10 percent of computer users use a Mac; 3 percent is Mac’s approximate quarterly market share

“It broke Mike’s Viglione’s heart to see that old Macintosh abandoned on the street like that. Who would do such a thing, he wondered? He grabbed the computer and took it home. He dusted it off and gave it new life. The Apple joined a happy little computer family made up of three Mac Classics, four Powermacs, a dual G4 Desktop, a G4 Powerbook and a charming little iPod. Viglione doesn’t use them all. He just likes having them around. He says he doesn’t ‘have the heart to throw away the classics.’ Hey, it’s a Mac thing – PC folk just wouldn’t understand,” Christopher Hutsul reports for The Toronto Star.

Hutsul reports, “Because the Macintosh, which celebrated it 20th anniversary in January, has endeared itself to a community of computers users in an almost spiritual way. Two decades after Steve Jobs unveiled the first Mac, people like Viglione – and me – get downright emotional about our Macs. Ever heard of new Mac smell?”

“‘For the people who are dedicated enthusiasts, I think they see their computers almost as pets,’ says Viglione, who sells Apple products by day at a computer store. ‘As a Mac user, your computer takes on a personality. You treat it with a human-like quality.’ You don’t often hear people talking about their consumer electronics this passionately. But Macintosh has been able to separate itself from the herd since the beginning,” Hutsul reports.

“Now this isn’t about whether Mac is the better computer. Depending on how you slice it, Macintosh has been both the best and the worst of the computer market. Even with the recent successes of the iPod and the coveted Titanium Powerbook series, some estimate that only 3 per cent of the market does its computing on Apple machines,” Hutsul reports.

[MacDailyNews Note: 3% is the current quarterly market share, not the installed base. Hutsul should have reported “only 10 percent of the market does its computing on Apple machines.” It’s knowledge that can be gathered, but for some reason most in the media never seem to be able to do their research. Here’s an exception: “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,” Arik Hesseldahl, Forbes.com, June 2, 2003. (source)/a>

“Dissidents would argue that in terms of pricing, the high-end Macs cost up to 50 per cent more than a similarly equipped PC (though I’d counter that by suggesting the price gap is erased by the fact Mac users seem to hold on to their computers for about twice as long as PC users, thereby spending the same amount),” Hutsul reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: A good article that repeats the same mistake many reporters make. Macs last longer than Windows PCs. If Mac users replace their Mac every 4 years and PC users replace their every 1.5 years, what does that do to quarterly market share numbers? Not to mention, what does that do to landfills? The important number to analysts, marketeers, software developers, and others should be how many people out of 100 use a Mac? The answer is closer to 10 people out of 100 or 10 percent. Not 3 percent. We get tired of having to point this put, but we’ll never stop doing so until the “3 percent myth” is destroyed.

Obviously, Apple needs to address the current market share numbers or their percentage of all computer users who use a Mac will erode over time.

36 Comments

  1. Listen, we know that the 3% number is not correct as far as total number of people using macs goes. But we have to recognize there is no real way to find out what the real installed base is, so the only numbers we can go on are sales. And the Macs gets a small slice of the sales pie. The Mac community is beginning to look silly when it constantly says “no it isn’t” every time a sales % is quoted. It comes across as sophomoric.

    I mean, I still have a PC sitting behind me that I never use. So technically I’m also part of the Windows installed user base. Which means the numbers are going to overlap. So they’re kind of pointless.

    What should be touted much more prevalently is the life expectancy of Macs vs. PCs. This number would be quite bit easier to nail down and would be great PR for Apple. My father continues to be amazed that my 2 years old TiBook is still working as good as it is. Hell, it’s even faster now than when I got it, thanks to Panther. This is something Windows users in general have a lot of trouble comprehending.

  2. “‘Dissidents would argue that in terms of pricing, the high-end Macs cost up to 50 per cent more than a similarly equipped PC (though I’d counter that by suggesting the price gap is erased by the fact Mac users seem to hold on to their computers for about twice as long as PC users, thereby spending the same amount),’ Hutsel reports.”

    I’d argue that high-end Macs cost about the same as similarly equipped PC’s. Its the low-end Macs that cost twice as much.

  3. Thers is no such thing as a “similarly equipped PC” compared to a high-end Mac. PCs do not have the world-beater G5 CPU. In fact, there are no “similarly equipped PCs” to any Macs since no PC can run the world’s most advanced operating system. PCs are stuck with Windows or not-yet-ready-for-primetime Linux or some other wannabe Mac. When you get right down to it all other OS and PC makers are trying to give users the Mac experience at a cut-rate price. So far they’ve failed miserably.

  4. Take a deep breath Georgie. By similarly equipped, I’m referring to dual Xeon processors running 3.0ghz. Similar in performance. And dual Opterons actually perform much better than either the Xeon or G5. Hopefully, the new G5’s will catch up to the performance of the Opterons.

    And XP isn’t THAT bad. Its a far cry from the 95/98 days. I still prefer my Macs though. And OS X is still better.

    And if Apple could give the Mac experience at a cut rate price, most of these PC companies would be out of business.

  5. I tend to think that the 3% number is true. I mean, out of a college classroom of about 40 students, I was the only one who used a Mac. So, that equates to 2.5 per 100 students.

    And I think that market share IS important. Computer sales for Apple have been flat for the last couple of years, most of their growth has been in software (IE iLife, OS X, Keynote, etc…) and in peripherals such as the wonderful iPod.

  6. Jeff S. “And if Apple could give the Mac experience at a cut rate price, most of these PC companies would be out of business.”

    I don’t think that is so true. eMacs cost $800 brand new and they are well equipped. It is a matter of so much more than price NOW. At one time that is what it was about. But now it is perception, integration, knowledge, fear, ect, ect. If Apple gave eMacs away businesses would not take them. Some would, but large Fortune 500 companies would not. It is a shame to say that, but Apple has a huge (if not impossible) battle for corporate America. And that is even if they feel like going after it.

  7. Jayplus said, “I tend to think that the 3% number is true. I mean, out of a college classroom of about 40 students. . .”

    Is that a statistics class you are taking? An anecdotal sampling of one out of 40 is incredibly meaningless. When you’ve passed logic and statistics come back and share. I appreciate your enthusiasm but I’m really tired of generalizations and anecdotal evidence. I just read an anti-Mac diatribe that PROVED that Macs are dead because this guy’s three friends work on 3D animations on a PC. Strong logic, right?

  8. Well, i’m a fervently happy Mac user. I don’t give a crap about Apple’s market share. Who cares if the rest of the world doesn’t get it? Why is everyone always in such a huff? Screw ’em all to the wall and keep on truckin’.

  9. as long as Apple is profitable and putting out such excellent quality products, why waste air arguing over the ridiculous numbers? That’s such a ridiculous waste of time. Let’s enjoy our Macs and, if people switch, hey, that’s GREAT – Welcome aboard! If not, so what? They’re just losing out on the most seamless and efficient platform out there. Their loss.

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