March 31, 2004

A Truer Picture of Mac's Market Share

I totally agree with the first part of Al Fasoldt's article:

Numbers don't tell Mac's story

Your neighbor drives home with his new BMW and the first thing you say to him is a wisecrack about his car's low market share.

You'd never do it. Nobody would. Most people drive Toyotas or Hondas or Fords, but that means nothing to the people who own BMWs. Right?

Then why are we constantly hearing about the Mac's low market share from people who ought to know better? I spent an evening checking out the actual percentage of Mac users, and I found numbers that ranged from 1.7 percent to 12 percent. That's a huge range, and the imprecision of the numbers tells a story.

Comparing a free-market product to a monopoly product that's forced on consumers is a difficult task. Many buyers have no idea that they have a choice of operating systems and platforms. They walk into a computer store at the mall and buy what's there, and that means in most cases a Windows PC. > > >

Fasoldt believes that MacHeads make up 8%, not 2% of home computer users. That seems about right considering that Macs generally last much longer than Windows-based PCs. I'd like to see market share in several vital industries: graphic design, film production, and publishing. I'm sure the percentages in each would easily reach double digits.

Posted by ronn at March 31, 2004 11:07 PM

I'm not sure I buy the car analogy any more. It used to make me feel good, but the truth is that achieving compatibility with roads is far easier than achieving compatibility with applications. Posted by: kokorozashi [TypeKey Profile Page] on June 28, 2005 02:06 PM