Due in large part to its extremely affordable $29 price point, copies of Apple’s most recent OS X release, Snow Leopard, have been flying off the shelves. According to market data recently released by the NPD research group, Snow Leopard sales are more than two times as high as Leopard sales were when it was first released, and amazingly, four times as high as OS X Tiger sales were when it was first released.
“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 – thus helping to push sales to record numbers” said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD.
Snow Leopard was largely touted as a “feature-less” upgrade, with many of the key changes being “under the hood” improvements that worked to increase system speed and efficiency. In that respect, Snow Leopard had a broad appeal because while not everyone can fully grasp an OS X release with hundreds of new features, everyone can instantaneously understand an OS X upgrade that makes your computer run faster. That being the case, you can argue that Snow Leopard, especially when you consider its low price, didn’t even need a list of sexy new features to warrant consideration by Mac users.
Snow Leopard’s affordable pricing also worked well given today’s tough economic environment. Baker noted that “with pricing reduced by more than $100 for both the single-user and five-user pack versus Leopard pricing, Apple has clearly demonstrated that aggressive pricing policies in this economic environment generate an outstanding consumer response.“