How Apple Fudged Its Numbers in WWDC Keynote

In amongst the self congratulatory back slapping that Apple indulged in at WWDC yesterday were some numbers on OS X 10.8 and Windows 8 adoption.

Tim Cook proudly stated that Mac OS X 10.8 shipped 28 million copies last year. He showed a slide that suggested 35% of Mac users were on the latest version against 5% for Windows 8. Followed by another slide showing average growth over the last five years of 15% for the Mac market against 3% for PCs.

So Apple would appear to be going great guns in the PC market wouldn't you say?

Unfortunately it was the usual case of Apple's keynotes hiding the truth behind a web of carefully chosen numbers. Misinformation and hyperbole.

The real truth: Windows 8 has shipped over 100 million copies in a little over half the time on sale. Or an adoption rate of almost eight times that of OS X. Windows 8 adoption even outpaces that of hugely successful Windows 7. That 28 million number isn't looking so hot right now is it?

Same goes for the current version percentages and sales growth. A big percentage of a little number still doesn't amount to a whole hill of beans. Tim Cook stated that the total Mac installed user base was 72 million. Meaning Windows 8 is already more than a third bigger than the total Mac installed user base in just seven months on the market. And by Apple's own estimation that amounts to just 5% of PCs out there.

Tim Cook also claimed that Mac sales were up 100% over the last five years, against 18% for PCs. Interestingly that means that from the 70.6 million PCs sold in Q2 2008 (IDC) PC sales added 12.7 million. For the 2.28 million Apple reported in Q2 2008 they added 2.28 million. So if Tim Cook's figures are true, the PC sales increase alone was more than three times the whole Mac market.

As Tim Cook said "it isn't even close".

Lies, damn lies and Apple keynotes?


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