Analyst: Apple’s indefatigable Mac poised for double-digit market share

“Based on many of the theories taught in business school, the Mac should not be gaining share against the once dominant Windows PC ecosystem,” Ben Bajarin writes for iMore.

“Microsoft dominated PC sales because their customer for Windows PCs in that era were corporate IT buyers. Those customers look more at price than they do overall experience. Starting around 2008, however, the industry began selling more PCs to consumer as opposed to corporate buyers,” Bajarin writes. “This shift is the watershed moment which began to build the foundation for the Mac as a growth story.”

“How high can the Mac’s market share go? At Apple’s peak, when the market was very small, it was 16%,” Bajarin writes. “Not only do I believe Apple can get back to 16% but I think over the five year time frame the fundamentals of the PC markets could see Apple reach 18-20% of annual sales.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: Macintosh. For the rest of us.

Related articles:
Sales of Apple’s irrepressible Mac expected to rise through 2015 – February 5, 2015
Analyst: Apple Watch, all-new 12-inch MacBook Air to hit stores in first quarter – January 26, 2015
Apple Mac surges as global PC sales falter in fourth quarter – January 13, 2015
Apple’s irrepressible Mac poised for all-time quarterly sales record – December 17, 2014


  1. Time for Apple to get serious about selling Macs to enterprise in order to take full advantage of this trend. That means creating a mid-range, flexible tower starting at $999 for the basic configuration. This would be a quality machine, far from “junk”. If Apple can sell a quality Mac mini starting at $499, and it does, it can certainly offer a quality tower starting at $999 (especially since the larger parts are less expensive).

    1. Why does business need a tower? Towers only made sense when the motherboard did not include the video driver, network card and all the other cards computer companies made people stick in their machines. The Mac mini or iMac is more than most businesses need. They just don’t need those slots. Most towers I know are mostly empty air. Why take up all that space if you don’t need to?

      1. I agree…..I think Apple just needs to drop some of its pricing down a little. iMacs I would drop $300 off of each model without changing the hardware to make it more appealing.

        1. From 2012 to 2014, the price of an iMac (non-retina) has decreased by about that much, if not more. I evaluated a new machine about a year ago and evaluated one again last night and found that I could get an even better machine now cheaper than then.

      2. Depends on what sort of businesses you’re talking about. Large to very large businesses are on 3-5 year replacement cycles and can afford to eat the cost of getting new machines. They decide to optimize their IT resources by having a set number of configurations (and presume that their employees are too stupid to understand computers).

        Small to medium-sized businesses don’t have the pull to get special deals from the manufacturer or reseller, so they hold on to their machines longer. For them, as for most home users, being able to replace/add RAM, video cards, hard drives, and peripherals is a cost-efficient means. The IT personnel can handle different configurations because there’s not that many machines overall.

      3. Apple should sell Mac towers because the Mac Pro isn’t really Pro.

        For high end graphics computing and scientific computing:

        1) GPUs need to be upgradable as improvements each year are significant. Replacing a Mac Pro every year is not a good option.

        2) Some of us need 4 GPUs or more (I have two dual-GPUs, so effectively four). Buying two Mac Pros isn’t going to work.

        3) Some of us (a LOT of us) need nVidia GPU options because a lot of development tools and customers require CUDA compatibility. No Mac Pro option here at all.

        I love how the Mac Pro looks, but its is functionally limited to fit that form. I am not sure what Apple was thinking.

        I hate Windows and would love a real Pro Mac.

      4. Why does Apple need a mid-range, flexible tower you ask–to fill a gaping hole in their product line-up. Apple has no machine that can easily serve as a small business server. The Mini can work for the smallest businesses, in fact we used a Mini as the server for our law firm for about 4 years. But we outgrew it last year.

        To replace our Mini server I had to buy a 2008 vintage Mac Pro tower. I needed a Mac Pro tower so I could fill it with multi-TB HDs so I could implement RAID-1 reducency and Time Machine backup for all our client machines.

        I could do the same with the new Mac Pro, but I’d be paying dearly for 2 powerful graphics cards that are useless for a server.

        So a mid-range tower is really needed even if the market is small. But that small market, i.e., small business servers, leads to the purchase of many, many iMac client machines.

      5. to add to those others who are giving good reasons for wanting a Mid tower here are more:

        1) when the Mac Mini first came out it was the best selling desktop mac in some places.
        Windows users are more likely to switch to a Mac tower than an iMac as the do not want to lose their monitor investments.

        In the PC world headless PC outsell ‘iMac’ types by a big margin.
        A tower will really heap Mac market share grow.

        Bigger market share = more developers.

        2) You can load video cards.
        Video Cards are DIFFERENT. They have different cores, RAM, etc. Some are good for games, some for pro 3D rendering etc. With iMac you are stuck.
        The gap between the $500 Mac Mini and the 3000 Mac Pro is too huge.
        I loaded a 3 GB vid card into my older Cheese Grater MP for a $100+. I will load a 4 GB into another Cheese Grater I just bought.
        (if apple is worried they will lose money on video card and monitor sales I will gladly pay a bit more for a Mac mid tower vs a similar spec PC)

        3) Monitors FADE faster than CPUs.
        Graphic artists who need good fidelity change their monitors when they start to fade after a few years. The CPU is till usable. With iMacs you are stuck with the type of monitor Apple provides and you have to change the whole thing. Likewise if for some reason the CPU fails (short or something) you can switch your expensive graphics monitor to another tower.

