Why is Apple still losing market share??

in General Discussion edited January 2014
I just don't get it. Why is Apple still losing market share despite all the fantastic products they're coming up with?

The latest reports put its market share at 2-3% worldwide and at not much more in the US. That's pathetic.

It seems like every year they're losing 1/2 to 1 percentage point. At this rate what will it be in 2005: 1.5%??

Where are the switchers? Where are all the new converts that Apple is supposedly bringing on with its Switch campaign?

The scariest thing is this situation doesn't seem to bother Apple one bit, or Mac users for that matter. How about software developers? Market share has got to matter for them.

So what do you think? Will 2003 be the year of marketshare gains for Apple? Please pretty please make it be, Apple. Else how low can it get? Is nobody else worried at the prospect of ever lower market share?


  • Reply 1 of 26
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    Because there computers can't compete with the Wintel boxen. They are not making computers that corporations want to buy.
  • Reply 2 of 26
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,392member
    [quote]Originally posted by Scott:

    <strong>Because there computers can't compete with the Wintel boxen. They are not making computers that corporations want to buy.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    The hell with corporations the typical US household now has multiple computers. While Apple was gobbling up Margins they weren't grabbing marketshare and keeping up in processor technology. Now most consumer don't feel a need to purchase the Top computer anymore since basic apps tend to dominate. Apple must continue to revamp and mold themselves into not just a computer company but a "Solution Provider" the iPod is a step in the right direction but they will have to keep their hands on the pulse of the consumer to strike any gold.
  • Reply 3 of 26
    ast3r3xast3r3x Posts: 5,012member
    they loose market share because MS get's 'punished' and then get to give out their software to people who don't have it, it doesn't matter if apple gets 2 people, if MS gets 3 or 4, then it just doesn't matter. It is weird though, it seems that apple has as big of a presensce as ever in the tech industry and software development seems to be the best in years, and yet market share is the lowest in years.

    it seems that apple is becoming quite aggressive though, so i wouldn't say they are doing nothing, but they just around copmlaining and worryig their stock holders (which i am)...know how much lower apple stock would get if apple said "we are worried our market share is shrinking FAST"
  • Reply 4 of 26
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    getting 2 people for every 3 or 4 M$ nets is more than Apple could hope for in even their wildest phantasy.
  • Reply 5 of 26
    sc_marktsc_markt Posts: 1,401member
    They need to lower prices.

    They need faster processors.

    They need to advertise on tv where they show the box and how easy it is to get into it, the OS and what it is, and how easy it is to network.

    The switcher commercials on tv are OK but when you see them, it's hard to tell what it's about until you see the Apple logo.
  • Reply 6 of 26
    Apple needs to promote their products, lower their prices, and just MARKET WILDLY.
  • Reply 7 of 26
    i think businesses matter...i get a new computer every couple of years...my work gets me a new computer every year, sometimes two...right now in our break room we have 4 computers sitting on the floor waiting for computer graveyard collection team to come around...and i am in a department of less than 10 people and we are in a hospital and not even computer oriented....our hospital must buy at least a couple of thousand computers each year...and mac users must BEG to get a mac....we have one mac in our department and 10 PCs (not counting the "off to the graveyard" four)....only one dept is mostly macs and that is the intensive care nursery people and they all still run os 9....the one mac in our dept is possibly the only mac running os 10 in our whole hospital...makes me sad...hoping the campus is overrun with iBooks to make up for it...g
  • Reply 8 of 26
    sc_markt, I couldn't agree more. I wish they showed full-sized screen shots of Apple's iApps in all of their elegance on their television spots. That would likely be much more effective than herky-jerky semi-neurotic-looking folks saying "I'm a free-lance (something-or-other) and I use a Mac!"
  • Reply 9 of 26
    In all seriousness, Apple would benefit greatly by hiring a consultant such as John Spoelstra. Check out one of his books: "Marketing Outrageously" or "Ice to the Eskimos". They are both fantastic. The guy's brain just works in a really fascinating manner....

    [ 01-14-2003: Message edited by: Slackula ]

    [ 01-14-2003: Message edited by: Slackula ]</p>
  • Reply 10 of 26
    neutrino23neutrino23 Posts: 1,560member
    What evidence is there that the market share is going down? The last thing I saw was last spring when the market share had actually increased slightly.

    Market share numbers can be misleading because computers now come in a wide variety of configurations and are used for a variety of purposes. More important for Apple is whether the number of boxes they are selling is increasing and whether they can maintain their margins.

    I think that if Apple can hold on for the next couple of years they will have a great opportunity to break out of their niche.

    Prices for all kinds of hardware will approach zero. What will happen to Dell when a basic PC sells for$50? What will happen to MS when $400 for office and $200 for their OS is ten times the price of the hardware? The chance I see for Apple is that when you subtract out the price of the hardware they can compete strongly on the quality of their software.
  • Reply 11 of 26
    [quote] Originally posted by cygsid:

    I just don't get it. Why is Apple still losing market share despite all the fantastic products they're coming up with?


    The big 3: Ubiquity. Familiarity. Momentum.

