BofA: Apple Macintosh user base estimate: 22 million and counting

“Apple Inc.’s install base of Mac OS X users will be approximately 22 million strong come the end of March, ahead of the company’s next-generation Leopard operating system release, according to analysts at Bank of America Securities,” Slash Lane reports for AppleInsider.

Lane reports, “The figure is up by 6 million users since the Mac maker unwrapped its last major revision to the Mac operating system, Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, back in June of 2005, analyst Keith Bachman told clients in research distributed earlier this week.”

“The securities analyst is forecasting the combined release of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and associated iLife ’07 digital lifestyle suite to generate approximately $200 million in incremental revenue for Apple, compared to the $135 million drawn from Tiger,” Lane reports. “‘We believe that Apple will sell approximately $185 million of Leopard in the June and Sept quarters, which we assume will be biased to the June quarter, depending on the release date,’ he wrote. ‘We believe that Leopard will sell for around $129.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We hereby strongly protest to Bachman’s objectification of Leopard to a mere dollar figure. The nerve!

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


  1. I wish I could agree with you more fully MDN but I don’t have enough information on Leopard to back up your Take 100%. Yes, I am going to upgrade to Leopard without question even though I don’t know much about it except from what we’ve been shown. Given the track record of Apple, Leopard will most likely knock everyone’s socks off.

    But we just don’t know enough about it. Apple, for the love of all that’s holy in this world, PLEASE give us the scoop. The angst is almost unbearable.

  2. I posted this on another topic – but it is very relevant here…

    Even by the most conservative estimates, OS/X now has about 6% market share. Microsoft has the rest more or less. At the moment… This means you would expect 15 copies of Vista to sell for every copy of Mac OS/X. And it would take Apple 45 months to sell as many copies of OS/X as Microsoft would sell in 3 months. That is, if Vista is installed on every PC that goes out the door.

    However, you have to discount the “claimed” Vista sales by a large margin – this is because the bulk of new desktop PC’s (around 75% depending on the market) are sold to corporate buyers. And for at least another year around 90% of these will be installed with XP and not Vista. This will decline slowly over the next 3 years (even now many corporates run Win2000 on their desktops rather than XP – my small company included).

    Upgrade sales to Vista are almost non-existent – mainly because most of the hardware out there will not run Vista, but also because of the bad press and terrible “early adopter” stories that are coming to light now.

    So real Vista sales (where Vista is not erased from the hard drive upon installation) will be considerably lower than you think. Lets be conservative:

    1. 95% of the market for new PCs come with a MS o/s
    2. 70% of these are sold to corporates
    3. 80% of these will be installed with XP in lieu of Vista
    ie: 53% of new PC sales will NOT have Vista installed.

    So that leaves Microsoft Vista sales at 47% of new PC sales. This is still way larger than OS/X but its only 8 times larger. That means it will take Apple only 24 months to sell as many copies of OS/X as Microsoft sells of Vista.

    But Apple market share is growing phenomenally. OS/X sales are up more than 30% year on year – and notebook sales up a whopping 108% year on year…

    Vista remains a disappointment, not just for Microsoft, but for the Windows community. And Apple’s OS/X is the rising star. In the home user market Apple’s market share is MUCH larger than in the corporate space. At a wild guess I would say that 90% of macs are sold to personal users. If you say that home users account for only 30% of the market and Apple has 6% overall, then this would translate to more like 15% (90% of 6% overall market share out of the 30% of home users). And this is the share that is growing fastest.

    Apple will reach 55% of the home user market within 5 years, assuming current growth rates are sustained. Actually, I think it will happen much sooner than this – perhaps within 2 years.

    At the same time Apple will begin making inroads into the commercial space – the low maintenance nature of OS/X makes it very attractive, particularly in the SME space. All it will take is for some key applications to arrive for native OS/X. Look for vertical market solutions in the professional space to start with…

    It really is no wonder that Microsoft are very, very, very worried about Apple.

    … one more thing.

    OS/X market share of NEW computer sales may reach 55% in 5 years or less. But way before that OS/X will have a much larger installed base than Vista in the home user market. Microsoft’s installed base will be split between Win95, Win98, Win2K, XP, Vista.

    Developers writing new software will find a greater market for their software by writing for OS/X than they will for Vista. Someone else can do those numbers, but it doesn’t require much mental arithmetic to see that, at current rates, OS/X is going to be the predominant desktop in the home user market VERY SOON INDEED.

    MDN magic word = analysis.

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  3. That’ $129 to those who don’t have an education discount. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

    Tiger was sold in the education markets for $69, and it stands to reason it’ll be that much again for Leopard.

  4. Eric:

    “Is that legal or illegal users? We all know that BofA is now into the illegal stuff now….”

    Oh, what a witty reference! The way you subtly worked the week’s news into this story – it’s brilliant. Eric, I salute you and I eagerly await your show at the Apollo!

  5. I really hope Apple keeps the $129 price tag. Yet another poke in the eyes of Windoze users. “You paid $199 for what?!?!?”

    Apple really should keep iLife and iWork separate products from OS X. Although, I think both should be bundled on every new Mac.

    Also, I think Apple will now start releasing iLife and iWork in June at WWDC and not in January as they have for the last few years.

  6. I was in a meeting for a redesign of a website this afternoon. Two of their head IT guys were asking how I liked my ibook (yes I still tote around a 12″ ibook g4). Told them I loved it. Both of them said as soon as Leopard came out they are getting Powerbooks. The network they run is Windows. I hear stuff like this all the time. From what I’ve seen out in the field and the changing attitudes of many hard core Windows users, Apples marketshare is got to keep on growing. I switched back to Mac a little over a year ago and never regreted it. It was clearly the right choice.

  7. What trash! Compare those numbers to the hundreds of millions of people with brains who use Windows and you Mac Twats are laughable. No real integration with enterprise-class Microsoft products, no real Exchange compatibility, constantly-decried and buggy “best in class” crapware like iPhoto and iMovie, handicapped core app’s like “Mail” (can this do a TENTH of what Microsoft’s version can do?), and on and on and on . . .

    Now you’ve resorted to counting your pathetic drone hoards to the single million. 22 million, huh? A drop in the bucket, virgins.

    Apple– you and your inbred incestuous users (errr, cult members) should stick to making girly-colored iPod nanos and special editions for outdated bands like U-longinthetooth-2. Leave the REAL computing to the powerhouses of the world: Microsoft and Lenovo.


  8. Sydney, I don’t know where you got your math or your numbers, but …
    OK, we agree that Leopard will sell to a higher proportion of Mac users than Vista will to Windows users. And that Mac’s share of the PC Market will grow at least until someone figures out what to do about it – or until they capture the sales lead in their top-end niche. It seems a bit daft, though, to try to put numbers on such things. Dell and H-P are only the two largest PC makers, one has the market covered the other is being buried in it. Taking out one still leaves the other. Still in First Place.

    About Apple’s laudable growth … it can’t be sustained in the PC market. Fewer than 1/4 of all PC sales are in the price range where Apple has priced its systems. Well … all but the minis. And the minis are hardly pushing out sales in their bracket – though they are doing sustainably well. This established, either Apple needs to lower their bar or accept that their top rung will be in the low 20%s. Which is not at all “bad”. Even though it is half what you predicted.

    We don’t need to worry about being #1 (who knows, 20% may just DO that) so much as continually improving our position.

    That said … who was it who opined recently that iLife’07 and/or iWork’07 will ship as part of Leopard? Please-oh-please-be-true!

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

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