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Apple's Yosemite Outpaces Mavericks (Thanks to a Head Start)

Apple's decision to offer its OS X Yosemite computer operating system as a public Beta helped accelerate initial adoption, according to research from Chitika Insights.

Vjeran Pavic

Apple’s OS X Yosemite got off to a quick start, thanks to the company’s decision to make its new operating system for Mac computers available to users while still in its testing phase.

On the day of its public release, Yosemite was accounting for more than one percent of total Mac Web traffic in North America, according to the latest research from Chitika Insights. That’s double the initial adoption rate of the two previous versions of the OS X, Mavericks or Mountain Lion, according to the firm.

“At the very start, [Yosemite] had a slight lead over Mavericks — most likely because of the public Beta program, which was a first for Apple,” said Andrew Waber, market analyst for Chitika Insights, the research arm of the Chitika online ad network.

The boost was short-lived: Both OS X Yosemite and Mavericks posted similar adoption rates by the end of their respective initial launch weeks, according to Chitika, which measures usage based on ad impressions within its network.

Apple’s decision to offer its operating system as a free download surely helped speed the rate at which consumers upgraded their computer software. That’s evident in Chitika’s data, which shows the comparatively slow adoption rate for Mountain Lion, even though the software cost a nominal $19.99.

The Cupertino technology giant benefits when consumers quickly embrace new versions of its software — particularly Yosemite, which is designed to work in concert with the iOS 8 mobile operating system that powers Apple’s iPhones and iPads.

The goal is to create one big happy family of Apple devices that work in unison (and keep you from leaving for a competitor’s offerings).

Apple has yet to disclose Yosemite download figures, though it reported record sales of its Mac computers during its most recent earnings call. The company sold $6.6 billion worth of Macintosh computers in its September quarter, up 18 percent in a PC market that has been stagnant.

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