OS X Lion May Have Stalled, Stuck As Third Most Popular Mac OS [Report]

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Photo by Elsie esq. - http://flic.kr/p/a6fAmb
Photo by Elsie esq. - http://flic.kr/p/a6fAmb

Just how popular is OS X Lion 10.7, compared to its predecessors? “Lion’s adoption has been less than stellar,” says one online ad firm. Yet the figures don’t seem to jive with other Internet surveys, as well as Apple’s. Who’s right? As often is the case, it depends on who you ask.

Although Apple used Lion to migrate many iOS behaviors and features to the Mac, just 16 percent of users have adopted the desktop software, according to ad service Chitika. Introduced in July, the OS is the third-most-popular version of the Mac software, behind 10.6 Snow Leopard (56%) and 10.5 Leopard’s 22 percent.

Adoption of 10.7 has slowed during September and October to a fourth that of August, the company claims. This appears to run counter of Apple statements that Lion sold 6 million copies in early October, almost twice that of 10.6 when it was released in 2009.

For many users, the one major difference Apple took with 10.7 is the delivery method. Instead of selling physical installation DVDs, the Cupertino, Calif. company offered Lion as an iTunes download. Like Snow Leopard, Lion was also not compatible with older Power PC-based Macs.

Another metrix firm, Net Applications, disputes the Chitika figures. According to the California firm, Lion has 26.4 percent of Macs, making it the second-most-popular OS, as of October. Snow Leopard is still No. 1, but with a lower 52.1 percent, while Leopard ranks No. 3 with 16.5 percent of the market.

However, like Chitika, Net Applications also notes a slowdown in adoption. Although the firm reported an 11.5 percent adoption rate increase in August, the number was nearly cut in half by September, growing just 4.5 percent. By October, adoption rose by only 4.5 percent, Net Applications claims.

The different ranking could be attributed to Net Applications’ methodology, which puts more emphasis on Internet users in China than U.S. online Mac owners. Because there are more Internet users based in China, one Chinese Internet user could statistically overshadow one U.S. user.

How do you feel? Have you upgraded to Lion? Let us know in the comments.