Apple is riding high lately. Their transition to the Intel chip has been smooth and the popularity of both iTunes and the iPod has been translating into computer sales.

But according to the Net Applications newsletter I got in my inbox yesterday, the apocalypse is about strike at Apple. What are the signs of the Apple apocalypse? They cite accounting irregularities (Wall Street didn’t care), the mass recall of notebook batteries (it was Sony’s fault), and a 0.02% drop in OS usage. Yep, just a little 0.02% drop.

Here’s a passage from their newsletter:

“Mac Intel OS usage is growing quickly, and currently has 0.62 percent usage market share, but overall Mac OS usage is slightly down.. Back in December 2005 total Mac OS usage market share was 4.35 percent, but August 2006 numbers show total Mac OS market share down to 4.33 percent.”

So how did Net Applications measure this 0.02% drop? They have an expensive web traffic analyzing service for webmasters called HitsLink. I used to use HitsLink for but have since switched to a less expensive service with more features. Hummm… could I be the source of the 0.02% drop? Because of all the iPod related articles on our website we tend to have a higher Mac user base. Maybe the 0.02% drop could be attributed to people going on vacation and not using their computer that month. Or what about the wave of blackouts in America this summer. Yes I’m being sarcastic, but can you blame me? It’s only a 0.02% drop.

Besides the fact that Net Applications is all jacked up over a 0.02% drop, can you really match up marketshare (computer sales) with visitor statistics solely based on HitsLink subscribers? No. Web usage by only HitsLink subscribers is just a small random sampling and has nothing to do with overall market share. Maybe Net Applications should offer to share their data with some other web traffic analyzing services before they declare the next 0.02% apocalypse.

Also, how credible is Net Applications? In the same September 18th newsletter they mistakenly reported that “iPod sales peaked at over 12 million units for the 4th quarter of 2005, but have stumbled to 8.5 million and 8.1 million units the most recent two quarters…” 12 million is close, but wrong. In Q1 of 2006 Apple sold over 14 million iPods.

One last thing. The newsletter also reports that 1% of web users are still using Windows ME. Those crazy backwards bastards. God bless ’em.