Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 7th Apr 2004 05:50 UTC
Apple By most counts, they're a hit. But they were intended to woo new users to the fold, yet Mac market share has only budged -- lower, says BusinessWeek.
Order by: Score:
by PantherPPC on Wed 7th Apr 2004 06:05 UTC

Lol. Saw this on another site today. Also from the same magazine (BusinessWeek)...

"The Mac is currently enjoying a growth spurt. Sales grew 12% during the quarter. The sleek PowerBook laptops remain hot items. Sales of higher-end PowerMacs -- used by publishers, ad agencies, and the like -- are getting a lift from the economic rebound. Some evidence even points to Apple turning around its long decline in the education market. In a survey of school districts, market researcher Quality Education Data found that 30% plan to buy Macs this year, up from 21% in 2003. And brisk sales of the latest upgrade of Mac OS X, called Panther, suggest that many Mac customers are planning on sticking around. [Apple CEO Steve Jobs] wouldn't mind if those analysts would start measuring the Mac by the profits it produces, rather than by its market share. 'We've got 25 million customers that want the best computers in the world. If our market share grows, we're thrilled. But we've held our own, while our rivals were losing hundreds of millions of dollars a year,' he says. 'We're in pretty good shape,'"

--Peter Burroughs, BusinessWeek

He also noted Apple selling 829,000 Macs in the previous quarter, up 12% from the year before.


I wonder how good the BusinessWeek editors are, and if they know they are contradicting themselves.

v Objectivity in journalism
by duke on Wed 7th Apr 2004 06:15 UTC
No contradiction
by JokuVaan on Wed 7th Apr 2004 06:15 UTC

That's not a contradiction. It is entirely possible that Mac sales go up while the market-share goes down. PC sales just have to grow faster than Mac sales for that to happen.

v RE: Objectivity in journalism
by Eugenia on Wed 7th Apr 2004 06:16 UTC
Alienation is the problem.
by Huh on Wed 7th Apr 2004 07:05 UTC

Sure Apple gained respect from the IT market by switching to UNIX. But switching to UNIX, even easy to use UNIX, might not have been the best thing for its existing user base of loyal non technical users. The problem is that Apple products aren't really targeted at the IT user base. So our new opinions of apple, although a 10 fold improvement, don’t really mean shit for apple’s market share.

The trouble with Apple
by Garbrand van der Molen on Wed 7th Apr 2004 07:33 UTC

(Disclaimer: I'm a bonafide Mac-Head)
I feel the trouble with Apple is that they are not properly targetting the main-stream market. The shops look very very slick, and as such have a very high mental threshold. Also, the advertisement Apple runs tells you _nothing_ about the advantages of the Mac platform. I guess they do not want their market share to come from the mainstream. So where do they want their market share increase to come from?

market share
by Glenn on Wed 7th Apr 2004 08:21 UTC

...and market share means diddly squat..

Just like how BMW's market share is miniscule compared to Ford. Sure BMW could grow its business by selling $9000 cars but do they need to? Does BMW target the same market as Ford? Does anyone care less about BMW because their cars are $35,000 more expensive than a comparable Ford? Are people insane for wanting to get their picture taken next to a BMW 760Li in a parking lot instead of a Taurus?

v apple gently goes into the night
by doctor k on Wed 7th Apr 2004 08:37 UTC
Re: apple gently goes into the night
by tantalic on Wed 7th Apr 2004 09:18 UTC

"There are no young people who are getting into Mac"

You obviously haven't been to a college campus recently. The strongest thing Apple has going for it's future right now is it's YOUNG install base. The iPod and iTunes has greatly increased the Apple brand name with young people, as has the "year of the laptop" idea. When I walk across campus I would say that roughly half (just a little below) of the laptops I see are macs and it seems like every other person has an iPod.

 Re: apple gently goes into the night
by Daniel Woods on Wed 7th Apr 2004 09:54 UTC

However, Linux folks soon find that most of OS X is not open source and Apple's marketing is just lies. And so back to Linux they go.

