Amid all the ballyhoo and whoop-de-doo about Apple's resurgence being a result of the consecutive successes of the iPod and iPhone — and the promise of the iPad — one Cupertinian money-maker has been flying under the radar: Mac sales have tripled in the past five years. During the company's recently completed $15.7bn third …
Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics.
The numbers really don't lie.
Apple's iPod sales dwarf their PC sales. Their PC is still an also ran. This is why the iPad was released as a variation on the iPod rather than a Mac. An oversized iPod/iPhone builds on the momentum that Apple has been building with those products. Whereas the Mac has languished in the margins for over 20 years.
Attempts to spin the numbers really don't fly.
Apple's own actions and Jobs' own remarks on the matter are also quite clear.
Some of us have compared iPad and Mac sales numbers as a way to denigrate the iPad and deflate the hype and nonsense surrounding it (ipad).
keep taking the drugs...
"Whereas the Mac has languished in the margins for over 20 years."
have you heard of OSX? or the move to intel? have you actually used a macbook pro?
you do realise that mac sales are rising don't you?
maybe they've realised that the future is in portable devices so that's where most of there effort goes...
"Apple's iPod sales dwarf their PC sales."
Absolutely. And the number of rolls of Sellotape sold each year completely dwarfs the sales of Peugeot 308s.
So that proves it!
The numbers really don't lie.
> have you heard of OSX?
Dwarfed when compared to PhoneOS.
All of the fanboy gushing about particular Macs doesn't alter this.
Seems to coincide with the transition to Intel chippery and boot camp. Could the secrets of apple's laptop success lie in --- Windows??
'doze on a mac
When I crossed from the darkness (windows) into the light (OS X) I was adamant I'd need windows and kept both a bootcamp partition and a Parallels windows VM
Initially I used the VM quite often - my old bank, for example, had internet banking that only worked on IE6 - but I can't even tell you the last time I used either - boot camp or the VM
it was like a safety blanket that I've grown out of. But I probably wouldn't have taken the risk of OS X without it
actually, reading this I feel perhaps I should have started:
Hello, my name is Paul and I'm an Apple user...
You can't possibly mean
Apple started getting big when they ditched their own odd CPU architecture to start helping Developers, developers, developers developers, can you?
Well, that's certainly Thinking Differently!
I've got cheap hardware to ruin with Windows and Linux is less fussy these days which makes life easier. I'll leave the Apple stuff running OSX, thank you.
With lessening Windows sales, I'd say not.
It's a nice method of transition for the unsure, but it's just a stepping stone.
Mac OS X has all the power of a UNIX / Linux system with better user-friendliness than Windows, so it's a win-win OS. Ignoring all the flaming about "proprietary" / "locked-down" devices, the actual Mac OS X is still an open source core with a value-for-money proprietary user interface.
Don't get me wrong, Windows 7 has made huge strides forward, and we've had XP virtual machines (as well as Linux / UNIX variants) for many years (for testing our products), but moving to Macs was the best move my company has made. Simplicity and power.
Oh, and yes, nothing is perfect, but the flaws I occasionally find with Apple devices are far fewer than the flaws I find on any other device.
(And in case someone puts any comments about antennas here, we've got a stack of iPads and iPhone 4s in our department that we use in "the wild" daily and extensively, and we've yet to hit an issue with any of them - I've seen issues - just not with our particular purchases).
Not very likely
There's little reason to run windows on mac hardware as there's cheaper and just as good options for that; apple's brand is strong but not so strong that people absolutely must have a box with an apple logo on it and then run windows on it. To be sure it's useful to be able to _also_ run windows, though it'd probably be easier to use some emulator instead of booting it "natively". But I don't think it would be worth the premium. It'd be easier to tout an ipod or iphone than to wave an ibook around.
So I think it'll be something else, but I'm not sure what. Something with the economy and a longer term investment than can be expected from wintendo kit?
Re: So I think it'll be something else, but I'm not sure what.
