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Does # of units sold = market share?
Consider this! 100 people in a room of which 95 buy a wintel box and the remaining 5 buy mac gear. 12 months later 92 of the original 100 purchase a new wintel box while only 2 of the original 100 purchase a new mac box. The remaining 6 computer users continue using last years model. Has the mac market share droped? Probably not, but it might suggest that apple computers are a better investment and remain useful for a longer period.
 

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When you hear of Apple's market share, usually that is counting the units sold in the previous quarter. Of course, overall market share is a bit of a different beast.

While not entirely on topic, Gruber had some good thoughs on the subject of market share a few months back.

<blockquote>
http://daringfireball.net/2003/07/market_share

"[Apple] used to have like a 10 percent market share, then 5, and now it’s down to 2 — obviously it’s heading toward zero, dude."

It certainly sounds dire when put that way. But it’s a bogus statistic. Overall PC market share covers large market segments where Apple isn’t competing — including markets where Apple doesn’t want to compete.

[...]

PCs are used everywhere from telemarketing cubicle farms to supermarket checkout registers. The much ballyhooed “network computer” platform never emerged the way companies like Sun and Oracle had hoped (meaning “no Microsoft”), but very cheap PCs are frequently used as little more than network terminals. And Apple simply doesn’t make machines that would be good choices for extremely low-end tasks.

The analyst Baker is on the right track with his “Acura sports cars vs. Taurus station wagons” analogy, but it isn’t quite right. The idea of overall PC market share, as currently conceived by IDC, is not so much like overall automobile market share as it is like overall motor vehicle market share. It’s like counting everything from golf carts to tractor trailers as a single category, thus making the “overall market share” look worse than it is for a company that only makes actual passenger cars.
</blockquote>
 

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The "MarketShare" figures are not misleading, per se. But the phrase "Market Share" most certainly is.

It really refers to sales of new computers. PB provided a good analogy and I am going to add my own.

The Chevrolet Camaro has a market share (according to this formula) of zero. Not a single new Camaro was sold in the last quarter (they don't make them anymore). [Note: dealers may have sold some new, older Camaros; however the computer marketshare indicates units shipped, not sold to consumers. Under those conditions, even if a dealer sold a new 2003 Camaro from his dealer inventory in the last quarter somewhere, it still wouldn't count].

Does this mean that nobody drives one?

What about Bic versus Zippo? Even if half of all people who regularly used a lighter owned a Zippo, the disposable Bic would have a marketshare of probably well above 95% in a given quarter or year.

Although PCs are hardly "disposable", there is considerable evidence to indicate Macs are used for longer periods of time before they're replaced with newer hardware. The Bic vs Zippo analogy illustrates how at least some of the marketshare figures would be misleading if it could be reasonably assessed whether Apple hardware has a longer period of use/longer replacement cycle.

I've used Macs now for just over a decade. In that time, my contribution to the "MarketShare" figure consists of 3 new computers accounted for in 3 quarters (quarterly report) or 3 years (annual report). The rest of the time, as far as MarketShare was concerned, I was using pen and paper.

Although it's really difficult to say with any certainty how many Macs are out there being used compared to PCs, and educated guess would probably consist of:

About 20 million Mac users (my guess, but consistently used by a number of industry analysts) versus about 360 million PC users (worldwide, IDG, 2003). That translates to roughly 5.3% and is probably pretty close.

There are some that estimate there are as many as 40 million Macs up and running; which would account for roughly a 10% user base. Exactly where that figure lies is open to interpretation and pure guess-timate; you might consider the 5% figure conservative but reasonably certain (ie a minimum).

Apple has reported sales of over 10 million copies of OSX; Microsoft has sold about 38 million copies of WindowsXP (all versions) ; again from IDG 2003. So, for modern versions of an OS on reasonably current hardware in use on desktop systems worldwide, Apple might claim about 18%.

The vast majority of x86 computers running today use Windows98 while OSX is probably running on nearly half (if you feel the 40 million estimate is more accurate, then at least 25%) of the Macs in use. WindowsXP is running on about 12% of the world's desktops.