But they'll be taking their Powerbooks back with them to Linux. Does Apple (a Hardware Company) really care that someone is running a different OS on their hardware? No, just as long as they buy Apple Hardware.

yup, apple is 3 to 4 times more expensive than pc's ,right. have another hit! compare the g5 to a compareable 64 bit pc, all the hardware that comes with it, the sata's, slick case, fast bus speed, fast pcix slots,dvdrw, ect. Can you realy point to one computer, one brand name or even home build that is 3 - 4 times cheaper for what you get in an apple? i looked all over, and as a linux junky realy wanted to find one. It's not out there, you are mistaken. Don't get me wrong, I can put together a cheap 64 bit home built, but maybe 20 % cheaper cost for a machine that will not compare to apple in looks, quality, ease of use, power(not just speed, but the wide array of things that I can do on it).
One of the reason's that I gave Mac a shot was the open source aspect of Darwin, and I like that. Haven't seen that from Window's. More and more I here the zealot's from Linux bash away at Mac for not being open. Crap. Download Darwin and run it on your Pc. I've done it, it's why i switched. I still love linux, I still run Kde and Gnome on my desktop thanks to fink. I still compile source on my Mac, just like before.
By the way, the Harley Davidson was a dumb comparison, they r now larger than Honda, which was the largest maker of bikes in the world until Harley made tonnes of young people want one by being the COOLEST thing out there. So smoke some more crack, and play some more games on windows or your pc.

RE:  apple gently goes into the night
by GrapeGraphics on Wed 7th Apr 2004 10:21 UTC

The problem is that Macs last so long, compared to other computers... while I've had 2 Macs (purchased new) in the last 9 years I purchased 4 PCs (now I ain't buyin' any more PCs). So, In my case, and in others that I've been exposed to, Mac owners upgrade about half the time PC users do... Another example of this is in the publishing industry where a lot of users are still are on OS9 et al. So while people say that there PC will last 'a few years, they're replacing every 1.5-2 years... not with a Mac... Oh, and I still use my ol'PowerComputing150 (G3 card) & Lombard Powerbook (1999)

Marketshare shmarketshare
by JCW on Wed 7th Apr 2004 10:52 UTC

Apple no longer needs "marketshare" any more than the Rolls-Royce company needs marketshare. Apple products are elite designs for elitists. The PCs and hum-drum MP3 players are the products for the "rest of us" who don't want to spend 50% more money to get an extra 5% in features. Do you have that kind of money to waste? I sure don't.

Apple will probably stick around, but the days of a return to marketshare are long gone unless this company drops its head-in-the-air, holier than thou attitude and brings its prices in line with other products.

Re: Alienation, apple going into the night
by mini-me on Wed 7th Apr 2004 12:51 UTC

In terms of alienation - I did not use MacOS X until 10.2 came out. I had been a user of the Public Beta, had installed 10 and tried 10.1 but the application support was not there, and there was not enough stuff with the OS to make it worth while. MacOS 9 was a rickety barge compared to OS X but I was willing to put up with it. Now the only thing that I use Classic for is to play some of my old games (like populus and themepark). People who associate MacOS 9 with "platinum" adn MacOS X with "aqua" are just thinking of an interface, there is much more than that.

As for apple going into the night... I dont know what you are smoking, but I dont want any

Re: Annoyed retailers
by mini-me on Wed 7th Apr 2004 13:07 UTC

one more thing
1) Annoyed retailers
(quote from article) "Another unintended consequence to consider: As Apple opens more and more stores in high-demographic areas, resellers are up in arms"

My recent experience: Went into a major computer retailer's store (has a store-within-a-store setup) and went to buy some DVD-Rs (apple branded). There was only one left on the shelf and that was open so I did not want to buy it. I asked the clerk in charge if they had any out back and he said in a looking-down-on-me and condescending way "No we dont have outback, we just cant keep em in stock!". Well, I submit to you, even if the apple store has the same bad service as this place that I went to, they at least have items in stock.

