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Leopard Claims Half the Japanese OS Market In October 256

Posted by Zonk
from the not-quite-the-beatles-though dept.
hoagiecat writes "Is Apple like all those bands who claim to be "huge in Japan"? Leopard accounted for 53 percent of boxed operating systems sold in Japan in October — even though it was only on sale for the last six days of the month. 'The software went on sale worldwide on Oct. 26 with sales kicking off at 6 p.m. local time in each country. Users in New Zealand and Australia got their hands on Leopard first, but Tokyo saw the first launch at an Apple retail store. About 200 people lined up in light rain to buy the software at Apple's store in the ritzy Ginza district of Tokyo. Lines also formed at other Apple stores across the country and at major electronics retailers, where special events were held to mark the start of sales. Combined with other sales of other operating systems including Tiger, Apple had an overall 60.7 percent share of the market in October -- that's a big jump from the 15.5 percent share it had in September, which was itself the highest share Apple had managed to get so far in 2007. '"
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Leopard Claims Half the Japanese OS Market In October

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Friends, have you considered the possibility that this is part of an elaborate Japanese plot [shelleytherepublican.com] to force us all to use their so-called "Wee" [shelleytherepublican.com].

    Also, there is well documented evidence that Apple computers are not suitable [shelleytherepublican.com] for impressionable children and promote the use of dangerous and illegal "Wi-Fi" technology [shelleytherepublican.com] in our AirPorts.

    Fortunately, sober and well-written articles such as these provide a cogent argument against the Macintosh cult.
  • by Mrs. Grundy (680212) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @06:24PM (#21355687) Homepage
    Isn't David Hasselhoff also hug in Japan?
  • In Japan... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BWJones (18351) * on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @06:25PM (#21355689) Homepage Journal
    I'll tell you that I just got back from Japan a couple of weeks ago and there is a serious hunger for Apple's products. When there, every time I pulled out my iPhone to check an appointment or change a tune (or anything), I had people asking me all about it. Even in technology jaded Japan where you can watch TV on your cell phone, they are absolutely stoked about Apple's iPhone. My comment to one guy in the Apple store there when I went in to buy a cable and became a minor celebrity due to possessing an iPhone was "what's the big deal, you have the iPod touch", to which he responded, "but that is the iPhone and we don't have that yet!".

    Just wait for the true subnotebook or tablet. That is going to sell huge in Japan.

    • by schwaang (667808)

      ...I went in to buy a cable and became a minor celebrity...

      Heh, so then you're telling us you were "big in Japan"?

      A bit more seriously, I still wonder why iPhone excitement equates with Leopard though. It doesn't seem to over here in the US.
      • by BWJones (18351) *
        Heh, so then you're telling us you were "big in Japan"?

        Heh, heh.... Indeed. :-)

        A bit more seriously, I still wonder why iPhone excitement equates with Leopard though. It doesn't seem to over here in the US.

        I think it is just that everything Apple is suddenly very popular in Japan.

    • by McFadden (809368)
      I hate to tell you this, but anyone who strolls around Japan being loud and western (which most tourists inevitably are) draws a lot of looks or even approaches from complete strangers. Most foreigners who've lived here for a few years learn how to blend into the background a little more, but even if you didn't have an iPhone you'd get more or less the same attention.
    • Re:In Japan... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by pcgabe (712924) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @11:54PM (#21359201) Homepage Journal

      Even in technology jaded Japan where you can watch TV on your cell phone, they are absolutely stoked about Apple's iPhone.


      It's possible that you may have fallen victim to Japanese politeness. I know that when I was there, my co-workers and friends teased me about the iPhone (not because I had one, but because I'm American).

      "Oh, it has a big screen. How many TV channels can it record simultaneously?" Zero. "Oh, well then, that explains the price! HAHAHA!" (Don't get me started on what my Japanese colleagues considered 'humor', that's another rant in itself)

      Japanese phones are, by my estimates, about two years ahead of ours. The only thing about the iPhone that my friends over there found interesting was all the HYPE. They could not see what the big deal was all about.

