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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Why is Apples market-share still slipping even with all the switchers and the iPod?

Why is Apples market-share still slipping even with all the switchers and the iPod?
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Socially Awkward Solo
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Jun 1, 2006, 01:01 PM
 
"According to research firm Gartner, worldwide PC shipments totaled 57 million units in the first quarter of 2006, representing a 13.1 percent increase over the same period last year. But in that time, Apple's share of the worldwide market slipped from 2.2 percent to a mere 2.0 percent.

Similarly, Apple's share of the personal computer market in the United States also remains relatively flat at 3.6 percent. Although this figure is down from 3.8 percent in the first quarter of 2005, Gartner's data indicates that Apple gained one tenth of a percent in share over the fourth quarter of 2005."

http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=1781

I don't get it. If 40% of mac's sold in Applestores are switchers, there is a strong halo effect and Apple is making more money than ever why is the market-share getting lower.

Despite the fact the since Steve has come back and saved the company every since his return Apple's market-share has gotten lower and lower.

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Calimus
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Jun 1, 2006, 01:09 PM
 
Does it really matter what the market share is? The only major software area macs are somewhat lacking in is games, and I just use consoles for that. Other than software support, why do we care what the market share is? They are making a good profit now and growing to monolithic megacorp size can only hurt the unique Apple "style".
     
Socially Awkward Solo  (op)
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Jun 1, 2006, 01:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by Calimus
Does it really matter what the market share is? The only major software area macs are somewhat lacking in is games, and I just use consoles for that. Other than software support, why do we care what the market share is?
Yes it does matter. 3rd party support. Hardware, software, websites etc.

To often have I heard "Mac users aren't a concern because they are only 4%, we aren't going to support it".

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Calimus
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Jun 1, 2006, 01:13 PM
 
I agree that it does seem odd that the market share hasn't increased though. I've know 20 PC only households that have become mostly/all mac houses since I bought my first g3 ibook a few years back. Before that I didn't know a single person who owned one. Now I'm down to 2-3 friends who are still PC users. Most of my coworkers at work, including the boss have moved to Mac.
     
Socially Awkward Solo  (op)
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Jun 1, 2006, 01:14 PM
 
So are PC companies just doing an even better job at selling computers?

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Calimus
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Jun 1, 2006, 01:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by Socially Awkward Solo
Yes it does matter. 3rd party support. Hardware, software, websites etc.

To often have I heard "Mac users aren't a concern because they are only 4%, we aren't going to support it".

Being a web developer myself, I've definetly hear that, but I've yet to have a problem with a site in Safari. I've used 6 different banking sites, and numerous ecommerce sites, government sites, etc without issue. I'm sure there are problem sites out there as I've seen the complaints. I guess my point is that with all the hardware + software I've bought since I became a mac user, I haven't really noticed that much difference in 3rd party support from when I used a PC. If I need an external drive/memory card reader, printer, scanner, digital camera, they all just seem to work. For more obscure hardware/software it's a bigger issue for sure. And as you stated above, if the perceived market share continues downward, THEN we will certainly have more issues.
     
ort888
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Jun 1, 2006, 01:23 PM
 
I think most of the growth in the PC world is super low-end PCs finally making their way into homes. Apple is going to have trouble in this market since their cheapest box is $599 and doesn't include a screen or keyboard.

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Calimus
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Jun 1, 2006, 01:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by Socially Awkward Solo
So are PC companies just doing an even better job at selling computers?
I think a good amount of the market expansion has been the ultra cheap PCs($499 and below for a full system with LCD monitor). Those users couldn't buy a computer in the last 10 years or so during the internet boom, and are just now joining the rest of us.
     
Socially Awkward Solo  (op)
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Jun 1, 2006, 01:27 PM
 
Are there any figures that show what price brackets of computers sell the most?

Is 70% of homes filled with $500 PC's?

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Calimus
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Jun 1, 2006, 01:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by Socially Awkward Solo
Are there any figures that show what price brackets of computers sell the most?

