Report: Mac OS X 'Lion' uptake has almost flatlined

Report: Mac OS X 'Lion' uptake has almost flatlined

Summary: Has consumer interest in Mac OS X 10.7 'Lion' waned already?


Web ads publisher Chitika has released data which suggest that adoption rate for Apple's Mac OS X 10.7 'Lion' has flatlined.

According to Chitika, Lion initially enjoyed a stellar adoption rate, but despite this it is still only the third most popular version of Mac OS, trailing behind Snow Leopard and Leopard.

Since September, growth in Lion adoption has almost flatlined:

Lion's adoption rate has been less than stellar, to say the least. While we are seeing consistent monthly growth, Lion isn't taking off the way some had anticipated. From June to September, Lion's share grew at about 4.05% each month. Since September, Lion's monthly growth has slowed to a rate of 0.98%.

If this data is anything to go by, consumers aren't drawn to Lion and its $29.99 upgrade price tag.

What's behind this stunted growth? Chitika suggest that it might be a mix of problems and the fact that the OS is too similar to iOS:

One of the most frequent complaints about Lion is that the user interface behaves too much like iOS, the operating system on iPhones, iPods, and iPads. While iOS has proven successful on Apple’s product mix, this look isn’t a winning formula on computers. Other notable issues include Wi-Fi stability, poor battery life on MacBook Pros, and an inverted “natural scrolling” function.

So what's going on here? Is the data representative of the entire Mac ecosystem? Is the OS too cheap, or too expensive? Is it too much of a hassle to download a 4GB OS? Is there just not enough new stuff to draw people in? Or have teething troubles kept people away from the OS? Or, just like it is with Windows, do most people wait to buy a new computer to get the latest OS?

I'm inclined to believe that there are a lot of people who either don't know about Lion, or who are simply waiting until they buy a new Mac to get their hands on the OS. A new operating system isn't the all-important commodity that it once was.

What do you think?

Topics: Software, Apple, Hardware, Operating Systems

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • iFail

    No wonder Steve Jobs coined the official Apple corporate propaganda term, "post-PC".

    After years of trying, Apple's PC platform, the Mac, has utterly failed to compete with on PCs powered by Microsoft's software.

    Tim Acheson
    • re: iFailed

      @Tim Acheson

      Somethings are best kept to yourself.
    • RE: Report: Mac OS X 'Lion' uptake has almost flatlined

      @Tim Acheson

      Yeah, Mac sales growing faster than the PC industry, record # of Macs sales, and great customer satisfaction. If that's my Fail, sign me up.
      • Right, like the failure of Windows 7


        Windows 7 alone outsold the total numbers of Macs sold in teh same period. If that's a Fail, sign me up!
        William Farrell
  • I've got both

    I've got 10.6 on an older Mac, 10.7 on a newer Mac, and Vista on an old PC.
    I do like 10.7, and the new scrolling does feel more natural once you get used to it, but it does make it disorienting to go back-and-forth between, say, Windows and Lion.
    • RE: Report: Mac OS X 'Lion' uptake has almost flatlined


      You can change the scrolling direction in Lion in System Preferences, if you wish. I also run a mix of machines, and it does take a minute to remember which way to go. Having said that, I prefer Lion's default.
    • True

      @Reality-based the scrolling is fine if it is the only platform you use but jumping between platforms is difficult. Interestingly I have no trouble jumping between iPhone and SL with the changes in behavior- must be the differences in form factor and touch interface.

      Whilst I've upgrade more tha a few systems to Lion I prefer SL. The hideous interface in Lion of several of the tools is enough for me to avoid it. What were they thinking with the new address book?

