iPod Halo Effect strikes tech columnist, gets new Apple iBook after fifteen years of Windows

“They are calling it the ‘iPod effect,’ where people who had never been exposed to Apple products prior to buying an iPod music player are so impressed with the device that they buy an Apple computer for their next PC,” James Derk writes for Scripps Howard News Service. “Is it happening? According to a comprehensive study by S.G. Cowan, of more than 1,400 households studied who owned iPods and planned to buy a new PC, more than 7.5 percent were going Mac. That’s not a lot until you consider Apple’s market share is only 3.3 percent.

“For those doing the math at home, that’s a doubling of the current Apple market share,” Derk writes. “Well, count me among the pile.”

MacDailyNews Note: “Apple Computer increased its share of the US PC market during the second quarter, rising to 4.5% from 3.7% a year ago, as global unit shipments rose more than 37%,” – IDC, July 18, 2005. Also, note that the 7.5-percent number Derk quotes does not mean that Mac market share will double. It means only that within that study, 7.5-percent of people who owned iPods and planned to buy a new PC, planned to buy a Mac.

Derk continues, “I am writing this on a (so far) gleaming white iBook G4, which I have to say is pretty cool. So, yes, after 15 years of Windows computing and repairing I am taking a left turn into wow and a right turn away from rebooting. As a lifelong Windows user, I have a bit of a learning curve here, starting from the lack of a right mouse button, which so far is the only thing that is driving me totally nuts… But what has impressed me so far was that the Apple OSX fired to life out of the box and simply worked. Of course, a Windows laptop out of the box works too, but after 50 patches from Microsoft and 10 reboots.”

Derk writes, “Anyway, I promise not to turn into one of those ‘i’ people; I think both worlds can co-exist peacefully; like Coke and Pepsi, the Cubs and the Cards, the ying and the yang. As for the daily use of it, I am still getting used to how to find anything; I know I have certain applications installed and as yet I can’t find them but it’s only been a day or two. At the bottom, I have the handy bar that is very helpful in finding key applications. Anyway, I will share with you my journey as a ‘i switcher’ as well as a continuing Windows user. I will have feet deeply in both camps and I hope that will serve the reader well.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: In the very beginning, before they double-click the hard drive icon and find their applications in the handy and really-quite-obviously-named “Applications” folder, they cling still to their abusive Windows master. Not yet understanding that they are finally free, they stand dazed, blinking in the light of a new world. Read Derk’s full article. It is like witnessing a birth. Derk has caught a very brief, fleeting period: he still clings to Windows, yet now he bathes in the light of Mac OS X. The initial spark of disdain for Microsoft’s mediocrity is but a day or so away. This moment won’t last long, but Derk has captured it well for posterity.

Remember that fifteen years of Windows torture and patching patches to fix patches that the patch before the last patch was supposed to patch, but didn’t patch while you wait for the next batch of patches is easily more than enough to make anyone take a day or two before finding the Applications folder in the top level of their Mac’s hard drive. That’s quite a long time to have been wandering in the wilderness.

Also, if you have a bit of time, please help Jim in his transition and show him what the Mac Community is all about: We have already emailed Jim and offered to answer any questions that we can as he acclimates to Mac OS X.

Welcome Home, Jim!

[UPDATE: 10:40am – Added IDC’s latest market share numbers as MacDailyNews Note.]
[UPDATE: 11:25am – Clarified Derk’s strange market share math in MacDailyNews Note.]


  1. i know that this is gonna sound harsh, but didn’t apple just release a patch to fix a patch that broke 64 bit apps ?

    i love my macs, but patches.. i think they’re part of life on the ‘net.

  2. Helped someone switch to a mini this weekend. The response: “Oh, my God! Why doesn’t everyone use these?”

    My sentiments exactly. I love switchers. And long walks on the beach, but that’s a different story.

  3. Having gone through that exact same process not too long ago (a month), I can tell our new friend that he’s in for a treat.

    I started with a Mac Mini (in case my experiment didn’t work) and I’m already looking forward to get a “serious” machine to completely replace my high-end WinPC.

    I do a lot of video editing, and that’s a bit too much for the Mini.

  4. I got my PowerBook at the beginning of May and haven’t been as happy ever with a Windows PC.

    I also got a Sony HDR-HC1 and cannot believe how easy it is to compile and edit video, create DVDs and share them with people in email.

    Mac will get more and more market share and people will actually enjoy using their productivity and leisure computing tools again.

  5. It’s nice to see someone make a wise purchase. Both of my brothers recently purchased new computers and when each of them told me I was hoping they would tell me they bought a Mac, but they did not! They must have been confused that I wasn’t overwhelmingly happy for them, instead trying to pretend I wasn’t sorry for them. I wish they had asked for advice first, I would talked a least one of them into a Mac.

  6. MDN –

    The math quoted is misinterpreted as meaningful. The two numbers have nothing to do with each other, and to reprint his error without at least nothing such is irresponsible. Please edit!

    7.5% of iPod-owners who are planning to buy a new computer (no mention of what their current system, if any, is) are planning to buy a mac. While 7.5 is more than twice as big as 3.3 (the inaccurate “current market share”), it’s irrelevant absent a reading of what percentage of the total market is represented by the aforementioned ipod-owning-soon-to-purchase people *and* what percentage of those people already own Macs.

    Come on.. let’s not get sloppy here.

  7. Yeah, I think most (at least 75%) people who give Apple computers an honest try end up with the same result: Macs are better computers.

    Sure there are going to be the occasional patch, a bug here or there, but on the whole, Mac computers are considerably better in the way of design, OS interface, and reliability. And that patch for the security update was a rarity, with a fix out the next day anyway.

    I like to see the look on switchers (or potential ones) when they see Expose for the first time. I didn’t realize how much of a time-saver it is until I had to use a Dell at work without it. I’d catch myself moving the cursor to the corners, while the Windows (ha) did nothing. I still think to this day, this has been the most important feature added since they came out with Panther, when I first started using Mac.

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