BusinessWeek: big market-share gains coming for Apple’s Macintosh

“Put Windows on a Mac, toss in many with Intel chips, mix with the public’s passion for the iPod—and you’ve got big market-share gains for Apple,” Arik Hesseldahl writes for BusinessWeek.

“In case you hadn’t heard, Apple’s Macs can now run Microsoft’s Windows. Also, by the end of the year—with luck, by the end of the summer—all Macs will be built with microprocessors from Intel (INTC). That, combined with the runaway success of the iPod music player, augurs a considerably brighter picture for Mac sales and worldwide market share starting about 2008,” Hesseldahl writes. “Charles Wolf of Needham and Co. says Apple could end up with a global PC market share north of 5% by 2011, compared with a 1.9% sliver in 2005. How does he reach that conclusion? He asked Windows users… Assuming that the Mac cannot run Windows applications, 4.3% indicated an interest in switching from a Windows PC to the Mac. That translates to about 90 people out of the 2,092 in the sample. When asked if they would switch to the Mac if it could run Windows, the percentage saying yes doubled to about 8%. Some of the people in the survey group owned an iPod. And here the results are stunning. In this category, 7.6% say they’d switch even if the Mac can’t run Windows. With Windows, that percentage swells to above 20%. One starts to see some statistical evidence that iPod is giving Mac the “halo effect” you’ve no doubt heard about.”

“Wolf stresses that he ‘bent over backwards’ to interpret the survey results conservatively. Even then, they suggest 772,000 Macs, about 17% of the 4.3 million units expected to be sold this year, will be purchased by people switching away from Windows, Wolf says. He bases that projection on forecasts for future PC sales growth from market research firm Interactive Data (IDC),” Hesseldahl writes. “But in the following two years the phenomenon gathers steam. His figures for 2007—the year the Intel transition is complete and Windows-ready Leopard launches—show 1.7 million Windows users switching to the Mac out of 6.7 million Macs sold, implying a 25% rate. The year after that shows nearly 3 million switchers, or about 29% of a total 10.2 million Macs sold… That’s more progress than Mac users have seen in many years.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we have always said, even as many short-sightedly threw in the towel, the war is not over. And, yes, we shall prevail. For the naysayers we trot out our favorite example once again: In 1929, Ford held just over 61% of the U.S. market for automobiles. GM’s market share stood at just 12%. Ford was thought to be invincible, with GM regarded as a niche auto maker. But, in 1936, just seven years later, Ford held 22% of the market for new automobiles while General Motors held a 43% share. No company is invincible. Not even Microsoft.

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Related articles:
Analyst: Apple set for ‘breakout’ fourth quarter – June 13, 2006
Analyst: Apple Mac market share primed to explode; iPod Halo Effect to become increasingly important – June 13, 2006
Analysts: Apple Mac market share to surge by end of 2006 – June 07, 2006
Analysts expect Apple’s new MacBook to drive market share gains in near future – May 17, 2006
Many believe Mac market share increases coming now that Apple Macs can run Windows applications – April 25, 2006
Apple ready to take back market share; may debut Windows virtualization in Mac OS X Leopard – April 21, 2006
Pre-Boot Camp report: Apple could double market share on Microsoft defections – April 13, 2006
Apple Mac primed for market share gains as consumer portable market grows – April 12, 2006
Analyst: Apple Boot Camp could be an opportunity for Mac market share gains – April 06, 2006
Apple’s ‘Boot Camp’ a watershed, could dramatically expand Mac market share – April 05, 2006
Dude, you got a Dell? What are you, stupid? Only Apple Macs run both Mac OS X and Windows! – April 05, 2006
Why buy a Dell when Apple’s Intel-based computers will run both Mac OS X and Windows? – June 08, 2005


  1. I’ve helped switch a number of people in the past few years, but now I’m really noticing that kids in my family and friends of theirs are switching, too. These will translate to longterm user and buyers.

    Cool stuff.

  2. Over the years I’ve switched several… but it is getting easier all the time.

    More and more are threatening that their ‘next’ computer will be a Mac.
    Some said that last time round too… mmm

    Magic word Future!

  3. This news plus the “Vista is a memory hog” news plus the reviews that the MacBookPro is the best “Vista Ready” laptop and the iMac the best “Vista Ready” desktop make it a no brainer to guess that a combo of OS X switchers and people wanting decent Vista performance will increase Mac sales (though I hasten to suggest that Apple hardware running non-OS X be called something other than a Mac – perhaps an “Apple PC”?)

  4. What the survey overlooks is that switchers will create even more switchers. Often, recent converts to anything become the best “sales people” around, making the effect actually an exponential situation.

    Look for Mac to have 17% to 23% of the consumer market with a year!

  5. I’ll believe it when I see it. We’ve heard for years that Apple’s marketshare was supposed to increase, and it’s been more or less flat. Perhaps the Intel move is the thing that will finally push them over the edge, but I won’t hold my breath.

  6. MDN the car analogy does not work.

    Apple is making it so one can run Microsoft on its machines – how does that hurt Microsoft? It may hurt Dell or Gateway or Sony, but not Microsoft.

  7. because people love their cars, but they don’t love their computers. That means they don’t HATE their computers, even if they should, and that means “good enough” is “good enough.”

    Even Vista with bugs and viruses is “good enough.”

    The Ford-GM comparison would only be valid if everyone changed to a different kind of road–but it wasn’t like that.

    If Ford vanished the world would work the same. Microsoft is more entrenched.

    Apple will stay in business, but most people will always choose Microsoft.

  8. Hal,

    Actually Apple is making it so one can run Windows applications on OSX. Boot Camp is just a Beta. Leopard will allow Windows apps natively, and yes, that’s gonna hurt Microsoft BIG TIME!

  9. the intel thing is the REASON sales are flat instead of going up.

    short term Intel impact = lower sales while everyone whimpers about loving IBM.

    then that effect ends, but better yet, a new effect comes into play: people snapping up Intel macs.

    I’m no Mac fan, but Intel is the best move they’ve made.

  10. If a conservative guesstimate is 1-in-5 Mac sales will be to an ex-Windows user, that certainly indicates market-share growth. Not mentioned is share of New Purchasers. When Apple stores and the Switchers Campaign were new, there were as many sales to the New To Computing crowd as there were to the Switchers crowd. Should this hold true, and should there be few reverse-switchers, then Apple’s sales would be 60% return customers (2%+ market share) plus 20% Switchers plus 20% New Owners. Possibly 60% growth in unit sales in a market growing by 10% to 15%. Even if you go extra-conservative and bring that down to 75%+13%+12% you end up with a 33% unit growth in a 16% market growth environment.

    MDN is insanely optimistic with the Ford/GM analogy, but there’s no reason Apple can’t get to #3, #2, or even #1 manufacturer in a decade. But even reaching #1 in unit sales would not displace Windows as #1 OS and may not displace Linux as #2 OS. Many of those Macs will be running something other than OS X at least a part of most weeks.

  11. I agree. Apple will grow a lot. Will it have more computers running OSX than MS does today?. No! Most of the gains will be in the consumer market. There are still large markets such as Latin America that Apple is pretty much ignoring.

    Large corporations will live and die with Windows regardless of what OS Apple computers can run.

  12. maczeus: “Actually Apple is making it so one can run Windows applications on OSX. Boot Camp is just a Beta. Leopard will allow Windows apps natively, and yes, that’s gonna hurt Microsoft BIG TIME!”

    You do not know that or have proof of it. Wishful thinking.

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