Apple at all-time low market share

in General Discussion edited January 2014
So says Forbes and Merrill Lynch.


Merrill Lynch increased [Dell's] 2004 unit growth forecast to 13% from 11%, the same as in 2003, "based on a decent consumer showing and an improving corporate market." In the fourth quarter of 2003, Hewlett-Packard (nyse: HPQ - news - people ) took over the worldwide unit share lead at 15.3%, but Dell (nasdaq: DELL - news - people ), with a 14.5% share, "could leapfrog HP in the first half," Merrill said. According to the research firm, both HP and Dell "should gain share over time" and "Dell someday could achieve a 30% share." IBM (nyse: IBM - news - people ) came in third in the quarter with a 5.3% share, Fujitsu/Fujitsu Siemens had a 3.8% share, and at fifth was Taiwanese-based Acer with a 3.5% share. According to Merrill, ninth-place Apple Computer (nasdaq: AAPL - news - people ) saw unit share dip below 2% for the first time--down to 1.7% in the fourth quarter. Merrill said, "We expect iPod success eventually to spill over into Mac purchases."

(Anyone know the dates they're using for the fourth quarter?)

This is pretty sad news. Apple's Store system is out in full force (at least in the US). The "savior" G5 processor has been here and shipping for a while. The iPod and iTunes Music Store have been a smash success in the US and abroad. Mac OS X has been (since 10.2, in my opinion) holding its own as a kick-ass operating system.

Yet, Apple's market keeps shrinking.

Where's Matsu and the price patrol? What are your thoughts? Do you think there's something other than cutting margins that Apple should be doing today? Globally, Apple certainly seems to forget how currency exchange rates work.

I've always thought Apple's marketing and advertising department has been less than satisfactory. They did a good job with the colorful iPod commercials; there was a period of time where I wouldn't go a whole day without seeing at least one on TV. Where is the iPod now? It became wildly successful.

Discuss. Be civil.


  • Reply 1 of 100
    if they would just release those damn rev b g5's....
  • Reply 2 of 100
    ast3r3xast3r3x Posts: 5,012member
    I just want apple to be around when I'm older
  • Reply 3 of 100
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    I still think Apple is biding it's time until they can get a good office suite out. Then they're going to let 'er rip. Also, they may be waiting for MS to release Office 2004 for the Mac so they have a couple years of decent MS office support before it gets pulled. I think it's all strategic. We've seen parts of the scheme revealed (iCal, Addressbook, FileMaker) but not all of it. We all know Appleworks has been sitting dormant (if completely motionless can be called dormant) for years now. Apple is doing very well despite their marketshare position. They have the legs to make some big strides and they're just waiting... I think.
  • Reply 4 of 100
    ast3r3xast3r3x Posts: 5,012member
    I don't know, they have been pretty aggressive lately I think. They could be more, but about the only thing they could do is wait till the G5 is in the iMac and PowerBooks and then use that some of that 4 billion for a GIANT marketing campaign.
  • Reply 5 of 100
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    Rev. B G5s won't change anything. Sure, maybe a few people are holding off buying one, but that's not what is causing their market share to dip.

    I think price is one of the biggest problems. First off, people think that Macs cost more than they actually do. It's not advertised much that you can get an eMac for $799. Secondly, even $799 is too much for a lowest-end computer. If they could get a $599 machine out, and ADVERTISED, some people might want one. The thing is, many people now think of a computer as a $500-$600 item because that's what Dell and H-Paq sell them for.

    Finally, I think at least a few people are put off by how different the eMac is from a typical bargain PC. There are hardly any AIO PCs, and most of them are poor sellers. People like familiarity, not change. If the lowest end Mac was a tower, even a not-very-expandable one, it might make it more familiar. Now, people look at Macs and say "you mean their cheapest tower is $1800?" Or, maybe they do... I really am not sure how much of an issue that is. Most people don't care about upgrading their PCs anyway, but they associate "AIO" with "different" with "bad!"
  • Reply 6 of 100
    Apple must make headway into Big Corporate America. I doubt there market share is that dismal for the consumer market. If they can't get some giant corporations to switch to Macs that paltry 1.x % will never grow. A company like Prudential upgrades their computers on a annual basis for all 200, 000 plus employees. That's a lot of business for IBM. Imagine if Apple had one client that accounted for that many annual sales.

