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Apple's U.S. Operating System Market Share Nearing 10%

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News Posted: Sun, Jul 18 2010 2:03 PM
For years upon years, the easiest way to hush a Mac loyalist was to point to market share. For nearly as long as the two operating systems (the two being Apple's OS and Microsoft's OS) have been competition against each other, Microsoft has always had an incredible lead in terms of installed user base. Of course, the "default" for most people and businesses is the newest edition of Windows, so it's not too surprising that Apple has struggled to grab even 5% of the global OS market share for the past few decades.

Even with Apple soaring in terms of popularity (and in terms of share price), the amount of Mac computer users hasn't risen tremendously compared to the amount of Windows users. Even while Apple was soaring and Microsoft was battle the negative press around Windows Vista, Apple only managed to gain very minimally in terms of worldwide use. In fact, it took Apple nearly three years to gain around 3 percentage points on Microsoft. Even still, Microsoft has held well over 90% of the global share for so long that it's hard for worldwide analysts to take the Mac OS seriously.


But even after a successful Windows 7 launch, it looks like Microsoft may need to start paying closer attention to the guy in a distant second place. Research companies Gartner and IDC have both released update market share numbers, and as of now, the Mac market share is edging up against 10%. Based on the new numbers, Apple ranks fourth amongst U.S. computer shipments with a 9.8% market share (mind you, this is U.S. only), and the company is slowly climbing the ranks in worldwide shipments too. At the end of the day, Apple still has a long way to go before it even begins to threaten Microsoft, but it's clear that Apple isn't going away. Just to see it continually rise instead of continually fall speaks volumes, but in reality, we wouldn't have it any other way. We need a company really pushing Microsoft to innovate, and the competition only leads to good things for end-users.
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AKwyn replied on Sun, Jul 18 2010 2:19 PM

10 percent, a big congratulations on Apple for reaching that far.

Seriously, this is just a sign. Throughout time, Apple has always been the underdog in both computers and the operating systems, but never the iPod line. Depending on the chart if more people start to buy Macs (because of the iPhone 4, iPod or commercials claiming Macs are better then PC's) then Microsoft is going to have a serious problem on it's hands. Meaning their going to have to make Windows 8 better then Windows 7 and avoid any fatal mistakes that might cost them their market share.

I don't know, this might be related but Microsoft also need to be a teeny bit more open with their software.

 

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acarzt replied on Sun, Jul 18 2010 5:07 PM

Microsoft isn't going anywhere any time soon. Microsoft will always have the government sector.

Mac will pick up some market share... but their products are too expensive to really snag up a majority of the market.

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acarzt replied on Sun, Jul 18 2010 5:21 PM

The cheapest computer Apple sells is the mac mini. It is $700

It does not come with a keyboard, mouse, or display.

It's $100 for the keyboard and mouse.

It only has HDMI or Display port. It comes with an HDMI to DVI adapter. But non for the display port.

If you need to use VGA or a second DVI there are $30 adapters for that.

If you'd like to use Dual Link DVI... expect to pay $100.

If you want to stick with an Apple display... I can only find 2 on their website... a 24" and a 30".

The 24" is $900, the 30" is $1800

Also... it comes with a 2.4Ghz core 2 duo... if you want to upgrade to the 2.6ghz... it's $150.

On new egg a 3.06Ghz core 2 duo costs $150 by itself :-|

Jeez Apple... why so expensive?

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the funny thing is the more market share they hold the more of a target they become for viruses, malware, ect... So they would eventually lose the main reason many people buy them security or the lack of infection by PC viruses 

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AKwyn replied on Sun, Jul 18 2010 6:12 PM

Because their computers are the equivalent of Luxury sedans. I'm surprised that people buy them even when it's expensive, they must really want the quality and the support that goes into Apple products.

 

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AKwyn replied on Sun, Jul 18 2010 6:13 PM

Der Meister I completely forgot about that, I thought the built-in anti-malware software might address that.

 

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3vi1 replied on Sun, Jul 18 2010 7:01 PM

>> We need a company really pushing Microsoft to innovate, and the competition only leads to good things for end-users.

They've never innovated before, and they're not going to start now. All we're going to get is more FUD. There will be a long series of MS-funded studies that shows Apple systems have greater TCO, less security, and kill kiittens.

Their business model is more likely to move towards one where they try to bankrupt the competition with baseless patent lawsuits. They've already started down this path with people who sell devices running Linux. Unfortunately for them, Apple owns patents on an equally horrendous number of frivolous items and isn't going to be an easy target.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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3vi1 replied on Sun, Jul 18 2010 7:21 PM

acarzt:
Microsoft will always have the government sector.

 

That's exactly what we used to say about IBM.

Did you know that the U.S. DoD has the single largest install base of Red Hat Linux in the world, that the Federal courts use it for all case management, and that the U.S. Postal service moved from Windows to 900 Linux clusters? 

