Apple’s impact on Flash penetration

While checking the latest figures from riastats for an article, I noticed something that surprised me. The installed figures for Adobe Flash, while still over 96%, seemed a shade down on what they used to be. I could think of only one reason for that – Apple. I switched the operating system to Mac OS X and saw this:


That’s 14.18% of OS X users who do not have Flash installed. By contrast, only 3.98% of Linux users show “Not detected”. I am presuming that OS X includes iPhone and iPad, on which Flash is unavailable.

5 thoughts on “Apple’s impact on Flash penetration”

  1. Does flash detect if someone has ClicktoFlash installed? Every Mac user I hear complain about Safari crashing, slow webpage loads, or Flash in general I point to ClicktoFlash. ClicktoFlash has been mentioned in significant Mac online publications as beneficial for the reasons I’ve mentioned above.

    See, Flash is installed on every Mac purchased. Every. So, for it to be not detected means the user has gone to some effort to remove it themselves or is having Flash blocked. If the percentage doesn’t include iPhone OS, that percentage has nothing to do with Apple since Apple ships the latest Flash on every Mac and in every OS install.

  2. Yeah, I think that is Click2Flash. Flash is so craptastic on OS X that a lot of people block it. Click2Flash is pretty much flawless so there is no real reason not to install it.

  3. Net Applications, one of the major analytics sites has iPhone market share at 0.51% and iPod (Touch) at 0.11%:

    Meanwhile if you look at mobile users as a whole it’s at 1.70% with desktop users at 97.96%:

    My personal experience in the web industry is that most companies ignore mobile users when it comes to the web, because of their small numbers. Most companies are more interest in making an mobile apps for their companies rather than make their sites mobile friendly because they see that’s where they can get bigger ROI.

  4. Tim,

    Check this post out form Emmy Huang @ Product Manager for Flash / Adobe

    She is quoted at saying:

    ’s interesting to note that for Adobe, the number that is quoted is an “install” and not a “download” number. We’ve never said how many downloads happen a day because it is a ridiculously large number AND we know that it’s not that useful metric because those successful downloads don’t all turn into successful installations. In July 2008, successful downloads averaged about 33 million per day, and successful installs averaged around 18 million per day. That seems like a big drop, but consider that ActiveX was about 80% of our installs that month and when you visit a page that triggers the ActiveX install experience the installer is downloaded to the machine before the security warning dialog appears. The user might say “no thanks” to the security warning dialog, and refreshing the page or visiting another page that requires a newer version may download the installer again.

    She then goes on to say:

    The install number wasn’t ever intended to be a marketing point, although it was an exciting number for us to talk about when we realized that our install average was 8 million a day shortly after Flash Player 9 first launched.

    Now, assuming Adobe methodology is still being validated by them, that’s approx 8-18million installs per day. Take into account there is 1.4billion people on the planet online today and according to Forester research it will take 7 years from 2008 to 2015 to grow to 2billion, i don’t know the numbers just seem quite off to hold that 95%+ ubiquity stance.

    Given then if you look deeper at the methodology it also looks a bit off, for example the add double the weighting to USA compared to countries like China – given 380million or so citizens live in the US compared to ASIA having close to that in one country seems a little off in terms of the math.

    I think whats explaining the drop is less OEM deals are being made and I think there may very well be a decline in mainstream Flash development itself (retreating back to HTML?). I think devices will also disrupt this further given battery concerns etc are a real PR hurdle for Adobe to overcome.

    I’d argue Adobe’s actual ubiquity lies in web saturation and not client saturation. As you can’t go 20mins online without being prompted to install Flash and given Windows 7 is fast replenishing the market, this in turn can cause concern for high-end websites that have a sudden surge in abandonment rates for Flash based experience. This in turn can invoke a concern around whether or not “i’m losing customers to flash install prompts” more than before (maybe and a very strong maybe, 1% decline as a result).


Comments are closed.