Mac OS usage share in decline

Mac OS usage share in decline

Summary: When I look through NetMarketShare's monthly reports of web usages, rather than concentrate on the numbers, I tend to look at the overall trends. The numbers are susceptible to all kinds of influences and anomalies, and I don't have the time, energy or aptitude to apply statistical rigor to any analysis. Also, quite often you're dealing with fractions of percentages. Trends are more reliable, and one trend that I've noticed is the declining Mac OS market share.

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When I look through NetMarketShare's monthly reports of web usages, rather than concentrate on the numbers, I tend to look at the overall trends. The numbers are susceptible to all kinds of influences and anomalies, and I don't have the time, energy or aptitude to apply statistical rigor to any analysis. Also, quite often you're dealing with fractions of percentages. Trends are more reliable, and one trend that I've noticed is the declining Mac OS market share.

Apple's Mac OS enjoyed an all-time high usage share of 5.33% back in March of this year, but since this it's seen moth on month erosion of that down to 5.00% for August.

During the same period Windows has also suffered some losses, but a much smaller drop and a much smaller one compared to the massive 91% usage share it commands.

Now, over the same period Apple's iOS platform has seen an increase, so it could be said that Apple is still gaining ground. But what's worrying is that while Apple is keeping its eye on on the iOS spinning plate, the Mac OS plate has stopped spinning and it headed dirtwards.

Now, Apple did have an excellent Q3'10 results, and Mac sales were at an all-time high, up 33% on Q3'09, but it's clear that Apple has shifted focus partly away from Mac OS and instead onto iOS. And why not. iOS sales mean greater iTunes sales and Apple sees a 30% cut for every app sold ... iOS generates revenue for Apple on the back end.

Could iOS ever become the #2 OS? Right now, it seems like some day it could.

Topics: Operating Systems, Apple, Hardware, Mobile OS, Software

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  • RE: Mac OS usage share in decline

    Err. Aren't you totally misinterpreting these numbers? If the population isn't fixed (it isn't) and there are new entrants (and there are) and these new entrants are in new sectors (like mobile for example) then the percentage for an OS can easily drop while it use continues to grow. It is hardly surprising that the Mac would see more of it's users start using these new platforms as the new platform more responsible is iOS, which is going to appeal to Mac users first.

    Think about it...
    Jeremy-UK
    • No, he is right on

      @Jeremy-UK
      [i]then the percentage for an OS can easily drop while it use continues to grow[/i]

      He wrote that Mac OS usage [b]share[/b] declined. Which it did.
      NonZealot
      • RE: Mac OS usage share in decline

        @NonZealot
        And thanks for confirming what I wrote earlier, that you don't have a clue what you are talking about. Please take a class in introductory statistics.
        Thanks.
        DeusXMachina
    • MacOS and iOS are NOT mutually exclusive

      @Jeremy-UK But why should MacOS and iOS be mutually exclusive? The fact that Mac users would "start using" iOS should not affect continued (or even new) usage of MacOS. They're made for different Apple products. If one Apple product is stealing business from another Apple product, then there should be concern because that results in more of an internal profit shift than overall growth. If anything, Apple's hope is that iOS and its non-PC products would boost the sale of Macs and Mac OS. That was certainly its strategy when iPods were first released.

      And if people are replacing their desktop activities with an iOS app, then it should apply equally to other OS's too, i.e. email.
      sdc100
  • Longer term...

    There was a nice peak for Mac OS in the past year, but if you go to the top of the graph they are still up a full % in the 2 year frame, plus another % in iOS. So 2% total Apple growth in 2 years. Not exactly Dr. Evil take-over-the-world territory, but not a bad trend.
    gtvr
  • as expected

    as the Linux usage surges you can expect Mac O$ to go down.
    Linux Geek
    • can you point out where that linux "surge" is on that chart? lol..