      However, they do have a tendency to say small things are big deals, out of politeness. Can't speak Japanese, except for mumbling a few phrase-book standards? "OH, your Japanese is excellent!" Speak fluent Japanese? "..." (no comment)

      You have an iPhone? "Wow, what an amazing phone!" You have a standard Japanese phone that does everything an iPhone can do, plus does your taxes, transforms into a scooter, makes you pudding, and gives you blowjobs? "..."

      The rule of thumb is: The cooler/better something is, the less they say about it. The more they talk about it, the less cool/awesome it is.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        a standard Japanese phone that does everything an iPhone can do, plus does your taxes, transforms into a scooter, makes you pudding, and gives you blowjobs?
        Guys, 2009 is going to RULE!
      • by madsenj37 (612413)
        I do not think he is referring to the technology, so much as the exclusivity of the iPhone.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dancingmad (128588)
        Um, I work in a Japanese office in Aomori and I don't have an iPhone but one of my coworkers is an Apple fan and he's stoked about the iPhone (he went and bought an iPod touch a couple of weeks ago).

        The design is light years ahead of even the best Japanese phones (I have one of au's best summer phones and while I like it a lot and it has a lot of features the iPhone doesn't, like TV and a English/Japanese dictionary) and the UI is better than American phones but still clunky compared to the iPhone.
      • Re:In Japan... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MidnightBrewer (97195) on Thursday November 15, 2007 @08:06AM (#21362145)
        I have lived in Japan for five years now, speak fluent Japanese, and can tell you that, although the average American phone makes me shake my head in pity for the crap that is forced upon my fellow countrymen, the iPhone is definitely on par with what Japan has to offer. Japanese phones usually go for design over functionality, with innovations being focused on screen quality, the built-in camera, and music playback ability.

        However, phones here are just as closed as in the States, so as to charge the user as much as possible for access to each carrier's unique flavor of internet access and multimedia content. Want access to the regular internet? Each time you start up a session and connect to a page, they charge you 300 yen for the privilege. My Japanese friends were impressed that I had figured out how to get around Docomo's file-naming obfuscation on my SD card so that I was able to upload photos and video as well as download them without having to use the network.

        By the way, a correction to your rule of thumb: the cooler something is, the more Japanes talk about it. They're all about giving kudos, and I got sufficient compliments for my iPod Touch. I just had a high school student write an essay where she claimed that the iPod was the world's greatest invention, and that the iPhone would be even better. If the Japanese aren't saying much about a gadget, it's either because they just really aren't gadget people or you're bragging about it too much. If they're openly belittling something of yours, you're most likely not actually in Japan.

        As for the actual article referred to by the submitter, Apple's great triumph was to claim half of the boxed OS sales for October. What kind of a statistic is that? Most new PCs are sold with Windows pre-installed, not boxed; hardly anybody buys it separately. So what Apple is saying is that more Apple users went out and bought the new OS for their old computer than PC users bought a boxed version of Windows. How surprising is that statistic? What percentage of the Windows-using public actually ever consider upgrading the OS separate from buying a new computer?

        I'm a Mac user, but Macs are only slightly better represented in Japan than anywhere else. Apple lost a lot of market share in the 90s that it has failed to take back, and Microsoft's site-wide licenses work well with Japanese corporate and government institutional mentality. japanese typically admit to liking Macs, but a lot of the universal stereotypes carry over (too expensive), plus they want something that they know works with everybody else.
    • by LoudMusic (199347)

      "what's the big deal, you have the iPod touch", to which he responded, "but that is the iPhone and we don't have that yet!"

      EXACTLY! It's not about how cool something is or isn't, or who made it. They can't have it so it's the only thing they want. "Grass is always greener ..."

      I've hat a lot of European friends say the same thing about Americans (USA citizens). I think it's true for everyone in the internet generation from everywhere around the world.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gordo3000 (785698)
      Jaded??? you ever lived in Japan? I do. tehy are far from jaded. your tech gaget is a symbol of your self worth here. Cell phones that aren't used to 10% of their ability are thrown out and bought new in under a year!!

