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Mac base now 9.2 percent of worldwide PC users
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May 2, 2016, 06:11 PM
 
A new study of desktop OS users has found that the Mac user base has nearly tripled over the last nine years, now rising to 9.2 of personal computers used online, even as the overall number of traditional computers in use -- and those using Windows -- has declined. While Apple's most recent sales figures show a 2.1 percent year-over-year decline, the overall PC industry shipments fell by 11.5 percent in the March quarter, giving Apple room to increase its share. Windows is down to 89.2 percent share of PCs, the first time the platform has fallen below 90 percent in the Net Applications survey of online PC use.

The Windows share was 90.5 percent in March, and has been falling gradually over the past few years as desktop and notebook PC use has declined in favor of mobile devices. Mac share of online PCs jumped from 7.8 percent in March to the current figure in April, up from 7.4 percent a year ago. Net Applications has been monitoring online computer platform stats since late 2007. At that time, Windows accounted for 96 percent of online use, with Macs garnering only 3.4 percent, reported Investor's Business Daily.

Should the trend continue, it may suggest that while many PC and Mac users will continue to rely on mobile, those who still need desktop and notebook-class computers for more productivity-focused work may increasingly abandon the Windows platform in favor of Macs, which could further gain from the "halo" effect of working well with many consumers' preferred smartphone and tablet platform, iOS, as well as standard business applications like Microsoft Office.
     
Steve Wilkinson
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May 3, 2016, 01:14 PM
 
Yea, this is baloney. They are confusing 'Mac user base' with 'marketshare' which are quite different things. A good clue to this is that somehow the 'Mac user base' has gone from 7.8% in March to 9.2% now. There's now way in heck it could possibly change that rapidly. They are talking about some kind of 'share of sales' or 'share of shipments' for some particular time period.

And, when we're talking actual in-use systems by real users, it's been over 10% for a long, long time. While it might not be the same on a world-wide scale, just from empirical observation, it's far higher than that in North America. Heck, if you go to a coffee shop or attend a university lecture, etc. you'll probably find it's more like 40-60% now. Running into a home user who uses a Mac is pretty common, if not the norm now... not an odd thing like it once was.

All the systems used in corporate environments or even non-user environments certainly skew the data. I'm sure it probably is less than 10% if that's what we're talking about.
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Steve Wilkinson
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Makosuke
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May 3, 2016, 05:31 PM
 
@Steve Wilkinson: Net Applications is a web analytics firm, so all the numbers they're giving are a percentage of visible traffic on the internet, which in the modern era is at least a reasonably accurate way to measure actual, in-use percentage.

It could be skewed somewhat if, for example, Mac users were more likely to surf the web, or did so more, than Windows users, but one would think the relative web use fractions would be at least in the same ballpark. The other source of error is because Net Applications doesn't monitor *all* web traffic, just what is trackable on websites they do analytics on, so it could be skewed by demographics of sites using their analytics.

One other factor that complicates global data is that in many poorer areas even if someone does own a desktop computer they might be much more likely to use their mobile device to access the web, so this kind of study is going to underrepresent "business" computers (that spend more time document-processing or on intranets and less on the broad web), and those from users with unreliable or expensive internet.

The statistics are also identified explicitly as being global. Even just looking at market share--which, since Macs tend to stay in use longer than Windows boxes, almost always offers a somewhat inaccurate picture of usage share--Apple has close to 15% of the North American market, and the use share is probably higher than that--20% wouldn't be surprising, almost certainly higher if you look at consumer vs corporate+consumer mix.

Globally, though, there's a *lot* of countries where Macs are significantly less popular than in the US and Canada, which is among the reasons that this nearly 10% use share is impressive.

Food for thought, though: If you include Android and iOS in this statistic, Windows isn't just below 90% use share, it's below 50%. The world is a changing place.
     
Steve Wilkinson
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May 6, 2016, 07:16 PM
 
@Makosuke

Very good points. I'm still having a hard time believing, even in the USA, that it would be less than 10% in terms of usage if accurately measured in a proper way. But, I guess that explains that huge difference between time-frames, and shows the problem. There's no way the Mac share changed from 7.8% to 9.2% between months. So, this particular measure attempt is obviously flawed.
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Steve Wilkinson
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