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Businesses Desktops (Apple) Apple

After a Decade, Mac Sales Again Top 10% 410

Posted by timothy
from the in-many-ways-never-really-went-away dept.
GMGruman writes "The last time Apple's Mac sales accounted for more than 10 percent of the U.S. PC market was 1991. This spring, Apple finally returned to that market share high, with 10.7 percent of all U.S. PC sales, according to both IDC and Gartner. That's a major reversal from its 2004 share of under 2 percent. The sales report comes after some other good news this week for Apple: A third of big businesses now let employees choose a Mac as their PC — and more than half choose the Mac."
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After a Decade, Mac Sales Again Top 10%

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  • 2011 - 1991 = 20. (Score:5, Informative)

    by YodasEvilTwin (2014446) on Thursday July 14, 2011 @05:53PM (#36768894) Homepage
    That's TWO decades.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      which is more then a decade.

  • by decora (1710862) on Thursday July 14, 2011 @05:55PM (#36768912) Journal

    let me know when you pass 12 percent. silly moderns.

    • Babylonians would probably use sixtieths instead of percent, making the milestone 6/60:

      The last time Apple's Mac sales account for more than 6 sixtieths of the U.S. PC market was 1991. This spring, Apple finally returned to that market share high, with 6.4 sixtieths of all U.S. PC sales, according to both IDC and Gartner. That's a major reversal from its 2004 share of barely over 1 sixtieth.

  • by liquidweaver (1988660) on Thursday July 14, 2011 @05:58PM (#36768948)
    Am I the only person delighted that they used PC not exclusively in the Windows context? I don't think the Microsoft campaign to make PC == Windows is an accident.
    • Am I the only person delighted that they used PC not exclusively in the Windows context?

      This. The "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" commercial series twisted what "PC" meant to make it out to be a Windows machine. PC means Personal Computer, people.

      • and I like people who own flower shops and have big hula hoop earrings.

      • This. The "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" commercial series twisted what "PC" meant to make it out to be a Windows machine. PC means Personal Computer, people.

        Actually they did one of those commercials where "Mac" specifically says he's "a PC too" [youtube.com].

      • uh, no, the IBM PC back in the 70's and 80's was when PC = Intel box running DOS/Windows.

        PC is shorthand not just for Personal Computer, but also, "IBM compatible Personal Computer."

        • by Osgeld (1900440)

          not to nit pick but the 8051 was released August 12, 1981, and while yes they did have devices like programmable calculators well before then. its the first IBM product called Personal Computer

    • by twocows (1216842)
      The summary doesn't imply otherwise (surprisingly). I fail to see why you brought that up.
    • I'm wondering where the guy is who I was arguing with that the term "PC" means "personal computer" and hence applies to damn near any computer sold for personal use. He continued to insist that, because of marketing, the definition had changed, and that the term "PC" now referred to the operating system. I appreciated this line especially:

      A third of big businesses now let employees choose a Mac as their PC

    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      It started before microsoft was anything to worry about, the IBM PC was a huge success, so much so it was cloned by everyfuckingbody, and well if you wanted a IBM PC compatible it had to run its OS of choice

      If anything I would blame the case badges from the xt-at IBM PC's which was PC visually dominating the thing

  • I wouldn't have expected this in a down economy, considering the mac's premium price. I'm a little surprised.

    I'm wondering if part of the explanation is that the PC market has become saturated, with new hardware having much more horsepower than any office user could reasonably take advantage of.

    But I have to agree about the uptick in corporations allowing macs, having seen it in my own company.

    I'm not a mac fan; I have one at home because my daughter is required to use them at school, but it's always good

    • What school requires a Mac?
      • by roc97007 (608802)

        In my experience, all of them. Every school daughter has attended in my area -- grade, junior high, high -- are mac exclusively. I spent a summer helping out in the grade school computer lab one summer, got acquainted with a fairly wide range of mac hardware, some quite elderly.

        When she had to bring software home, (she's dyslexic and is entitled to some special ed tools) sometimes there would be a PC version, but there was problems often enough that it was easier to buy a used mac and dedicate it as a hom

    • and also uhm...

      the conspiarcy side of me says that there is a gigantic education bubble going on, all those 'graphic designers' need macs for their gubmint funded for-profit 'degrees in animation'.

    • I'm wondering if part of the explanation...

      The entire explanation can be found here [apple.com].

    • I wouldn't have expected this in a down economy, considering the mac's premium price. I'm a little surprised.

      Premium price = premium market. The people at the higher end of the income scale are doing pretty great about now while those below are getting crushed.

