Net Applications: Apple’s Mac market share continues rise, hits 5.67% in December 2006

Net Applications’ “Market Share” has posted their operating system market share statistics for December 2006 showing Apple Macintosh share at 5.67% (4.15% for non-Intel-powered Macs and 1.52% for Intel-powered Macs). According to Net Applications’ measurements, Mac market share rose 0.29% in a single month over November’s 5.39% (4.10% non-Intel, 1.29% Intel-powered Macs).

Since August (4.33% total), Mac market share has risen 1.34% in four months.

Net Applications’ 2006 “Market Share” stats:
(Month: non-Intel Macs + Intel-powered Macs = total Mac market share)

AUG: 3.71% + 0.62% = 4.33%
SEP: 3.88% + 0.84% = 4.72%
OCT: 4.09% + 1.12% = 5.21%
NOV: 4.10% + 1.29% = 5.29%
DEC: 4.15% + 1.52% = 5.67%

Net Applications’ “Market Share” uses a unique methodology for collecting this data. The company collects data from the browsers of site visitors to their exclusive on demand network of small to medium enterprise live stats customers. The sample size for these sites is more than 40,000 urls. The information published is an aggregate of the data from this network of hosted website statistics. The site unique visitor and referral information is summarized on a monthly basis. The websites in ther population represent dozens of countries in regions including North America, South America, Western Europe, Australia / Pacific Rim and Parts of Asia.

These figures back up recent reports by Gartner and IDC, showing Mac market share increasing to 6.1% and 5.8% respectively of U.S. market share in third quarter 2006, up from 4.6% and 4.8% respectively in second quarter 2006.

As each company uses different methodologies, the actual share figures aren’t as meaningful as the share trends they show. All three measures show Mac market share is increasing.

Reasons for Mac market share gains run the gamut from superior security vs. Windows, Apple’s growing retail store network, the iPod Halo Effect, award-winning design, Mac OS X, Mac-only applications such as iLife, ease-of-use, the Mac’s ability to run Mac OS X, Linux and Windows concurrently, word-of-mouth, excellent reviews, and more.

Net Applications’ December 2006 “Market Share” stats here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “RadDoc” for the heads up.]

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Net Applications: Apple’s Mac market share continues rise, now at 5.39%, up 31% year-over-year – December 01, 2006
Apple’s Mac market share surges, up 35-percent year-over-year as growth accelerates – November 01, 2006
Analyst: Apple has ‘real shot at dramatically expanding Macintosh market share’ – October 31, 2006
Analyst: Apple Mac gains market share, the reason why is significant – October 26, 2006
IDC: Apple Mac attained 5.8% of U.S. market share in Q3 06 – October 18, 2006
Gartner: Apple Mac grabbed 6.1% of U.S. market share in Q3 06 – October 18, 2006
Gartner: Apple Mac grabbed 4.6% U.S. market share in Q2 06 – July 19, 2006
IDC: Apple Mac attained 4.8% U.S. market share in Q2 06 – July 19, 2006


  1. RS,

    Not sold new, but plenty were passed from Mac users to others as they went Intel and many were sold used and refurbed.

    I suspect a lot of Mac users gave their old PPC Macs to family and friends (at least I hope they did) as they bought new Intel-powered Macs.

    It’s a great way to spread the word: “Here’s my old iBook, iMac, etc. Try it out and see how great it is!”

  2. “The company collects data from the browsers of site visitors to their exclusive on demand network of small to medium enterprise live stats customers.”

    Gee — THERE’S a mainstream audience…

    Any numbers from sites people actually go to VOLUNTARILY on a regular basis? I’d rather see numbers from sites like Google or CNN that are serving the mainstream web audience.

    (Cheeze Louise. “On demand network of small to medium enterprise live stats customers.” How painful does that sound…?)

  3. The method used by net Applications to collect the information is totally based on past Mac sales and not present or current Mac sales. It is a very misleading way of stating information. It only shows how many old Macs are still being used and connected to the Internet. The numbers and percentages posted by Net Applications are virtually meaningless in analyzing Apple’s present market share.

    The only numbers that means anything of real value is how many Macs were sold the last quarter and what percentage of the market that number represents and the trend it shows.

