Analysts: Apple Mac market share to surge by end of 2006

“As impressive as the iPod has been for Apple, its success has yet to transfer to the company’s PC line, which remains a high-profile also-ran. In the last quarter, Apple’s U.S. market share dropped to 3.5% from 3.6% in the same period last year, according to research firm Gartner. Worldwide, Apple’s share data are even more depressing–going from 2.2% to 2.1%,” Rachel Rosmarin writes for Forbes. “And though Apple’s shipments increased 3.1% to 570,000 computers, according to Gartner, shipments for the rest of the industry grew 13.1% in that same period, driven in part by price cuts from struggling Dell. That has to be worrisome for Jobs and his company, who have long been banking on a halo effect from the iPod to boost computer sales. Apple is now throwing in a free iPod with sales of certain laptops.”

“Five years into the iPod era, it may be time to give up on the notion that the product lines are intertwined. ‘There’s no empirical evidence to suggest that iPods make people buy computers,’ says IDC research manager David Daoud. Apple’s newest hope is that its new line of ‘Mactels,’ built around Intel chips, will give it a boost. Only half of the new Intel units were available during the most recent quarter. But don’t expect sales to shoot up soon, says Samir Bhavnani, director of research at Current Analysis, who says the company’s market share could remain flat until the end of 2006,” Rosmarin writes. “But Bhavnani predicts that Apple will begin rebounding this fall. So does Daoud, who thinks the company’s share could shoot up to 5.5% by the end of the year.”

“Apple’s Intel deal will begin to pay off late this summer, these analysts predict, spurred by back-to-school purchases. A new line of Macbooks that sell for less than $1,100 should appeal to parents and the college-bound–especially now that these same computers can run Microsoft’s Windows via Apple’s BootCamp software,” Rosmarin writes. “And a new retail test with big box chain Best Buy in California could set Apple up to introduce its wares to a new clientele… Should Apple’s share grow by the end of the year, another PC maker’s will shrink. That’s likely to be Sony, says Bhavnani. Sony’s Vaio line appeals to the same design-conscious consumer who might choose a $2,800 souped-up Apple product like the MacBook Pro, which comes with a 2.16-gigahertz Intel Core Duo processor and a 120-gigabyte hard drive.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple threw quite the monkey wrench into the iPod Halo by plopping the Intel transition into the works. Obviously, some people bought Macs because they liked their iPods; they’ve told us so. Maybe the Halo effect takes longer than we’ve given it to markedly affect Mac share? We think the iPod Halo is one component of Apple’s appeal to new users; it helps sell Macs along with all of the other reasons to Get a Mac. The fact that Apple makes a nice portable digital media player, offers a nice jukebox application and has a nice online music service (iPod+iTunes+iTunes Store=iPod Halo Effect) is hardly the premier reason to choose a Macintosh.

The fact that Apple’s shipments increased during a major transition, with entire lines of PowerPC machines being considered “dead end” by some customers while Mac applications were and are still being rewritten for the new Intel-based Macs is astounding and bodes extremely well for Apple’s future Mac sales. Back in June 2005, when Steve Jobs announced the Intel transition, very few would have predicted that Apple’s Mac market share would have the chance to hit 5.5% U.S. market share by the end of this transition year. While we’re skeptical of Best Buy selling Macs (based upon past performance, if you can call it “performance”), we do agree that things don’t look good for Sony or anyone else who targets the “high-end” with OS-limited* PCs.

*Only Apple Macintosh personal computers can run the Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux operating systems and applications at native speeds.

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Related articles:
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64 Comments

  1. Apple’s strategy is to continually change their systems so Mac users have to keep investing in new hardware. OS9 to OSX, PowerPC to Intel. What’s next?

    Without this strategy their marketshare would be 0.5%

  2. I agree with MDN’s take, although it may have been explained better. The trend over the past few years has been increased saled. The Intel transtion has seemingly caused a slight (but likely temporary) slump in sales as people hold out for the Intel computers come out. If you recall, many expected the slump to be hige (Osbourne effect), but it wasn’t. This bodes well for Apple’s future sales.

    MDN was right, but maybe shouldn’t assume everyone follows the news closely enough to think for themselves?

  3. If apple didn’t open stores, use intel, and had no ipod, 90% of Apple wouldn’t exist because that is their business. That is like saying Imagine how bad Microsoft would be without Office, or windows media player, or internet explorer. I do agree that MDN need’s to open mouth and insert foot over many things they have said in the past. Apple I believe is and has been ahead of it’s time. First company to remove floppy’s from the computers total. I think that Apple did the correct thing in switching to Intel during the so called halo effect. Why not doing something that will slow sales for a bit, at the same time something is increasing sales? The reasons, market share stays the same, until the thing slowing sales is through. When the Intel transition is over, there will be the halo effect, along with a “I want a Mac with intel, not PPC” effect.

  4. Apple will definitely gain market share if my experience is to go by. I have a 17MBP and have been really impressed by it and will certainly be purchasing a workstation when the clovertown class quad core processors are available.

    Life is sweet. The switch went better than I could have imagined.

  5. Real World,

    MDN did not insert foot into mouth. You did.

    MDN explained quite clearly why the Intel-transition slowed Mac sales growth: The fact that Apple’s shipments increased during a major transition, with entire lines of PowerPC machines being considered “dead end” by some customers while Mac applications were and are still being rewritten for the new Intel-based Macs is astounding and bodes extremely well for Apple’s future Mac sales.

    Learn to read and comprehend, then comment.

  6. Apples ‘switch’ campaign worked, it slowed down the decline a bit.
    Apples iPod halo effect is working, it’s slowing down the decline too.
    Their switch to intel and BootCamp will also add to the slowdown of attrition. Hopefully stop it!

    So please GET REAL! Apple is not about to “take off”, don’t expect 10% ever again. If Apple can stabilise at 3 or 4% then that’s fine by me.

    5% would be nirvana.

  7. Scott,

    I’m quite sure that the short bus riders of the world thank you for your retarded translation of the MacDailyNews Take.

    Your post makes little or no sense, but it sure was unnecessary.

  8. Switched,

    When I made the switch over a year ago, I was worried too, so I had two computers running, one Mac, one windows. After about 3 weeks I realized my windows computer would get booted up, then I wouldn’t touch it. I was doing everything on my Mac. It was great. Much easier than expected. Glad you’ve enjoyed it. I’m wanting to buy a new Mac as well, probably a MB, or maybe a MBP, I’m waiting to see what happens with the heat issues or to see if a new low powered intel chip makes it into one that allows it to actually be a “lap”top and not a notebook that has to sit on a desk.

  9. Well I’m glad I could represent the short bus. I am at work right now so I have to type fast and get distracted many times during the typing of the post, and I don’t review it. Sorry that I sound retarded, I apologize. It makes sense in my head; I just struggle to get it to sound right sometimes. I just think that the halo effect is working, but the intel transition is canceling it out, which is why apple’s market share is realativly flat. Again, so that I’m a redundent retard.

  10. People seem to forget that although the market share Apple has may look small, it only looks like that in comparison to every other company out there. If you compare them against individual manufacturers then they’re doing a lot better. Sure Dell may still dwarf them in that regard but Apple are vastly more profitable computer for computer.

    It’s only if you compare OS X to windows that they look rwally small, and even then it’s not as clear cut as that since Linux et al take up their fair share. Any anyway, Microsoft don’t sell computers so even if you were directly comparing the two OS’s and they were even the same price and they were 50-50 in terms of share then Apple would be in a vastly better position since they make on the hardware.

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