the troll here, with the minority OPINION, and the false accusations.

          2. Screw you ‘Tessellator’.
            25 yr vet Mac user here, NOT a sheep.
            The reviews from real users are in. Mavericks sucks donkey do-dads. iCloud is hopelessly slow and like the atrocious iMovie update the newer apps have been dumbed down and stripped of useful features for the sake of feature parity with a fucking phone.

      2. He typed one of them with his left hand thinking we wouldn’t recognize the handwriting. I use this technique for Santa’s “Thanks for the cookies” letters.

    5. First, it’s entirely 100% possible for any Mac user to fully explore Mavericks in an entirely safe manner.

      Second, for some mysterious reason, Apple refuses to educate it’s user’s on how to do this. The solution is as simple as putting a LEARN HOW TO UPDATE SAFELY link right at the beginning of the installer.

      I’ve just come from the Apple forum, where users experiencing upgrade calamities are flooding in one after another all day long.

      I’ve spent the last ten days trying to patiently explain to anybody who would listen how easy it would be to avoid all this completely unnecessary damage to Apple’s brand, and was chased around the forum by Apple fan boys, and eventually banned by the mods.

      There’s more wrong at Apple than Mavericks, and it doesn’t bode well for the company’s future.

  2. Many of the remaining Mac users probably can’t upgrade yet because their Macs/Macbooks are for work or they have a vital applications that are not compatible.

    1. Right on. I have two systems that could upgrade to Mavericks and one that upgraded to Lion. The rest are Mac Mini’s from 2007 and running just fine on Snow Leopard.

      Macs just last too long!! Its just so terrible to have machines from 2007 still running like a champ for everyday use. Shame on Apple….. /s

  3. The problem is Apple makes such great machines they last for many years. I still have a perfectly good powerpc G5 tower running 10.5.8 and it works well for most things. Even my iMac G3 running 10.4.11 still runs well.
    A lot of people are happy with their present computer that will last another 10 years and of coarse the old adage; if isn’t broke don’t fix it comes to mind with the mind set of most computer users.

    1. Your PowerPC machine is not “perfectly good.” Apple rendered it obsolete. Apple will not repair a machine that is over 3 years old. If the machines were so damn good, Apple would be able to support them.

      1. “Perfectly good” still works if the machine is still running well and it handles the apps you need. Your argument is foolish. The machines ARE too damn good!! I WISH they would die so I’d have an excuse to buy new.

        I likewise have a working 2005 G5 dual 2.7Ghz Mac that does some backward compatible things I need. It’s only running 10.5.8 Leopard as well and stuck there for all time. My 2007 Mac was upgraded to Lion recently and that’s the end of the road for that as well despite the fact the box it came in said “64 Bit Ready.”

  4. Perian & Snow Leo = Finder with brilliant movie support (QuickView)

    Maverick = Finder with sucky movie support

    Yeah, I know – QuickTime is dead, it is all AVfoundation from now on – well, where is the support for different formats????

  5. A lot of new devices were put into use after the 25th of December, I guess. and in absolute numbers, the adoption rate is also limited by people who wait for 10.9.2 or so. In absolute terms, the adoption rate of Mavericks is the highest ever, as can be seen in the graph I created from NetApplication’s data:

    It shows the total percentage (excluding all mobile devices like phones and iPads). 10.9 has the steepest slope ever.

  6. What a nonsense article. We always see a huge growth on release of an apple product. There are many people like myself that will always upgrade the OS if it is feasible. After the initial upgrade on current machines, future growth will be primarily from sales of new machines.
    There is also a large set of mac users who never upgrade from the OS that the machine came with. They only disappear once a machine is replaced.

  7. I’m not upgrading on iMac and MacBook because of what I will lose in the way of iPhoto and Pages features.

    Upgrading prevents me from keeping the old iPhoto. One feature I depend on in iPhoto 9 is “extended photo info” containing the precise GPS lat/lon. The new iPhoto eliminates the GPS info. What was Apple thinking? I’d prefer upgrading but I simply can’t given the built-in limits to the accompanying applications.