Is 70% of homes filled with $500 PC's?
I don't have specific numbers, but in economics, that is generally how it works. If you have a product line, lets say the ipod for example, the shuffles start at $69 while the ipod "with video" starts at $299. I'm willing to bet they sell 2-3x as many shuffles as the higher end ipod just because of the price. Of course it doesn't always work that way because in some markets the lower end products might be crap. But in general, the lower you price your product, the more people can afford to buy it, at the same time, the reverse is true, the higher you price your product, the less people can afford it, although you'll make more profit on each item sold.
     
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Jun 1, 2006, 02:04 PM
 
I think this is right. And Apple's market share will only continue to drop if they keeping raising prices on the low end.
     
Salty
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Jun 1, 2006, 02:11 PM
 
When I worked at Best Buy, a massive chunk of interested customers would be the ones looking at the 450 CND system. Trying to get them to look at ANYTHING higher end was nearly impossible. Made our service plan numbers really low too. You have no idea how many people want a crappy cheap dell or emachine or compaq. It's just the way things work. Of the higher end systems I'd say Apple was at least around 15-20% of the nicer systems. That said Apple's market share I think if you were to look at dollars spent on computers would probably be more.
     
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Jun 1, 2006, 02:15 PM
 
If Apple listened to common sense once in a while they would start pre-installing Windows on some of their low end systems. People won't buy Macs because Macs don't come with XP, period.

Forget all the sentimental arguments against Win on Mac, Apple's responsibility is to the shareholder, and there is considerable opportunity for growth if they would just accept the status quo.
     
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Jun 1, 2006, 02:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by Socially Awkward Solo
So are PC companies just doing an even better job at selling computers?
Yes, unfortunately.

Apple is NOT growing faster than the market. There are enough first-time Dell buyers that make those 40% switchers look meager.

-t
     
Uriel
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Jun 1, 2006, 02:48 PM
 
Could part of this be attributed to the short life cycle of PC's also?

I know people that can hold onto a mac for a looooong time before they need one.
     
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Jun 1, 2006, 02:56 PM
 
Market share is of little importance. Installed user base is.
     
Jawbone54
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Jun 1, 2006, 02:57 PM
 
Apple shouldn't focus on JUST switchers who are dissatisfied with Windows. They obviously have to focus on bringing in brand spankin' new buyers who are looking for a low-cost option. As long as Apple doesn't get in on the sub $600 for a COMPLETE system, it won't be competitive in this demographic.
     
Socially Awkward Solo  (op)
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Jun 1, 2006, 03:01 PM
 
Well lets see what the new eMac will be like, hopefully cheap as hell.

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ort888
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Jun 1, 2006, 03:01 PM
 
I think Apple needs to start making iPod/Mac bundles. For example, you should be able to buy a Mini, Macbook or iMac with a Nano for less then the cost of buying them separately.

For instance, what if Apple had a special deal where you got a free 1 gig Nano with every Mac sold. That could be HUGE. Right before college started?

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Socially Awkward Solo  (op)
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Jun 1, 2006, 03:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by ort888
I think Apple needs to start making iPod/Mac bundles. For example, you should be able to buy a Mini, Macbook or iMac with a Nano for less then the cost of buying them separately.

For instance, what if Apple had a special deal where you got a free 1 gig Nano with every Mac sold. That could be HUGE. Right before college started?
I know I was thinking the same thing yesterday. Even if Apple offered $30 towards an iPod it would help.

A year ago Apple had an offer where if you bought a Mac through education you would get a free iPod mini or money towards any iPod. 3 of my friends switched to Mac in a heatbeat because of that offer.

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Jawbone54
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Jun 1, 2006, 03:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by Socially Awkward Solo
Well lets see what the new eMac will be like, hopefully cheap as hell.
...IF it's available to the general public.
     
turtle777
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Jun 1, 2006, 03:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by Socially Awkward Solo
Well lets see what the new eMac will be like, hopefully cheap as hell.
Did Apple say there's gonna be a new eMac ?

-t
     
Socially Awkward Solo  (op)
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Jun 1, 2006, 03:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by what_the_heck
Did Apple say there's gonna be a new eMac ?

