ChangeWave: Mac OS X Leopard satisfaction far outpaces Vista; Apple Mac strong despite PC slowdown

“Only 8% of the 4,427 consumers surveyed by ChangeWave in late February say they’ll be buying a laptop in the next 90 days – the lowest level of consumer laptop demand in the past 12 months,” Paul Carton and Jim Woods report for ChangeWave Research. “The same trend was seen in desktop PC purchases, with just 6% saying they’ll be buying one – also a low for the year.”

“Things weren’t any better on the corporate side, where PC buying has also slowed precipitously. In February, only 73% of 2,204 corporate respondents said their company plans on buying laptops in the next quarter – down 4-pts from a year ago. It’s the same pattern for desktops, with corporate purchases down 5-pts,” Carton and Woods report.

Carton and Woods ask, “Given such big declines, which computer manufacturers will be hurt most?”

“Despite the slowing PC environment, planned purchases of Apple Macs remain relatively strong,” Carton and Woods report. “Looking at the next three months, Apple remains the leader among consumers who plan to buy a laptop (31%) – down just 2-pts from the all-time high recorded in our previous survey. Apple planned desktop purchases (28%; down 1-pt) are also near record levels.”

“Importantly, Apple’s numbers are up more than 50% from a year ago,” Carton and Woods report.

“Corporate planned Mac purchases are also at or near record highs, as laptops (7%) were unchanged from previously, while desktops (6%) fell just 1-pt,” Carton and Woods report. “And in a clear sign PC buyers like what Apple is doing, our survey showed the company continues to set the standard for customer satisfaction.”

Carton and Woods report, “Among corporate respondents using the Leopard operating system, over half (53%) report they are Very Satisfied. This compares to a 40% Very Satisfied rating for Windows XP Pro users, and a dismal 8% Very Satisfied rating for Microsoft Vista Business (8%).”

MacDailyNews Take: In our experience, those who claim to be at all “satisfied” with any Windows version have never really tried a Mac.

Carton and Woods continue, “Clearly, the Leopard OS is a crowd pleaser.”

“Dell’s fortunes going forward are far different than Apple’s,” Carton and Woods report. “Our previous consumer PC survey showed Dell with a small uptick in planned consumer buying, but that rise appears short lived – they are once again losing traction going forward. Planned purchases of Dell laptops (28%; down 2-pts) and especially desktops (32%; down 4-pts) are considerably weaker than in our previous survey.”

“Dell is also plagued by a downturn in planned corporate PC buying for next quarter, with desktop (32%; down 3-pts) and laptop (32%; down 1-pt) purchases falling to new lows,” Carton and Woods report. ‘It’s like déjà vu, all over again,’ Yogi Berra famously said, and that’s what it looks like as Dell once again resumes its market share slide.”

Carton and Woods report, “Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) also wasn’t spared in our surveys, as they are experiencing weaker PC sales going forward – led by a big drop in consumer planned buying of desktops (18%; down 5-pts) and laptops (19%; down 2-pts). On the corporate side, planned purchases for H-P desktops fell 1-pt to 17%, while laptops dipped 2-pts to 14%.”

“One thing in H-P’s favor, however, is their strong sales overseas (nearly 70% of their total sales) – where the current slowdown is likely having less of an impact. Note that our ChangeWave surveys focus mainly on the U.S. market,” Carton and Woods report. “When we did ask respondents living outside the U.S. about Hewlett-Packard planned purchases, H-P registered higher market share numbers for consumer desktops (22%), corporate desktops (20%) and corporate laptops (17%).”

Full article and video presentation of the survey findings here.


  1. Double the number of people are wanting to buy Apple from one year ago – that’s all that matters. Market share will surely follow.

    But what is really crucial – is that the curve is going up yet more, because as we all know every Mac sold sells another 5… or more.

