Mountain Lion Download Rate Sets New Record

Apple announced Monday that its latest operating system, Mountain Lion, had been downloaded over three million times after only 4 days of its release. The number is a record for this much anticipated OS, making it the most successful in the history of the company.

The ninth version of the 11-year old operating system was released  to the Mac App Store last July 25 and is only available for download. The entire installer is only 4 GB. However, unlike last year’s release of Mac OS X v10.7 Lion, Mountain Lion is no longer available to be upgraded on a USB flash drive.

This year, Apple waited longer before announcing the success of Mountain Lion. Last year, Apple revealed to the world that Lion downloads totaled more than one million in one day from the App Store. This means that Lion still holds the biggest number of downloads after 24 hours of release.

While Apple claims that over three million copies of Mountain Lion were downloaded, there is little to no evidence to corroborate the company’s assertion.

Chitika, an advertising network, said that over the last week its data showed that Mountain Lion powered only 3.2 percent of all active Mac computers 48 hours after the new OS X was released. The percentage roughly translates to estimated 2.1 million our of the 66 million Mac computers Apple claimed in a presentation during the yearly Worldwide Developers Conference about two months ago.

Only paying customers were able to download Mountain Lion since new owners of Macs could only upgrade their machines under the terms of Apple’s “Up-to-Date Program”, which would not be provided until 72 hours after they submitted their request. The program offers a free upgrade to Mountain Lion to machines bought before June 11.

Although designed to run on Macs, not all Intel-based Macs can upgrade to Mountain Lion.

At $19.99, Mountain Lion’s price is a third less that its predecessor of last year and sells at half the price to what Microsoft will be offering to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro this October 26.