The list of other governments switching to it is longer than your arm, so I doubt MS is completely comfortable with what's happening in this market at the moment.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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CDeeter replied on Sun, Jul 18 2010 11:15 PM

PCs are better than Macs

We have all seen the Apple commercials where the young hip guy says,” Hi I’m a Mac.” And the dumpy guy in a business suit says,” I’m a PC.” These commercials lead to the idea that Macs are just the cat’s meow, and PCs are worthless and pathetic. In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth, and to prove this I will focus on three areas: market share, security, and value.

First up is market share. If we were to judge solely by the media hype surrounding Apple, it would seem that Apple has to be making a killing. Lines form outside their stores; the faithful awaiting the arrival of the newest widget or gizmo, sometimes for days in advance. The iPad sold one million units in one month, and the new iPhone sold out before it was even in stores (Santo, June 16, 2010)( Willington, May 4, 2010). So Apple must have a large share of the computer market, right? Wrong. In 2009 Apple’s market share was 7.6 percent in this country and about 2-3 percent worldwide; systems running the Mac operating system accounted for only five percent of internet traffic, and that is including the iPhone (Costa, August 27, 2009). To be fair, today in 2010 Apples market share has improved somewhat to around ten percent in the United States. A small increase of only two percent, and over in Europe ninety-two percent of the computers are running some form of Windows (Schramm, May 27, 2010).

Remember the commercial where the PC guy is sniffling and sneezing because he had a virus? Mac systems are so secure they do not have to worry about viruses, worms, and such, or so we are told. According to Rive Richmond of the New York Times, security software maker Symantec (makers of Norton Anti-virus) said,” Mac’s relative safety is primarily a result of their still slim market share ”( Richmond, 2009, April 16). That is Mac’s present too small of a target for hackers to waste their time on. They went on to say twenty-six vulnerabilities were found in Mac OS X in 2008, almost as many that were found in Vista for that year (Richmond, 2009, April 16). In March of this year, Apple came out with a security update to address some fifty-three vulnerabilities (Kerner, March 30, 2010). Some were in their Core Media engine, Quick Time media player, ImageIO image renderer, and a spell-checking vulnerability of all things (Kerner, March 30, 2010). Even more telling is the fact that this update is the first major update since November 2009(Kerner, March 30, 2010). That is not what I would call a secure system, just lucky instead.

Windows is not a perfect operating system though, far from it. Those of us in the Windows world have Patch Tuesday. Patch Tuesday is the second Tuesday of each month. On this day Microsoft releases all the updates for their software. Yes, we may grumble and groan about the time it takes to download and install these updates, but Microsoft has done a good job of making them pretty painless. At least Microsoft recognizes and works to correct the errors in their software instead of living in denial. I have noticed that since Windows 7 came out that Apple has stopped airing those cheeky little ads. I wonder why.

What about value? Do Apple computers really represent money well spent? Let’s compare two systems; Apple’s $1200 iMac versus a HP system of similar price.

Apple iMac ($1199.00)                                            HP HPE310t (1209.98) as configured

3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor                  2.8 GHz Intel i7-860 Quad Core cpu

21.5 inch wide screen monitor                              21.5 inch wide screen monitor

1920 x 1080 resolution                                           1920 x 1080 resolution

4 GB memory                                                            8 GB memory

500 GB hard drive                                                    750 GB hard drive

8x double layer DVD burner                                   16x dual layer light scribe DVD burner

NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics                         1 GB Ati 5570 graphics card

The prices and specifications are accurate as of June 22, 2010(Apple Store, June 22, 2010) (HP Official Store, June 22, 2010). The two systems match up only in regards to the monitors. Everything else is a clear win for the HP. The HP has twice as many cores, twice the memory, fifty percent larger hard drive, a better video card, and the DVD drive is also faster. In my opinion, it is very hard to make a case for Apple being a better value.

So where do we stand? Apple only has a ten percent market share, the operating system requires updating just like Windows does, and when compared dollar for dollar, Apple loses. When those points are considered, Apple just does not measure up to all the hype and that is why “I’m a PC.”

References

Apple Store, http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_mac/family/imac?aid=AIC-NAUS-K2-CONFIGURE-IMAC-INDEX&cp=CONFIGURE-IMAC-INDEX

Costa, D. (August 27, 2009). Apple’s mind share matters most. Retrieved June 19, 2010 http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2352103,00.asp

HP Official Store, http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/cto.do

Kerner, S. (March 30, 2010).Apple Fixes 53 Security Vulnerabilities in Mac OS X. Retrieved June 20, 2010, http://www.esecurityplanet.com/news/article.php/3873656/Apple-Fixes-53-Security-Vulnerabilities-in-Mac-OS-X.htm

Richmond, R. (2009, April 16). Macs Aren't Safer, Just a Smaller Target. p. B.7. Retrieved June 15, 2010, from National Newspaper Abstracts. http://lirnproxy.museglobal.com/MuseSessionID=ec3bbf38f78427d9eb69d5997ddef29b/

Santo, M. (June 16, 2010) Both Apple, AT&T Sell Out of iPhone 4s, Retrieved June 17, 2010 http://hothardware.com/News/Both-Apple-ATT-Sell-Out-of-iPhone-4s/

Schramm, M. (May 27, 2010) Apple market share climbs to 6.8% in Europe. Retrieved June 17, 2009 http://www.tuaw.com/2010/05/27/apple-market-share-climbs-to-6-8-in-europe/

Willington, R. (May 4, 2010). Apple Sells 1 Million iPad Tablets in First Month: The Revolution Is On. Retrieved June 17, 2010 http://hothardware.com/News/Apple-Sells-1-Million-iPad-Tablets-In-First-Month-The-Revolution-Is-On/

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acarzt replied on Mon, Jul 19 2010 12:39 AM

Well the government still has a lot of IBM/Lenovo Laptops in the field.

