Originally Posted by solipsism
If we look at the real uptick in Mac sales it looks like it occured right when Apple made the shift to Intel and had the option of installing Windows which gave an out for those who didn't like or couldn't use Mac OS X, for whatever reason.
That's not strictly true Sol. Apple managed to halt the decline in Mac sales back in 2004. (and they even gained back a tiny fraction of market share.)
In 2005, Mac sales increased by over 35%. In 2006, when most of the Intel models were introduced, the growth dropped to 19%..... and then back up to 37% in 2007.
I agree, the ability to run Windows on a Mac is a deal breaker... but only for a dwindling amount of people. Intel on the Mac gave Apple the ability to produce performance competitive laptops. I think that "faster and cooler" was more important then "Runs Windows too".
There were also Get A Mac ads which would help get people into Apple Stores (though the location and setup was likely reason enough if you were walking by) where many people could get their hands on a Mac for a first time.
Absolutely agree, however the halo effect would never have worked in isolation. Good products need great marketing coupled with strong distribution.
Here's a thought! Every story I read about the Apple Stores always seems to say how busy they are. How busy would they be (and how many stores would have been built?) if all you could buy was, maybe one of a dozen computers... and associated software and peripherals?
The iPod and it's large ecosystem built the traffic to the stores. Halo Effect!
After that word of mouth would have picked up from increased users giving a positive review. I don't don't some people used an MP3 player and decided to get a Nac but Id wager a great many more were influenced by direct Mac, changes, advertising and interaction, not from a pocketable PMP.
Sure. But the iPod wasn't just a PMP. It came with iTunes.... installed on your PC! And it all just worked... and provided people with the best 'digital music experience' yet. Every visit to iTunes was an advertisement for Apple. Every visit to an Apple Store was an ad for the Mac. Any PC using, iPod owning gadget guy/girl.... was now following Apple news on the web. Halo Effect!
Essentially Sol, I agree with you. I just get a bit pissed after reading 5 years of tech stories negating the effect of the iPod on Apple's Mac business. Mostly based on market share (as you mentioned) and mostly written by people who predicted the iPod would be a flop.
This time next year, there will probably be around 50 million Mac users. That effectively means more (relatively) recent switchers than long time Mac nuts. Whatever their reasons I bet a large number of newbies will have owned an iPod or iPhone, or have used iTunes.