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Device Adoption Rates, Why Apple Needs To Stop The Hype

Something that Apple regularly does in it's keynotes after upgrading Mac OS X is to compare adoption rates against Windows 8 and point out how wonderful things are in the Apple walled garden. Such comparisons are nonsense. Because Apple made device adoption rate comparisons a thing we now have many Apple websites claiming that OS X Yosemite outdone Windows 8/8.1 after only four days availability.

Sorry Guys, but these slides are deliberately misleading.
Your numbers suck.
Complete nonsense. Ever heard the saying about lies, damned lies and statistics? Here's the perfect real world example.

Let's take the last Mavericks release as an example, because we have official numbers from this time last year.

Last June Tim Cook stood up and boasted that Mavericks had made it's way onto 51% of Macs after just six months availability, compared to Windows 8, at 14% after an extra year on the market. Nicely spun, but the real figures don't look so good for Apple. At the time Mavericks was on 40 million Macs, compared to Windows 8 on 210 million PCs. Or to put it another way, Windows 8 was not only installed on two and a half times as many PCs as every Mac OS X variant put together, but it was also installed on more PCs than Macs sold in the whole history of Apple.

These kind of comparisons are never like for like and it's a damning demonstration of how the Apple hype machine likes to distort the truth.

Apple likes to play the same trick with it's iPhone numbers. A couple of weeks ago at its iPad launch, Craig Federghi pointed to 48% of iOS devices running iOS8. Given sales at that point amounted to 590m iPhones and 230m iPads that equates to 390m devices on iOS8. He then gloated at Android KitKat's 25%. The truth is that Android has surpassed 2.5 billion activations in total - so that 25% equates to somewhere north of 700m devices running KitKat, or nearly many devices as the whole of Apple's iOS sales since 2007.

If Windows 8 and KitKat are failures because of their low adoption rates what does that say about Apple's business in total? Actually nothing at all, because device adoption rates tell us nothing at all. Apple needs to cut the spurious comparisons and deliver phones that don't need hype and dodgy statistics to boost sales.