Apple Market Share | July 30, 2005
I spend a lot of time in front of my computer. Probably more than most. So I want to make sure that I spend as little time as possible keeping my system running. Many years ago I used to use a PC and estimate that I’d spend around 2% of my time keeping the system in good working order. That could be installing software or patches, defragging the disk, or the occasional OS reinstall. Not a huge amount of time, but it does add up. These days I use a Mac, and the amount of time I spend on maintenance has easily dropped below 0.01%.
Because I use my computer all the time, I want it to be as pleasant an experience as possible. I want my computer to help me do my work, or at least not get in my way. A few months ago I was working on site for a client and was forced to use a Windows machine for two weeks. While the OS has definitely improved in the last few years, I still get the feeling that I’m fighting against the OS rather than working with it. And while Windows XP looks a little nicer than it’s predecessor, it still feels miles behind the Mac OX. Web pages just always look at lot nicer when viewed on a Mac than a PC, which is probably why most of the screenshots you see in books are taken on a Mac.
Now before the Windows users go on the defensive, I’m not saying that OS X is perfect. Like most computer systems, it has it’s quirks, oddities and annoyances. However I truly believe that it’s the best operating system around and will stay that way for a couple of years. At least until Vista debuts.
I have quite a bit of time, money and emotional attachment invested in Apple, so would hate for anything to happen to them. There have been a few moments in recent history where there future looked uncertain, but the success of the iPod coupled with the Mac mini seem to have secured their future, at least for the next couple of years. However I want Apple to thrive and one perceived guarantee of longevity is market share.
Currently Apple has a US market share of 4.5 percent and a global market share of 2.5 percent. At first glance these figure seem pretty poor. However it’s worth putting that in perspective. 4.5 percent means that one in every 22 computers in the US is a Mac. When you think about it, that’s actually quite a lot.
Brighton seems to be the Mac capitol of the UK. Everywhere I go I see people with their iBooks or Powerbooks out. In WiFi cafes, in the park and on the beach. In fact a while ago there was a rumour circulating that outside of New York, there were more Apple computers per capita in Brighton than anywhere else in the world. Probably an urban myth, but it’s a believable one.
Most of my friends and colleagues own at least one Mac, and at conferences like SXSWi and @media, the halls are swarming with them. In fact spying a Dell or a Vaio at one of these events is a bit of an oddity.
Apple doesn’t have a huge cut of the larger computer market, but it does have a strong showing in the creative sector. Most web designers I know own a Mac or aspire to owning one. I wouldn’t say that this site is particularly Mac focused, although I do post the odd article about Apple here and there. However looking at my stats over a 6 month period shows that 26.5 percent of my site visitors are Mac users, 48 percent are Windows users and a further 23 percent are bots and news readers that don’t announce there OS.
So while Apples market share may appear small, it is actually a lot larger and more stable than you may imagine.
Posted at July 30, 2005 8:25 PM