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State of the Mac 2013: OS X Share by Version and What It Means

6 May 2013 4,581 views No Comment

What is the most commonly used version of OS X? In the current state of the Mac, folks are choosing older versions of the Mac desktop operating system.

What is the most commonly used version of OS X? According to one source, it is OS X 10.6.x Snow Leopard, while Apple’s latest version, OS X 10.8.x Mountain Lion, still lags behind in third place. In the current state of the Mac, lots of folks are choosing older versions of the Mac desktop operating system.

The above chart comes to us via the good offices of Stat Owl (data collection), which gathers web usage from mostly US sites with a fairly heavy emphasis on commerce and corporate websites — it’s an interesting read that confirms observations that Snow Leopard is Apple’s Windows XP.

Another view of the same data with OS X versions grouped together.

The folks at Net Applications, generally the most quoted source for web usage data, has a different (overall, including Windows et al) take on the numbers:

• OS X 10.8 — 40.4%
• OS X 10.6 — 26.1%
• OS X 10.7 — 25.5%
• OS X 10.5 — 6.4%
• OS X 10.4 — 1.6%

Different data sets that nonetheless show a clear divide — the upgraders, which have adopted OS X Lion and later, and those that have chosen to stay rooted in OS X 10.5 and 10.6. Or, classic Mac believers and those comfortable with the iOS-ification of OS X.

That said, whereas OS X 10.6 users still get the full web, including Flash content (YouTube, Facebook, etc), those running Leopard are increasingly left behind with access to a shrinking proportion of the internet. Of course OS X 10.5 runs on PPC Macs and runs PPC apps on Intel hardware.

State of the Mac: Next

Nevertheless, with OS X 10.9 just around the corner, 2009’s Snow Leopard likely won’t be supported by either Apple or third-party developers (i.e. Adobe) for much longer.

How much longer will PPC remain a valid reason to stick with older versions of OS X? Or, put another way, how useful is a Mac that can’t be used to play Flash games on Facebook? What’s your take on the current state of the Mac?

Intriguing minds want to know…

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