“The Mac platform is essentially stagnant. That becomes obvious when you look at the declining market share numbers – not from research firms, but from the W3C [sic: W3Schools is the link Dvorak includes in his article: http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp , W3C is a different entity altogether. Dvorak means W3Schools, as evidenced by his article’s link to their stats page.], which monitors online activity. As of December 2004, the Mac share as measured by online activity is 2.7 percent (Linux is 3.1), with all the rest going to various flavors of Windows. I’m now convinced that this stems mostly from Apple’s inability to make the Mac a commodity computer by pricing it to compete with PCs made inexpensively in China and selling with razor-thin margins,” John C. Dvorak writes for PC Magazine.
John then outline his reasons Apple can’t sustain its position. We’ll summarize:
– John blames a “die-hard faction” of true Mac believers that “hurt the Mac community more than anyone by creating an unfair crackpot image that gets associated with the machine.” (Dvorak has always seemed to hate the fact that Mac users love their computing experience, while the most passion Windows users can muster is indifference at best or hate and pure frustration. However, Dvorak may have hit upon something here in sideways fashion: some Mac users write tech writers to correct inaccuracies about the Mac platform contained in their articles. This may dissuade some writers from tackling Mac-related subjects in the future – which may or may not be a good thing – but, it certainly costs Apple some measure of publicity. We do not believe that “Joe Sixpack” even really knows what a Mac is, much less considers Macs to be “The Computer for Crackpots.”)
– Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ “attention to the [Mac] has been eroded by the success of Pixar, and more recently, by the iPod and iTunes initiatives. None of these has anything to do with the Macintosh. Keeping it on track is a full-time task – Jobs cannot be in the computer business, the movie business, and the music business and make them all successful. You see the results. Market share for the Mac is crap,” Dvorak writes. (We’ll explore market share in the MDN Take below.)
– “Much of the problem arises from the psychology created by the overpriced iPod. And Mac users who buy the players contribute to the problem by encouraging the company to maintain its high-margin death march. Apple, seeing it can still use strong marketing to sell high-margin, high-status items, will continue to think it can do so with the Macintosh… Simply put, the ease-of-use and simplicity of the [Mac] platform is killing it, because people cannot perceive that simplicity is ever worth MORE than complexity. Simpler should be cheaper,” Dvorak writes. (Dvorak doesn’t seem to realize that making the complex easy-to-use requires skill and attention to detail. The Mac is no more or less complex a machine than a Windows PC, it is the execution of the hardware and the OS that makes the Mac easier-to-use. Dvorak has it backwards. Anybody can throw together a bunch of stuff into a pot and call it edible (Wintel), but it takes a master chef to combine the same ingredients, but in proper amounts and properly-prepared to create fine cuisine (Macintosh). Making a complex thing like a personal computer easy-to-use takes a lot more work than not.)
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Dvorak’s entire article is based on the W3Schools’ stats that, to him, show Mac market share to be “stagnant” and “crap.” Dvorak writes that he’s “been thinking (usually a dangerous thing for John to do) about this marketing dilemma ever since seeing those [W3Schools] numbers… at some point, declining [Mac] market share creates a relative lack of interest, and eventually, discontinuance. The Amiga fell prey to this.”
Let’s take a look at W3Schools. W3Schools is a website designed to teach people how to develop Web sites for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer using the the Microsoft ASP.NET framework. W3Schools statistics above are extracted from W3Schools’ log-files, and also include “monitoring other sources around the Internet” (W3Schools doesn’t disclose which sources or their weight in relation to their own logs). Therefore, it should come as no surprise that visitors to the W3Schools’ site would be using predominantly Windows and Internet Explorer. On the flip side, if you took a look at MacDailyNews’ logs, you’d conclude that Macs have 91.7% market share and Windows has less than 7%.
However, the real stat of importance, the stat Dvorak fails to mention (perhaps because it blows the foundation for his whole theory to pieces), ironically comes directly from W3Schools’ windows-slanted logs themselves: Mac market share in March 2003 was pegged at 1.8%. Mac market share in December 2004 was 2.7%. See for yourself here.
Related MacDailyNews articles:
Is Apple’s market share really that important? – October 18, 2004
Piper Jaffray: Mac market share shows potential to increase – October 04, 2004
Piper Jaffray: ‘Apple market share to grow over next two years’ – September 27, 2004
Mac market share primed to explode? If not now, when? – September 25, 2004
Apple Macintosh easily leads Linux in market share, installed base – August 09, 2004
10 percent of computer users use a Mac; 3 percent is Mac’s approximate quarterly market share – February 10, 2004