    • I recall seeing a study from a few years back that people in economic downtimes tend to be more frugal (not really a surprise), to research big purchases much more carefully, and to purchase items which they expect to last them for longer, even if they come at a higher price. The articles talking about the study used Apple as an example, since they were the only major computer manufacturer who saw positive growth in unit sales in the quarter or two immediately after the recession hit, while the rest of the

      • by roc97007 (608802)

        > The articles talking about the study used Apple as an example, since they were the only major computer manufacturer who saw positive growth in unit sales in the quarter or two immediately after the recession hit, while the rest of the industry was seeing negative growth

        I understand this, but I submit that the rest of the industry would have been sluggish regardless, because hardware had overstepped the requirements of the software. There's no reason to buy a new PC because the last one I bought was fa

        • I'm not going to argue it either way. After all, correlation != causation and all that. You've provided a fine counter-example, and I'm sure there are plenty of others.

      • "We are poor, we can't afford to buy cheap things. "

        My MacBook is now over five years old and going strong. And it hasn't slowed down one bit in these years.
    • I wouldn't have expected this in a down economy, considering the mac's premium price. I'm a little surprised.

      Often a "cheap" PC is just a false economy [wikipedia.org]. IMHO, YMMV, etc.

      • by roc97007 (608802)

        Understood, there's a lot of trash out there. One of the most difficult things I have to do is tell someone they bought a cut rate PC that can't be upgraded and the best thing they can do is dump it and start over. (Often I can't even salvage the case, because it's some strange configuration into which a generic motherboard will not fit.) Happens depressingly often.

        But considering a modern Mac is just a PC running a different OS, you can still buy a pretty good PC for less than what you would pay for a M

        • by CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) on Thursday July 14, 2011 @07:42PM (#36770088)

          But considering a modern Mac is just a PC running a different OS, you can still buy a pretty good PC for less than what you would pay for a Mac.

          You can build a "pretty good" PC for less than a mac if you only compare the specs. Once you throw in things like service, build quality, noise level, footprint and intangibles like style, macs own their category. But sometimes pretty good is good enough.

          Now, someone who *wants* a Mac won't hesitate to pay the premium, but what we were talking about here (I think) is previous PC customers who have decided to make the switch.

          You've got that exactly backward. People who are prepared to pay a premium when buying a PC don't hesitate to chose a mac. There are no "nice" PC's anymore, all I see are half assed attempts by the likes of HP and ricer monstrocities while the rest are in a race to the bottom.

      • False economies tend to happen to people (and government agencies) that live paycheck to paycheck. For example, people use expensive check cashing services and payday loans because they lack the minimum deposit and credit history to set up a checking account and credit card.
      • Well no, what you're missing here is that PCs are getting passed-over for tablets. Netbook sales, once Acer's bread-and-butter, have dried-up in recent years. Acer went from over %10 of the US PC market to around %8, basically trading places with Apple.

        Apple's customer base is relatively fixed, and that means that when the cheap-end of the PC market falters, their "percentage" of the market grows without needing any sales growth. In addition, Apple released a major refresh on their most popular models th

        • by roc97007 (608802)

          This is a variation on what I was trying to say, that we're not seeing more Mac sales, we're seeing fewer PC sales. Although the stagnation of the Netbook market is a good point that I had not thought of. But I wonder if the netbook market has stagnated, or saturated?

          Not clear to me that tablets are specifically digging into traditional PC revenue, but if so, this should be reflected in the numbers somehow. Like, any tablet that is purchased instead of a PC but is not an iPad still counts as not a Mac sa

          • The netbook is getting squeezed out of the market. When they first came on the market there were largely 2 classes of customers for them, one that wanted a really cheap device to get online, do email, look at photos watch videos etc, and those that wanted a really small and light laptop. Well fast forward 5 years or so and many of the people who just wanted a device to get online are buying tablets and the rise of the ultralight relatively full featured laptops are taking away many of the customers who w
        • Apple's customer base is relatively fixed, and that means that when the cheap-end of the PC market falters, their "percentage" of the market grows without needing any sales growth.

          I'm pretty sure all those college kids with their MacBooks weren't using macs 10 years ago. Those are all switchers. Most Apple users I know are switchers (as am I.)

          In addition, Apple released a major refresh on their most popular models this quarter (something folks have been waiting on after years of Core 2), so they were able to satisfy a lot of pent-up demand.

          While that's true what we're seeing isn't a one time peak. Mac sales have been steadily climbing year after year [arstechnica.com].

          So, this is not some "amazing" milestone, nor is it an indicator of impressive growth for Apple in the PC market. Instead, Apple merely traded places with Acer, and pumped their share a little due to the largest lineup refresh in over a year.

