Salon: 2.2 million Macs cement Apple’s status as a computer-sales powerhouse

“After the market closed today Apple posted its financial results for the fiscal fourth quarter, and among the many happy numbers — profits of $904 million, up 67 percent from the same time last year — was this amazing one: 2.2 million. That’s the quantity of Macs Apple sold during the quarter, beating its previous record quarter by 400,000,” Farhad Manjoo blogs for Salon.

“About 800,000 of the machines were desktops, and about 1.4 million were laptops. The number cements Apple’s status as a computer-sales powerhouse. Though it still trails Dell (5 million sold in the quarter) and H.P. (4.3 million), Apple’s sales are growing far faster than those of the Windows PC market,” Manjoo reports.

“There is a real story here: By binding its hardware and software — its OS and its machines — Apple chose long ago to part ways with the rest of the industry. For years, that model looked doomed to fail. The Windows hegemony looked unbeatable,” Manjoo writes.

“To be sure, nothing in today’s numbers signals the end of Windows. But that a company can not only survive but thrive without buying into the Redmond model of development, that’s now obvious. These numbers prove it,” Manjoo writes. “It’s a big story. And if Jobs keeps doing what he’s doing, it’ll get bigger still every quarter.”

Full article, which also includes discussion of Apple’s strong iPod and iPhone sales, here.


  1. “By binding its hardware and software — its OS and its machines — Apple chose long ago to part ways with the rest of the industry.”

    That’s it in a nutshell. And its OS is just starting to rev its engine. Watch out for the smell of burning rubber.

  2. But wait, the article is comparing Apple’s worldwide sales to Dell and HP’s US sales. Worldwide HP sold about 13 million units and Dell sold about 10 million.

    With about 70 million PCs sold worldwide in the quarter, 2.2 million still makes Apple a bit player with about 3% of the market.

  3. Those numbers are a sign of momentum building, no different than the beginning of an avalanche. When the core of the lemming world takes notice and jumps on this steamroller, PC mfg won’t know what hit them.

  4. Macs are now 7% of the US market and 3% of the world market, and even more if we take inconsideration only the home computers market.
    That’s great for Mac users because the Mac platform is now a must for any developers.
    But there is a limit. Macs are more expensive in average. Most people just want a basic computer that does what they need (not a lot of things) for cheap. They don’t care about Windows or Mac OSX. They will never put $1000 or more in a computer and Apple will never sell cheap boxes where there is no money. The appeal of the Mac is also based on the fact that this is not everybody’s computer but a sign of social level.
    Apple itself has no intention of taking on the whole computers market. A 15-20% market share in the US and 5-10% global share is the final goal for Apple, not more than that.

  5. Well it’s obvious that the only thing keeping Windows boxes with higher market share is I.T. execs making sure their jobs are secure.

    After all. Who needs a big I.T. department when you use Macs?

    I deal with at least 20 graphic design companies and they all just have contracts with Mac maintenance companies who visit them occasionally to swap out a hard drive (for a bigger size usually), put in more RAM and run the odd Cat 5 cable.

    But the home computer market will be telling a different story.

    What’s needed is for corporate “top brass” to be buying Macs for themselves and their families. If you can get to the big guns on the Mac bandwagon and they see how much more reliable and secure Macs are compared to their old PCs that the Joe Schmoe IT guys suggested they get which caused them no end of stress then they might just start insisting their IT department buy a few Macs. Once they see how much more productive it makes their staff then Mac snow ball will get bigger and bigger.

    Welcome to the Mac revolution ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  6. “omg there’s nothing ‘bit’ about it… go back to school and learn to troll”

    On one hand 2.2 million computers is a big pile of computers. but on the other hand, it’s a very small percentage of the total number sold worldwide.

    A neighborhood kid would probably be happy to sell a thousand glasses of lemonade at a streetside lemonade stand and would consider that to be very successful. But to Minute Maid, the same numbers would be inconsequential.

    “That’s great for Mac users because the Mac platform is now a must for any developers.”

    Like any platform with only 3% market share, it’s irrelevant to most developers. All those Mac users can also run Windows software.

  7. The relatively tiny share of Apple in the pc market is it’s greatest opportunity.

    1% point increase is worth more than a billion dollars to Apple.

    So, unlike HP and Dell, Apple has so much potential upside that it is mind-boggling…

  8. @Jojo

    I see your point but disagree on the figures a little.

    Most of the market share figures are business purchases and maybe schools (to a lesser extent) from a mass purchase standpoint where you have between say 50 to ~ machines to support you really have to take into consideration total cost of ownership.

