More people use Apple Macs than you think; 8-12 percent of homes use Macs

“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.


  1. Now go publish this in every major newspaper and website, so PC losers have a better idea of the “market share”
    Gosh, I hate when they start talking about the *tiny* market share and how insignificant Macs are… >:(

    Market share + clock speed = annoying argument with PC loser

  2. Some one finally got the facts straight.
    He’s right on the money.

    For example. 90% of our office (around 40 people) uses PCs at work but more than 30% uses Macs at home.

    We routinely replaces PCs every 1.5-2 years and Macs every 4 years.

    More than half of people I know uses Macs at home but PC’s at work.

  3. Cool… this was always the first thing that came to my mind when others started spouting market share percents.
    I still have a bondi blue 233 that runs like a champ (all things condsidered)… my Main-Mac is a 15″ G4 iMac. Hooked up “old blue” to my broadband connection and it cruised. Try that with a Windoze of that age and see what happens.
    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  4. I have always liked Al Fasdolt, he tells the simple facts and it is published in Syracuse’s NY sunday paper. He isn’t afraid to say bad things about any computer product, and uses Mac’s, Windows, and even has used Linux. Tell your local papers to expand their coverage.

  5. Thanks MDN for including the Forbes article info. It cements the point nicely. Two publications saying this is much more credible than just one. Bet this is the only Mac site that will refer back to that Forbes article – unless they read it here, of course.

  6. “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”

    A good 70% of the people around where I go to school drive BMWs (amongst other expensive sports/luxury cars). If only the people there had the same mentality about Macs as well. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  7. Geez, the same reason I drive an older BMW (87 325) and only switched from a PowerComputing (w/G3 card) to a Dual 867 G4 almost 3 years ago, I will most likely need a new computer in 1-2 years time… the G4 is ‘fast enough’ for my video editing and graphic work… Hmm, when have you heard a windows computer lasting a usable 5 years?

  8. Not only that, but the market share statistics is even more meaningless in that it does count computers sold in all sectors. It is like comparing the market share of BMW against all vehicle makers, trucks and golf carts combined.

    “Look, Volvo has increseased its trucks lines and sell more trucks then ever now: sure BMW is doomed now. We estimate they will not last long with all those Volvo trucks on the market now.”

    Thurrot and other pundits crying out “Apple is doomed” reason along the above line of thought.

  9. And so what??? That still means Apple sells fewer computers, makes less money.
    The thrust of this whole argument of who�s got what market share should not be about the Apple “buy and hold” consumers (perhaps they keep their Apples longer because they cost 2-3 times more than a Windows PeeCee and they can�t afford to buy a new one), but more of how to turn PeeCee owners in Mac owners.

    And the reporter falls into the trap of comparing Apple home consumers to the entire Windows PeeCee market.
    Windows “home consumers” do not buy new computers every year or two. They keep them just as long as Apple users. We have a three year old Windows PeeCee (also have Apple computers)
    it works fine. Our neighbor on the right has a PeeCee that is five years old, neighbor on the left has two that are 4 years old and they use them everyday.
    The only people with the high turn over of Windows PeeCees are businesses who lease them or depreciate them out over a 2 year period. More and more businesses are stretching out the length of depreciation.

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