Apple might be in trouble
by Anonymous on Wed 7th Apr 2004 13:28 UTC

I've become an Apple fan the last couple of years. I own an iBook and an iPod. And I'm going to own a PowerMac. Therein lies the problem. I want a PowerMac. But the current line is 7 months old and was announced 10 months ago. Apple has not updated its computers in a very long time. I thought IBM was going to end the Motorola debacle, but apparently they must be having problems with the G5's production.

Apple needs to stop concentrating on the iPod and start concentrating on building computers again.

Re: trouble
by Don Cox on Wed 7th Apr 2004 13:45 UTC

"And I'm going to own a PowerMac. Therein lies the problem. I want a PowerMac. But the current line is 7 months old and was announced 10 months ago. Apple has not updated its computers in a very long time. I thought IBM was going to end the Motorola debacle, but apparently they must be having problems with the G5's production."

Surely it ought to be enough to bring out a new model every three years or so? Is there really enough progress in hardware design in a year to justify new models?

Perhaps the portable gadgets (iPod etc) might be restyled more often, as they are fashion oriented. But a desktop computer?

RE: Marketshare shmarketshare
by Ralph on Wed 7th Apr 2004 14:02 UTC

I like it when people call Mac users elitists and complain that Apple computers are overpriced. Well, just stick with your $500 eMachine and make sure to update your virus definition before you go online. Could I have spent less money for a new PC than I did for the 17" flatscreen iMac that I own? Yes, I could have, but that iMac is in my opinion worth every penny that I spent for it.

RE: market share
by Mike on Wed 7th Apr 2004 14:31 UTC

I hate how people use the BMW/Ford arguement to compare Apples to PC's. The flaw in that arguement is that both Ford and BMW both run on gasoline you can buy at any gas station and both can drive on the same roads. The problem I'm worried about with Apple is what if market share dips down to far? Say good bye to the developers who won't want to waste time developing software for a platform that has no market share. What if Adobe or other large software companies decide Apples market share is to small to cater to?

On a brighter note, I should be recieving my 1ghz g4 ibook today. I can't wait, this is my first Mac. I mainly use linux but after using a Mac for a while at an Apple store, I had to have one.
Yum, unix.

...
by Eu on Wed 7th Apr 2004 14:32 UTC

You are right Ralph. Those ibooks are such a good deal when compared to the Thinkpads from IBM or Dell's laptops.

Unlike those two, Ibooks are known for they good build quiality and have not shown any signs of logic board problems. ;)

It's comforting to know that Apple stands behinds its products and would never deny anyone a warranty claim or try to cover up a serious hardware issue until public outcry became so loud that they had to acquiesce to it.

Right on, isn't it nice to think different, Ralph?

Not like those masses of lowly emachine owners? I mean, if they are not running Windows,they might even be running some Linux distribution on it and we all know that Linux just plain sucks...

For the humor challenged, the above is inteded as sarcasm. I like Macs but I dislike the group think mentality that seems to have taken over a huge part of apple's userbase.

RE: Rolls Royce
by Anonymous on Wed 7th Apr 2004 14:42 UTC

RR *did* need market-share. They couldn't afford any real development in decades. All major parts like gear-boxes, motors, etc... were out-dated for decades; In a current RR, there is nothing whatsoever left that is uniquely RR -- more than 70% are of the shelf BMW-parts. And if RR hadn't been boughed out as someone else's prestigeous pet, just like Ferrari, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Aston Martin or simply put any other traditional manufacturer, they would be gone long time ago. Apple is selling of the shelf components as well and they are not doing good at all with computers, but only their iPod stuff and with Laptops to some extent.

We have to spread the word
by UFOGoldorak on Wed 7th Apr 2004 14:46 UTC

I personaly have converted 7 people in the past year. Hell I have walked out of the apple store with 3 new iBooks since it opened in charlotte last month. The funny thing is that when I take someone in there, it does not take but 5 minutes of them playing around untill they make up their minds. Every day I ask at least 2 people if they have been to the apple store yet ;) I finally got a 12" iBook yesterday. Its is SWEET!!! My girl will be getting one in a month and an iPod. Every time I walk into an apple store its stuffed with people using every machine on display! The apple stores are doign their part, it's up to us mac users to do our part... educate ;)

Apple is no BMW
by CaptainN on Wed 7th Apr 2004 14:48 UTC

I just have to say it. Apple computer is not as comparable to a BMW as some people think. Maybe to a tech head it is, but let's understand the market a bit.