It may just be that more people are cottoning onto the fact that Macs are just less hassle to run and use than Windows. I switched for several reasons, but a major one was that I was just so fed up of spending so much time maintaining Windows and the necessary security software instead of using the computer for what I wanted to do.
Well despite of, not because of, I'd say
The switch from the 'odd' Power PC architecture (which is so 'odd', that both the Xbox and the PS3 use it in their Xenon chips) over to Intel, generally saw an increase in power consumption, heat output and an anecdotal trend towards an overall drop in reliability - especially in the small form-factor devices, where heat build-up is a major problem, and which have been Apple's core computer market for nearly a decade.
I know the G5 Powerbook I had until recently ran much cooler, for the same performance output, as a much newer Intel-chipped Macbook pro - but then, IBM always did tend to emphasize keeping the chips running cool enough to be up to doing some actual work, over Intel's tendency to quote clock speeds that can only be achieved by cooling the things in Dry ice - regardless of the fact that you can can fry an egg on one, while running on idle, under normal circumstances.
I'd guess that Apple would have retained PowerPC, if they hadn't seen their ownership of the consumer market, for that chip architecture, being wrested away from them by the console makers.
Oh you must mean that odd CPU designed by Motorola and IBM. You know the one with the PowerPC architecture. Yeah, the one that's used in those odd IBM mainframe computers.
G5 Powerbook?!? No such animal. Apple never produced a laptop with a G5 chip.
As far as the PowerPC went - Apple would have stayed with that chip had IBM been able to produce faster chips to better compete with Intel.
more Intel than Mickeysoft
The G5 was too hot for laptop's, so they had laptop's with incredible design, yet very slow G4 CPU. Code optimization cannot really help with a poor CPU ... they had Quarz Extreme, which still kind of kicks everybody's backSide, yet the CPU arch remained the main bottleneck.
Then they switched to intel, and one could easily compare the CPU power, they have the best design, they win ... easy?
You had Windows in virtual pc on Power, which "worked" with windows nt or 2000, it was slow, but it worked.
not all apple sales run osx
I've bought a couple of apple macbooks - and to the digust of some our other members of the IT dept they are used to run linux. Nice commodity hardware and If Im not paying for them why not.
Onscreen Asian Languages Tell It All
Strictly speaking for the Asian market share gains, apart from the iPod, iPhone and iPad enthusiasm working as a propellant, every Asian I've ever spoken to on the matter have always been astonished at how much better and natural their double-byte languages look on the Mac as compared to Windows. The onscreen difference, regardless of screen resolution, is similar to the difference of laser printers as compared to dot matrix.
Windows displays single-byte languages just fine, but Asian double-byte ones very poorly. It's like they're not even trying. They apply no text smoothing whatsoever, and unless you're using large headline style font sizes, you can't even tell the difference between serif and sans serif. It's just a jagged mess.
I use Windows extensively at work, and for certain tasks at home, but for all my Asian language tasks, I only use the Mac.
I'll buy that as a killer feature. Obvious, really. Thanks.
I agree about the asian fonts
Since I only ever use Linux or Apple computers, I remember being astonished when using a Windows computer in Asia for the first time, and seeing the terrible Asian fonts and awkward input system. The input system in Macs is far better than Windows (or Linux for that matter, which seems to copy the Windows method).
While Japan has a healthy mix of Apple and Windows, Korea is very-much a windows country, and most Korean-language sites don't work properly without IE. Hopefully the rising mac-related sales there can help address this issue with time...
>Their PC is still an also ran. This is why the
>iPad was released as a variation on the iPod
>rather than a Mac
The iPad was released as a variation of the iPod because it was possible to adapt iPhone apps to the iPad quite easily. If the iPad had been a variation of MacOSX, people would try to install applications not designed for the device and 99% of them would suck. That is bad user experience. That is also the problem Microsoft is facing when they try to sell Windows on tablets claiming that "it works". Yeah, but the competiiton from Cupertino are selling tablets that "really work".