  2. “I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Almost *nobody* works in IT without an MCSE. And the “M” in MCSE stands for Microsoft. Expecting IT to recommend ANY machine other than a Windows machine is an exercise in futility. The only IT people I ever knew who weren’t owned by Microsoft were the ones who started in the field before there were MCSEs. “

    You can say it again and again, but that doesn’t make it even close to being true. I’ve been in IT for 26 years, and most people do NOT have Microsoft certifications. At the end of the day, the reason most IT houses go with Microsoft more often than not is three-fold:

    –No shortage of applications
    –No shortage of technical support
    –No shortage of user and administration experience

    You can pretend it’s otherwise, but that only betrays your ignorance as to how IT environments work in the real world.

    “IT support for Macs will happen when an MCSE becomes worthless, and businesses quit hiring people with them based on “industry standard practices”

    Substantive IT support for Macs will happen when Apple decides the enterprise is important enough to their revenue stream to dedicate resources and application support in proportion to the demand. Frankly, it’s just not in Apple’s interest to do that, and until that time, Macs will be an afterthought in the enterprise.

  3. Apple makes in my opinion the best hardware in terms of quality components and style.
    I would love to see stats that show how many out of the 53% that are happy with OS X are running VMWare Fusion or Parallels? Sucks when you need to fall back to the comfort they were used to in windows…

    For all the people that are so negative towards Windows and Microsoft remember that for better or worse Windows will run on all platforms(granted maybe not as good as OS X in all instances) but OS X will only run on hardware supplied by Apple ($$$$).

    I wonder what the quality of OS X will be if Apple ever releases the OS for the same hardware platforms that Windows supports.

    If OS/X is so good, why hasn’t apple released it for all platforms?

    …things to think about…
    don’t be too distracted by the pretty box ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  4. “If OS/X is so good, why hasn’t apple released it for all platforms?”

    Because they make a proverbial metric buttload of money manufacturing and selling computer hardware*. And Apple consistently makes a profit.

    (*MS began as a software company.)

  5. “…If OS/X is so good, why hasn’t apple released it for all platforms?…”

    Why would Apple need to bother with this? The only reason MIGHT be to capture business from government agencies that require multi-source suppliers. But this gain could be offset by all the problems that would arise from running Mac OS X on cheap hardware. Even then, Apple already meets or beat those other manufactures on price and performance.

    It isn’t necessary to offer OS X for all platforms!

  6. @ Kevin J Weise

    It’s starting to happen. Take a look at Computer World’s surveys: the hiring differential for MCSE’s is beginning to disappear. The latest numbers show a real decline in the premium paid for the certificate. A couple more years will tell…

  7. @ Another IT Guy,

    Au contraire – the three reasons don’t hold water. The real reason that most IT go with Windows is simple inertia.

    “You can pretend it’s otherwise, but that only betrays your ignorance as to how IT environments work in the real world.”
    – The most prevalent form of ignorance in IT in the “real world” is the myopia afforded anything that’s either non-MS or a substantive change. I’ve been in/around IT for 30 years – but that’s irrelevant to the facts and doesn’t make my opinions any more valid than anyone else.

    The other red-herring is “Mac is only a single source.” Yes, HP, Dell, Gateway, all sell generic PC boxes — but Windows (arguably the only reason those boxes have virus/trojans/etc) is decidedly single-source. If that was *really* a contention, then why aren’t those people using Linux?

  8. Strange that apple’s mass adoption came due to two factors:
    1. Apple Ipod — Great Device… No comments needed
    2. Apple Mac and MacBook running Intel based hardware

    I’m not saying that Apple should release OS X for “cheap” hardware… I would hate that more than anyone… What I would like to see is are better configuration options at slightly more reasonable rates, Better support for hardware (not software) similar to Dell’s Complete Care Warranties….

    if Apple believed that they had a quality premium OS, they would license a select group of vendors to sell their OS only for the hardware configuration that Apple approves… the reality is that Apple doesn’t want OS X to gain massive popularity because Apple is not a software company… They are a hybrid who in my opinion has its strength in hardware and design. If OS X grows in popularity, the user community would demand too much in terms of features,enhancement, security,etc that i don’t believe that Apple can supply.

    To comment on Ampar statement:
    MS is still primarily a software company… I don’t really consider the Zune or XBOX 360 in this context…

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