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Snow Leopard Sales Seen Doubling Leopard

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snowleopardboxJust two weeks after being released, Snow Leopard (s aapl) is already setting records. According to NPD, sales are more than twice that of plain-old Leopard in its first two weeks, and nearly four times that of Tiger.

“Even though some considered Snow Leopard to be less feature-focused than the releases of Leopard or Tiger, the ease of upgrading to Snow Leopard and the affordable pricing made it a win-win for Apple computer owners — thus helping to push sales to record numbers” said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD.

While it’s true Apple is not counting off 300 “new features,” as was done with Leopard, and it’s mostly true that Snow Leopard is an easy upgrade, at least after 10.6.1, the story here is really about price. At $29, Snow Leopard costs less than a quarter of the $129 price of Leopard or Tiger.

NPD further reports that the sales momentum has declined from the first week to the second by only around 25 percent, contrasting sharply with a decline of 60 percent for both Leopard and Tiger. NPD’s Stephen Baker suggests that Apple’s “aggressive pricing policies in this economic environment generate an outstanding consumer response,” but there is also money in volume. Macrumors previously reported on a research note from Piper Jaffray research analyst Gene Munster predicting as many as 5 million copies sold during the current quarter. That’s good news for the bottom line, but there may be another benefit for Apple in the low price of Snow Leopard.

While there are few new features in the user interface, Snow Leopard does make use of new technologies, like Grand Central. By encouraging users to upgrade through a lower price, the adoption of those technologies will occur sooner rather than later. An upgrade wave also makes it easier to discontinue supporting legacy technology associated with the PPC architecture, like Rosetta, now an optional install with Snow Leopard. Ultimately, this means the low price of Snow Leopard now will reap support savings for Apple in the future.

At $29, Snow Leopard appears to be a good deal for both consumers and the company. If there is a downside, it could come in trying to charge $129 for the next iteration of OS X. Good luck with that, Apple.

9 Responses to “Snow Leopard Sales Seen Doubling Leopard”

  1. Mac is very popular in web design / web programming industry and as most of mac owners are IT related people they like different updates and improvements tracking the development of software like no other do. Therefore it’s not surprising that they pass to the newer OS. + new users = good sales

  2. This isn’t news or amazing. And it shouldn’t be impressive to anyone if you think of the following facts.

    1. The Mac install base is higher than it was a couple years ago

    2. The cost of the update is insanely cheap compared to Leopard

    This would only be news if the sales of Snow Leopard WEREN’T doubling the sales of Leopard.

  3. One of those ‘300 features’ that I have been hoping to see for the last 5 years is full keyboard transliteration support so that I can work in multiple languages without having to change my keyboard driver (effectively turning my keyboard into a puzzle where the pieces are all invisible).

    The folks at Windows ignored this request. The folks at Google have started implementing it for Orkut (esp. Indic languages). Maybe Apple will beat Team Redmond on this one?

    If Apple would make transliteration support part of the core text programming components (and a nice interface to it a the GUI level) they would have a huge competitive advantage over Windows and Linux.

    It is really hard to write up documents that use several languages. It is annoying to have to change the keyboard driver to do a quick search on something in a language different than the default locale.

    If you want to know more about transliteration there is an article in Wikipedia about it. If you would like to try it out (and get more information about it) then you can Google on a demo I built called emsTyper (GNU GPL web page using Open Source Javascript shows). You can also check out the Google help about it.

    It’s good guy stuff.