Snow Leopard OS X Maintains Sales Momentum

OS operating system

Snow Leopard, officially OS X 10.6, hit retail shelves Aug. 28 and the operating system has racked up more than twice the sales of Leopard's initial release and almost four times the sales of Tiger, according to a statement from NPD Group's retail tracking service.

"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, NPD's vice president of industry analysis, in a statement.

Not surprisingly, there was a sales rush for Snow Leopard during the first week it was available. But that momentum carried into the second week with sales declining only 25 percent from the first to the second week, according to NPD. That compares to a 60 percent drop between the first- and second-week sales for both Leopard and Tiger.

While NPD didn't provide actual sales estimates for Snow Leopard, Piper Jaffray research analyst Gene Munster previously estimated that Leopard sales will reach 5 million by the end of this quarter.

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NPD noted that Apple reduced Snow Leopard pricing by $100 for both single-user licensing and five-user packs, compared to pricing for the earlier Leopard operating system. Baker said it will be interesting to see whether Windows 7, which is expected to have higher average selling prices when it ships next month, will generate high demand.