Since virtually all PCs come with a Microsoft OS, there are an unknown number of PCs counted as running MS that are actually running Linux. Estimates are in the order of a percent or two, but nobody knows for sure.

[ January 16, 2004, 02:25 PM: Message edited by: gordguide ]
 

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Hello gordguide.
I think google's statistics tell us pretty much how many "active Macs" there are, and I wish the news was better.



On a slightly different tack,
there is general blase in the Mac Community about Linux and its importance to Mac users. Events like Sun making deals to sell a million desktops to the Chinese govt and possibly millions more throughout China should be seen as a major force against the proliferation of "I.E. on Windows-centric" websites. Our 3 percent cannot do that alone, despite our strength in certain vertical markets.

Perhaps this is a personal paranoia, but we need more stuff like this happening, even if we never plan to use Linux. Think about it: Linux has the potential to displace Windows in all the places The Mac does NOT wish to go: low end kiosk sort of stuff.

Linux: you're ugly but we love you!
 

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Marketing stats are like all stats...you can twist them any way you want.

What is really important to a company is it's profitability and long term viability. In this regard Apple is reasonably healthy.

Apple has not made an attempt to go after major sectors of the market for over 10 years. One of these (mentioned earlier in the thread) is the corporate server/pc market. These PCs amount to over 55% of all computers sold - in some quarters over 70%.

An example - yesterday 15 new Dells arrived at our office. With LCDs and software, about $25,000. Apple simply was not an option. However, next week we will be ordering a new dual G5 and associated bits for our marketing guys.

These are 2 separate markets. Both companies have a solid chunk of each market.

Where Apple has been weak in recent years is in the home computing market. The LCD iMac just has not taken off: largely because of price perception and poor distribution.

The ITMS and iPod have given Apple a new opportunity to score with the average home user. They to have a Mac for these people, preferably not an all-in-one. The market is becoming more sophisticated and folks often know their monitor is OK, but the box needs to be replaced. By not having a suitable machine in the price range Apple loses out.

Apple has also screwed up in the education market; they didn't foresee the tightening of budgets and the Dell juggernaught.

I sense that Apple is on a roll. great OS, interoperability with WIN is better than ever, sales force in the US education market is scoring victories, and a mass of solid publicity.

Distribution remains a problem. You have to hunt for Macs. Yesterday I needed some CDRs. Went to Futureshop. they have a nice 17" iMac stuffed in a corner. The screen doesn't work. The price is simply stated - no explanation that for those dollars you get a virus free OS, a monitor and all the software the average home user could want.

If potential customers can't find the product, they can't buy it.
 

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Imagine The Internet "started" today.
With Windows as 97% of the desktop market, and Internet Explorer as 92% of the browsers do you think web developers would give a flying ...fudge... about Netscape (and its Mozilla/Firebird siblings) or Safari and its other KHTML based brethren?

Not a chance. Every website out there would use the exclusive features of IE on windows and we, my friends, would be shut out of The Net. Sites like QuickTaxWeb would not work for you. Surfing with a Mac would be like shopping for Mac software at FutureShop: Bad News.

Its a dam lucky thing The Net exploded into popularity at a time when Netscape still had about 50% and The Mac was still well into the double digits of usership.

The only reason you and I can use a Mac on The Net today is because of that legacy.

If it were not for the actions of Sun and the existence of Linux that legacy would be fading *fast*.

I think The Enlightenment is this:
1) Apple is not going to increase its absolute market share, and thats OK for all the reasons gordguide, PB, and pelao give. We should let that go and be with it.
2) The important thing is that someone is taking away marketshare from Windows. This is the overlooked part of the equation, and precisely what the Sun/Linux/China thing does. And is but one example.

That Linux is taking away from windows helps at least two ways:
1) web developers are kept to w3 standards
2) software developers will have to think more about cross platform porting

In my work I am a watchdog for both these issues, and I feel (evidently
) that it very important that Mac users appreciate the gravity of the situation, and the role of the overlooked part of the equation (in bold above).

man I love this discussion
 

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Script Kiddie - very insightful stuff.