    Another product as successful as the original iMac would help consumer sales. But if Apple really wants their market share to grow they need to partner with a huge corporation to switch. Apple should give them a huge volume discount and swallow a lot of the cost of transition. Get the company to gush about the money they're saving in IT costs and the increased productivity..blah, blah blah. And then make the media care about it. If one huge corp. switches others will follow.

    Personally, as long as Apple is making enough to stay in business I don't give a rats ass about market share.
  • Reply 8 of 100
    ipeonipeon Posts: 1,122member

    Originally posted by InactionMan

    Apple must make headway into Big Corporate America.

    That's the key right there. People get what they use. If they use a Mac at work they are more likely to get a Mac. If they use Windows they will get Windows. What does the Enterprise use? Yup.

    My other opinion in regards to why Apple is losing market is simply the fact that the price is just to high for a potential switcher to give the Mac a try. It just is. I do not understand why Apple doesn't offer a headless Mac for around $500 to $600 so that those thinking about switching can try the Mac without feeling they are investing too much into something they have no clue about. They are interested, but the cost is just too high!
  • Reply 9 of 100
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    Nothing's going to stop this until the government steps in. Microsoft is clearly reeling everyone in tighter with Windows, Windows Media, buying game companies, etc.

    Until Microsoft is punished for its anti-competitive practices, there isn't going to be any all.
  • Reply 10 of 100
    It is disheartening to see the Mac's continual slide in marketshare even if they are continuing to remain profitable. I worry that if the trend continues that some of the decent software developers will start backing away from the platform.

    While I agree that the Mac's price is steering some from the platform, the truth is the sheer ubiquity of PC keeps most people from even considering the Mac. It's sad, but IME most people look at the Mac as a "fringe" platform and just... shrug their shoulders at it. It's neither loved nor reviled, just... ignored. For most it is simply not considered an option when buying a computer (which is just a tool for most anyway), unless you working with one at work or have very influential Mac friends. I've managed to steer 3 people away from buying a PC as their first computer to do photoshop work on last year so I've done my part! 8)

    And of course, every year it becomes harder to convert people over to the Mac platform as people become set in their computing ways, have a significant software investment and have a multitude of personal files to consider. You hack away on a PC at work, you're used to it - why change?

    Just my 2 bits...

  • Reply 11 of 100
    I'm waiting for the market share numbers to go below zero...

    "And this just in...Apple's market share is officially -2.3%."

    I just don't believe these numbers...or at least I don't believe that they are telling the whole story. The press likes nice simple numbers...probably because most of them are simple themselves. 1.7% is a nice simple number. But it doesn't talk about thing like vertical markets where Apple might do very well. It doesn't talk about installed base. It doesn't talk about desktop vs. servers. It doesn't talk about corporate vs. consumer.

    Sorry. Tired of hearing this. Yeah...Apple's going out of business. Okay. Who cares. Jeez...we've been hearing this for 20 friggin' years!
  • Reply 12 of 100
    Universities really seem to like least my alma mater does. Most of the administrative terminals (that used to be 5400s) have been replaced with them, and the whole "mac" section of the central computing core is eMacs. The architecture and art departments have G5s.

    But having known and still knowing Windows users, most are very jealous of OS X and its practical invulnerability to all the stuff that hits them. And, besides this, some I've talked to think OS X is a lot "cleaner," and just more elegant to use. You don't have to be a wizard to find your IP address or change the screen resolution --- stupid stuff like that that can be "interesting" in Windows. And our platform still rules the creative arena by all means....these reports are accurate, but I think the percentage is getting lower because all the people in the past that could live without the internet and a computer, but now cannot are buying machines. And like was said, they buy the $500 dell P-O-S box.
  • Reply 13 of 100
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    i have a hard time believing the numbers, too. i mean i have seen more people recently buying macs and/or using them, and i'm not even in a mac-heavy community. methinks much of this is like internet explorer owning 90% browser marketshare or other such numbers. derived mostly from enormous cubicle companies who buy computers by the HUNDREDS for the LOWEST common denominator worker bee.

