Does the Macintosh Market Share Understate the Platform's Influence?
* the coffee shop observation; has anyone else ever made it? Primary research?
Young, J. S., Simon W. L. iCon Steve Jobs: The Greatest Second Act in the History of
Business. New York: Wiley 2005.
* look at, Borders
Levy, Steven. Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer that
Changed Everything. New York: Penguin; 1993. 336 p.
* look, possibly buy?
Wikipedia [web site]. Macintosh. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Macintosh ; Nov 6
2006. Archived at http://webpages.cs.luc.edu/~mt/wiki_mac.html
* amazingly useful; see refs 13 - 20
Ever since the introduction of the Macintosh, Apple has struggled to gain a significant
share of the personal computer market. At first, the Macintosh 128K suffered from a
dearth of available software compared to IBM's PC, resulting in disappointing sales in
1985. Only 500,000 Macs had been sold by the end of the year. Jobs had originally
predicted that five million units would be sold within two years; sales eventually crossed
the two million mark in 1988, and three years later, the installed base finally reached five
million. Mac computers are most widely used in the creative professional market,
including in journalism and desktop publishing, video editing and audio editing, but have
also made in-roads into the educative and scientific research sectors .
By 1997, there were more than 20 million Mac users, compared to an installed base of
around 340 million Windows PCs. Statistics from late 2003 indicate that Apple
had 2.06% of the desktop share in the United States, which had increased to 2.88% by Q4
2004. As of July, 2006, research firms IDC and Gartner reported that Apple's market
share had increased to between 4.6% and 4.8%. The actual installed base of
Macintosh computers is extremely hard to determine, with numbers ranging from a
conservative 3% to an optimistic 16%.
Gruber, John. Market Share. In: Daring Fireball [web log].
http://daringfireball.net/2003/07/market_share ; 2003.
* typical defensive argument from a few years back
As for the PC business, some analysts say it’s time to stop measuring Apple and Gateway
by their slice of the overall PC market, anyway. Gateway and Apple, as well as laptop
specialist Toshiba, address only part of the market, said NPD Group analyst Stephen
Dalrymple, J. Apple's Macintosh market share soars 16%. MacWorld [web site]
http://www.macworld.com/news/2006/07/20/marketshare/index.php ; 2006.
* turning around
With Mac shipments rising from 655,000 to 760,000 year-over-year for the second
quarter, Apple’s U.S. market jumped from 4.4 percent in 2005 to 4.8 percent in 2006 — a
double-digital growth of 16 percent, according to market research firm IDC.
IDC credits increases in Apple’s retail sector of 50 percent, as well as growth of 60
percent in its portable market for the steep increases.
The news for Apple was just as good from market research form Gartner, as it clocked
Apple at a 15.4 percent year-over-year increase for the second quarter. Gartner has Apple
increasing sales from 663,000 to 766,000, moving its market share from 4.3 percent to
4.6 percent in the U.S.
INSTALLED BASE SHARE; LONGEVITY
Apple Directions Staff. Apple Releases FY1997 Macintosh Installed Base Statistics.
Apple Developer News No. 87. Available at
A recent analysis of the worldwide Macintosh installed base and the Macintosh user base
for fiscal year 1997 (ending September 30), revealed a number of interesting highlights,
including the following:
27.6 million Macintosh computers have been shipped worldwide since 1984.
79 percent of all Macintosh computers shipped are still in use. (That's 21.8 million active
There are an average of 3.2 users per active installed Macintosh, which means there are
69.3 million Macintosh users worldwide.
DO SERVER LOGS TELL A TRUE STORY?
typically published stats show Mac OS around 3 %
but see, e.g.,
browsers may be set to MSIE
spiders claim to be MSIE
different browsers may have different caching policies
population of measured sites may be unrepresentative; do Mac users follow the corwd?
Stoup, James R. How Microsoft Will Die. in: Apple Matters [web site].
ner_is_measuring_microsoft_for_a_black_suit/ ; 2005.
This is a good indication of how bad the situation currently is and how much worse its
going to get. Think about how much of a market share Apple has. Something like 3% of
yearly sales with an install base of about 10-15%. Now, think about its mindshare. What
is mindshare you ask? Well, its the extent to which people know about a phenomenon.
The iPod has enormous mind share. You might not own one yourself but chances are you
know someone who has does. The iPod alone has made Apple’s mindshare sky rocket.
Now factor in the ITMS and how profitable it has been. Now think about the recent
announcement of their switch to Intel. And then there is the ever present rumors about
them starting a movie store much like the iTMS. People can’t stop talking about Apple
and Jobs is just fanning the flames, trying his best to fuel the fires and feed the rumor
And all the while the media focuses on Apple do you know who they aren’t talking
about? Microsoft. Think about all of the buzz that MS has gotten in the past when they
released a new operating system. And here they are about to release an item they claim is
their most revolutionary product ever and . . . no one is listening. No one cares.
According to The Harvard Crimson, personal purchases of Macs at Harvard are up 30
percent from last year, while sales of IBM Lenovo machines have more or less flat-lined.
Harvard, one of Apple’s largest educational re-sellers, has seen a rebound in Mac sales
from several years ago. The same trend was seen at another Ivy league university
Princeton, where Mac purchases have tripled in the past three years.
Harvard officials now say that demand for Macs has almost caught up to demand for non-
Mac PCs, attributing the surge to several factors, including the new Intel-architecture for
Windows compatibility, aesthetics, and a Unix-foundation for more technical students;
however, the company notes that discount levels offered by Apple's competitors is
"substantial," thus students are also looking at a combination of cost, software
compatibility, and support issues (as well as aesthetics).