Eighteen percent of Mac users are running Snow Leopard just one month after its release, according to Web metrics firm Net Applications. That’s a remarkable upgrade rate for the latest iteration of OS X, especially considering Snow Leopard is Intel only. Overall, OS X now represents […]

Eighteen percent of Mac users are running Snow Leopard just one month after its release, according to Web metrics firm Net Applications. That’s a remarkable upgrade rate for the latest iteration of OS X, especially considering Snow Leopard is Intel only.


Overall, OS X now represents 5.12 percent of the worldwide OS market, up from 4.87 percent in August. While that might seem like a small increase, it’s up 37 percent from a year ago, and the platform is seeing a continuing a steady rise. In contrast, Windows has now fallen below 93 percent, though the release of Windows 7 will likely result in a temporary spike. Nonetheless, OS X is moving up, as is iPhone OS.


Somewhat surprisingly, the increase from August to September was not as great as one might expect for iPhone OS. Despite the recent release of the iPhone 3GS and third-generation iPod touch, iPhone OS is now at 0.35 percent, up from 0.33 percent last month, with the iPod touch remaining at 0.07 percent. Still, 0.4 percent of OS market share represents more than 50 million users, and with the introduction of the iPhone in China, the growth rate will likely increase soon.


As for Safari, version 4 continues to increase its share among Mac users, with three out of four now running the latest version. Considering Safari 4 was officially released in June, that’s an impressive feat. However, Safari still lags far behind Internet Explorer, even losing ground to competitors challenging the dominance of Microsoft’s web browser.

Safari, including the Windows version, now holds 4.24 percent of the overall market, up from 4.07 percent last month, but that increase is small compared with Firefox, which jumped about 1 percent. Even Chrome grew faster than Safari, which showed about the same increase as Opera — ugh. What this means is that there are probably more than a few Firefox users on the Mac, and that Safari for Windows has been an utter failure in taking market share from Internet Explorer.

Nonetheless, September once again demonstrates OS X is running strong on Macs and handhelds, and that’s what really matters.

  1. Interesting. the 1% in August must have been really early adopters. The 18% doesn’t suprise me much. Despite the whinging that Snow Leopard was more of a patch than an upgrade (which it wasn’t) the promise of a more streamlined operating system reclaiming apporx. 10 GB from your hard drive is very tempting. No big suprise!

    The iPhone is a high end premium piece of kit. While the 3Gs adds allegedly more speed, video etc. these are enhancements which already exist on other mobile platforms even though the phones themselves may not be as great in terms of usability (Don’t get me started on my wifes Nokia!). Put that alongside the fact that the 3Gs (released June 2009) came less than a year after the 3G (July 2008), most punters are still caught up in an 18 month contract and not willing to fork out about £400 to pay off the contract and then get an upgrade. Give it six months and see what happens.

  2. Jade talks about a temporary spike in Windows market share due to Windows 7, but here’s another try at prognostication:

    Apple and Microsoft are both getting better, no question. But, Apple relies so much on lies and misinformation about its competition, the surge in Mac market share might not last long. Peopl will eventually learn the truth.

    Security issues are getting more important all the time, as the blackhats are getting smarter and more numerous (because, there are always more computers and users out there). Security is much more complex than Apple would have you believe, and Windows is actually well ahead of Mac in terms of security for client OSs (yes, since WinXP SP2) and I don’t see Apple catching up anytime soon.

    Windows 7 is very, very good, and wags who complain how expensive it is are ignoring how extremely expensive Apple hardware is. (Apple is primarily a hardware company, not a software company.)

    Security problems are hitting OSX harder all the time, and eventually it will be impossible for Mac users to ignore. Obscurity (i.e. small market share) won’t protect them forever, and it never was a real type of security anyway.

    My prediction: unless Apple lowers prices or gets better at security, expect a fall in Mac market share.

    1. Astrochimp, what lies are you referring to? If you’re going to make a claim, do so in a specific way that can be discussed rather than as a vague comment with nothing to support it. Considering that Microsoft (not Apple) was recently forced to change it’s advertising due to incorrect information, I find your comments pretty funny.

      Yes, people are learning the truth which is why Apple’s market share has steadily been increasing for the past several years. It doesn’t happen over night, it happens through word of mouth and real life experiences, etc.

      Windows is doing better in terms of security, but there is nothing about XP which makes it better at security than Mac OS X. Vista and Windows 7 have made better improvements, but the Windows user base is still largely running XP (> 60%). This is also why security issues are still a major problem in the Windows world and a minor mention on the Mac platform.

      Obscurity isn’t the only advantage in Apple’s favor in terms of security. The previous Mac OS (classic) was more obscure and had more virus issues, etc. Care to explain that? How many years will Windows zealots keep repeating the “some day it will catch up with you” mantra? That had some meaning when OS X was new. However, with each passing year, this threat becomes more and more laughable. Here’s something you might want to read….