    Apple could put these features back into iPhoto, for example, pretty easy. I have no idea what they are thinking.

    1. All-to-common problem living in the Cook era.
      What Jobs gaveth, Cook taketh away.

      Jobs made OS X the best desktop system, and Cook is pushing as hard as he can to dumb it down into an iOS-like mainframe interface to the pay-as-you-go iCloud service. Screw that. It’s good for users to stick with Snow Leopard, it just works better.

      1. Oh come on, people were bitching about OS X changes even when Jobs was alive. He was alive when Rosetta was axed, and that ticked a bunch of people off.


        1. fair enough. OS X 10.0 and 10.1 were pretty rough. The transition to Intel was not pretty for a lot of folks. But there is no question that the OS X updates since Snow Leopard have been performance degradation and fluff and useless “cloud” service integration. Apple deserves every bit of criticism for sitting on its butt instead of attracting new switchers with a more capable OS. The shortcomings have been documented and “wish lists” for OS X are long, and Apple hasn’t delivered on them.

          When Windows 8 has more deployed desktops than all Mac versions combined, you know that Apple is underperforming. Cook’s decision to do no serious under-the-hood OS improvements to the Mac and instead offer it for free shows desperation, not courage. Mac users more than anyone are willing to pay for a superior product … but only if it is superior.

          1. You may see cloud integration as useless. Personally, I love how Messages, Contacts, Reminders, Notes, and the Calendar sync with my iPhone and iPad without me having to do a thing.

            As for Windows 8 having more installs… Isn’t that par for the course for Windows vs. Mac?


            1. I prefer choice. I’d like to be informed before upgrading when Apple decides to force users to sign in or create an Apple account. I’d like to be able to use a Finder to view EVERYTHING that Apple stores for me in its little cloud. I’d like to know at any time how much data storage i’m using, and how much left before the disc is full. I’d like to manage the files remotely without opening only the application that created the file. I’d like to be able to choose and control the encryption method, and I’d like it to work reliably. I don’t think any of this is too much to ask. You tell me — how good is the iCloud? Is all of this easy and intuitive? Hell no. It’s a crappy unreliable un-Apple-like service taking us all one step closer to mainframe subscription-based computing, where you have no control. How ironic that Apple would be doing this only 20 years after airing the iconic 1984 ad.

            2. Your complaints aren’t invalid, they’re just not universal. I’m simply not interested in that level of information.

              You asked “how good is iCloud”? I can only answer for myself, and that’s “pretty damned good”. I really enjoy how everything on my Mac, iPhone, and iPod syncs up without my having to do a thing.

              But then, I’m just a home user, doing home user things. I’m not running a business on my Mac.


          2. Mike, Really????? “When Windows 8 has more deployed desktops than all Mac versions combined, “. Trolling or just still hungover??

            Of course Windows 8 has deployed more copies than Any Mac program. Hundreds of millions are terrorized after being forced to use Windows 8, want it or not. lol

            Apple went thru its pain when it shifted to OSX series and then moved from Motorola to Intel. Pain long past. Windows has to suffer now……… and it is.

            1. As far as I know Win8 has never been forced on a user unless he bought it that way and then the user can always just wipe the system and install say Win7.. The same can be said for the new MacOS X.. Hardly terrorizing in either case. Knowing that, and if it is true there are more Win8 deployed I find your argument’s footing quite weak.

            2. “and then the user can always just wipe the system and install say Win7”

              IF you have a Win7 DVD (lots of PCs don’t come with those anymore) and IF that DVD happens to have the drivers for any special hardware like fingerprint readers that the manufacturer added and IF Microsoft’s verification servers are in a good mood that day … then you can do that, sure.

              The PC market doesn’t work like that, and we all know it. The few who wipe a PC are probably going to put Linux on it.

          3. Been to a PC shop lately? You can’t buy a laptop without windows 8. I spent a lot of time in December looking for a windows 7 laptop for my wife (We’re an multi-faith family. Don’t ask).

            Of course windows 8 numbers would outnumber Macs eventually. That it has taken this long is a sign of just how bad Windows 8 is.

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