People HATE computers.

People see computers as those damn things that they have to have, and have to use for certain things. They see them as unreliable (true or not) and really most would rather not use them. Those that do use them, use them to play online games, or solitare.

Do you know anyone that would spend thousands of dollars on a BMW to play solitare while sitting in a parking lot?

The problem with Apple computers is the price. They are way too expensive, and most people don't like computers enough to justify the expense - especially when they have either an older computer that works just fine, or they can get a comparable coputer for 1/3 (that's one third) the price or less.

The technically savvy see Apple computers as a BMW, the general public sees Apple as the extremely expensive necessary evil.

re:re: market share
by PainKilleR on Wed 7th Apr 2004 14:50 UTC

I hate how people use the BMW/Ford arguement to compare Apples to PC's. The flaw in that arguement is that both Ford and BMW both run on gasoline you can buy at any gas station and both can drive on the same roads.

There's another big flaw in the argument: the fact that BMWs are only priced the way they are because people view them as a luxury. In order for Apple to do the same, people have to view their computers as a luxury. Most people view computers as a tool they use to get things done, not a luxury item to sit in the corner and look pretty.

Additionally, BMW makes plenty of vehicles that compete directly with Ford, but most of them are never shipped to the US and many other markets, simply because it would hurt their foreign branding and they'd have trouble competing with Ford (or any number of other competitors) in those markets. Anyone want to buy a car for $50K with the same emblem on the front of it as the truck that just picked up your trash? Some would, some wouldn't, and many of the latter are the people driving Mercedes and BMW.

It isn't to say that Macs aren't as functional as Windows PCs, it's simply that the perception is often different. With Apple, though, that perception isn't necessarily there, it's simply being built.

Apple is not dated
by Chris on Wed 7th Apr 2004 14:58 UTC

"I've become an Apple fan the last couple of years. I own an iBook and an iPod. And I'm going to own a PowerMac. Therein lies the problem. I want a PowerMac. But the current line is 7 months old and was announced 10 months ago. Apple has not updated its computers in a very long time. I thought IBM was going to end the Motorola debacle, but apparently they must be having problems with the G5's production.

Apple needs to stop concentrating on the iPod and start concentrating on building computers again."

Actually Apple is quite up to date, their powerboards have PCI-X slots, something PC's are JUST starting to see and you may not see it in a $1000 Dell for another 6-8 months. The G5 is a brand new line from IBM, this compares to Pentium 4's architecture which dates back to the G4's beginnings (it's been updated and upgraded, but it's still old). Athlon dates back to late 2000, the new 64 bit chips are a good change. Apple has SATA drives and DVD burners, they support PC-3200 RAM just like most PC boards.
I don't see where the G5 is old at? Some people seem to think the computer world changes every six months, hardly. Now I'm not a huge fan of some of Apple's methods, but I think they sell a very up to date computer.

I would say the biggest reason you see more lastability from an Apple is better software. You also see more lastability in Linux/BSD boxen; the software doesn't seem to bloat as bad. I still use my old Cyrix 224MHz, it works fine and does every real task my Athlon XP can do. Now it is unbareably slow for some things. I'd say anything above 500MHz (on a PentiumIII equivalence scale) is still a good computer today, and if you don't play games or edit video/images it's all you need.
I don't much like Apple's desktops. I think the iMac is cute, but it's a technically ignorant design. The eMac is butt ugly. But, Apple makes a majorly awesome laptop. I'd love to have an iBook, and they're pretty affordable too. If anyone wonders, I have a used PC laptop cause it was a good deal and I am a poor college student that takes notes on paper anyway.

Market share - apple can sell more computers than PC makers
by CaptainN on Wed 7th Apr 2004 14:58 UTC

It should be pointed out that Apple can sell more computers than their PC competition, and still loose market share (or at least installed base).