It is funny how people jump to the dark strategy / conspiracy theories, when more often than not, Apple's decisions are based on sound engineering reasons.
Looking more attractive
..to virus writers, hacks and criminals.
Looks like there is gonna be a growing maket for anti-virus products for Mac.
@obviously - Broken clock argument
One day, you will be right, the Mac will fall victim to some clever hack. Sadly, I have no doubt that this is true. Equally though, we've been hearting this since the low-point of Windows XP's security problems: let's say that's 2004 which is oddly coincidental with the graph shown at the top of this page. Six years later and an increase in profile and success beyond the wildest fanboi-ish dreams and it still hasn't happened. As a market, Mac users skew wealthier than PC users. They don't run anti-virus software. They don't need to know whether their firewall is running as, in 2010, it won't make any real difference. BlackHat claims that Macs can be hacked into in seconds. If that isn't a juicy "market" I don't know what is. But it doesn't happen. In 2004 maybe it was security through obscurity. That seems like a weak argument now. I'm left concluding that despite all the claims, maybe it just is a more secure system.
Hacking conventions like pwn2own prove year in and year out that there is essentially zero security on Apple products.
Why there has not been a huge wave of viruses yet, I do not know. Maybe it has happened and no one has noticed yet, because the Macs are so locked down people don't even have the ability to check what is running.
Either way, the clock is ticking.
They prove no such thing.
Those contests are fairly specific, mostly focusing on web browsers, so they don't give an indication of overall (resistance to) vulnerability. Knowing something about the architecture I'd take macos X over any windows any day, simply because it does have functional compartimentalisation and therefore less in the way of completely unfixable, designed-right-into-the-fabric, security problems that are the hallmark of micros~1 software. There is more to it but this is enough illustration already.
For the record, neither mac nor windows are what I primarily use nor support in the day job.
Re: hacking conventions
I love the clueless who write about things they do not understand. You have never used a Mac for more than a few hours, or are just a plain iDi0t.
1. It is so much easier to see EXACTLY what is running on a Mac, just like on any other Unix flavour ... unlike Windows, where god-knows what is hiding behind svchost.
2. those hacking conventions also expose many holes in other OS's
I cannot hear the clock ticking ... ;-)
feel the hate!
> Their PC is still an also ran.
I think the point was that Mac sales are climbing rather than falling. Not what you'd expect from an "also-ran." More of an "upstart".
True, they'll never match Dell's or HP's overall figures, but then premium salon shampoo will never match the sales of Sainsbury's own, despite the fact that they do the same job and both consist mostly of water. Apple don't play in the same market space as Dell.
Personally I suspect its the trackpad which boosted Mac laptop sales. It's a great device which makes a laptop usable on your lap. Build quality is also important. Almost all laptops look just ghastly. Sony comes closest with its top end products but they cost just as much.
Sure the ipod/phones will outstrip mac sales - there's no "network-effect" disadvantage to having a different phone from everyone else.
I'd expect to see more Macs being sold in the future. Every time an iphone/ipad/android device is sold it becomes less of a given that there will be Windows as the client to an internet server. As developers move to expecting standards-based clients, it becomes easier for those clients to co-exist with the dominant OS.
>> Their PC is still an also ran.
> I think the point was that Mac sales are climbing rather
> than falling. Not what you'd expect from an "also-ran."
> More of an "upstart".
It's a nice trend but it's certainly nothing to get excited about. This article is the perfect example of an attempt to OVER HYPE something. It appears to be an attempt to create a reality by distorting perception. It's much like the rest of the recent Apple hype.
It also reminds me of a lot of the media nonsense with DOS and Windows in the 80s and 90s.
At this point, given all of the rhetoric coming out of Cupertino I would be more worried about Apple's continued comittment to the platform. It's strategic direction clearly seems to be elsewhere. I am not sure I would want to push anyone into that.