    IMHO the percentage numbers by Net Applications are only going to be more fodder for FUD articles by stupid people. All the dumb analysts will be writing in the news is that Apple only has 5.67% of the PC market which will lead to the conclusion Macs aren’t selling very well. If Apple had 20% of the present market last quarter, that 5.67% number wouldn’t be much different because it would have such an insignificant change for how many old MAC’s are still in use on the internet.

    Does anyone know if MS has stock in Net Applications, or is Ballmer giving them all the Zunes they can carry, so they keep publishing these junk numbers.

  4. “As each company uses different methodologies, the actual share figures aren’t as meaningful as the share trends they show. All three measures show Mac market share is increasing.”

    I think the point here isn’t that this method is the best available but rather that you compare various methods and look for trends. The numbers mean less than indications of growth or lack there of.

    The point is that Mac marketshare is growing, steadily and consistantly. It’s a measurable and repeatable phenominon. If it continues past when Vista comes out at this level or close to it, then Microsoft is in deep trouble.

  5. Fred, Sister, what you say about Macs being passed around and such may certainly be true – and I believe it so – it would not account for any sort of growth in market-share. The best you could hope for, given that the market is growing, is that those units would minimize the shrinkage of the group’s market-share.

    These numbers are bogus, unless taken in context. They collect data based on the systems used to browse the web sites they support. While that is a better sample than my own numbers, it is still a limited cross section.
    My Podcast sees more Safari users than IE users.
    My Wife’s Site has not seen 80% IE use in many months.
    All three sets of numbers tell similar stories based on browser use – more people are using Macs and fewer people are using IE, but none are definitive regarding actual use of Macs vs Windows PCs.

    DLMeyer – the Voice of G.L.Horton’s Stage Page

  6. Currently, a small percentage of distributed computing is done by Macs – somewhere on the order of 1.6%. I know the market share of Macs is higher than that, so let’s show them that we are not as stingy as we currently appear to be.

    Download the boinc client at:

    Install it and decide what projects to join. I would suggest:

    You can join multiple projects at a time. Donate your spare CPU cycles and show the world the power of the Mac.

  7. This stat should be called “usershare” instead of “marketshare.” So, how many Macs being sold is not as important as how many Macs are in use.

    Therefore, it is quite interesting that the percentage of PPC Macs keeps going up along with the percentage of Intel Macs. Assuming there is no statistical error here (the increase is steady), I think it shows the health of the used Mac market. As Macs become more popular in general, some Windows switchers are opting for cheaper used/refurbished PPC Macs. I’ll bet the “inventory” of used Macs on eBay and at resellers is lower now than at the time the Intel transition started. I think that’s great; the best form of recycling is to keep those Macs in use. And if a $300 500-MHz G4 Power Mac or $100 G3 CRT iMac gets a Windows users to try Mac OS X and become future new Mac customers, I don’t think Apple would mind too much.

    That’s my theory on why the percentage of PPC Macs is still increasing. Windows switchers, who previously demonstrated the habit of opting for less expensive systems, are buying up the available used Macs.

    On a separate note regarding PPC Macs… There’s something curious on the online Apple Stores Refurbished page. There are a lot of PPC system on the page currently…

    Refurbished Mac mini 1.42GHz PPC – $519
    Refurbished Mac mini 1.5GHz Intel Core Solo – $479
    Refurbished Mac mini, 1.66GHz Intel Core Duo – $519

    Refurbished Power Mac G5 Quad 2.5GHz PPC – $2699
    Refurbished Mac Pro Quad 2.66GHz Intel Xeon – $2199

    Refurbished iBook 12-inch 1.33GHz PPC Combo Drive – $799
    Refurbished MacBook 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo – White – $799

    Refurbished PowerBook 15-inch 1.67GHz PPC SuperDrive – $1299
    Refurbished MacBook Pro, 15-inch, 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo – $1299

    The prices on those older PPC Macs are surprising. Even Apple seems to be putting a relatively high value on those older PPC Macs (sold “as new” with the full Apple warranty). All of this is very encouraging for Apple’s 2007 prospects.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.