      This is the most status symbol obsessed place I've ever been for an extended period(been here 2 years total). This would only compare to maybe, just maybe, a small subset of LA. But here, it's EVERYONE in the target age. Apple markets a brand and then inflates prices to make sure it loo
  • by MrAndrews (456547) * <mcm@18[ ]ca ['89.' in gap]> on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @06:25PM (#21355697) Homepage
    It seems there was some confusion about what kinds of devices you could install Leopard on, so these numbers may not hold up for long. [pttbt.ca]...
  • 1/2 the market??? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695)
    1/2 the OS market would mean that 1/2 of the machines in japan are farily new Macintoshes. Thats unheard of market penetration.

    Or will it now run on whitebox PC's and i missed the announcement?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jamar0303 (896820)
      OSx86- You don't have to pirate it; you can buy an install disc and patch that. I've seen Japanese blogs popping up every so often talking about how they got Mac OS X on their laptops (one mentioned how liberating it was to have -essentially- a Mac with 8 hours of battery life- the computer in question was a Panasonic T5).
  • by grimfang (977321) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @06:26PM (#21355705)
    I don't really see what the big deal is with this. A bunch of people picked up a copy as soon as it was available. So what? It doesn't say much about the total number of Mac users in Japan.
    • by p0tat03 (985078) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @07:41PM (#21356705)

      It doesn't say much about the total number of Mac users in Japan.

      Yes, because they all bought the OS so they can admire it on their bookshelf. No, no wait, I know! They all bought it so they can install it on their Dell boxes! No wait...

      I think it's pretty safe to assume that each copy of the OS sold represents a single Mac user, barring the VERY, VERY few OSx86 hackers out there.

      I do agree though, this says nothing about Apple's growth in Japan. It just means existing Mac users are excited about upgrading to Leopard (moreso than XP users to Vista, but that's a no-brainer), it doesn't mean that Macs are necessarily gaining ground.

  • What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @06:26PM (#21355709)
    Am I missing something or is some one trying to turn the initial surge from the release of a new version, into a long standing trend?
    • by AmaDaden (794446)
      It is just an initial surge, but it is showing signs of a long standing trend. Apple has been gaining a lot of ground over Microsoft. And Vista has been tanking. I don't think something like this happened with the last version of OS X and XP. It's not a big deal yet but it looks like unless Microsoft figures out something soon this could turn in to regular occurrence.
  • by FredAkbar (871106) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @06:27PM (#21355723) Homepage
    that's a big jump from the 15.5 percent share it had in September, which was itself the highest share Apple had managed to get so far in 2007.

    This big jump makes sense, really. Who in their right mind would buy Tiger a month before Leopard is coming out, unless they specifically can't/wouldn't use Leopard for some reason? It's more impressive to me that they're beating out Microsoft, but I guess MS relies on the PC makers for most of its sales; it doesn't really need to specifically sell Vista when people are replacing their PCs fairly often. Macs generally last longer (or at least are kept longer) from what I hear, so it's more likely that someone will buy a boxed copy of a Mac OS upgrade than a Windows upgrade.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Lars T. (470328)

      that's a big jump from the 15.5 percent share it had in September, which was itself the highest share Apple had managed to get so far in 2007.

      This big jump makes sense, really. Who in their right mind would buy Tiger a month before Leopard is coming out,
      Obviously enough to account for an 15.5 percent share ...
  • by rueger (210566) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @06:28PM (#21355755) Homepage
    Without context these numbers mean little. How many copies of boxed OSs are sold in a typical month? A year? How has Windows boxed software been trending? Is it perhaps something that peaked a year or two back because everyone who needed Windows already had it installed OEM or had purchased their upgrades? And what part of the Japanese computer market is Mac, as opposed to PC?

    For all we know Leopard only sold 250 copies nationwide. Or this may be a one time spike that means nothing.
    • Best spin ever.
      Boxed OS sales for Windows are limited typically two groups in the US.
      1. Those that build there own PCs
      2. Those that must have the latest upgrade.
      Maybe laptops are a HUGE percentage of PC sales in Japan. Almost nobody builds those. Then you have the must have the latest. Well they have already bought Vista when it first hit the market.
      I am sure that Apple is doing well in Japan but this is all hype.

      • 1. Those that build there own PCs
        Those who build their own PCs would never buy a boxed copy of Windows, as you can go to newegg and buy an OEM copy for half the cost.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by zioncat (632849)
      According to BCN [yahoo.com], boxed OS sales doubled in October.