        Arming a graphics studio with just new MacPros cost a bomb especially as they came with stock tiny hard drives (256 GB… 256 GB is like a souped up iPOD not a Pro PC…. ). by the time you get the ram and drive up you are talking 5-6 K.

  2. On the basis that ‘PC’ stands for personal computer. The above article has missed its intended target by more than a mile and a half!
    A ‘PC’ with an ecosystem as he describes Windows has long been superseded by the iPhone about 5 years ago since we have always known that an iPhone has been a ‘PC’ complete with a web-browser as well as an iPod and a mobile phone. It has now even exceeded its original capabilities by incorporating a camera, a video camera, a voice recorder and a slew of software to extend and enhance those extra additions.

    So double digit? Noooooooo
    we are into the six digit market share when you take into account all the individual gadgets that the iPhone has replaced.

    Just a Crabapple’s judgement!

    1. I would look for the % to round out to be about where iOS % of market share is. I thought long ago, as early as 2004 that people were beginning to actually think about what kind of computer they needed and what type of security was appropriate for their use. Prior to that, most people copied what PC they had at work and tried to buy the same “spec’s” so they could expect the same performance that they were use to. So as the Mac has been gaining mkt share that’s been where I’d expect their share to end up.

  3. > Starting around 2008… the industry began selling more PCs to consumer as opposed to corporate buyer. This shift is the watershed moment which began to build the foundation for the Mac as a growth story.

    That’s not why Apple’s Mac market share started to grow during the 2000’s. It started much earlier…

    First, it was the rise of the Internet. Applications (or lack thereof for the Mac platform) was a key reason for Windows dominance. As more was done by PC users on the ‘net, having more native apps became less important. The Mac platform had web browsers, and or a while, Microsoft even provided Apple’s default browser.

    Then, Mac OS X replaced the creaky “classic” Mac OS, and later moved to Intel. Apple humorously highlighted advantages of Mac over Windows (stuck at XP for a LONG time). Microsoft eventually abandoned ongoing work on “Longhorn,” and did a rush job on Windows Vista; XP was becoming an embarrassment. That was a disaster, encouraging more Windows users to “get a Mac.” The PowerPC to Intel transition helped significantly.

    So, what happened “starting around 2008” that caused the so-called “shift” of the PC industry selling more to consumers? It was a slowdown in sales to corporate buyers, and that trend was mostly Microsoft’s fault. Corporate buyers had no motivation to upgrade existing PCs running XP, because of Vista. Windows 7 was a competent release, but then Microsoft released Windows 8 (in response to the threat of iPad), another rush job. Corporate buyers had no interest in waving their arms around all day, and wanted that “kludgy” OS even less than Vista. Thus, the slowdown in sales to corporate buyers continues to this day. And most consumers don’t want it either.

    So the final piece of the Mac rebirth is Microsoft alienating its Windows customers. Ironically, long-time Windows users probably feel more “at home” using the latest Mac versus the latest version Windows.

  4. I would think an iMac should be quite good enough. I’ve had my 24″ iMac running 24/7 for the last four years.

    My only concern is when the hard drive starts to fail I’ll have to either swap it myself or send it to OWC to have it done. I hear Apple doesn’t return the old hard drive. If only Apple had designed it to have a simple user-replaceable drive, however it didn’t happen that way. For businesses they can just copy the files over and swap the whole iMac. My iMac has been very reliable over the years and runs like the day I bought it refurbished from Apple.

    1. You are generalizing from your experience to that of all businesses. Not a well-supported move. Some businesses only need a Mac Mini. I think a lot of small-to-medium-sized businesses don’t have the money to simply replace the whole machine when it fails.

      Your concerns illustrate the uses of a tower, ironically.

  5. Macintosh. For the rest of us….
    Well the last Mac Mini was NOT for me, so I got the 2012.
    Enough people know Apple should come out with a i7 Mini.
    Enough Pro people know……
    ” All expansion is external ” is B. S..
    But does Apple? Apple can only make MORE money, by giving people what they want !
    Some would say They know what their doing, and the are growing..
    BUT, look how LOW they are compared to Wintel.
    When you ONLY have 10% There’s BIG money to be made, by giving people what they WANT.

  6. There are many reasons for the Mac market share growth beyond what the article states. For example, the Halo Effect isn’t just about the impact the experience has on the brand. iOS attracted a ton of developers to the platform, and many of these developers have also embraced OS X as many projects could either be brought over or at the very least their skills could be applied to the platform.

    There was also a tipping point, once Mac market share reached a certain level, developers saw the platform as being important to develop for, and thus the cycle of the platform being more attractive to consumers -> developers -> consumers.

    All of this came at a time when Internet Explorer broke, Firefox and later Chrome took over, and offered cross-platform parity, while IE had to adhere to standards to remain viable. This meant that consumers were no longer faced with websites, web apps and services that didn’t work on Macs. HTML5 really helped here as well as again did iOS.

    Apple switching to Intel architecture was a major shift as well. OS X already welcomed a lot of UNIX-heads, but for a lot of people interested in Macs but who needed some level of Windows compatibility, Intel based Macs were a dream come true. Those of us involved with cross-platform development, we no longer needed to maintain multiple computers where one could easily be used for Mac, Windows, Linux (and others).

    BYOD became a reality for many. Not all companies have (or will) embrace Bring Your Own Device, but for those that have, it’s really opened up the ability for people to call their own shots and insist upon using the same platform at work as they do at home.

    The biggest thing here was for the Mac to break through the threshold of market share so small that it could be marginalized.

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