Report: Apple Mac’s OS share stays flat

“Even with the buzz surrounding Apple Computer Inc.’s move to Intel processors, the company’s share of the operating system market has remained flat since December 2005, a metrics vendor said Monday,” Gregg Keizer reports for TechWeb.

Keizer reports, “According to data gathered by Net Applications, the Mac OS in all its flavors held down 4.35 percent of the world’s operating system share in December. At the end of August 2006, it accounted for 4.33 percent… Intel-powered Macs made up a growing portion of that figure since January with 0.62 percent of all Mac systems by August — about 1 in every 7 Macs.

“‘While this slight dip may not seem to be a cause for concern for most observers, the fact that Mac usage was steadily growing until this year’s stagnation may be indicative of larger Apple problems,’ Net Applications said in a statement,” Keizer reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Anomaly. Need more input, Stephanie. Also, we need to hear from IDC and Gartner first – not to mention seeing Apple’s Mac unit shipments – before we can even attempt to divine a trend. One metric just isn’t enough in the wacky world of OS market share. We wouldn’t worry about the Net Applications’ dude’s horse hockey about “stagnation” and “larger Apple problems.” And don’t even get us started on “installed base.” FYI: How Net Applications gets their numbers is here.

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50 Comments

  1. Would you rather have a 90% share of a market of 1,000 units at an average price per unit of $500 or a 5% share of a 100 million unit market with an average selling price of $500. Percentages mean nothing significant unless parsed in context.

    Figures Don’t Lie…But Liars Figure

    Aston Martin sells a handful of cars a year and they are not worried about market share in terms of the general market. What is important is if you have enough of a market to sustain ongoing development, service, etc. Judging by the performance of the Apple Stores and the growing supply of OS X software, I don’t think that is a problem for Apple.

    Everything Else Is Conversation Or Unfounded Speculation

  2. As long as Apple is selling more computers and is remaining profitable, who cares? Seriously. Prediction: in the near future, there will be distinctions made about the types of computers sold. Cash registers and home computers will not be in the same boat.

  3. Well surprise! In a year Apple transitioned from PPC to Intel, sales initially went down. Duh. Then they caught up like a firestorm after the release of the MacBook, which doubled Apple’s share of the laptop market in just 4 months!

    What matters is not the last year, but the next year, now that the transition is complete. I think that far from spelling trouble, the fact that during this very turbulent period for the product lineup the Mac was able to hold fast is remarkable in itself.

    “Net Applications” obviously don’t know quite what metric to use when they come out with stupid statements like “fact that Mac usage was steadily growing until this year’s stagnation may be indicative of larger Apple problems.” Yeah, it was indicative that form January to April, you could buy a MacBook Pro. The Mac Mini had an old PPC processor in it. Nobody was buying iBooks because they were waiting for MacBooks to arrive (whch they did in May) and the Power Macs were dying a death while everyone waited for the Quad-Xeon Pro Mac.

    And still market share held firm.

    What a bunch of idiots.

  4. Considering the growth of computer use in markets like China and India (and other countries which aren’t really markets the Mac has penetrated yet), holding market share steady is actually a positive finding, as it implies that in the countries where the Mac IS marketed, market share must be increasing, on average.

    “There’s lies, damned lies, and statistics”

  5. Right, and this: Apple’s tiny market share is not ever going to increase very much – the world-wide culture is MSoft, probably 95% of PC users have no interest in switching to what they believe is a novelty system appealing to guys like “I’m a Mac” in the ads.

    So, again I predict, when Vista is finally released, no matter how awful, no matter that it is an over-hyped XP upgrade, no matter all the other problems with the PC (I know them all because I’m forced to use one at my office – took almost 10 minutes to just start up this morning), MSoft will continue to rule.

  6. people shouldn’t be allowed to make statements regarding data, until they have proven that they can consider more than one factor at a time.

    Net Applications ignores that Apple just transitioned from IBM processors to Intel processors, and what affect that transition process had on unit sales.

    They compare Dec 2005 with August 2006. Apple didn’t announce the Intel transition until January 2006, and began the transition with one model immediately, followed by another about 7 weeks later. During the transition period unit sales declined, BECAUSE not all models had been transitioned, including Apple’s most popular computer (until the very end of the process). They call it the ‘Osborne Effect’.

    Looking at Q2/06 unit sales results you can see an immdeiate shift in volume to the transitioned products. That shift was re-inforced in Q3/06.

    Q4/06 is the first full quarter with a complete lineup of Intel products. THAT is the period that Net Applications should be comparing to Q1/06. If my estimates are correct, then Mac share should increase by about 35% over Q1/06 share levels.

    Nice to see that someone is claiming 4.33% of the worldwide market. The highest I had seen prior to this report was about 3.3%.

  7. I would not put too much stock into this. The important metrics are Apple’s own sales figures, and actually industry estimates from Gartner and IDC.

    Trying to determine marketshare from website traffic is open to large amounts of variances. These figures are somewhat undermined by reports on Safari marketshare figures, which was reported recently to be 3.21% in August 2006 by Net Applications itself.

    http://www.tuaw.com/2006/09/04/safaris-market-share-up-46-from-last-year/

    It is difficult to reconcile the 46% growth in Safari from last year use with “flat Mac marketshare.”

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