Syracuse Post-Standard: 3 percent is a false stat; Mac holds ‘10 to 12 percent of the market for PCs

The unfortunately monikered “Dr. Gizmo” writes for the Syracuse Post-Standard. We’ll overlook the nom de plume because Dr. Gizmo is a genius, we do believe! What a breath of fresh air! This is the rare article where the writer gets everything right. Read this:

“…the oft-quoted ‘3 percent’ market share supposedly held by Apple’s Macintosh computers is a false statistic. Leaving out business computers, the figures tell a different story – about 10 to 12 percent of the market for personal computers is held by Apple’s Macintosh.”

“As for the claim that Adobe, a longtime maker of Macintosh software, was ‘not writing new stuff’ for the Mac any longer, that’s simply untrue. Adobe’s Photoshop, the single most important professional-level program for any computer platform, is being continually updated; the latest update came last week.”

“The doctor reminds his faithful readers that spyware and viruses can be written to invade any operating system. The reality, however, is as sobering as a weekend in a drunk tank: There are 70,000 active Windows viruses, but only 38 TOTAL Macintosh viruses. Most of those, if not all of them, are no longer active. There are thousands of Windows spyware intruders, but none for Mac OS X. The doc believes Windows users are taking big chances.”

Full article here.


  1. Well, he didn’t mention that Adobe hasn’t released their DVD authoring software for the Mac… because Apple’s own software is better than anything they can come up with.

  2. It is nice to see the TRUTH posted in print for once in a blue moon.

    The 3% LIE has been thrown around so long and so hard by the Mac bashing morons, that the world now actually believes this BS is a true statement! Just like the lie that Windows is the most popular because it is superior to the alternatives.

    Any multi-platform experienced user knows that Apple computers out-live their PC counterparts over 2 to 1, thus extending the replacement interval of most Mac systems out to an average of 5-6 years. In essence, Apple’s quality hardware and reliable software that works with Legacy products has worked against them in growing market share. At least as long as market share is based on the misleading notion that new computer sales equals market share.

    It all boils down to the whole MISERY LOVES COMPANY thing. When you compare the Mac to Windows, there is no other way to explain why something as mediocre and unreliable as a Windows PC could have become the dominant system of choice on this backwards planet of ours.

    Consider it a global IQ test if you will. One that 88% of the population has failed miserably. ;o)

  3. One billion in cash, and several billion in assets for Apple the last I heard, but wait they only have 3% of the market share. You don’t make money and show a profit if the last set of facts is true, hence the 3% pipe dream is just that a pipe dream, or maybe a Wintel wet dream. If Apple only has 3% why are the M$-Wintel crowd so interested?

  4. Well, the 3% number isn’t a “lie”, it’s just misleading. Of all computers sold, Apple sells about 3%. However, of all computers sitting on people’s desk at home, about 12% are Apples. We can discount business machines, because Apple hasn’t been a player in that market in over a decade. Of course, now that Apple is forming an enterprise sales group (supposedly a large one), perhaps we will see a concerted effort to push into that arena. And that would be a Very Good Thing.

  5. Well I decided to make to make a new equation out of this whole nonsense. Basically the Wintel crowd likes to pit the Mac versus the PC in the whole marketshare mish mash. Okay we have Dell that has at least 16% marketshare for the PC side, then you trickle down to probably Gateway that has about 4% marketshare. This leaves the mom & pop shops taking in over 50-60% of the PC marketshare building the ‘white-boxes’. Apple on the other hand has 100% of the Mac market, this has been apparent since the end of the Mac clone era. Apple’s Mac marketshare beats Dell’s PC marketshare by more than 80%. Now this looks like an unfair advantage in regards to Apple’s numbers versus Dell’s, but just think about it for a second, these tech writers count the whole PC marketshare pie (this includes the mom and pop shops) against Apple’s Mac marketshre pie, instead of actually pitting single numbers versus single numbers. I mean think about it, we’ll have Gateway licked probably within another year, and heck we’re already beating eMachines and the folks like them (AlienWare, etc…)!

    It’s all about on how you look at it. You can make a positive or negative out of anything that is not zero, which means it didn’t exist in the first place ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue laugh” style=”border:0;” />

  6. The virii and spyware are a part of why I am partially switching (I will keep a 3GHz P4 RADEON 9800 Pro system in reserve for Half Life 2 and games that my son and I like to play). All my ‘mission critical’ stuff: video editing, photos, email, web, work, etc. will go on the Mac.

  7. “Adobe’s Photoshop, the single most important professional-level program for any computer platform”

    I’d have to disagree with this statement. If Photoshop was _this important_, it’d be a damn sad world.

  8. Non only the 3% is as valid as any statistical measure taken out of its contest (On average, for Thanksgiving, every American eats at least 4 servings of turkey. Windows users must believe that TRULY not a single American spend the day without a share of the feast.)

    The touted ~90% of Windows share is based on PC sales figures. Now, how easy is for anybody to buy – say – a Dell and request Linux as pre-installed OS?

    What is more closer to reality is instead the figures obtained from web surfers. There Macs are more then 12%, Linux close to 10%, other OS combined around 2% (figures out of memory) that was leaving Windows at less then 80%.

    Now, are these figures THE reality? Not really: how many times have you told Safari, OmniWeb, Konqueror, etc to spoof their identity to Windows IE in order to watch a page? Each time you do you count as a Windows user access. That means that the close to 80% of WIndows installed base (among home users or web surfers) might be generous and having instead a truer value on the high 70s% for Windows.

    And if the answer (it happened) is that not everybody on Windows (why only these category of users???) surf the web or is online then I remind that we were talking about virus vulnerability and visibility and go back to the main topic: it is not visibility (a share of over 20% is not a negligeable share: so forget about those silly remarks of security via obscurity), the 20% of other OSes should get SOME percentage of those ~80,000 virii around.

    So, once again, it is visibility, it is because it is so frigging easy to break into Windows and having Windows help the virus to spread. Period.
    It would happen even if Windows had 20% market. It is still the target which allows the easy automatic avalanche-effect spreading.

  9. If there are really 10-12% Mac users, this poses an interesting question: Where are they?

    Personally, I have direct access to the stats of only two websites. One is of no relevance, because it is of very little interest to Mac users. The other belongs to an organisation that helps women start a business. It gets 2.6% of its hits from Macs.

    Of course a single website is hardly representative, so I did a quick search for “” and checked the statistics of about two dozen sites. The percentage of Mac hits was usually 2-3, sometimes below 1%, never above 4%.

    The only Mac-specific site I found this way had 16.4% Mac hits (

    Do really 80% of the Mac users manipulate the user-agent string of their browsers? And does this really work so well? Awstats has a good parser. If you set Opera to disguise itself as IE, it will still recognize it.

    So, if there are really 10-12% mac users, where are they hiding, and why are they hiding?

  10. I suppose the Mac users are going to my websites.

    My stats for my website (I’m a photographer) show 69% of visitors are Mac OS users. 27.8 % Windows users.

    46% IE browser users. 27% Safari users. Still a lot of Mac users are using IE as their browser.

    Using one website’s stats is totally anecdotal, I realize. I’m going to check my other websites soon and look at the numbers.


  11. Very glad to live in Syracuse! We have a very Mac-friendly and devoted columnist here. I’ve never thanked him, but he, and Dr. Gizmo (possibly a psudonym for Al Falsodt??) has reviewed every OS X upgrade….Looking at our Tech columns in our paper, you’d think Macs had 75% of the market.

    Don’t I wish they did.

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