    [quote]Originally posted by neutrino23:

    What evidence is there that the market share is going down? The last thing I saw was last spring when the market share had actually increased slightly. <hr></blockquote>

    <a href="http://www.pegasus3d.com/mac_sales.html"; target="_blank">http://www.pegasus3d.com/mac_sales.html</a>;

    And here's a very cool graph I picked up from Ars tracking computer sales from various platforms since 1975.

  • Reply 12 of 26
    nebrienebrie Posts: 483member
    Apple's problem right now is actually the same ones that other "Cheap Chic" retailers such as Target are experiencing. They're positioned for normal economies and boom economies when consumers and corporations are willing to spend a few extra dollars for style and use. In bust economies, these people automatically run to the lowest bidder. With a sky-high cost structure, Apple can't possibly compete with low cost pc makers such as Dell. Neither can companies such as Gateway. HP is only hanging in there by sacrificing it's profit-whore, the printer division. Like every other company, Apple was hoping for an economic recovery around the latter half of last year. That obviously, never happened. As a result, Apple has been quietly adjusting. They can't go much farther than what they have been doing with the powerbook line for example, because they still need to maintain profitability, which is hanging by a mere thread. One slip up, and Apple would be psychologically damaged. iTools was one easy target for cuts. It lost millions of dollars for Apple, mainly by people who abused it and gave apple little in return other than a little bit of advertising. They could easily spend that on several superbowl commercials instead.
  • Reply 13 of 26
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    [quote]Originally posted by hmurchison:


    The hell with corporations the typical US household now has multiple computers.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    The typical US household buys for home what they use at work.
  • Reply 14 of 26
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Aesir:


    The big 3: Ubiquity. Familiarity. Momentum.


    Sounds about right to me. I'm not too sure the average person would buy an Apple computer even if they were the exact same price for the exact same speed. I know the 'same' price and speed are horrendous over-simplifications but use your imagination.

    This is why I consider most of the talk about prices to be whining, pure and simple.

    Apple needs to adapt to being in a minority, and I think it is doing so beautifully by adopting standards, playing well with others and losing the NIH attitude.

    The majority don't drive my car, or listen to my music, or wear my clothes, or eat my food or a thousand other things I pay extra for because I want quality. I don't give that much of a damn if they use my computer.
  • Reply 15 of 26
    [quote]Originally posted by Scott:


    The typical US household buys for home what they use at work.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Damn. You beat me to it! But you are exactly right. Corporate market share is very important because at work people are forced to learn a certain platform. When they go home, the last thing they want to do is spend time learning a new OS (even though it's apple simple). I think this is why the school sector is/was so very important to apple. It serves a similar outcome. If students use them at school..there is a good chance mommy and daddy will buy one at home.
  • Reply 16 of 26
    stunnedstunned Posts: 1,096member
    Apple's price-performance ratio is still not attractive enough.

    prices still need to fall and performance still needs to be improved!
  • Reply 17 of 26
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    I think it's more about price than performance.

    Combine that with the fact that Apple's marketing only seems designed to appeal to us, the one's that are already here.

    <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />

    They put out these fuzzy, esoteric things that don't really say or show anything. Yeah, I dig minimalism and "saying it with silence" as much as they next guy. But sometimes that isn't necessarily the best approach.

    And then they go and do the "Switch" ads. Yeah, they're interesting, but Apple honestly seems to think they're the end-all/be-all and hangs EVERYTHING on them. They do JUST the "Switch" stuff, instead of having "Switch" be merely one component of a multi-pronged marketing approach.

    I mean, have any of you seen the ads on TV for these new PowerBooks? I haven't.

    I sometimes think they film these commercials to show on the big screen at Macworld, just to get Mac geeks to applause. Because, for the most part, they never seem to be heard from again.

    You can talk price, MHz, bundles, processors, etc. all day long and I don't think it really fixes or addresses anything.

    If Apple did NOTHING to their hardware and software and simply just got very clever and ballsy in their marketing, you'd see a huge interest.

    People are sheep. People buy stupid treadmills and chicken broilers all the time, based on nothing more than snazzy commercials and clever taglines. QVC sells the most inane, useless trinkets sometimes and you can see the sell tally on the screen going wild.
  • Reply 18 of 26
    stunnedstunned Posts: 1,096member
    I agree with Pscates. Here in Singapore, we hardly see any mac advertisments or posters.
  • Reply 19 of 26
    Apple problem

    1. People who buy computers look at software and see hundreds of PC titles on the self, and they are likely to so only a few Mac titles. Mac iApps are great and the hot games are avaiable for the Mac, but people still see that I need a computer that runs the most software.