      Microsoft and Apple's market shares in Japan on typical month is around 8 to 2. Microsoft jumped to 91.2% share when Vista came out and Apple had 51.2% share when Tiger came out. Apple just had 65.2% market share month with Leopard, that is nearly a 15% jump compared to the last OS update.
  • by proxima (165692) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @06:29PM (#21355771)
    It'd be notable if Apple did much worse than this.

    1.) It's boxed sales. The people who upgrade via boxed sales are the ones who aren't going to wait to get new hardware to upgrade the OS. These people are likely to be the early adopters who will buy within the first week

    2.) Vista has been out for a while, and the people who have upgraded via boxed sales have likely done it by now. Vista sales come from OEM distribution, not buying a shiny box at Best Buy.

    3.) I would expect the numbers for November to drop substantially, as the early adopters will have their copies, and sales of boxed copies drop. That said, it wouldn't surprise me if hardware sales pick up a bit, as people find the holiday season and new OS to be a good time to take the plunge and buy a new computer.

    The numbers to pay attention to are Apple's share of new sales, especially in laptops, and Apple's share of total installed base (which is harder to calculate accurately).
    • by fermion (181285)
      1.) It's boxed sales. The people who upgrade via boxed sales are the ones who aren't going to wait to get new hardware to upgrade the OS. These people are likely to be the early adopters who will buy within the first week

      I wonder how many people own more than one mac. I know many people that own two or more.

      The thing with a mac is that the economics do not lend themselves to buying a new machine for an OS. The machine is going to cost no less that $600, while the OS is going to cost no more than $200.

  • by MiKM (752717)
    Why was Tiger being sold at all, and why the hell would it cost more than Leopard?
  • I suppose it's a surprise to nobody that a very small number of Operating Systems are sold shrink-wrapped.

    Conspicuously absent from the article is any mention to the real numbers that make the percentages. I mean, if the real numbers turn out to be something like 800 total, of which 424 Leopards, then the "article" is just marketing. Likelihood of that, bigger than 53%.

    • by Kingrames (858416)
      huge news for Linux installs if that's the case. :)

      After all, if nobody's PAYING for OS'es, that's a good thing.
  • Apple 100% share! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by klubar (591384) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @06:40PM (#21355943) Homepage
    I suspect that if you look at sales of boxed operating systems on Oct. 26 from 6 pm to 6 am Apple had a nearly 100% share. The statistic is nearly meaningless. The initial rush for Vista already took place.

    And somehow a line of 200 whole people in a city of 12 million (0.00166% of the population) doesn't seem like very many. More than 200 people probably lined up in the light rain to buy the Japanese equivalent of hot dogs that night.
    • by AchiIIe (974900)
      Woops, meant to Mod you funny, hit "Overrated" instead. I do miss the old style mod where I would get a chance to review/change the mod before clicking submit.

      This comments erases it, all good now, keep bashing the statistics in the story. While you are at it pickup a copy of Oreilly: Statistics Hacks [oreilly.com].

      Oh, and here's the entire commend history summarized in five words: "Lies, damned lies, and statistics"
    • The initial rush for Vista already took place.

      Except that it didn't. Has Vista ever accounted for more than 10% of total sales in any month yet?

      • From another comment from above: According to BCN [yahoo.com], boxed OS sales doubled in October. Microsoft and Apple's market shares in Japan on typical month is around 8 to 2. Microsoft jumped to 91.2% share when Vista came out and Apple had 51.2% share when Tiger came out. Apple just had 65.2% market share month with Leopard, that is nearly a 15% jump compared to the last OS update.
  • by The Iso (1088207) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @06:42PM (#21355969)
    OS X displays beautiful Japanese text. Windows is barely legible by comparison.
  • Keep in mind (Score:2, Insightful)

    by moogied (1175879)
    The apple os is a wee bit harder to pirate. As you need to have an Apple first.
  • Or...maybe they are claiming half of all Mac's in Japan are running it. Hell, spin it either way...nothing ever happens here. It ALWAYS happens somewhere else where it is darn near impossible to prove.
    • I don't see how it's any harder to verify than if it happened in the states. This is the age of information, after all - physical location really doesn't bar you from finding this stuff out, and I don't think the government/economy here in the US is any more trustworthy than that of Japan.
  • by DrXym (126579) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @06:59PM (#21356217)
    I don't think it should surprise anyone that when a new upgrade comes around for OS X that every Mac user is immediately going to descend on it. Let's see how long these figures are sustained.
    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      I don't think it should surprise anyone that when a new upgrade comes around for OS X that every Mac user is immediately going to descend on it.

