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Apple market share continues to climb, Windows drops

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by Mel Martin on Feb 2nd 2009

They are not dramatic changes, but they are steady and heartening to the Apple universe of users and developers. The trend continues from December numbers, and for Apple, all the trends are good.

Net Applications, a company that tracks operating system and market share by looking at results from search engines, reports that Apple has a 9.93% share of OS users for January of 2009, up from 9.63% the previous month. Windows OS market share measured 88.26% in January, dropping slightly from 88.7% in December.

If you add in iPhone users (0.48%) to the Mac OS X data, the Apple market share is 10.41%, which again, is higher that last month.

Browser shares are also an interesting data point. Net Applications says Microsoft's Internet Explorer has the lowest market share since they began tracking browsers in 2005. IE users now comprise 67.6% of the browsers online. In the last 12 months, IE has dropped about 8%.

For the third month in a row, Mozilla's Firefox, Apple's Safari, and Google Chrome all gained market share at the expense of Microsoft. Safari's share of 8.3% is a record for Apple.

These numbers continue to be good news for Apple, a company trying to buck a nasty recession along with the rest of the industry.



April 1, 2008, 8:46 am

Analyst: Apple’s U.S. consumer market share now 21 percent

The iPhone gets the most press and the iPod sells in the largest quantities, but it’s the Macintosh that really drives Apple’s growth, says Gene Munster.

In the second installment of a multipart report on Apple’s “3 Cylinder Engine,” Piper Jaffray’s chief Apple (AAPL) analyst looks at the Mac business over the next couple of years and likes what he sees. In particular:

One more thing: although consumers and investors tend to believe Macs cost 20% to 30% more than comparable PCs, according to Munster, he did some price comparisons and found that on average, the price difference is closer to 16% for desktop machines and 9% for laptops — essentially unchanged from a similar comparison he made two years ago. Details in the charts below the fold.
The IDC numbers:

The price comparisons:

Friday, May 16, 2008 6:30 PM/EST

Macs Defy Windows' Gravity

News Analysis. Consider this: Apple's retail market share is 14 percent, and two-thirds for PCs costing $1,000 or more.

Should I repeat those numbers? The share data is for first-quarter brick-and-mortar stores, as tabulated by the NPD Group. Apple's market share is but one measure of success. Sales growth is way up, while Windows desktop PC sales are way down.

"In notebooks they're growing two times the market," said Stephen Baker, NPD's vice president of industry analysis. "Windows notebooks are pretty much flat right now."

For the first quarter, Windows notebooks had "zero percent" growth year over year, Stephen said. By comparison, Apple notebooks had "50 to 60 percent growth."

On the desktop, "They're up 45 percent," he continued. "The [overall] market is down 20 percent. Windows desktops would be down 25 percent." The figures are also for first quarter.

I spoke with Stephen earlier this afternoon. He remarked: "iMacs are growing and the Windows desktop ain't. No matter how you look at it, Apple is outperforming Windows."

A statement like that raises the question: Is Windows Vista the problem? The operating system has met with a cool reception, even with Microsoft claiming 140 million licenses have been shipped.

"I don't believe that Vista's to blame," Stephen responded. "The vast majority of consumers don't care [about the installed operating system]."

Apple's market share in what NPD calls the "premium" category, or laptop and desktop PCs selling for $1,000 or more, is nothing short of phenomenal: 66 percent. That's right, two-thirds.

With the exception of the Mac Mini, all Apple computers sell for more than $1,000. "If you don't give people a choice, people will spend more," Stephen said.

Apple's success above $1,000 defies some of the conventional retail thinking about PCs, where the emphasis is on lower pricing and greater features. "Consumers don't care about features," Stephen asserted. "People see a value proposition in an offering that gives them a great experience."

Stephen said Apple appeals to the right segments, like multiple-computer households. Consumers that are buying a second, third or even fourth PC have different buying priorities, such as ease of use.

But the retail stores make a huge difference. "Apple has got better distribution than it's had in the last 15 years," Stephen explained. "They're in the right spot right now. There's the iPod advantage. But the big thing is the stores."

Apple's retail stores aren't just places to buy Mac products. They're part of a larger end-to-end value chain—and with it the promise of a certain kind of experience.

"What Apple drives home: This is a product that we own from factory to finger," Stephen explained. "We exert some control so that you get the best experience. When you get in the store, we get you what you want."

Apple's factory-to-finger approach works for its own retail operations, but what about what Stephen called its "non-captive channels," such as Best Buy? That's where Apple has to compete with many other products. "They've already won when somebody comes into the Apple Store," Stephen said. "How does it play in places where they're not the only answer? How big a handicap is Windows?"


Stephen didn't have an answer, but it's not difficult to guess: not nearly as well in third-party retail shops as through the Apple Store.

Given Apple's end-to-end success—from product conception to production to sale to service—I asked Stephen if Microsoft should open its own company stores, even if only a few flagship ones like Nokia.

"Yes," he said emphatically. "In a multi-channel environment you should have some kind of owned--and operated--channel as well." He cited a couple examples. One of them: "When you look at Coach they have their own showcase stores as well."

Posted by Joe Wilcox on May 16, 2008 6:30 PM

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