Apple's PC Market Share is the Wrong Metric!

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
I have been following the Tiger launch closely and I believe there is a fundamental flaw in much of the reporting - I'll explain. Many of the Tiger reviews are very, very positive particularly Walt Mossberg's but other reporters are saying things, based on no real insight or data to speak of, like Apple's market share will hardly improve.

Rather than argue about guesses where Apple's market share will be next year, I think these folks are lazy thinkers and Apple's relative small market share (3.6% last quarter) is a crutch for them to lean on.

Here's why PC market share is a bad metric for thinking about Apple:

1. If Apple just doubles it market share, revenues will double. That's still a home run for Apple even if the resulting market share remains 7% or less.

2. When did volume = quality? Exhibit 1 = Microsoft. Case closed.

3. Isn't it more popular to have "mindshare" of younger, future customers? Here Apple's iPod and iTunes seems to be really a more relative indicator. If Apple takes care of these people certainly a Mac will be on their list of next cool toys to have...

4. We live in a world of convergence, what about share within the entire music-movie-photo-data-work sphere? Does anyone you know get excited about editing photos on their Windows PC like we do in iPhoto or Photoshop? The better metric would give credit to which company is easier to create on, which is more creative, and which offers the more robust media software.

5. Maybe we don't want share...PC market share is largely driven by corporate use. Yes, I think Apple has a real shot at getting more business customers, but do we want Apple to go from 3.6% to 36% share? Think of the hit we as consumers would take in terms of customer service, increased spyware, etc. Bottom line: Sometimes quality thrives in niches!

6. On a related note, if I buy a computer do I care who else has it beyond software availability? Maybe, but I really care about how fast is it? how easy to use is it? how reliable is it? how good am I treated after the sale? Every reliability survey I have seen gives Apple high marks and brand awareness for innovation and the like has Apple at or near the top.

Anyway, these are some thoughts on the you agree with me? Why? Why not?


  • Reply 1 of 2
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,427member
    Marketshare is a poor metric because many of the people spouting share numbers don't understand how the numbers where derived. For instance.

    Many software developers ship their software on one CD/DVD for multiple platforms. Evidently the rumor is that not at statisticians count this as a checkmark for both platforms. That of course skewers the numbers.

    I've heard that Microsoft gets a bit too much credit for white box PC sales. Someone buys a motherboard and ancillary equipment and that's likely to be a checkmark for the "PC" catagory when it's likely nowadays that said computer could be running Linux.

    Apple will see a rise in marketshare as they evolve the mini as a low margin high volume product.

    There is so much opportunity for Apple to keep expanding their Xserve XRAID and other networking products.

    The iPod will continue to add billions to Apple's bottom line.

    I'm not concernet overly with total marketshare but rather is the platform exhibiting the polish and ease that I come to expect from Cupertino and her software developers.
  • Reply 2 of 2
    I agree. I think that some growth would help secure more applications but I'm really at a loss to find apps I need that aren't available for Mac.
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