          I'd say they traded places with the likes of HP and Sony on the premium end of the market which Apple completely owns. PC makers have basically given up on the high end. Most high end laptops for example are trying to copy Apple, some

    • by geekoid (135745)

      There no more priced the equivalent machines.
      The days of being 3 times expensive are over.

    • by guruevi (827432)

      Among research students, 90% buys a Mac because it abstracts the Unix shell away but it's still available. Also, compiling custom code is a lot simpler (gcc program.c) than setting up and dealing with either Visual Studio (and it's odd licensing for redistribution and compiler quirks) or Cygwin.

      Among customers, too many have been bitten by Dell and the like which could offer a cheap computer but will be filled with crapware and fail within 2 years. Customer service is abysmal with some of these companies an

  • The only thing i am not understanding is why are the tech magazines online are making that great fuss over the results of one company only over its U.S. sales.

    if u.s. is a market of 300 million, china is a market of 1.5 bn. japan is 100 million (and you HAVE to have advanced gadgetry there - cellular phones that cannot display tv broadcasts dont sell - that includes apple's iphones http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/02/why-the-iphone/ [wired.com] ), the market that is india is another 1 bn, the market that is europ
    • by ArAgost (853804)

      [...] japan is 100 million (and you HAVE to have advanced gadgetry there - cellular phones that cannot display tv broadcasts dont sell - that includes apple's iphones http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/02/why-the-iphone/ [wired.com] )

      You might want to check your sources: http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/02/28/japanese_hate_for_iphone_all_a_big_mistake.html [appleinsider.com] http://mashable.com/2009/07/04/iphone-japan/ [mashable.com]

      or is it some marketing hype in order to make the stocks in nasdaq move ?

      I don't think AAPL really needs this kind of help. Selling a crapload of high-profit stuff seems to work well enough for them.

    • Not answering anything in your post other than the whole Japan thing was proven to be the result of "analysts", well, just making shit up. Apple does very well in Japan - according to a (later) WSJ [wsj.com] article, Apple has ~72% of the smartphone market in Japan.

      It seems that the japanese appreciate "shit that works" over "shit that needs a degree to understand" just as much as other people.

      Simon

    • by Telvin_3d (855514)

      China and India are not markets of 1.5 and 1 billion. That is their populations, not the number of people who are able to buy computers of any sort.

    • by Dogtanian (588974)
      I was going to say something similar, though not necessarily complaining, simply observing that this US situation wasn't reflective of the rest of the world.

      But what I *am* interested in is why Macs seem to be proportionately more popular in the US than elsewhere. Is it simply that people in the US tend to have more disposable income? Is it because Apple target the US anyway (self-perpetuating their most successful market to some extent)?
  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@nOSPam.lynx.bc.ca> on Thursday July 14, 2011 @07:06PM (#36769730) Journal
    I'd be willing to bet that iOS development is a HUGE factor in this... because a lot of houses are wanting to jump on the iOS development bandwagon, and the only authorized way to develop for iOS (and the only way to get an app on iTunes) is by using a Mac for development.
    • I'd be willing to bet that iOS development is a HUGE factor in this... because a lot of houses are wanting to jump on the iOS development bandwagon, and the only authorized way to develop for iOS (and the only way to get an app on iTunes) is by using a Mac for development.

      That's a very astute observation. I was thinking more that of the

      ... third of big businesses now let employees choose a Mac as their PC — and more than half choose the Mac.

      I have to wonder why the other 2/3rds don't let their employees change. Is it because they don't want to? Or is it because the employees don't ask...

      • by jcr (53032)

        I have to wonder why the other 2/3rds don't let their employees change.

        Usually, it's because they have an exclusive volume purchase deal with HP or Dell.

        -jcr

  • I talked to an IDC analyst when this broke: Apple was at 10.5% back around spring/summer 2010. The difference here is that Apple is likely to keep this spot because of gangbuster sales -- and, of course, Acer's "there are no iPads in Baghdad" strategy of depending way too much on netbooks and cheap notebooks.

    • IDC also reports PC sales in 2011 were down to only 4.2% growth, mostly due to the recession and the impact of netbook and tablet sales. The question is will Apple keep this share when PC sales rebound to the 10-11% expected growth in 2012-2015.
  • by LynnwoodRooster (966895) on Thursday July 14, 2011 @09:05PM (#36770790) Journal
    That growth to 10% was in the US market only, which on the whole shrank by 4.2%. So Apple is grabbing an ever-bigger share of a shrinking pie - not nearly as impressive when seen in that light.

    .
    It would be interesting to see how Apple stacks up in Asia, where the PC market is still growing at 12% per year...

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