      Ahum. Not so. I call myself a nerd, playing with computers as my hobby. I re-install Linux every year or so, mainly just for fun as the previous version is good enough, and I can download it for free anyway so why not try it out with all the new eye-candy and so. But only on a computer that is not essential for my work; work computers follow later or not.

      I also own an iBook. Bought it now four years ago. Still running OSX 10.3.9. It does what I want nicely, no complaints. I'm not going to put down someth

  • ... I have to say "nothing to see here". A country known for its avid market for consumer electronics and similar products sees large sales of a thoroughly hyped new product in a market that really probably sees barely any activity under normal circumstances (I mean, really, how big *IS* the retail OS market?). That by itself makes a record month without any effort involved.

  • Who buys "boxed operating systems" these days?

    The Microsoft Fanboys would have bought a copy of Vista ages ago when it came out.
    The Linux Fanboys don't bother with buying copies anymore - why should they in the age of broadband?
    A fraction of the fraction of people who build their PCs from scratch buy OEM copies of Windows.
    The other 90% of computer users just use whatever was installed when they bought the box.

    So how come they haven't got 98.5% of "boxed operating systems"? I think they're just massaging th
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home SP2 Upgrade had a market share of 7.2%. The Microsoft Windows XP Home SP2 Upgrade . That's the one that is only good for upgrading Windows 95/98. 7.2%. WTF.
    • It's cheap, the upgrade check is trivial (and if it annoys you, it can be bypassed completely), and most importantly the license can be transferred from computer to computer. I'd recommend it over the OEM version if you just want a basic copy of Windows for games or Boot Camp.
    • by Almahtar (991773)
      Probably people getting their XP license cheaper by 'upgrading' old unused 95 and 98 licenses. Good idea, really.
  • MacOS just had a 'hot' new release, so you'd expect some sales. The 47% is the more mysterious number.

    Few people actually buy Linux or BSDs in boxes, Microsoft has two pieces of crap (one of which has a support phase-out looming), and then there's .. what? Maybe while they say box sales, they really include OEM copies, so Vista is in there. Who else sells OSes in boxes these days? The figure probably includes something weird, like Symbian or something.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Jesus_666 (702802)
      Dear Apple users on Slashdot,

      in 1976 I was in Cupertino, crystal bits of snowflakes all around my head and in the wind, and Steve Wozniak and me thought we could make a few Dollars selling homemade computers. Delivering breakthrough devices like the Apple II and the Macintosh, we were successful, until the Mac clones almost doomed our company*. But here's my comeback on the road again; things will happen while they can. Right now I'm writing this post on my MacBook Pro while I will wait here for my man to
  • Deal-breaking bug (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bueller_007 (535588) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @09:52PM (#21358053)
    The main reason I haven't upgraded yet is that there is, at present, a significant bug in Kotoeri (the Japanese IME) for Leopard. If you type the word "hatake" (which means "field") and scroll through the list of potential kanji, and you get to the "display more" option, the entire IME freezes and is impossible to recover. The same thing happens with "hisashi", and I'm sure a number of other words as well.

    There are videos of this floating around YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1pVOJL41x0 [youtube.com]), and I checked it out myself at the local Apple store. Total IME lock-up, and it uses up 100% of your processor time.

    Other than that glaring bug, Leopard is easily the most friendly Japanese OS out there, and it now has a big-name Japanese dictonary & thesaurus, as well as J-E and E-J dictionaries built right in.

    Here's hoping Apple gets their shit sorted out for the .1 release.
  • by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorp@NOSpam.Gmail.com> on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @10:48PM (#21358689) Homepage Journal
    So why are we surprised that OS X ruled the market there? Japanese consumers aren't terribly fond of shitty products. You know, like Vista...

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