-t
No just a rumor. They better come out with one though as schools can't afford imac for everyone.

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Jun 1, 2006, 03:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Mastrap
Market share is of little importance. Installed user base is.
Yup. Regardless of market share, it still costs software and hardware companies x amount to develop and manufacture their products (whether it be software, hardware, or an online service). If they can earn a healthy profit by offering the products to the installed base of Mac customers, then the products will continue to be available. This isn't an either/or platform ecosystem we are living in.
     
Salty
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Jun 1, 2006, 03:46 PM
 
I think with the Intel processors you might see an iMac mini or something for education. Schools aren't still demanding CRTs are they?
     
ort888
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Jun 1, 2006, 03:53 PM
 
Apple needs to put out a cheap 1st party monitor. A sub $300 17" LCD or something.

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brilla
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Jun 1, 2006, 03:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Socially Awkward Solo
Are there any figures that show what price brackets of computers sell the most?

Is 70% of homes filled with $500 PC's?
Back in november the average selling price for consumer PCs in the U.S. was $744. $854 average for Dell, $651 for HP. For a quick comparison the average selling price derived by dividing total Mac net sales by total units sales was $1,384, down from $1,496 in 2004 according to Apple's 2005 annual report.

     
Socially Awkward Solo  (op)
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Jun 1, 2006, 04:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by ort888
Apple needs to put out a cheap 1st party monitor. A sub $300 17" LCD or something.
I don't think they will but I agree they should.

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Jun 1, 2006, 04:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by Barry Allen
Back in november the average selling price for consumer PCs in the U.S. was $744. $854 average for Dell, $651 for HP. For a quick comparison the average selling price derived by dividing total Mac net sales by total units sales was $1,384, down from $1,496 in 2004 according to Apple's 2005 annual report.
So Apple has just under 7% revenue share in the US.
     
zmcgill
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Jun 1, 2006, 04:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by Socially Awkward Solo
A year ago Apple had an offer where if you bought a Mac through education you would get a free iPod mini or money towards any iPod.
Yeah, that happened right after I dropped $1300 on my iBook G4.
     
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Jun 1, 2006, 04:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by Mastrap
Market share is of little importance. Installed user base is.
Quoted For Truth. Whenever I see these "market share" stories, I wonder what exactly they're counting. Are we seeing cash registers in there? Web servers?
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Jun 1, 2006, 04:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by Salty
I think with the Intel processors you might see an iMac mini or something for education. Schools aren't still demanding CRTs are they?
Until computer companies wise up and build a LCD screen with a HARD protective plastic cover over the LCD.... YES, CRTs are still in high demand in schools.
     
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Jun 1, 2006, 04:46 PM
 
China and India. For some reason, I don't see them as Mac buyers.
     
Eug Wanker
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Jun 1, 2006, 05:06 PM
 
Of course market share matters. Apple's revenue depends on it. And if market share continues to decline it of course has a direct negative effect on the Mac installed base, as a proportion of the overall computer-owning population.

Originally Posted by Calimus
Being a web developer myself, I've definetly hear that, but I've yet to have a problem with a site in Safari. I've used 6 different banking sites, and numerous ecommerce sites, government sites, etc without issue. I'm sure there are problem sites out there as I've seen the complaints. I guess my point is that with all the hardware + software I've bought since I became a mac user, I haven't really noticed that much difference in 3rd party support from when I used a PC. If I need an external drive/memory card reader, printer, scanner, digital camera, they all just seem to work. For more obscure hardware/software it's a bigger issue for sure. And as you stated above, if the perceived market share continues downward, THEN we will certainly have more issues.
The only reason I keep Firefox around is because I have problems with certain sites in Safari. The sites crap out in Safari when I try to buy airline tickets from certain places, but they work fine in Firefox.

3rd party support is still better on the Windows side obviously too. A friend I convinced to buy an iBook couldn't even get the HP printer she bought at the same time to work, despite the fact that OS X even has built-in drivers for many models. She ended up returning it for a Canon, which works fine.
     