For every new PC that is purchased a substantial amount of the computers they are replacing are "handed down" to family members or freinds who don't have money to burn on computers or who simply do not see the value in spending money on a device that they'd rather not deal with.

That is at least a portion of Apple's competition (and Dell's for that matter).

Re: Apple is no BMW
by Jason Mazzotta on Wed 7th Apr 2004 15:06 UTC

"The problem with Apple computers is the price. They are way too expensive, and most people don't like computers enough to justify the expense - especially when they have either an older computer that works just fine, or they can get a comparable coputer for 1/3 (that's one third) the price or less. "

I've been wondering recently if, given this line of thinking, Apple did itself any favors by making the iPod and the iTunes Music Store available for PC users.

v @UFOGoldorak
by Eu on Wed 7th Apr 2004 15:19 UTC

It should be pointed out that Apple can sell more computers than their PC competition, and still loose[sic] market share (or at least installed base).

Market share and installed base are fundamentally different, especially from the claims that most people make against the use of market share as a determination of success. If Apple actually sells more computers than their competition, their market share increases to be higher than their competitors, that is the very definition of market share (how many computers they sold vs. how many computers everyone else sold).

If old computers continue to be in use while market share is maintained or increases, then installed base continues to grow at a rate that can be tied to market share. On the other hand, if newly purchased computers are replacing computers that are not handed down, resold, or donated to someone that will use them, then installed base does not grow. Most of the people arguing that market share doesn't matter for Apple want people to believe that Windows users are throwing out their computers or buying new computers every couple of years. As a non-Apple user, I simply don't see that as the case. My current computer is made primarily of parts that are 2 years old, but some portions date back as many as 6 years, and I gave a computer made entirely of 4-6 year old parts to my girlfriend's father, so that he could figure out what he wanted to do with a computer before we decided what he should buy (and I'll probably use it as an upgrade platform to allow him to spend his money over time to buy the new computer rather than try to come up with a lot of money all at once or sacrifice performance for a cheaper system). The computer I work with every day is 2 years old, yet we have a test platform that is easily 5+ years old, and the monitor on my desk is also 5 years old (I managed to get them to buy a good monitor shortly after I started here and have kept them from replacing it with something worse). There are computers all over the place in the office that are older than most of the computers in these people's homes, and over time they simply get cannibalized to make the others work (so 40 or so computers that were bought 6-10 years ago at a rate of ~10 per year are now down to 20 or so computers because we had unusually high failure rates on power supplies, some of which took out other components).

Half the people I know have half-built x86 systems sitting in closets which they use to assemble full systems when they upgrade their main PC (or their second or third system) to the point at which they can sell it or give it to a friend or family member. I have 3 cases sitting in the closet myself with CPUs running from 200MHz to 1GHz, the slowest of which may be disposed of in a couple of years (though many of the parts will still be used elsewhere).

For every new PC that is purchased a substantial amount of the computers they are replacing are "handed down" to family members or freinds who don't have money to burn on computers or who simply do not see the value in spending money on a device that they'd rather not deal with.

That is at least a portion of Apple's competition (and Dell's for that matter).


None of that counts as market share, though, and it is so hard to track that kind of market that very few people even try (at best you get the studies of the installed systems for users of given applications and websites). I'm sure Apple's computers get handed down, too. On the other hand, I don't think they get cannibalized quite to the extent of x86 systems.

@ Chris
by Anonymous on Wed 7th Apr 2004 15:49 UTC

PCI-X -- what are you talking about..? (Higend) PC already have PCI-X, normal ones will never get any, because PCI-X is pretty much history. What PCs will get is PCI-Express, which is a totally different thing. This, however, will not take 6-8 month to come, but it will be fun to see when they hit the Mac... I think you are mixing up things a bit.

The New FUD: Apple Market Share
by Anonymous on Wed 7th Apr 2004 15:51 UTC

Those of us that followed Apple in the mid-90s are all too familiar with the onslaught of negative publicity that the company received that ultimately predicted the company's imminent death. Of course, the claims were grossly over stated. Apple was a very healthy company at the time as it is now. Unfortunately, the publicity had such a negative affect, that these predictions almost resulted in a self fulfilled prophecy.

