Apple made waves when it released OS X 10.9 Mavericks for free, marking the first time it didn’t charge for a major Mac software update. Despite the allure of a free update, however, Maverick’s adoption rate since its release five months ago is at 40 percent, according to a recent study from the Chitika Ad Network. That’s impressive compared to earlier adoption rates – it took 14 months for Mountain Lion to hit a 34 percent adoption percentage – though also slow considering it’s totally free.
Mavericks is the most popular version of OS X, according to Chitika’s analysis of online ad impressions. Compared to Windows 8′s sluggish adoption, Maverick’s has already been a huge success, but compared to iOS 7, which is already running on over 80 percent of all iOS devices, 40 percent looks pretty disappointing. Meanwhile, 21 percent of users are still using OS X 10.8, while OS X 10.7 and 10.6 are tied for third with 18 percent of Mac users each.
There are a few reasons why OS X adoption rates haven’t caught up to iOS after being released for free. First, Apple’s mobile devices prompt you to upgrade while Mac computers don’t push you to update as directly. Maverick’s also didn’t change as much visually as iOS did, which included a drastic overhaul of Apple’s user interface. Interest in the new version of iOS alone was probably enough to boost downloads.
The simplest answer, however, is that most computer owners are used to buying a new model and keeping it for several years without ever upgrading the software. Apple’s done a great job training us to update our mobile software at least once per year, but it could be several years before its customers learn to expect the same from their laptops. Even still, Chitika’s chart shows us that trend has started at least with Mavericks.