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schwern (1528)

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Journal of schwern (1528)

Friday October 08, 2004
03:44 PM

2% of an Apple is better than no Apple at all

[ #21255 ]
I'm reading a Month with a Mac and the "Apple has 2% of the market" pseudo-fact has come up again. Folks sure like to toss this around. Does this have any basis in fact? I've heard it for years and years and years no matter if Apple is doing well or not, so I doubt it. Or is it that even if Apple doubles its sales they're so small compared to Windows that it doesn't even make a dent? Can this sort of thing even be accurately measured? If so, who does the measuring? Are they just looking at what gets sold? Browser stats (in which case it does appear that it is true)? What if it was broken down by communities (thinking of the rapidly growing number of Apple laptops at OSCON)? What if you removed people who have no choice in what they use (ie. work machines)? What if you removed machines that predate Apple's most recent resurgance? Inquiring minds want to know!
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  • Last time I ran into this (a couple years ago), I actually looked up the numbers. I forget the source. Apple was somewhere around 4%, and was the sixth largest computer maker. You also have to consider that Microsoft, selling no computers, is 0%. The remaining market was split between five big names (Dell, HP, Toshiba, Gateway, Compaq, IBM, I think), so no one had over something like 15%.
    • You also have to consider that Microsoft, selling no computers, is 0%.
      That's a bit disingenuous. They may not sell boxen, but they still own the platforms -- the OS, the development platform, and the office productivity platform. And, through events like WinHEC, they also dictate the components on the platform that those six vendors commoditize.
  • The biggest argument against the "single digit market share" myth I've come across is simple deconstruction of that oft-cited yet meaningless statistic.

    The single digit market share is based on sales volume. In terms of units shipped, Macs make up a small share of sales in any given period. But that's not particularly interesting. Some better questions are, "so what?", and "what's different about Macs and Mac buyers?" (For example, many have argued that Mac users buy machines less frequently than PC u

  • In browser statistics for years, I've seen figures for Macs that are close to 2%. A couple of years ago it was below 2%. Now it is above. Are these figures really accurate? Not entirely, and they'll vary significantly from site to site. But the consistency with which they are close to 2% strongly suggests that somewhere near 2% of web browsers (which should be a pretty good cross-section of computer users) are on macs.

    For the first example that I found through Google, take a look at who visits w3schoo []