    and it's rare that i see a coffee shop or library that doesn't use cheaper windows boxes because all they have to do is run an internet browser. i mean, that's ALL they have to do. unless style counts for a lot in your internet hot spot, you'd go for the dozen cheap boxes, too.

    for example, a couple of years ago, university of toronto's robarts library decided to update their computer area in the lobby. easily a hundred black dell boxes and monitors, just so these kids could browse the web, send hotmail, play online games (and not warcraft... i'm talking reversi and such), instant message/chat, and occasionally type out a paper.

    that was a LOT of boxes, and of course u of t went windows because these boxes were aimed at the lowest common denominator again. apple COULD make a super-cheap box to run os x and do the things those terminals are asked to do. i just don't think apple wants to play that game just yet... if ever.
  • Reply 14 of 100
    These numbers are funny: think about this....

    If Apple sells 800,000 units in one quarter, and a brand new startup PC manufacturer that sells one model that retails at $399. And that new company (lets call that company ShittyDicks) sells 4,000,000 units in the same quarter Apple does 800k, ShittyDicks then has a much larger market share compared to Apple in the same quarter.

    Apple's installed base is enormous, well over 50,000,000 people around the world. And most of those people will be coming back again at some point in the future, a quarter, two, or 5 years from now. Apple is doing fine, making profits, and getting dev support.

    Besides, wouldnt developers be the most important thing to a platform's success? If there are that many installed Mac users, there will always be developers reaping huge profits from those customers.

    Apple is here to stay, $4.5 billion strong and growing.
  • Reply 15 of 100
    I know it's crass. I know it's the kind of fear-tactic I hate seeing in advertising but should Apple do a blitz outlining OS X's security? Sure they'd get nailed by the nerd press but who really cares if Apple gets some bad press on slashdot and the register? Maybe they should just scare all the housewives and grandmas into using Macs. Throw around the virus numbers. Spyware. Adware. Malware. Make the common folk equate using Windows with letting a pedophile babysit your daughter. Using OS X means you love your children and you don't want a nasty old letch watching her sleep.

    Or would that kind of hubris bite Apple in ass?
  • Reply 16 of 100
    Another thing to remember is that they said "worldwide" there are many populous countries like china etc., who are just getting into computers, skewing the results.

    Of course they can't afford the luxury of the Macintosh platform, so they are buying cheap PC's and probably stealing software like crazy.

    As this market grows, there will be cream that will rise to the top that will want and can afford Macs.

    They don't want a computer that everyone else uses, they want something that works and is a object of desire.

    Apple is building stores to meet this demand.

    Apple Stores

    Apple Jobs galore
  • Reply 17 of 100
    satchmosatchmo Posts: 2,699member

    Originally posted by Sailfish

    Another thing to remember is that they said "worldwide" there are many populous countries like china etc., who are just getting into computers, skewing the results. would be interesting to see marketshare numbers of only the U.S. (since that where Apple seems to really advertise to any degree).

    Many of the "problems" such as price, enterprise, perception, etc...are valid. But I wonder if this whole marketshare issue is a moot point. That no matter how much we lower the price, or begin to make in roads at corporate America, the battle is lost.

    The general masses just don't like change. I almost equate this to gas dependancy. There are alternative sources of fuel, but we choose not to. Not because gas is better, but because of convenience and familiarity.

    Will Apple be around in another 20 years? I hope so. And as long as they remain profitable, why wouldn't they?
  • Reply 18 of 100
    Quote: would be interesting to see marketshare numbers of only the U.S. (since that where Apple seems to really advertise to any degree).

    3.2% are IDC's numbers for US sales last year... not that great either.



    edit: year, not quarter...
  • Reply 19 of 100
    progmacprogmac Posts: 1,850member
    odd, i was just thinking today how it seems like everyone i know is going mac. lots of my friends who used PCs through college have messaged me lately about their recent apple purchase, with me having never having encouraged them to get a mac...

    on the other hand, as i look at my aim buddy list, i would say it is 98% PC users
  • Reply 20 of 100
    Think of it like this...if there are enough of us out there now to keep Apple in business, and Apple is only doing more great stuff...they will still be around.

    As populations increase, marketshare seems to decrease, even though it could be staying at a constant, or compared to itself, growing substantially.
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