Yes. Seriously. I was recommending Macs for n00bs (long before it was fashionable) but now I won't be doing that anymore.
As I remember 2005 I was advising anyone wanting to buy a Mac to wait for a while, until they went Intel, so there may be a fairly significan skew on these sales. Also, anyone who got a stop-gap Wintel/Lintel machine would be getting to the point where they were dumping them for their long waited for Mac.
And another thing: Why only Q3 sales? (Did I miss that in the article?)
partly the vista effect?
I just bought a mac to replace my dead pc. After struggling with vista for 3 years there was absolutely no way I was going to buy anything with microsoft as its OS.
*yes I know I could have got a linux based machine but I didn't.
That was what did it for me. Like another commenter, the advent of VMware fusion gave me a safety blanket, but in reality only my missus uses VMs.
"After struggling with vista for 3 years"
So what you're saying is you don't know anything about computers, and needed a giant helmet to stop you from damaging your own computing experience.
Because otherwise, if you knew anything at all about computers, you would have changed back to Windows XP after the first month of "struggling".
yep you got me there
Gosh you make knowing nothing about computers sound like an insult. What an odd way to measure one's self worth.
Completely true. I know nothing about how windows works, and to be honest I didn't know I could have gone back to XP. And to be honest why should I have? Perhaps microsoft should have fixed vista? There's a radical idea.
I just want to be able to buy stuff online, get at information, sync my mp3 player, email friends and family and so on. Life's too short to mess about with computers. I have too many other things to do.
What's the draw?
Considering that the iTunes Music Store refuses to do business with most Asian countries, I fail to see the draw of owning a Mac or any Apple branded portable for that matter.
The one with the antique Creative Zen Vision:M in the pocket, thanks.
You've got it backwards!
It's not that the iTunes Music Store refuses to do business with most Asian countries, it's that most Asian countries refuse to do business with the iTunes Music Store. Something to do with those pesky copyright laws.
I'm sure you know that Apple has to negotiate with each and every county's copyright authority for the ability to open an iTunes store in their jurisdiction. Most do, some (like Asian counties) don't.
What a refreshing change...
... to read the comments on an article about Apple and not see a mass of rabid hatred from people who have probably never have used their products.
I must be on the wrong website. Or maybe I stepped into an alternate reality when I woke up this morning.
The Mac haters haven't got out of bed yet. They'll be along later.
Re: What a refreshing change...
Perhaps the Apple haters are still waiting for their PCs to boot up?
(If that isn't flame bait, what is? ;-)
Average Unit Price
The interesting thing is the average unit price.
For desktops, this remains relatively constant for the last 5 years (there is a blip in one quarter), but for portables it remains relatively constant *until* 2010, when it drops by around 15%.
Now, I don't follow Mac at all, but the numbers suggest that a new low-end model was released in 2010, which has driven both the increased sales and the lower AUP.
MacOSX is the core
If you really want to show Apple's accent go back to 2000 when their shares were suspended, and they were on the verge of going bankrupt... I remember advising someone that if Apple got through the next 12 months they had a NeXTStep based OS that was going to enable them to produce great things for the next 10 years, and that they could be a good invenstment (d'oh! did I miss getting rich there!)
MacOSX was still in development then. While the iPod is important in end user mind share, it's MacOSX that's the engine - it made possible the shift to Intel, and 64 bit. iOS is a cut down OSX and shares much of the code. Expect iOS and MacOSX to get closer as laptops get touchscreens and iP*'s get more powerful.
Mac is the core platform, even if it made small profits - it sits in the middle of what Apple do, and is the most important even wqhen it's not in the spotlight. What to you plug your iP* into if you? Where do you do iP* development?
"If you really want to show Apple's accent go back to 2000 when their shares were suspended, and they were on the verge of going bankrupt"
I'd assume Apple's accent is Russian, sounding like Boris and Natasha from Rocky and Bullwinkle.
Mine's the one with Windows and Spell Check.
