“Your neighbor drives home with his new BMW and the first thing you say to him is a wisecrack about his car’s low market share,” Al Fasoldt reports for The Post-Standard. “You’d never do it. Nobody would. Most people drive Toyotas or Hondas or Fords, but that means nothing to the people who own BMWs. Right?”
“Then why are we constantly hearing about the Mac’s low market share from people who ought to know better? I spent an evening checking out the actual percentage of Mac users, and I found numbers that ranged from 1.7 percent to 12 percent. That’s a huge range, and the imprecision of the numbers tells a story,” Fasoldt reports. “Comparing a free-market product to a monopoly product that’s forced on consumers is a difficult task. Many buyers have no idea that they have a choice of operating systems and platforms. They walk into a computer store at the mall and buy what’s there, and that means in most cases a Windows PC.”
Fasoldt reports, “Apple’s global share in the market for new computers hit a low of 1.7 percent in 2003. The 2004 numbers are likely to be a little better, but not much. Yet my own rough calculations indicate that 8 percent of the personal computers used today in homes – leaving out all the computers used in offices and businesses – are Apple Macintoshes. Others have said my number is conservative; I’ve seen the total for Macs in home use as high as 12 percent.”
“How can we have 1.7 percent in one case and 8 percent to 12 percent in another? It’s simple: People who represent the Windows side of the computer industry look out one door and Mac fans look out another,” Fasoldt reports. “For example, the 2003 figure of 1.7 percent counts only the number of new computers sold month by month. It does not count the number of computers that are in use. You don’t have to be a genius to realize the fallacy of this sort of statistic. Macs last longer than Windows PCs and don’t need replacing as often. So Mac users aren’t ever going to buy new computers at the same rate as Windows users.”
Full article here.
Arik Hesseldahl also reported about this for Forbes back in June 2003:
“Naysayers have been calling for Apple’s demise for years. But Apple not only has survived but thrived, it seems, at least partially by the sheer force of Jobs’ will and his ability to maintain the ferocious loyalty of Apple’s users, who still account for 10% of the world’s computer users, while its sales usually account for about 3% to 5% of the world global PC market.”
Link to full article here.