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Jun 1, 2006, 05:29 PM
 
Simple: The market grows faster than Apple, plus the fact the market isn't just Apple vs. Dell... Its a statistic of Apple vs. Dell, Compaq, Gateway, Mom and Pop Computers, Joe Blow systems etc. So they will never gain abig marketshare in comparison to a group of companies that make up the PC market as a whole. Its next to impossible to gain a large chunk of that market alone.
     
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Jun 1, 2006, 05:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by Kerrigan
If Apple listened to common sense once in a while they would start pre-installing Windows on some of their low end systems. People won't buy Macs because Macs don't come with XP, period.

Forget all the sentimental arguments against Win on Mac, Apple's responsibility is to the shareholder, and there is considerable opportunity for growth if they would just accept the status quo.
But then will Apple get a call every freakin 3 seconds because someone's having a problem with Windows on their Mac?
     
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Jun 1, 2006, 05:32 PM
 
Apple's revenue does not depend on market share — if Dell goes up 100% and Apple goes up 50%, Apple is still making more than it did last year even though it has a smaller market share.

More to the point, market share is not really proportional to how many people are using Macs. A large swath of the computer market is way outside of Apple's actual market.
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Socially Awkward Solo  (op)
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Jun 1, 2006, 05:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug Wanker
3rd party support is still better on the Windows side obviously too. A friend I convinced to buy an iBook couldn't even get the HP printer she bought at the same time to work, despite the fact that OS X even has built-in drivers for many models. She ended up returning it for a Canon, which works fine.
That is HP's fault. They are known for their incredibly shitty Mac inkjet printer drivers even though the laser ones are great.

But ya. Other companies like Samsung printers don't even touch macs.
Linksys practically hangs up the phone on you when you call support.

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Jun 1, 2006, 05:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug Wanker
Of course market share matters. Apple's revenue depends on it. And if market share continues to decline it of course has a direct negative effect on the Mac installed base, as a proportion of the overall computer-owning population.
Market share will always be looked at, as that's the nature of the business. How does this affect the installed base in a negative way? The installed base is obviously buying up 3rd party products and services, or they wouldn't be available to us.
     
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Jun 1, 2006, 05:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by Socially Awkward Solo
That is HP's fault. They are known for their incredibly shitty Mac inkjet printer drivers even though the laser ones are great.

But ya. Other companies like Samsung printers don't even touch macs.
Linksys practically hangs up the phone on you when you call support.
Ironically, my Samsung laser from ages ago still works fine. The PowerPC drivers even work fine in Tiger on my MacBook with Rosetta, even though they haven't been updated since early 10.3 days.


Originally Posted by Chuckit
Apple's revenue does not depend on market share — if Dell goes up 100% and Apple goes up 50%, Apple is still making more than it did last year even though it has a smaller market share.
Apple will not go up 50% in Mac sales any time soon. Similarly, Dell won't go up 100% any time soon.

The key is for Apple to maintain sales growth. If it stalls, that's bad for the health of the company, and definitely bad for the stockholders.


Originally Posted by Chuckit
A large swath of the computer market is way outside of Apple's actual market.
And that swath seems to be getting larger.
     
Socially Awkward Solo  (op)
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Jun 1, 2006, 05:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug Wanker
Ironically, my Samsung laser from ages ago still works fine. The PowerPC drivers even work fine in Tiger on my MacBook with Rosetta, even though they haven't been updated since early 10.3 days.
My friends 5+ year old HP inkjet works fine also. New models can run like ass.

Samsung pulled Mac support years ago.

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Socially Awkward Solo  (op)
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Jun 1, 2006, 05:44 PM
 
If it matters or not Apple has said they WANT greater marketshare. They brag about switchers and sales to PC users so obviously they can't be happy about it either.

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Jun 1, 2006, 05:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54
...IF it's available to the general public.
Well, with Apple Stores in most major cities around the globe and a decent product lineup like the current one, I don't see how that makes a difference.

The general public is generally stupid....as recently as last summer, someone asked me if Macs can get on the internet.
Please keep in mind the ambiguously selective general understandings we've all agreed upon...
     