    2. Wow Steve, very interesting article. Makes Astrochimp look a lot more like a troll.

  3. You’ve not been paying much attention to the market for the last 18 months, Astrochimp. Apple has been gaining marketshare for awhile now, due to the problems with Vista. You’re puppetting the usual talking points of Windoze fanbois, I’m afraid. You speak as if you have actual experience with Apple products, but what you are claiming demonstrates that you do not.

    Check out the predictions of the Motley Fool, Forbes, and the WSJ and you’ll find you’re in the vast minority as to your opinions. There are *still* no viable viruses in the wild that target Macs. The only viruses and worms have been proof of concept, found, interestingly enough, but companies that sell security software. No conflict of interest there.

    If you’re going to spout off and act knowledgeable, at least get your facts straight.

  4. @Nightwriter:
    Who’s spouting? If it isn’t me, it must be …

    I don’t own an Apple, nor would I. I don’t make a single claim that isn’t true.

    Please step out of your black-and-white universe long enough to reread my post.

    I understand that you, Nightwriter, understand “security issues” to mean “viruses” but actually, it’s much more complex than that. Outside of the insular world of Apple, there are real security issues that all computer users face, e.g. this one that came up from a MINIMAL search:

    Apple’s problem: how are they going to keep you and other Mac users ignorant, and keep you thinking that the only “security issue” is viruses?

    Well, for one thing, there’s Apple’s brilliantly done I’m-a-Mac-I’m-a-PC commercials. Apple is much better at marketing and manipulating than Microsoft, but that doesn’t say anything about the quality of their actual products.

    On Trojans: Macs are much more susceptible to trojans than any Vista or Windows 7 user, because there’s nothing to tell you whether the executable you’re about to give admin priveleges to is digitally signed or not (essentially impossible to spoof) and by what entity! Vista has you covered, and Windows 7 is even better.

    Nightwriter, I suggest you learn about security from a real-world perspective, not just from Apple.

    Here are some other links with helpful, real-world information:


    Good luck, and be safe!

    1. Please read the article Steve posted and then GTFO you troll.

  5. there’s a fun story about mac operating system names over at the naming & branding blog ‘on the button.’ have a look: http://onthebutton.wordpress.com/2009/08/26/apple-snow-leopard/

  6. @Astrochimp

    “My prediction: unless Apple lowers prices or gets better at security, expect a fall in Mac market share.”

    ..lowers prices _or_ gets better security..

    So you’re implying, that as long as you make computers cheap enough, people don’t mind shoddy security? Hm, interesting point. Let’s just hope Apple doesn’t lower the prices then…

  7. @Astrochimp

    “..because there’s nothing to tell you whether the executable you’re about to give admin priveleges to is digitally signed or not..”

    • Mac OS X supports digitally signed apps since Leopard. You’re always warned the first time you run a downloaded app, unless it’s signed.

    • No app is given admin priviliges when run in Mac OS X. Unlike Windows, Mac OS X follows the concept of “least privilige”, which is really one of the corner stones of computer security. (In short, a user in Mac OS X is not given admin priviliges when logged in, as on Win. Maybe the fixed that in Win 7? I duno.)

    • Mac OS X also follows another well accepted security principle: not allowing daemons to display user interfaces. Windows does not. Maybe they fixed that in Win 7? I duno. (It was the cause of the “shatter attack”. Just google it.)

    • Mac OS X also follows the well accepted unix principle of having each process do one thing. That means if a process is compromised collateral damage is minimized. Windows does not. Why? Because by design, processes are expensive in Windows. For instance we have the “svchost.exe” which holds a myriad of different services, meaning if one is compromised, all are compromised. Maybe they fixed that in Win 7? I duno.

    Seriously, Windows has one of shoddiest security models in the industry. It’s just bad by design. It’s a card house.

    “Be safe”

    Lol. Next time you type that on your Win-box, remember that you’re logged in with admin priviliges.

  8. @starry-eyed monkey
    Oh windoze, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways:
    1) registry (aka. Computer too fast?  We’ll fix that.)
    2) DLLs (aka. You didn’t need that older software anyway.)
    3) multitasking (aka.  Please wait…)
    4) hibernation (aka. Oh, it’s supposed to wake up too?)
    5) colors (aka.  Let’s use all 256 in every screen!!!!)
    6) security (aka. Nevermind, we’ll just patch it if someone breaks in.)

    Windoze is a toy, and a defective one at that.

  9. Can I rejoice in this listing?

    7) F5 (aka Refresh)
    8) F2 (aka Rename)
    9) Alt-F4 (aka Quit)
    10) multi-monitor support (aka “Ahm, erh, gee, how the do I run Photoshop on two monitors again?)

    Where did Astrochimp go?
    Maybe he had to clean up some unused icons on his desktop..

  10. Q: Why do all windoze-users choose to name their hard drives “C”?


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