Mavericks is three times more popular than Mountain Lion, so far

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In case you thought this was about a certain Dallas-based NBA team, sorry. Come on, they’re not even that good anyway.

According to data courtesy of Chitika, which collects ad impressions information, Apple’s newly released Mac OS X Mavericks made up 5.5 percent of Mac OS X Internet traffic in the U.S. and Canada on its first day. That makes it three times more popular than Mountain Lion, Cupertino’s previous OS X release which hit the market last year and was adopted by 1.6 percent of Macs on day one. Chitika released this information in an official blog post.

What could account for the strong uptick in new OS adoption? The significantly quicker day one adoption rate for OS X Mavericks compared to OS X Mountain Lion likely has something to do with the fact that OS X Mavericks is a completely free download, which is a significant departure not only from the previous Apple OS X pricing models, but from Apple’s past policies on OS X pricing overall. That’s not to say that Apple broke a pattern of charging high rates for its past OS X launches. OS X Mountain Lion was released last year for the reasonable rate of $20. Prior to that, OS X Lion was released with a price tag of $30.

Nevertheless, $20 or $30 saved is $20 or $30 earned. Sure, OS X Mavericks comes with some updates and new apps, but we’re willing to bet that many users jumped on board simply due to the fact that it was a freebie. Apple deserves their fair share of credit for making Mavericks a free download.