Mac market share primed to explode?  If not now, when?

“Apple’s influence on tech culture may be large, but its global share of the computing market is stuck at a boutique-size 2 percent. The Cupertino, California, company needs to keep trumping its own designs to entice the Mac faithful to replace their suddenly dowdy-looking computers. And it needs something electric to revive iMac sales, which have fallen this year as consumers switch to laptops or cheaper desktops computers,” Dawn C. Chmielewski reports for The San Jose Mercury News.

“The revamped iMac’s austere yet striking design will undoubtedly attract some new buyers. But it probably won’t dramatically increase Apple’s slice of the computing market, analysts say. ‘A big success for Apple is a small perturbation for the PC market overall,’ said Roger L. Kay, an analyst for technology research firm IDC. ‘If Apple really knocks the cover off the ball, it can rise by a couple of tenths of a percent in market share,'” Chmielewski reports.

“Analysts agree there are indications that some consumers whose first experience with Apple was an iPod are now making the transition to Macs. Apple’s most recent quarterly report, released in June, showed the highest shipments of Macs in 3 1/2 years,” Chmielewski reports. “Apple is trying to encourage more PC-to-Mac converts with a marketing campaign that touts the new iMac G5 as a product ‘from the creators of the iPod.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We know that cool design alone can’t seem to win Windows converts. We think that the iPod has some sort of unmeasured “halo effect,” that helps Windows users consider a Mac for their next computer purchase. We also believe that Windows viruses, spyware, adware, patches, service packs, etc., are driving people to the realization that, contrary to what Microsoft told them, Windows never really came close to the Mac at all. We know that ‘Longhorn’ delays, along with it being stripped of its best vaporware features, are leading to frustration with Windows users. We see Apple Retail Stores springing up seemingly everywhere. The big question that analysts above seem to have missed is: Will the combination of superior Mac design, iPod’s influence, Windows’ morass of security problems, the disappointment of ‘Longhorn,’ and the existence of close-by Apple Retail stores form a sort of “super market share mover” that will drive Macintosh share to rise dramatically?

With iPod riding high, Mac OS X years ahead of XP, a stripped Longhorn years from shipping, Windows punishing its users for using the Internet, and local Apple Retail Stores just a few miles away for the majority of U.S. shoppers, Apple couldn’t ask for a better chance to increase Mac share. If not now, when?

Oh, Apple, now would be a good idea to actually advertise and show and tell the world about Mac OS X on TV, radio, and print, too. What, exaclty, are you waiting for?

70 Comments

  1. If Macs really took off, could Apple keep up? Recent delays with hot products (Dual 2.5 G5, iPod Mini, etc) shows that maybe they don’t have the capacity.

    Maybe their strategy is slow, but steady growth – something managable.

  2. Because if you advertise what panther does now and wow them, then show tiger and wow them more, they’ll see a company that not only makes claims about the future of it’s OS but delivers on them too.

  3. Market share is one of those “figures lie & liars figure” topics.

    Firstly, we know that Apple’s market share of the newly purchased laptop market is skyrocketing. I hesitate to give the figure, but I do know that on university campuses Apple has better than a 50% share of newly purchased laptops.

    Which leads us to the issues of market share determination that tend to skew the figures.

    1/ Windows marketshare figures include every box sold to operate as point of sale terminals, video recorders, alarm systems, heavy equipment controllers etc. etc. etc. All these “not being used as a desktop computer” sales are real and can’t be discounted – but neither should the Windows community be able to claim that they represent some sort of end-user consumer choice.

    2/ Mac users tend to use their computers for much longer periods without replacement. Again, this skews the numbers. How many Windows users purchase a new PC every 2 years and simply throw the old one into the closet?… Answer… Lots…. I’ve a closet full of old machines from my Windows days…. a new machine every year. I’ve had my iMac for 2.5 years and it will do nicely for the forseeable future…. 4 or 5 more years.

    Yes, I purchased a new Powerbook laptop to have that capability, but the original flat 15 iMac will still be cooking 5 years from now. How many Windows users can say that?

    So… bottom line:

    1/ Apples market share is not as insignificant as Windows supporters would claim.

    2/ Windows is self-destructing on viruses and stability issues. As a public issue, this is increasing exponentially.

    3/ Longhorn is a dream within a dream and will reamin so for years. Indications are that Longhorn will not work on old Windows machines – its so RAM and processor hungry.

    4/ The next few years will be a time of growth for Apple, but when Longhorn is introduced Windows users will have to decide to a/ Stick with their old equipment and XP, 2000 etc. or b/ Purchase a new computer…… THEN the choice will be Longhorn or OSx with that new computer.

    Just watch Apple’s market share then!

  4. If you stop and think of all the Best Buys, Circuit Citys, CompUSAs, etc. around the country with store shelves filled with multiple-branded PCs at rock-bottom prices; along with the in-your-face TV advertising bombarding consumers with low price computer deals; it’s a wonder that Apple stil has a market share.

    As long as PCs are sold on the cheap, like toasters, the Macintosh is going to have a hard time gaining market share; even with stepped-up sales on Apple’s part.

    Consumers are going to have to see the quality of computing difference when using a Mac. Apple is going to have to keep inventing great digital hub applications and appliances to penetrate the home market.

  5. Another thing also is demand can easily outstrip supply with Mac’s. Just look at the iPod.

    Apple doesn’t want to be the dull computer in every department store and office.

    Mac’s are appliance computers, they look good, they work good and they are reliable as all hell.

    Microsoft is a dull boring corporation, just like all other dull boring corporations for dull boring people.

    Apple is cool, exciting and fun!

    Mac users are happy users, and yes we do get a bit cultish because we want others to be happy too.

    It’s not like worshiping a fake entity or belonging to Rev Jim Jones or being a Branch Davidian, where our minds are taken over.

    Apple, especially under Steve Jobs, has made us satisified with our computing experience.

    I have PC users pawing my Mac all the time.

    I don’t see and Mac users pawing a PC, it’s like WTF is this sh*t?

    So fuck the buisness world, they are out to fuck us. We slave for them for years like drones and they take our pension funds in a scam.

    They outsource our jobs overseas and make us wear these dull expensive clothes that break our wallets every week to keep clean, just for minimum wage.

    Screw them, screw Microsoft, you’ll never get rich slaving for them, the secret is to take a chance and learn a lot about how different things work, so you can decide in any moment, how to make money flow into your hands.

    Of course half of our lives we spend in ignorance anyway, easilly duped and controlled.

    Religion, politics, jobs etc. They got you and they fuck you.

  6. I think advertising directly about the benefits of OSX would do it, but I also think from 15 years as an Apple user that there is a sort of a passive-agressive mindset within the company that says: I am superior, therefore you must come to ME and beg to buy my product.

    So to advertise in a very direct way to the “great unwashed” is not likely to happen.

    What advertising there will be is more of a
    “Mac users are cool people, therefore you should buy one in order to be cool.” mindset.

    My belief is that, if you have to try to be cool,(which is what 99% of pop culture adherents try to be) you can’t possibly BE cool.

    And so those us us who use Macs as the best practical computer tool get ignored, and I think we are the market that has the most potential for growth. But they just don’t advertise to us.

    Too bad.

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