Snow Leopard sales roar out the gate
First two weeks' retail sales double Leopard's, four times better than Tiger's, says NPD
Computerworld - Sales of Snow Leopard during its first two weeks on the shelves far exceeded those of the last two Apple operating systems -- Leopard and Tiger -- a retail research analyst said today.
According to the sales data that the NPD Group collects from U.S. retailers, both online and brick-and-mortar, Mac OS X 10.6, aka Snow Leopard, sold twice as many copies in the first two weeks as Leopard, its immediate predecessor, did in 2007 -- and almost four times higher than Tiger, which debuted in 2005.
"Absolutely, I was surprised -- especially compared to how much push Leopard had," said Stephen Baker, the NPD analyst who covers retail software sales. "But when you think about Snow Leopard's pricing, it really shouldn't surprise anyone."
Apple set Snow Leopard's price at $29 for a single license, $49 for a five-license family pack, $100 less than the corresponding Leopard packages, claiming in June that "we want all Leopard users to upgrade to Snow Leopard, so we're pricing it at $29."
Most analysts read different tea leaves, and said that Apple recognized it couldn't charge its usual for what had been billed as a stability and performance upgrade with relatively few visible new features. "I think Apple's pricing strategy is something other companies should follow," Baker said. He didn't name names, but was clearly referring to Microsoft, which is set to ship Windows 7 next month.
"Apple clearly demonstrated that aggressive pricing policies in this economic environment generate an outstanding consumer response," said Baker.
Some retailers have discounted Snow Leopard. Amazon.com, for example, is currently selling the single-license OS for $25, and the family pack for $40.
For a limited period, Microsoft discounted an upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium to $49.99, but the company has not announced plans to rerun that program either before or at the time the new OS ships in late October.
Snow Leopard's momentum during the two-week period was also stronger than its predecessors, Baker noted. According to NPD's data, Snow Leopard sales declined about 25% from Week 1 to Week 2; both Leopard and Tiger dropped more than 60% between Weeks 1 and 2. "That's the really interesting thing," Baker said. "I think one reason is that Apple released Snow Leopard early. Maybe some people weren't expecting it."
Apple had originally said Snow Leopard would ship sometime this month, but beat that deadline by several days when it launched the upgrade Aug. 28.
"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, helping to push sales to record numbers," Baker concluded.
He hoped Microsoft looks at the numbers and rethinks its pricing strategy. "There will be a lot of promotion for Windows 7, but it would behoove Microsoft to be more aggressive on price," Baker said. "It will be interesting to see if that upgrade can deliver the same incremental increase in consumer demand that Snow Leopard has enjoyed."
NPD Group does not typically disclose sales numbers, even aggregates, reported by retailers. Today, Baker declined to provide sales figures for Snow Leopard's first two weeks.
Mac OS X Snow Leopard
- OS X Snow Leopard desertion rate accelerates after patches stop
- Apple signals end to OS X Snow Leopard support
- Apple sneaks Safari update into Snow Leopard
- OS X Snow Leopard stubbornly rejects retirement
- Snow Leopard users: Just try to pry this from my cold, dead hands
- Apple goes against grain, extends support for Snow Leopard
- Mac users left wondering if OS X Snow Leopard's retired
- Opinion: In depth with Apple's Snow Leopard Server
- Apple fixes data deletion bug in Snow Leopard, blocks Atom 'hackintoshes'
- Smackdown: Windows 7 takes on Apple's Snow Leopard
Read more about Mac OS X in Computerworld's Mac OS X Topic Center.
- Improving IT Efficiencies: Four Advantages of Multi-Tenant Data Centers Increasing demands on IT are forcing organizations to rethink their data center options. For many organizations, that means turning to the flexibility afforded...
- Accelerating Cloud Deployment and Operations with Managed Services Companies that do not have sufficient in-house expertise to either deploy or maintain an IaaS cloud should turn to Managed Service Providers .
- Rethinking IT Operations in the Cloud This paper breaks down the challenges that often prevent the cloud from delivering the fast, flexible and affordable infrastructure companies seek - and...
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting, North America Cloud-enabled managed hosting brings cloudlike consumption and provisioning attributes to the traditional managed hosting market
- NSS Labs & Cisco Present: Evaluating Leading Breach Detection Systems Today's constantly evolving advanced malware and APTs can evade point-in-time defenses to penetrate networks. Security professionals must evolve their strategy in lockstep to...
- Will the Real Endpoint Threat Detection and Response Please Stand Up? This webinar explores new technologies & process for protecting endpoints from advanced attackers as well as the innovations that are pushing the envelope... All Knowledge Center White Papers | Webcasts