      Things change and we must move on, toning down the loud applications would be enough for me to jump. It is only usd30!
      Richard Flude
  • RE: Report: Mac OS X 'Lion' uptake has almost flatlined

    I got a new iMac a month or so after Lion's release from an Apple store. It had Snow Leopard on it, which I thought was unusual for Apple. I have moved all my machines to Lion and I use trackpads instead of mice. I like Lion, but it isn't in the "You've got to get this." category for my friends. It obsolesced the ancient Adobe Photoshop I'd occasionally used for years.<br><br>I have to say there's also been some ways that iCloud works reasonably but not as expected. Not everything is as important as everything else, and importance is a spectrum, and today's assessment is a prediction of the future. So, okay, to sync everything makes sense, but data for mobile is a premium service when it should be a utility for cloud ubiquity. "Did I save it?" is replaced as a question with "Which things do I activate or deactivate for syncing in order to not blow my data plan?" I think this question exchange increases anxiety.<br><br>Which brings me to a point. Lion offers benefits but the costs are non-trivial. But you don't get somewhere unless you start to go there.<br><br>Flatlined? It could very well be that we are at the gap point: the moment when Lion has to jump a chasm and move into the mainstream after some success among the early adopters. We'll see what happens in 2012.
    • RE: Report: Mac OS X 'Lion' uptake has almost flatlined


      Great euphemism usage. Instead of saying Lion doesn't work with Adobe Photoshop, you go with some very strange verbal dance to conceal that information. Why do you feel the need to be apologetic about this product?
      • RE: Report: Mac OS X 'Lion' uptake has almost flatlined


        My Copy of Photoshop CS5 extended works just fine with Lion on my iMac.

        The PowerPC versions of Photoshop don't because Lion dropped Rosetta support.
      • RE: Report: Mac OS X 'Lion' uptake has almost flatlined

        @FuzzyBunnySlippers <br>If this is your way of confirming you are an a*****e, try and figure how many legacy apps you have scrapped (especially on the 9x to ntfs kernel) using Windows. I maintain (offline) a 98 machine just so that I still have access to some of those occasionally used apps. Yes, I do use Windows (I even enjoy it). I also appreciate the "ALMOST" flawless experience I have with Apple products.
  • RE: Report: Mac OS X 'Lion' uptake has almost flatlined

    writing this on snow leopard. Was going to upgrade at release but some initial reports put me off and haven't thought about it since - not really enough to tempt me and also some things I don't really want - like iOS like features.
  • Meh

    It's a decent upgrade, I guess. I updated all three of my machines and it went well and they are running fine. But it didn't really bring anything "wow" to the table so I can see average users not bothering.
  • It was autosave and versions that pushed me back

    to Snow Leopard. Autosave completely kills performance when working with large graphic files and can cause data loss when you OPEN a document if you aren't careful. Both complete show-stoppers for me.
    • RE: Report: Mac OS X 'Lion' uptake has almost flatlined


      In what way could you be 'careful' simply opening a document?
  • RE: Report: Mac OS X 'Lion' uptake has almost flatlined

    Are there bugs with this product shying people away from using it? Why such defensive comments?
    • RE: Report: Mac OS X 'Lion' uptake has almost flatlined


      There are ALWAYS minor bugs in a "Point Zero" release of a new OS, irregardless of which platform it was designed for. But I don't suspect that a belief in a Lion "buggy OS" point zero release has kept many from upgrading to Lion from a previous OS version.

      Before AKH published this blog, I had read about these results via another online source. My first impression on why these sales have "flatlined" involves the method Apple has chosen to distribute this upgrade. That is, for the most part, the update's lack of any physical installation media. (To counter the previous point, there is now a Lion USB Flash drive installation option which was not available at launch.)

      For whatever reason, many individuals are still "uneasy" about the method Apple chose to distribute this OS upgrade. (That is, via the Apple App Store download method.) I think quite a few computer users still want that "very seldom used DVD installation disk sitting on a home shelf somewhere.
  • RE: Report: Mac OS X 'Lion' uptake has almost flatlined

    I think it's silly to suggest that cost would factor. Wish that Win upgrades were that cheap.
    • RE: Report: Mac OS X 'Lion' uptake has almost flatlined

      @sackbut ...I agree!
  • Sounds like a cautionary tale for Windows 8

    If Lion really has flatlined because it's too "iOS" like that should give MS pause with Windows 8...