Looking at data from web metrics firm Net Applications, the first month of the new year was not big news for Apple. Both Mac OS X and Safari reached something of a plateau in market share, and the growth rate of iPhone OS slowed.
OS X peaked at 5.27 percent in October, which not coincidentally was the release month of Windows 7. Since then, OS X has more or less been stuck around 5 percent, and was 5.13 percent for January. It’s an open question whether this is stagnation or perseverance. Windows 7 upgrade churn is just one of two major factors working against OS X market share, the other being continued success of the netbook.
As for the breakdown between versions of OS X, Snow Leopard has been moving up about 4 percent a month for the last three months, and now stands at 35 percent of the OS X user base. That’s a faster upgrade rate than Leopard, and much faster than Windows 7, which just broke 10 percent.
Safari is also under continued pressure from Google’s Chrome. Last month, Chrome (4.63 percent) edged past Safari (4.46 percent). Safari has since risen to 4.51 percent, while Chrome jumped to 5.2 percent, actually taking share from both Internet Explorer and Firefox. Internally, Safari 4 now accounts for 80 percent of the user base, which is phenomenal considering Safari 4 was officially launched just eight months ago.
The iPhone OS continues to steadily gain market share, no doubt a byproduct of being so close to zero. The iPhone OS is currently at 0.58 percent of the overall OS market, which may seem small but represents some 75 million devices sold in two and a half years. The iPhone is now at .47 percent, while the iPod touch is .11 percent, with both edging upward. While the iPad won’t launch until March, looking at the growth rate according to Net Applications numbers, it’s a pretty safe bet that iPhone OS will pass Linux in market share this year.
Even with a flat month in market share, Apple platforms have never sold so well, and for the Apple consumer that means more software and better resale value of hardware.