Socially Awkward Solo  (op)
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Jun 1, 2006, 06:04 PM
 
I am willing to bet the switch to Intel also had something to do with it as people are holding off purchases.

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Jun 1, 2006, 06:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Socially Awkward Solo
My friends 5+ year old HP inkjet works fine also. New models can run like ass.

Samsung pulled Mac support years ago.
Heh. I guess it's because of the Mac's excellent installed base?

BTW, from their general support page it's almost impossible to find printer drivers for ANY platform. It's really, really stupid. It used to be that when you searched one way for a certain model, you'd only find drivers for a certain version of an OS. If you searched another way you'd find drivers for other versions.

Nowadays though, searching for drivers through their driver download support page, yields NO printer drivers. You have to be on a very specific printer file download page to get any drivers, but you can't easily access that from the driver download support page. WTF?
     
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Jun 1, 2006, 06:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by Socially Awkward Solo
My friends 5+ year old HP inkjet works fine also. New models can run like ass.

Samsung pulled Mac support years ago.
Interesting... I have a Samsung laser printer... great little printer.
     
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Jun 1, 2006, 07:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by Socially Awkward Solo
I am willing to bet the switch to Intel also had something to do with it as people are holding off purchases.
Yup. I too blame Intel. I know right now it's more likely that I'll hack a Wintel PC to run OS X in the future than ever buy a Mactel.

Samsung pulled Mac support years ago.
You're wrong about Samsung - it still offers Mac support. Here are the printers that are listed as Mac compatible according to current sales sheets:

Laser Printers:
Samsung ML-2010
Samsung ML-2152W
Samsung ML-2550
Samsung ML-2551N
Samsung ML-2552W
Samsung ML-3560
Samsung ML-3561N
Samsung ML-3561ND
Samsung SCX-4521F
Samsung SCX-4200

Photo (only two listed, both Mac-compatible):
Samsung SPP-2020
Samsung SPP-2040

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Jun 1, 2006, 08:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by Socially Awkward Solo
I am willing to bet the switch to Intel also had something to do with it as people are holding off purchases.
Finally, someone gets it! Gartner is talking about just one quarter. 3 months. 13 weeks!

Just take a look at the computers Apple DID NOT HAVE (and lots of people were waiting for) to sell for most of that period.

The Intel iBook: Not in that quarter.
The Intel Mac Mini: Avalable for about 4-5 weeks.
The Intel Powerbook : Available for 6 weeks.

So, apart from G5 powermacs (which don't sell in high numbers anyway) and the Intel iMac, Apple didn't have a full range of systems, with 'tomorrows tech' for sale. Even when they are all Intel many people will still be waiting for the rest of the Universal binaries to turn up.

An extra 150,000 Macs (only) sold would have brought them up to the 2.2% figure.

I'm not saying that Apple is going to gain tons of market share, but I am pretty sure that by the end of the year they won't have lost any.

Apple has fantastic momentum right now, and they keep adding to it. More stores, new ad campaign, more iPods, Bootcamp...etc.

My prediction: 2.4% at the end of 2006
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Jun 1, 2006, 08:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Kerrigan
If Apple listened to common sense once in a while they would start pre-installing Windows on some of their low end systems. People won't buy Macs because Macs don't come with XP, period.
A lot of buyers don't even know what Windows is, let alone demand it on their computer. People buy cheap computers because they are cheap.
Forget all the sentimental arguments against Win on Mac, Apple's responsibility is to the shareholder, and there is considerable opportunity for growth if they would just accept the status quo.
If that was true then Apple should sell potato chips, soft drinks, overpriced coffee and other crap that makes money. Apple's business is selling a premium alternative to Windows, not Windows itself.

Apple preinstalling Windows would not necessarily increase their share anyway. Most people buy Macs because they don't want to run Windows. These Parallel/Boot Camp users are a minority. Apple preinstalling Windows just means they'll have to increase the price to pay for it.
     
xi_hyperon
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Jun 1, 2006, 10:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug Wanker
The key is for Apple to maintain sales growth. If it stalls, that's bad for the health of the company, and definitely bad for the stockholders.
Agreed. And sales growth is quite different from market share.
     
 
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