    I believe it is cheaper to put Mac Minis in place of cheap PC boxes when you calculate TCO. It is also a lot cheaper to use Macs when we are talking about notebooks in schools.

    I am reminded of a snippet from a Times Education Suppliment web article (yes I said the Times MDN) where the schools on a British island (isle of Man) had over 3900 Macs and one technician to keep them running.

    TES article – Isle of Man schools

    Here is a paragraph from it:

    “In total Graham is responsible for 3,900 client computers (desktop and laptop). As well as 115 servers, 40 networks, 300 wireless access points (Apple Base Stations) and numerous other pieces of equipment. This is all done with just two technicians. I talked to a head recently who boasted that she ran the PCs at her school with three technicians!”

    From what I gathered they need two technicians because of holidays. You’ve got to get away occasionally ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    See the contrast there. Three technicians to run one school’s Windows PCs (and that was boasting) and a couple of dudes running all of the Mac based stuff as mentioned above.

    Now my sons school has around 12 technicians and they have about 600 – 800 PCs and apparently they are run off their feet fixing them. They can probably justify a good salary for their hard work too. Lets say they are paid £19k – £21k each which seems about right ($38k – $42k) that would be a bill for staff alone of say an average of £240K. In contrast a school this size could get away with one or two IT guys if they were running Macs so that’s a saving of over £200k per year.

    Now schools in the UK use brand name laptops like Toshiba. Actually this school uses tablets but they hardly ever use the tablet functionality. So if the PC’s cost say £800 each (tosh portege) they could get Macbooks for around £600 each. Macbooks are pretty rugged little machines and as they don’t have the tablet functionality there is less chance of someone twisting the display the wrong way and snapping it off (yes this has been known to happen quite a lot in schools). So the Macs are cheaper right off the bat. They last longer from a software point of view too as they can be OS upgraded for around 5 years.
    How many times will the PCs have to be upgraded in that time.

    If we look at businesses (cubicle monkeys) running Mac Minis. I am sure in volume Apple will do deals on Mac Minis to get big businesses. You will again get around 5 years use out of them with enough RAM and maybe an external hard drive. One or two technicians. Happier staff who are more productive and allowed to install their web browser of choice etc etc.

    Macs (desktop macs anyway) may be a little more expensive to buy than the cheap and cheerful PC boxes but their useable life alone justifies that. Their TCO completely justifies their price and that has been proven time and time again.

    So get the Big guns to see this and it’s by-by to big I.T. department expenditure, C ya L8tr to malware and Mac mass market share here we come.

    MDN word “lead” as in:
    With the poor uptake of Vista as well I see something else taking the lead in the next five years and it could be Apple guys.

  9. Yeah,
    the market is HUGE, and AAPL is only a small fish, compared to HPQ and DELL.
    But the problem for those two (and others) is: AAPL has no loss-leader. Every Mac sold is sold with profit. And they conquer the segment of the market with the most profit (workstations, medium/high-end PCs and notebooks). And every iMac sold is one display sold less by HPQ and DELL (and a PC less, of course).

    Yes, HPQ and DELL have their large-accounts where they sell 50k or 100k boxes to one company – but that market is crowded, too and very competitive.
    APPL is in no hurry to go for this segment for a reason…
    I don’t think anyone at HPQ and DELL takes any bets anymore about when the 30% growth/quarter bubble of AAPL will stop expanding.
    The only downside is that AAPL is very dependent on the consumer-spending climate of the economy in the US.
    This worries me the most.

  10. Hey guys. As we all love analogies to illustrate our point and most of us use cars for this purpose I have an analogy that shows the Mac’s better TCO and it doesn’t use cars.

    Check this:

    Using Windows PCs instead of Macs in big businesses is like an Alaskan citizen installing single glazing in their home because it costs less than double glazing. You have to remember that they will end up with a much bigger gas bill every year. They would have been better off with the double glazing in the first place.

    Get Macs and save big time!!!

    Zune Tang… What’s your take on this boyo?

  11. The most significant thing to me is that proportion of laptops continues to rise, to now about 70%. Apple is well and truly back now, leading the pack in trends like these, where it belongs.

    Of course, this alone justifies the move to Intel. 5 years ago Apple lesd this trend, being the first manufacturer to break 40%, then came came the “no G5 chips for laptops” doldrums and they slipped back to under 30% and behind the rest of the industry.

    That’s all ancient history now. Good decision Steve!

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