At the time, Apple was still a relatively new player in most people's minds. The fact that many computer companies were in fact dying didn't help the stigma Apple received. When one misleading report was coupled with misconceptions about Apple and the marketplace, more reporters inevitably latched onto it and turned the situation into something far bigger than what it actually was.

While I wouldn't classify most of that negative publicity a mass instance of "FUD" (fear uncertainty and doubt), as most instances of FUD are uniquely intentional. These were a combination of some fear uncertainty and doubt mixed with mass-confusion. Thankfully, after a lot of education, such proclamations of death are not taken seriously, no matter what the author's intent.

However, there is a new round of Apple FUD that is not unlike the first and has been propagating throughout the same news scene as before. The new FUD is just as disturbing and equally pervasive as its predecessor but relatively undetected thus far. The new FUD plays on the public's misunderstanding about "market share" and "install base." Most individuals mistakenly use these terms interchangeably without fully understanding their meaning.

Market share is a term that describes the gross number of product sold in a given time period.

Install base is a term used to describe the gross number of products sold that are in use at any given time.

The problem with using these terms interchangeably, -- at least when it comes to computers and computing platforms -- amounts to the same problem that occurred during the 90's era news reports. People are far less inclined to consider an alternative platform if there is concern that it may not be around in the future. In the case of Apple however, these claims are totally unfounded.

Here's an example to put things into perspective: Lets say two people comprise 100% of all computer users on the planet. Each of these individuals bought a new computer for themselves at the same time; one a Macintosh and the other a Windows PC. Market share and installed base dynamics would indicate 50/50 percentages.

But if after two years time, the Windows user decides to replace his computer, "market share" dynamics will show that Windows occupies 50% more of the market than that of Macintosh users... even though there are still only two individuals using a computer.

Because "market share" only gauges sales of a platform as opposed to the total number of products in use, the results are skewed -- assuming we are solely trying to determine the total number of people using that particular product and not gauging sales. Of course, if we utilize the "Install base" dynamic, the ratio of computer users in our example is still 50/50.

When a research company reports that Apple's market share has declined and is at 2%, they may very well be correct, but this is not an indicator that Mac users are defecting to Windows, nor does it in any way suggest that the total number of Mac users is at that number. Instead, it indicates that the number of Macs sold during that time period didn't grow as fast as Windows did. The market share statistic doesn't indicate the fact that the vast majority of Windows users are simply replacing their old systems or that Mac users don't typically upgrade their computers as often.

Mac users tend to get more life out of their machine than their Windows-using counterparts. Because Mac users don't replace their computers as frequently, that translates to decreased "market share" even though install base grew... though not as fast as Windows.

I've concluded that any proclamations about "market share must be taken with a grain of salt. Until a reputable research company can provide figures that measure the computer industry with install base dynamics, everything else is meaningless. I would go so far as to actually question the intentions of any reporter that holds up the market share statistic as a barometer that gauges the ratio of various operating system users. Any reporter worth his salt knows better than that.

Time To Correct Mac Price Misconceptions
by Anonymous on Wed 7th Apr 2004 15:54 UTC

I'm a long time Windows PC user (16+ years), but after purchasing my first Mac a few weeks ago -- a dual processor PowerMac G5 -- I'm what Apple has affectionately classified as a "Mac switcher." I made the switch simply because I'm a savvy consumer who saw an outstanding product at a fantastic price.

In the weeks that I've owned my new computer, my wife -- who managed to get a few hours in on the machine on the rare occasions that I wasn't using it -- was so impressed, that she too decided to make the switch and picked up a 12" powerbook from a local Apple reseller.

Before shelling out any money, we made sure to compare prices and feature sets from at least four other PC manufacturers. Like the G5, we were so impressed with the PowerBook's price relative to its feature set, that choosing it over the competition was a no-brainer.

When telling others of our purchase however, I was somewhat perplexed with the response they gave. Most inquired about how much money we spent between the two machines. While it's true that we had indeed spent a lot of money, the comments I received eluded to the notion that our new computers must have cost a lot of money, if only for the simple fact that that they were both Macs.