I moved to the light too
I switched over about 4 years ago. I like OS X's simplicity and reliability, I'm not battling with the operating system, as I was with Win XP and Vista, just being more productive. The analogy I'd use is cars, when you are young with heaps of time on your hands, you can enjoy restoring a banger, repairing old cars that you could never afford to buy brand new. But as you get older, you'd rather not spend your time on the machine, but just want to get from A to B quickly, safely and in comfort. Same for computing
I got sick of windows hanging up, and crashing, trashing hours of work. Programs that just stopped working. The constant threat of virus and malware, and the reality of it at work, when idiots merrily open all email attachments regardless of origin. Funny thing is that I still use Win XP for my CAD system run under Parallels, and guess what? Win XP is much more stable on Mac hardware.
I was visiting a customer last week and during the meeting there where two occasions when their windows laptops crashed or hung up. I was so glad that I no longer use Microsoft products, but what truly amazed me is their acceptance that their 21st Century computers crashed and hung up, they even congratulated themselves on managing to restart and "solve" the problem.
We all make choices in life, guess a lot more people are choosing a Mac. (Resale values are higher too)
"Funny thing is that I still use Win XP for my CAD system run under Parallels, and guess what? Win XP is much more stable on Mac hardware."
So what you're saying is there is and never was anything wrong with Windows, you just bought cheap and crappy hardware, then blamed everyone else for your own stupidity.
Let me guess, you had a Dell? No? Gateway then.
Growth in china?
Won't be long until affordable apple clones hit the market running osx86/doing that weird efi stuff then.
"Moved into the light"?
I mean, c'mon, guys. Is it really necessary? I know it sounds so much cooler to you than "I changed my main computing platform", but can you not see how the use of phrases like that causes the very hatred you complain about? To the rest of us, it doesn't sound cool, it marks you out as a twat.
I'm perfectly happy with my (100% stable and performant, thanks) Windows and Linux PCs. When I stop being happy with them, I shall look around for alternatives. The attitude displayed by "moved into the light" type comments guarantees absolutely that I won't be looking at Apple products at that point.
I moved into the light too (in 2006) :-)
You see, it isn't just "changing a computing platform", it's switching from endless frustration to having something that's a joy to use. When you see the light you will understand.
The hatred you feel comes either from envy or just failing to understand.
Yeah, that'll be right.
Why would I be envious? I have more than enough money to buy myself Apple products to replace all of my computers should I choose to do so. I choose not to, being perfectly happy with those I currently have, which fulfill my needs perfectly, causing me no frustration or trouble of any kind. Perhaps you were using yours wrong?
For the record, btw, I hate no-one - it's a corrosive, destructive emotion that does no good to anyone. I know others, however, who do.
Perhaps you should listen more closely
Since this is a common phrase used by Windows to Mac switchers (myself included over 6 years ago) maybe you should realize this is not an attempt to sound cool, but a common perception of those who have actually used both extensively. This is what the switch feels like and that is why it is described that way. The fact that you don't understand it means you're still simply toiling in "the dark" as many of us were not so long ago.
Your anti-elitism stand has become the new elitism. Apple users are so fiercely loyal because most have used the alternatives and made the choice to stick with Macs because they like them better. Most Apple haters haven't used Macs for any length of time and are arguing out of a position of ignorance on what the platform has to offer. It's like describing the color blue to a blind person. I know what blue looks like, but I can't describe it to you. You're blind and until you can see what I see describing it is a pointless exercise.
"being perfectly happy with those I currently have, which fulfill my needs perfectly"
- Wow, the same thing said by countless Mac converts who used a Mac for a length of time and found that the Mac was even better than the solution they were previously "happy" with. As someone else said, you just don't get it and trying to explain it to you is a waste of time.
I don't suppose there is any point at all....
....in my pointing out that I have extensive experience of Macs of all models, including modern OSX machines?
No, I didn't think so. Oh, well.
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