I agree that MS is facing a new wave of competition. How this influences Mac people depends on how Apple responds. One of the key features of MS competition from Linux is the recent Asian alliance ( China, Japan and probably eventually E Asion too in the form of India) which have commissioned the development of a Linux based OS system - funded by governments. Here we have the fastest growing markets in the world etermined to resist MS.

Apple timed things perfectly with the all in one iMacs - this was the start of the Internet generations and all in ones were perfect. It's amazing but in those few short years (say from '98 or so) the Web has become part of life. Now people have different expectations and are dividing their computers into work and home segments.

In this lies what I believe is Apple's really big opportunity. On the face of it it seems convenient to use the same OS at home and work. But people are becoming more aware that their computer can do many cool things and with the proper software (iLife) it can do them easily. OS X is gentle to use and the OS is so reliable. Apple could ride this wave of relacement of 1st generation PCs (more than 20% of Win users are still on 98 - including my kid). But they must be careful of the all in one idea. Perhaps all in one will work if folks want to replace big old CRTs, but I wouldn't chance it. If they design a cute box (cube?) that can attach to any LCD, or can mount an Apple LCD as per the LCD iMac - and then have a wide range of prices, they could move market share within the home market.

The iPod, iLife and OS X have created an opportunity.

By the way - do you really think Longhorn will ship as just another Win OS?

The open source thing has been unleashed. I think Longhorn will be Linux. Really.
 

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Went to Futureshop. they have a nice 17" iMac stuffed in a corner. The screen doesn't work. The price is simply stated - no explanation that for those dollars you get a virus free OS, a monitor and all the software the average home user could want.
Funny you should mention that. Just last night I was at FS and I overheard a couple in their 30s say (about the 17" iMac) "That's a very cool monitor, but it's $2,249! I wonder why it's so expensive?" I just about lost it! I camly mentioned it's an Apple computer and it's so much more than a PC. They thought the base was just that, a base for the monitor. All the while a mute sales doofus was watching our little episode, not offering any information... :mad: :mad: :mad:
 

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Bjornbro - this is exactly how i feel
it's frustrating that people are missing a better computing experience.
But it's also that Apple don't have reps to fix this. What I forgot to mention is that the iMac in question was exactly like this the previous week.
The Futureshop guys clearly don't care. I would rather the mac wasn't there at all. It just looks like a lost desklamp.
 

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" ... I think google's statistics tell us pretty much how many "active Macs" there are, and I wish the news was better. ..."

I have no doubt that Google's usage numbers are correct; so we can clearly see that nearly half of Google users run XP.

However, Microsoft has only sold 38 million copies of the OS. Where did over 300 million PCs go overnight?

For whatever reason the Google numbers clearly reveal they most certainly cannot be used to extrapolate global statistics on users.

As for widespread adoption of the Mac; I don't really see how that is supposed to happen. There is simply no reason why most Windows users need a Mac.

Surf the web, send & receive eMail, write a letter to mom, play mp3's, play games. I don't think anyone would argue much that the majority of home PC users never go beyond those uses.

Ask a primary grade or High School teacher about assignments. I would bet that they will tell you the essays stink of Encarta.

I know of many people who don't even turn on the home PC for days and sometimes weeks at a time.

Do more, use more apps, get creative? Now we're in Apple territory. That's never going to be the great unwashed majority, though.

Would you drive 160 to 400 km to buy a computer? That's what 600,000 Saskatchewan residents have to do to even see one, and you had better do some research before you get to town or you won't find those.

In other places, it's far worse than that.

I've said it before on earlier topics, but when I go to the US and visit various offices, I see Macs all over the place. I have never seen an office run on MacOS in Canada.

Apple might be able to achieve or maintain a 10% share in the US or Japan, but it is going to be less everywhere else.

Web stats for China were released earlier today. 60 thousand new users connecting to the internet every single day. 80 million users, and that's just 6% of the population. All PC, I guarantee it.

Now, as far as Microsoft goes, it's not all good news for them either. They can't get anyone to stop using Windows98.

