Apple Market Share to Explode?

by Janet Meyer Jul 11, 2006

On June 30 Apple Matters’ Darcy Richardson wrote an article questioning whether or not Apple is in jeopardy. In it she discussed some reasons for the temporary decrease in Apple Computer’s stock value.

It does seem that there are a lot of reports of Apple’s future demise. When researching my article last week about Maine’s $41 million laptop expenditure, I noticed reader comments about the inadvisability of Maine buying laptops from a sinking company. I knew that Apple was having a few difficulties that I suspected would only have a short term stock effect, but was surprised that some people feel the company is on the road to oblivion.

Those who think Apple Computer is on its last gasp might want to look at the latest news. It appears that Apple is poised for a market explosion.

According to Investor’s Business Daily, a recent survey by TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence shows a big increase in Macintosh computers in the past month. The loser seems to be industry leader Dell Computer.

In surveying consumers likely to buy a new desktop computer in the next six months, TechnoMetrica reports that 16% reported a preference for Apple. This is up from 6% in May.

When compared to all computers, Dell is losing ground. It still holds the #1 position at 41%, but this is down quite a bit from 48% in May and 55% in April. Apple and Hewlett-Packard tied at 11%.

Charles Wolf, market analyst for Needham & Co, has been busy interpreting another suvey. In research conducted by Harris Interactive, he concludes that Apple’s home market share in the United States is set to triple. His analysis takes into account the difference between what buyers tend to say they will do versus what really happens.

Wolf attributes the increased interest in the Mac to the ability to run Windows applications. Based on Harris Interactive’s survey, Wolf also suggests an effect from the success of iPods. Wolf reports that iPod owners have a 9% higher potential switch rate than non-iPod users.

One key thing is to remember that both of these reports talk of potential buyers. Both surveys are designed to predict future behavior. None deal with current behavior.

I don’t know how reliable these reports will ultimately be, but anecdotal evidence suggests that they could be right. In an ars technica Infinite Loop article, Jacqui Cheng asked readers if they had noticed any increase in Mac buying. Several people commented on friends and neighbors who had switched or will likely switch with their next purchase. A few commented that they had personally changed systems. Often the ability to use Windows was cited as a reason.

Is your personal experience the same as that of Infinite Loop readers? Are your friends or colleagues considering purchasing a Mac for the first time?

I’m also curious about your thoughts on why the big upswing in respondents saying they want to buy a Mac. Various analysts suggest the iPod halo effect, Boot Camp, or the latest direct comparison advertising. Do you think any one of these had a bigger influence than the other factors? I’d love to hear your thoughts.



  • Do research before you make uneducated comments.

    I was talking about market share not share prices, Dingus.

    But they both have the word “share” in them, so I can see how someone easily confused could easily get confused.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Jul 12, 2006 Posts: 2220
  • For those unaware, there is no direct correllation of share price vs market share weight. Look at M$ for an example.

    Robomac had this to say on Jul 12, 2006 Posts: 846
  • I switched because of Bootcamp. I am currently using my Mac to edit about 40 hours of family video’s. I would never have purchased a Mac except it can now run my nesessary business Windows software.

    camn had this to say on Jul 12, 2006 Posts: 1
  • BB - what’s wrong with you that you have to resort to personal insults in virtually every post?

    Of course Apple’s market share is going up - in the home market anyway.  Windows is on a slide - viruses, malware and Vista slippages are a turn-off for home users.  Apple is on the rise: great design, beautiful stores, and mega-successful (iPod/iTunes).  Apple gets great press - Microsoft is being slammed all around the world for poor products, unethical behaviour (they will be fined $3.8m a day from Aug 31 for failing to adhere to an EU legal judgement), problems with Vista…

    sydneystephen had this to say on Jul 12, 2006 Posts: 124
  • BB - what’s wrong with you that you have to resort to personal insults in virtually every post?

    Uh huh.  My comment was in response to this: “Do research before you make uneducated comments.”

    Which is I guess, in your world, not insulting at ALL.  Even though it’s referring to comments about share price that I didn’t make and couldn’t care less about.

    Of course Apple’s market share is going up - in the home market anyway.

    In the last report I’ve read, Mac market share went DOWN in Q1 2006, probably due mostly to the Intel transition.  That’s an understandable reason of course, but the market share still went down, not up.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Jul 12, 2006 Posts: 2220
  • In the last report I’ve read, Mac market share went DOWN in Q1 2006 -Bbx

    Worldwide, yes Mac overall share dipped 1% to around 2.1%. Now that is because the overall growth in the market - that includes all market segments from IBM servers, Sun’s SPARCs, Unisys, embedded PC systems (test measurement equipment), down to Apple Macs and generic x86s - Mac share% falsely appears to haved slowed although Mac sales volume rate and momentum is on the rise.

    With x86 (Intel CPUs) taking hits after hits the past several quarters, this overall PC growth cannot be accounted by Windows-centric machines. No, Dell’s recent performances is also a tell-tale signature of the x86 market’s snail-pace. So, conclusion the expansion is not M$-driven as Bbx would like you, S^2, to believe.

    s^2, I agree with you that the Mac share volume is expanding in the past 8 quarters and accelerating. The recent research by TechnoMetrica reveals a startling revelation - that potential PC buyers are clamoring to the Mac side thanks to the iPod’s apparent “halo” effect.

