UPDATE (10/29/13): North American OS X Mavericks adoption continuted to outpace OS X Mountain Lion 48 hours following its public release. Additionally, five days following the operating system’s release on October 27, 2013, OS X Mavericks users were generating 11.8% of North American OS X Web traffic. This substantially surpasses the adoption rate of OS X Mountain Lion in the same time period, as Mavericks’ predecessor took over a month to cross the 10% threshold.
ORIGINAL POST (10/25/13): As part of its event on October 22, 2013, Apple announced the public release of OS X Mavericks – the latest edition of Apple’s desktop operating system. While this announcement was largely expected by the tech press at large, what came as a surprise was that Apple would be offering the OS upgrade for free. With the quick adoption of last year’s edition, OS X Mountain Lion, as a benchmark, Chitika Insights found that Mavericks is outpacing its predecessor in its first 24 hours of public release.
To quantify initial OS X Mavericks adoption, Chitika Insights sampled millions of U.S. and Canadian Mac OS X-based online ad impressions running through the Chitika Ad Network. The data used within the analysis were drawn from impressions catalogued across the time frame of October 22 through October 23, 2013. For comparison, the 24-hour OS X Mountain Lion adoption data we catalogued last year is overlaid on the same graph. Please note that OS X 10.8 and 10.9 data are graphed on a 24-hour rolling and 4-hour rolling average, respectively:
Pre-release OS X Mavericks exhibited low levels of usage due to beta-version activity from developers. 24 hours following Mavericks’ public release the afternoon of October 22, adoption rates hit 5.5% of all Mac OS X Web traffic. This significantly outpaces OS X Mountain Lion, which took approximately four days to reach the same level. While Mountain Lion wasn’t particularly expensive ($19.99), it’s likely the lack of a price tag on Mavericks spurred additional users to upgrade in the early going.
Those in the tech industry saw Mavericks’ pricing as a means for Apple to use its OS as more of a service-delivery mechanism rather than a product in itself, very similar to the company’s strategy with iOS for mobile devices. With these results in mind, it’s evident that at least on the OS front, Apple’s free desktop software strategy is paying dividends from an adoption standpoint.