PiperJaffrey: Vista sales in March quarter ‘could put downward pressure on Mac market share’

“The launch of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Vista operating system will have a negative effect on Apple’s share of the personal computer market over the next several months, according to checks performed by research and investment firm PiperJaffray,” Slash Lane reports for AppleInsider.

Lane reports, “In a research note released to clients on Wednesday, Sr. Analyst Gene Munster said that while a survey of 50 Best Buy retail stores around the country found that Vista sales have not met expectations, PC sales have still risen as a result of the software roll-out. ‘Of the 50 stores we surveyed, 80 percent of Best Buy stores indicated that they have sold less copies of Vista than they had expected,’ the analyst wrote. But at the same time, he said, 72 percent of the stores saw an increase in Windows PC sales since the software launched.”

Lane reports, “Munster, who attributes the surge to pent-up demand for PCs with Vista pre-installed, is forecasting for a spike in Windows PC sales during the March calendar quarter, which ‘could put downward pressure on Mac market share.’ More specifically, the analyst expects Mac market share to decline from 2.5 percent in December to 2.3 percent in March.

Lane reports, “Still, Munster said he remains confident that Apple in 2007 will gain share overall, helped from the industrywide shift toward portables where it currently excels. The analyst also sees potential for Apple to seize the opportunity presented by the launch of Vista to gain mind share with consumers. ‘Although many features of Vista are already available on Apple’s current operating system, 10.4 Tiger, Apple is preparing 10.5 Leopard for a Spring release,” Munster told clients. “With the release of Leopard, Mac market share will benefit from upward pressure from slight pent-up demand.'”

“The analyst said the release of Leopard will also mark a turning point for investors, who will shift their focus back on the Mac chapter of the Apple story. The launch of Tiger in April 2005 added $100m in revenue to the company’s June quarter, he said, with 2 million copies shipping in the first month of availability,” Lane reports. “Since Tiger’s release, which went on to sell 7 million copies in its first year on the market, the Mac OS X installed base has grown 25 percent from 16 million users to about 20 million users, Munster said. Similarly, he expects that 40 percent of Mac users to upgrade to Leopard in the first year of availability.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: No surprises here. Obviously, if Vista causes enough more PCs to be sold due to pent-up demand, Mac market share could drop even if Mac units sales rise. As always, what should be most important to developers, investors, reporters, and other interested parties is that Apple Mac OS X’s installed base continues to grow, now 20 million strong, and tends to be more affluent than PC users on average.

On June 3, 2005, Wizzard Software explained why they believe the Macintosh market is important as they prepared the release AT&T Natural Voices for Apple’s Mac OS X:

According to a statement released earlier this year, Apple Computer reported their 2005 first quarterly revenue and net income as the highest in the history of their company, with 74% revenue growth. Apple shipped 1,046,000 Macintosh units during this quarter, representing a 26% increase in CPU units over the year-ago quarter. According to US News and World Report, Macintosh owners buy 30% more software than their Windows counterparts. Further, Macintosh software comprises over 18% of all software sold, according to the Software and Information Industry Association.

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

Related articles:
Net Applications: Apple’s Mac market share continues rise, hits 6.22% in January 2007 – February 01, 2007
Gartner: Apple’s U.S. Mac shipments up 30.6% year over year – January 18, 2007
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. I’m waiting for Leopard and then I’m getting another iMac. I’m also getting Windows XP installed (shudder), I wonder if this will come out in the figures? It’s only for one or two apps and the gross majority of the time I’ll be using 10.5.

  2. Buying a macbook pro for my wife who is in graduate school. This will be her first computer. She needs her own computer. With her doing school work, I cannot play BF 1942 on my own copmuter! Sure I could have bought something less, but why. just doing my part to help my stock go up ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    Also know many folk who are becoming very interested in OSX

  3. For many of those early adopters, one can expect a certain amount of buyers remorse when those “cheaper than Apple” desktops and notebooks are found to include only the “Home Basic” version of Vista, without the fancy-schmancy eye candy, without the media functionality, without many other so-called “features”. In other words, warmed over XP SP3.

    Apple does it simpler. One version of OS X client (single user or family pack), one version of server (10-user or unlimited). Vista is offered in *ten* different versions, not counting the OEM releases.

  4. With Leopard not far off, it’s likely there are those waiting to buy new Macs…the cost of the server version, for example is significant, and if one wants to buy a Mac Pro with it installed, one might end up buying the updated OS in a month or so…so there is for sure a pent up demand for Macs while buyers hold off for Leopard installed. Not only that, but what Tiger user is not going to salivate over Leopard? As the article points out, Mac users tend to have higher incomes than Windows people, so their take-up of the new OS is going to dazzle. As for market share, clearly in the short term people are buying computers with Vista versus trying to fit it on their existing machines; also they can have no assurance in advance that they can in fact do so. Moreover there are no evident advantages other than keeping up with the hype as in Wow.

    What we don’t know yet is how Apple is going to sell Leopard into the Vista-centred marketplace. The opportunity for making a big splash is there; it’s a question of whether or not they want to go all out and not pull their punches, which is what their current strategy seems to be. iChatAV anyone? What’s that?

    I just set up a 77 year old accountant on the Mac because I told him we didn’t have viruses, and he asked to buy my MacBook. I did and got a new one plus a new Airport. So now for the first time in his life, he can not only surf the internet, he can do it wirelessly. I will be training him remotely using iChatAV.

    And I know others who have PCs and won’t connect them to the Internet for reasons of pure fright. Of course Apple can’t advertise that their OS is completely secure, because that could expose them to potential litigation.

  5. I’ve never owned a mac, but have used them for years at work, along with pc’s. I have the money to buy one now (getting a macbook pro), but I’m waiting for leopard and adobe CS3, and I think that this is the growing trend.

    Expect to see sales fall until both of these are released, and then expect to see a MASSIVE rise in sales.

  6. Yeah…you wish.
    Let them hope it declines.
    I’m typing this from a new MacBook Pro I’m configuring for another one of my numerous switcher friends. And of course I put the MDN widget on all the User sides! Around 20 Switchers at this point.

    If we all switch our friends, we can give the momentum an extra push!

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