I clarified my purchasing decision by making note of the fact that comparably equipped PCs from at least 5 other manufacturers were in fact more expensive. For some, the only way of convincing them was by going to each manufacturer's Web site and making multiple side by side comparisons. I expected it to some degree. Such thinking is commonplace amongst many computer buyers.

The situation has compelled me to define the word "expensive?" I keep finding this word thrown around by various individuals who may mean what they say, but don't necessarily always say what they mean. Worse yet, the continued misrepresentation of this word has only furthered its misuse.

I would like to ask the osViews community to help me define the word "expensive." Does expensive refer to something which (a) costs a lot of money, (b) costs more money than what I have, or is it (c) something that costs more than the equivalent product from another source?

While all of these are true to some degree, when people user the term to describe the price of a Mac, what is often said is the (a) definition. However, what is perceived by many that hear that, is most often the (c) definition. As a result, the misappropriated (c) definition gets propagated by others.

The "expensive" misconception does a major disservice for my new preferred platform. It's now in my best interest to see that the platform grows, but as long as people perceive that they're not getting their money's worth, it's growth potential is hampered.

The fact that you can't custom build a Mac yourself doesn't help the misconception though. With a PC, you can custom configure your computer and buy less and therefore pay less. But that doesn't make it less expensive, but rather, more configurable.

After making side by side price comparisons with several individuals who doubted the price to performance advantage, I was surprised to see the same individuals -- who previously were calm and collected -- get overly defensive and turn somewhat irrational.

I'm embarrassed to admit it now, but I too had similar feelings when I first considered a Mac. It doesn't make sense now, but I had to come to terms with the fact that I wasn't admitting any sort of defeat by making a switch and it was only I that had the most to gain if I researched my options properly.

So, I took up the challenge that was put before me, made the comparison and then was surprised to learn that Apple's new computers were indeed less expensive.

I wish more people would stop trying to justify their computer purchase to the world by spreading lies about alternative computing platforms. It does a disservice to the entire computing populace as a whole.

Consumer mindset
by Anonymous on Wed 7th Apr 2004 16:07 UTC

I work part time at futureshop and I have to say that its very difficult to persuade someone to buy a mac. This happened just a few days ago while I was showing someone a G4 1.0GHZ powerbook

<customer> Wow thats kind of expensive and its only 1GHZ

<me> Actually Ive had people tell me that this performs aswells as an AMD-2500+ which is about 2.1GHZ.

<customer> Oh so are macs mostly for gamers?

<me> Not really, macs dont have that many games. Usually theres a couple of good ones per year but most are only released on PCs.

<customer> Oh

Then he sort of stared at me and asked to see a notebook.

RE: Marketshare shmarketshare
by dr_gonzo on Wed 7th Apr 2004 16:09 UTC

What's all this 50% cheaper talk? Mac isn't aiming at the budget market. Go to dell.com and configure a system. Then go over to apple.com and configure a similar system. The price difference won't be huge.

Of course if you want to run Linux on your Dell you'll get loads of headaches like which distro, and you'll be googling about and find yourself asking "Does it work on Linux?" alot. If you get a Mac, you may have to spend maybe a hundred or so extra euro but you'll save on the panadol and you'll have a prettier computer.

Everyone to their own, but Mac aren't gonna go under anytime soon and they don't cost 2 or 3 times more than similar x86 computers.

MAC/POWERPC NOT SAFE PLATFORM
by Taurayi Chitaukire on Wed 7th Apr 2004 16:20 UTC

The point about there being no safety in the plaform in the case of Apple going under (which I doubt) is moot. OS X uses;

1. Darwin
======
- open source
- available for other processors besides PowerPC

2. POWERPC
========
-variants of this microprocessors architecture can or will be found in the following
==>XBOX2
==>PS3 A.K.A Cell processor
==>GameCube (not sure about next generation)

3. Linux cab run on PPC - many owners of apple computers are running Linux e.g. Yellowdog Linux (i think thats the name).