    Apples iApps are the just plain awsome. Final Cut Express, what can I say $300 makes it a great buy. The Aveage American need to be exposed to these to seethe real power of the MAC

    2. Processor speed & price - People see this Dell

    Dimension 4450

    17" LCD

    P4 2.80 GHz

    60 GB Hard Drive

    512 MB Memory


    128MB ATI Radion 9700TX


    Apple PowerMac

    17" LCD

    Dual 1.0GHz

    80 GB Hard Drive

    512 MB Memory

    DVD Drive

    64MB ATI Radion 9000


    Clearly Apple must give people more bang for the buck... I will still buy my Mac, but want more for my Dollar

    3. While Apple seems to be doing well with their retail stores. The fact is most Americans walk into Circuit City, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Sears, JC Penny and CompUSA and with the exception of CompUSA none sell Macs (yes when they did sell them the salemen where the macs biggest enemy here). Apple may need to offer a Classic iMac in a G4 version at a low cost?

    That my thoughts.
  • Reply 20 of 26
    spookyspooky Posts: 504member
    why are they losing market share?

    1) performance.

    for what seems like forever, apple have failed to offer serious butt kicking performance. even the new pbooks only have aa 1Ghz proc in them at the most (plus a slower graphics chipset). when it comes to buying computers (or anything), people always want as much as they think they can get for their money. value for money is not perceived as coming from usefulness but from "Bigger, faster better". people perceive a 2.4Ghz proc as being faster than a 1.25Ghz proc. windows users get faster buses, hard drives, slots galore etc and all for far less. I suspect that if the 970 is launched at 1.8Ghz it will do little to bump up market share.

    2) exposure

    who are apple? what is a mac? the number of people I meet who have no idea that any alternative to wintel exists is mind boggling. I have never seen an apple ad on tv and as for the swicth campaign what is the point of directing it at mac users? the only people who see them are the ones going to apple's web site. apple needs to get out and about and spread the word aggresively. just becuase their designs are getting minimalist the same should not apply to their marketing. they should get macs out there even if they take a short term hit. Jobs argues that MS gets an unfair advantge supplying windows to schools as it gains MS new customers by default. so why doesn't jobs employ the same tactics. why not give away dualies to art colleges, schools, universities etc in the short run?

    3) Price

    they're overpriced. that's it. why would people want to pay over the odds for a computer that simply does the job? for what apple charges, the mac makes no sense, particulalrly for education markets. they said they listened and came up with the eMac. if this is the case then where are the droves of educators queing up to buy the mac that apple made for them based on what they really wanted? If consumers feel that buying a 2Ghz pc is better value than a 1Ghz mac on the basis of the numbers then they'll obviously go wintel. charging 60 odd% more for a dualie because in some tests it runs up to 30% faster than a pc is crazy. even volume and educational licensing is non attractive. we have one G4 suite and one Nt 4 suite. we'd like to rip out the NTs and replace them with G4s but at the edu pricing we've been able to get hold of we could kit out 2 XP suites! what apple Uk fail to grasp is that by biting the bullet and matching the pc price we would then become 100% Mac and locked into X. All our future custom would be mac based.

    In the uk I could buy a small car, go on a luxury family holiday anywhere in the world, or completely replace all the furniture in my place for the price of a loaded dualie with a cinema display.

    Apple and prices have never made sense. The crt imac is the worst offender. A simlar specced PC can be bought for under £400 gb pounds. so why not the crt imac? if it helps get macs out there and increases the chance of people coming into contact with them then why not?

    4) the dark side

    I guess for most people a computer = MS Windows. every kid can say windows as soon as they can speak. our IT managers speak only windows. our corporations speak only windows. people only ever seem to come into contact with windows. what apple can do about this I don't know. looking hard at 2 and 3 would probably help.

    5) availability

    how do you buy a mac? where I live there is only one store in a 25 mile radius where you can buy a mac. either that or apple's web site. but wait, in order to look at apple's web site you'd have to be considering a mac in the first place. the local PC world has a handful of low end imacs, emacs and ibooks. no trained staff, no peripherals that are overtly mac compatible, no mac software (other than office and NU), no mac books. plus the staff seem hell bent on telling you tht macs are crap, incompatible, slow, expensive etc so come and see this Sony Viao - its beautifully designed.

    to be honest I think the drop in apple's market share has been exasperated by the move to X. I personally know more people who have had bad hair tearing out experiences with the move to X than good ones. People, who find their scanner won't work or their printer won't work . . . (mind you to buy a new mac and find that your trusty inkjet won't work because you now need USB was no better). If someone wants to buy a new mac then fine but to have to upgrade all your peripherals as well is mightmare city for the joe ordinaries who will see it that way. its not much fun if the manufacturers of your printer et al seem disinclined to produce up to date drivers for it. I've always had a PC as well as a mac and from a P75 to P180 to P233 to P400 and now athlon the old epson plugs in and works.

    even with an adapter there are no drivers for this printer from epson for X.

    sure you sometimes get these issues with PCs but then for the price of a G4 you'll get a printer and a scanner and a camera chucked in with your PC.

    I'm a long time mac user and fanatic and although X is my primary OS and I like it, I don't love it. not like 9. I can't put my finger on it but X feels "not quite right". but therein lies the problem I think. while there are enough idiots like me who will buy mac forever no matter how poor the offerings - enough to keep apple ticking over, apple won't listen and things won't change.

    roll on the 4Ghz Dual 970 with custom graphics chipset, FW2, superdrive turbo . . . .
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