And the branches of the Gov't the i've worked with are almost all dell desktops. There are a few Acers here and there.

But everything runs windows XP. All of the servers we use run Server 2k3.

I don't know of anything that runs linux in this branch.

 

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I question the source of this. How can Mac market share drop during several quarters? Were Mac owners throwing their Macs away? Shipments do not equal market share.

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realneil replied on Mon, Jul 19 2010 12:32 PM

"the easiest way to hush a Mac loyalist was to point to market share"

Uh,.......I never saw or heard of one of them backing down or shutting-up for any reason. Ha-Ha!

The fact is that the Mac OS is a good one, plain and simple. Up until recently they did have a solid case for bashing Microsoft's OS, (Vista was a joke) but Win-7 has ended that line of attack. As to security, they both have cracks in the armor and have to be patched regularly. Security software is always a good idea if you use the right kind of solution.

Also,.....don't forget that Linux is solidly in the wings now and getting to be more and more relevant too, anyone who hasn't checked them out lately is missing something good.

Both companies (MS & Apple) play their reindeer games and can't be trusted very far, but  ***now*** they both have a good OS.

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3vi1 replied on Mon, Jul 19 2010 1:13 PM

>> PCs are better than Macs

Facts are better than opinions. But, that's just my opinion.

>> First up is market share.

That's what the horse-and-buggy people told Henry Ford. That's what Atari told Nintendo. That's what Yahoo told Google.

Microsoft's market-share is a direct result of anti-competitive practices, not the relative merit of its products. Next.

>> security software maker Symantec (makers of Norton Anti-virus) said,” Mac’s relative safety is primarily a result of their still slim market share ”

How many copies of their Mac antivirus do you think Symantec would sell if they told people that "Unless you install pirated software, you probably don't need our product".

>> They went on to say twenty-six vulnerabilities were found in Mac OS X in 2008, almost as many that were found in Vista for that year

The sources I checked show numbers more similar to those at Secunia : 12 advisories for OS X in 2008, vs. 30 advisories for Vista. The real difference between the two is that now, two years later, 10% of the Vista vulnerabilities are still unpatched whereas all the OS X issues were addressed.

>> Patch Tuesday is the second Tuesday of each month. On this day Microsoft releases all the updates for their software.

Yes, it's great that they're continually fixing and refixing the broken security of their kernel and web browser (unlike other OS's that have daily patches, and not just for the vendor-written components).

When Exploit Wednesday rolls around, what do you want to be running? IE, or any other browser in existence? Hint: IE8 has 53 unpatched vulnerabilities according to SecurityFocus (including one vulnerability that's 17 months old), whereas Safari has *zero*.

>> What about value? Do Apple computers really represent money well spent?

Does Windows, when I can get FreeBSD or Linux for $0? What's the cost to upgrade the OS of an Apple vs. Windows?

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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CDeeter replied on Mon, Jul 19 2010 6:55 PM

3vi1,

Thanks for the response.

PCs are better than Macs - that was just the title, and yes, that is my opinion.

"Unless you install pirated software, you probably don't need our product". - more details please.

Perhaps you missed the next part - In March of this year, Apple came out with a security update to address some fifty-three vulnerabilities. Some were in their Core Media engine, Quick Time media player, ImageIO image renderer, and a spell-checking vulnerability of all things (Kerner, March 30, 2010). Are they third party or pirated apps?

Yes, even counting the cost of the OS, I still feel the PC is a better value. I'll take a Intel i7-860 over a Core 2 Duo any day, especially for the same money. Why isn't anyone coming out with super duper Apple gaming rigs? Are you even allowed to upgrade an Apple? Is it even possible to fit a ATI 5870 in there?

Have Fun!

BTW, I'm not a total Microsoft or Intel fan boy. I have used an AMD CPU since the 133MHz days and prefer the layout  and addons of Firefox and ran Netscape back in the day, just can't stand the righteous act Apple puts on.

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AKwyn replied on Wed, Jul 28 2010 6:33 AM

CDeeter:
Yes, even counting the cost of the OS, I still feel the PC is a better value. I'll take a Intel i7-860 over a Core 2 Duo any day, especially for the same money. Why isn't anyone coming out with super duper Apple gaming rigs? Are you even allowed to upgrade an Apple? Is it even possible to fit a ATI 5870 in there?

You can only upgrade the Mac Pro but only if there is a video card that is designed to support the Mac, the other Mac's are limited in upgradability, the only thing you can upgrade being the CPU (very tough to replace it), RAM and Hard Drive.

 

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