    And last but not least, S^2, welcome back to the battlefront…

    Robomac had this to say on Jul 12, 2006 Posts: 846
  • And yes, do not forget those pesky game machines from Nintendo, Sony, and yes M$. These systems are also voracious CPU supply consumers. As such, they are counted in the whole worldwide PC systems pie.

    Robomac had this to say on Jul 12, 2006 Posts: 846
  • Sorry BB.  Misread your comment.  But as far as everything I have read has said that the number of Apple compuers have increased, and I would speculate that the number of Macs sold will increase greatly if Best Buy continues to spread their Mac computer venture to all of its store AND have educated sales personnel.  Most of those guys just dis mac and haven’t even seen one before. hey say “well uhh you can’t play games on a Mac, they don’t have windows… oh and their expensive.” I think Apple is lucky to have a great CEO now instead of the past loosers who destroyed the company.  We will see if it is Linux or Mac OSX that will defeat Microsoft, cause we all know all empires fall.

    CaptainOats23 had this to say on Jul 13, 2006 Posts: 3
  • We will see if it is Linux or Mac OSX that will defeat Microsoft… -cpt

    Neither. It will be entirely a much different form that will have the niceties of the Mac. Hmmmm…does the sound of the rumbling as an avalanche be coming from Cupertino campus’ CE division (hint: it is small, with clickable scroll wheel, sweet, does what its user craves, simple, ....)

    And no, it is not the current iPod generation. It is the faintly-rumoured small form-factor hybrid of the iPod and the Mac. You did not hear it from me first, OK? I don’t want to hear from Apple’s legal counsels at anytime. wink

    Robomac had this to say on Jul 13, 2006 Posts: 846
  • Didn’t hear a word, Robotech! smile

    Janet Meyer had this to say on Jul 13, 2006 Posts: 36
  • First of all, I am a hard core old school computer enthusiast, hacker, programmer, and currently employed for a fortune 100 company supporting tens of thousands of Windows PC’s and servers.  I have run everything, not just Windows.  UNIX (Solaris/AIX), Linux, FreeBSD, NeXTStep/OpenStep, GEM/TOS, AmigaOS, OS/2, DOS/Win3x/WinNT3.51-4/Win9x/Win2k/WinME/WinXP/Win2k3/Vista Beta.  I have 20+ years of experience with using, programming, administering, and supporting computers of all types.

    I bought my first Mac as soon as Mac OS X went 10.1 and an Apple store opened within driving distance.  I never considered Apple computers to be a real computer but more a toy.  That changed with Apple’s purchase of NeXT and the new Mac OS X.  I had experience with NeXTStep/OpenStep and I missed it.

    I walked into that new Apple store and spent three hours picking the salesman’s mind and playing with each machine.  I walked out with a TiBook 500Mhz and Mac OS X 10.1.  I have since bought an iPod and Nano, as well as a PowerMac 1.0Ghz MDD with dual displays, as well as a newer AlBook 1.33Mhz.  There has also been an Airport Extreme basestation and Airport Express as well.  I plan to buy the second generation MacBookPro when it ships with a Core Duo 2 processor. 

    I bought Apple because of it’s UNIX core, I can run all the Linux/OpenSource/GNU stuff along side MS Office and other apps like Photoshop, etc.  The second reason was the free development tools which will save me a fortune.  As a bonus I now have home computers that I don’t have to fix nor even run regularly scheduled maintenance (no virus definition updates, no defragmenting, no manual patching). 

    However, since Apple switched to Intel, I have had quite a few people very interested in the ability to boot Windows and run Windows in a virtual machine.  They aren’t ready to buy yet but they are seriously considering it.  They like the idea of migrating to a Mac while still keeping their previous PC software and hardware investment. 

    Apple would sell more Mac’s if they produce a low end PowerMac tower with a standard PC video card.  i.e. no more custom Mac firmware on the video card!  Gamers consist of a large market and they will switch in droves if the PowerMac was affordable, had an Intel processor, and the video card was upgradable.  Gamers will reboot into a base WinXP build just to play games, after all you won’t be multitasking with other apps while playing an intensive game. 

    I think that Apples market-share will suddenly surge in the next 5 years as people wear out their older PC computers and start looking for a replacement.  Apple is now a real alternative to a PC.  The real draw is being able to migrate your old Windows apps as well as being virus, spyware free!

    whatchamacallit had this to say on Jul 16, 2006 Posts: 2
  • Apple would sell more Mac’s if they produce a low end PowerMac tower with a standard PC video card.  i.e. no more custom Mac firmware on the video card! -whatcha

    First, welcome aboard the Mac train! You are most welcome to discuss all your prior pain and wealthy knowledge to contribute with all our Mac friends here at AM.

    Yes, you are very correct about a better prospect at the mid- to high-end range if Apple adopts a lower-priced structure. Or better still, keep the muscle at the high-end and produce mid- and lower-end Mac Pro (Power Mac tower) that are very competitive with ordinary x86 PC counterparts.

    As for dual-OS capability in PCIe video cards graphic cards, that should just be a driver issue and not hardware/firmware. The firmware is executed locally by the GPU and not by the computer’s CPU. PCIe is only a communication channel or “bus” between the two.

    Also, the graphic card’s register blocks has to be mapped onto the main memory of the computer. That varies between OS and OS implementations. That’s where the driver comes in and set’s the GPU’s expected memory mapping somewhere in main memory.

    So, as to your wishes of a universal PC or Mac graphic card is possible but the vendor has to provide the driver and/or possibly a different firmware when supporting a different OS.

    Robomac had this to say on Jul 21, 2006 Posts: 846
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