Apple has not yet released sales numbers for its Mountain Lion operating system, but a new report suggests it's off to a stronger start than predecessors.
Advertising and analytics company Chitika today says that 3.2 percent of Macs are now running Mountain Lion, Apple's latest release of OS X that went on sale Wednesday. By comparison, the firm says it took Lion (the previous OS X release) three months to get a 14 percent share.
"It is rather impressive for an operating system to capture 3.2 percent of market web usage after just 48 hours on the market," the company said in a blog post about its research. "Such figures are likely supported by a relatively low price point for the operating system as well as an expansive list of desired feature improvements."
As a frame of reference, Apple said that more than 1 million users downloaded Lion in the first 24 hours after its release last July. By Chitika's math, roughly 2.24 million downloaded and installed the software in 48 hours.
At $19.99, Mountain Lion is the lowest-priced paid operating system update from Apple in recent years. With previous versions, Apple typically charged $129 for an update every two years, later cutting the price down to $29 when releases came closer together, or -- in Snow Leopard's case -- became more about under-the-hood improvements than major new features.
In June, Apple said there were more than 66 million users running its Mac operating system. For people who bought a Mac between mid-June, when the company announced Mountain Lion's July availability at its annual developers conference, and this week's release of Mountain Lion, Apple is providing a free update of the software. It remains unclear how many of the downloads that Chitika noted are from those users, versus existing users who simply paid for upgrades.
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