      @Linux Geek - i see a linux share basically unchanged (very slightly down) over two years.. and still under 1%..
      doctorSpoc
    • RE: Mac OS usage share in decline

      @Linux Geek Where is this surge? I have yet to find it. I see the same as doctorSpoc - basically unchanged, and while they celebrated brief periods of 1%, it has gone back under every time. Its market share is for all intents in purposes non-existent on desktops.

      Linux is fine for servers. It works okay on phones. It's great for embedded devices.

      But they still don't get the desktop.
      CobraA1
    • Read Adrian's previous entry

      @Linux Geek

      And you'll see that iOS just surpassed Linux market share.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • Linux usage surge!!???

      @Linux Geek : Heee... Their is no Linux Usage Surge anywhere body!!! Except in your dream lol
      EricDeBerg
    • RE: Mac OS usage share in decline

      @Linux Geek ROFL
      I'm as big a Linux-lover as anyone but even I have to admit that Linux has become a short term player destined to end up a niche geeky hobby rather than a full-fledged operating system vis-a-vis Windows and even OSX.

      I have to look at my Linux desktop investment as I look at my phone purchase - can I live with it for a year?
      Olderdan
  • RE: Mac OS usage share in decline

    Can we get some articles now claiming that Mac OS is dead? You know, like you would normally do for Microsoft Windows.
    Loverock Davidson
    • Actually

      @Loverock Davidson

      Windows is already dead. No use writing about such an old subject. It died when Jobs came back to Apple.
      sackbut
      • RE: Mac OS usage share in decline

        @sackbut

        Nailed it! Windows (especially Windows 7) is completely dead. Nobody uses it, and nobody is buying new copies.

        What is this I dont even...
        The Horns
  • RE: Mac OS usage share in decline

    Actually, this is a return to the 'good ol' days' of prediction the end of Apple, circa 1990-2000.
    "There are liars. There are damned liars. Then there are statistics." Samuel Clemens
    dheady@...
  • web browsing and email... i barely touch my desktops anymore..

    i used to use my iPod Touch and now use my iPad about 90% of the time.. sitting on the sofa, in bed etc. i go to my desktop if i have to do things that might take a while, financial stuff, edit photos and video, post photos etc.. but going online on a desktop for me these days is fairly rare.

    but this doesn't mean i don't need a desktop.. it just means that browsing and email.. the two thing that chew up the most online time are done on iOS devices rather than OS X devices. i think Adrian might be reading into this that this means a decline in Mac sales.. but we see that is not the trend.. all it means it the people are accessing the the internet through iOS devices rather than OS X devices
    doctorSpoc
    • RE: Mac OS usage share in decline

      @doctorSpoc I concur completely. I make daily use of my MacBook as I'm a writer, but when sitting and watching TV or dining out I reach for my iPhone to surf. That certainly cuts into my online usage with my Mac.
      dheady@...
    • Sales and usage share

      @doctorSpoc

      I don't think a decline in Mac sales is implied. After all, those numbers are reported regularly and they are not declining. In addition to your point about Mac users spending more time in iOS, a lot of those Macs are running Windows. And Win7 is not the ugly cousin of OSX that XP was, so my guess is that Mac users are spending a greater portion of their time in Windows than they were a couple of years ago.

      Adrian does make an interesting point about Macs being much less central to Apple's strategy than they were before the iPad. Apple's shift in advertising reflects that. It may be that Apple is willing to accept a niche role for its OSX systems while iOS devices are marketed to the masses.
      Lester Young
      • RE: Mac OS usage share in decline

        @Lester Young

        Why on earth would you "guess" that? What possible reason, let alone data, do you have to support this conclusion. I have yet to see anyone using a mac out and about with ANY version of Windows running. Just because people can, does not mean that they do.
        DeusXMachina
      • Gosh, you're so authoritative!

        @DeusXMachina

        I'm sure all the people who refer to dual booting or VMs with Windows on their Macs are lying, since you've never personally seen it. I'm sure that your wild guess is better than other wild guesses. After all, you're from CMU! Thump your chest again. I'm so impressed!
        Lester Young