The next OS (in 2006, probably) might snag some of those users, but for many Win98 or XP will be "good enough". (Currently Win98 is "good enough" to run the Government of Canada; XP is not supported in any of the departments I'm familiar with).

So, I don't mean that it's all "doom and gloom" for Apple. I think they can and will do just fine in this decade. Few people would sneeze at a company that sells $8 billion worth of computer gear a year.

[ January 17, 2004, 02:52 PM: Message edited by: gordguide ]
 

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I've always wondered why Apple doesn't put out a headless imac.

Because Apple doesn't make low end computers. The eMac (Apple's lowest end machine) fits quite squarely in the mid range.

Gruber illustrates the point quite well (like he usually does) here:

<blockquote>
http://daringfireball.net/2003/06/flipping_the_bird

What is the implication here? That the difference between Wal-Mart’s $248 Linux computer and Apple’s new $1999 PowerMac G5 is $1751 in operating system licensing fees?

Let’s assume this $248 computer from Wal-Mart can be considered “low-end”. A fair assumption, I think. The PowerMac G5 is clearly Apple’s high-end offering. If you’re going to make a comparison, the only fair thing to do would be to compare against Apple’s low-end offering, theeMac, which starts at $799. But it also includes a built-in 17” display and a built-in modem; Wal-Mart’s computer has neither. Throw in $125 forWal-Mart’s cheapest 17” CRT and $25 for a modem, and you’re up to $400.

$800 is still twice as much as $400, but the difference isn’t nearly as dramatic as Boutin’s straw-man $1999-vs.$248 comparison. And the eMac is a vastly superior computer. The truth is that Apple doesn’t sell “low-end” machines; they stoop no lower than mid-range, and their mid-range computers are very competitively priced. Nor is this corporate elitism; it’s just good business. The Apple brand stands for quality, and Apple’s business model depends on reasonable profit margins. The low-end PC business is a commodities game with razor-thin margins.
</blockquote>
 

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" ... On a slightly different tack,
there is general blase in the Mac Community about Linux and its importance to Mac users ..."

Linux is very important to the Mac community; half the apps we run right now are derived from Open Source.

I could reboot right now and start posting from within Linux.

There are a lot of Linux users on x86 who despise the Mac. I mean it's a real hatred. Tell them to stop posting "BSD is dead" on Slashdot.
 

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I don't think not putting out headless iMacs has anything to do with not having "low end" machines. I wouldn't exactly call a 1 GHz system with 256 megs of ram "high end" even if it did come with a monitor built in. It's just my opinion, but I know a lot of people who buy a newer machine but still use their monitor. And I have heard enough people say they don't like the fact that you don't have a choice of a monitor on iMacs. I had considered a consumer machine for home, but I too refuse to buy an all in one. Just my opinion.
 

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Thanks Pelao. So you think Longhorn (I call it longshot) is going to be Linux based. I would giggle. But if that did happen it would surely be some sort of twisted version. Sort of what they did to Kerberos.

gordguide, I hope I can be excused for asking if you missed my point: Asia is going to break the Microsoft logjam. That is what is significant. As for the Mac-hating types on Slashdot ..dont't let them rent space in your head. Their prejudice cannot stop the Good Things already unstoppable.

Last little thought:
You know how Steve Jobs likens Apple to BMW or Mercedes? As in small overall market share but the 600-pound gorilla in the luxury market?... We that analogy at present is bogus exactly for the reason that there so many different kind of cars, all abiding by certain standards (clearance, fuel type, etc...) Imagine that Ford made 97% of all cars and BMW the other 3%. Then imagine Ford decided a certain fuel additive was needed for their cars, something that made the BMW's choke. Well the BMW owners would be screwed to find any place to fill up in that world as almost all gas stations would cater to the mindless masses.
See where I'm going? The reason why BMW can do fine is because of the variety of cars on the road. There is no automotive monopoly. If it were not for the currents underway in Asia, thanks to Linux, Sun, IBM, and hey HP while we're at it, we would be truely screwed.
 
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