4. Although Motorola is getting out of the desktop chip business they still use the Power platform for their embedded chips and it is one of the giants in this market

In conclusion, it looks like there is a decent developer community emerging around the PPC and while it may never approach that of x86 I do not think that the (potential) demise of apple should be something that a developer takes into account when concidering developing for that platform or when using Darwin.

RE: Consumer Mindset
by stray on Wed 7th Apr 2004 16:22 UTC

Hmm..I'd have to say it's far too much work to try clueing some people in on the finer details (like marketshare vs installed base, price myths, mhz myths, the fact that Mac games = successful/good PC games, just not ALL games).

re: RE: apple gently goes into the night
by gfx on Wed 7th Apr 2004 16:39 UTC

The problem is that Macs last so long, compared to other computers...

It's just that over the last couple of years Apple didn't deliver anything faster, only pathetic increases in clockspeed with the G4.


re: Mac price misconceptions
by PainKilleR on Wed 7th Apr 2004 17:03 UTC

I found your post rather light on details, but I'll address what can be addressed. For instance, to actually do a price comparison ourselves, we would need some information on the configuration of the systems. On the other hand, I'll quite easily give you that a 12" notebook is probably going to be cheaper from Apple than from other manufacturers, primarily because Apple seems to price 12" notebooks as a price choice, while other PC manufacturers seem to price them as a feature choice (ie from Dell, for example, you pay more for a 12" notebook because it's smaller and lighter, while from Apple a 12" notebook costs less because you get less screen area).

While giving that a 12" notebook is cheaper, it's quite easy to find many 14" notebooks from Dell that cost less than a 12" notebook from Apple, even when upgrading the hardware to get equivalent items (such as DVD+/-RW/CD-RW combo drive).

The fact that you can't custom build a Mac yourself doesn't help the misconception though. With a PC, you can custom configure your computer and buy less and therefore pay less. But that doesn't make it less expensive, but rather, more configurable.

On the other hand, for those that don't have a want or need for the parts they would not buy, the lack of configuration makes it more expensive to buy a Mac. This is exactly the problem I usually have with looking at a Mac, because I get charged for a modem, keyboard, mouse, and maybe an 802.11 adapter, all of which I will never use on a desktop system (I have 802.11g in my house, but anything that doesn't move gets wired). When buying a notebook, configurability shouldn't come into the equation, as you are similarly limited on the x86 side. However, because of the number of x86 OEMs out there, you still have more choices of configurations with x86 notebooks than you do with Apple notebooks.

After making side by side price comparisons with several individuals who doubted the price to performance advantage, I was surprised to see the same individuals -- who previously were calm and collected -- get overly defensive and turn somewhat irrational.

This paragraph has no point without explaining why or in what way they might become irrational or defensive. You allude to it in the next paragraph, but overall you avoid stating any points they may have given for your comparison being problematic.

I'm embarrassed to admit it now, but I too had similar feelings when I first considered a Mac. It doesn't make sense now, but I had to come to terms with the fact that I wasn't admitting any sort of defeat by making a switch and it was only I that had the most to gain if I researched my options properly.

What did you do with your old computers? Did you research the cost of upgrading the older hardware? This is another point (beyond configurability) where Apple has a hurdle to overcome. There are quite a few people out there who do not go out and just buy a new computer, but rather extend the life of their hardware by buying new parts for the old computer. Many of the parts are really small-cost items (DVD/CD drives, DVD/CD burners, floppy drives for those that still want them, hard drives, many of the cards in PCs unless they were built into your old motherboard), but in total can add up rather quickly.

So, I took up the challenge that was put before me, made the comparison and then was surprised to learn that Apple's new computers were indeed less expensive.

iMacs and PowerMacs often have to stand up against $200-500 desktop PCs for comparisons, and when the Apple products start at 2-3x the top end of that curve, things tend to go south quite quickly.

I wish more people would stop trying to justify their computer purchase to the world by spreading lies about alternative computing platforms. It does a disservice to the entire computing populace as a whole

I wish people would stop being vague about such things and point out exactly why they feel the price difference is justified. For many people the price of a computer is one of the first items that determines what they get, and these people are simply not the market that Apple is looking for. You can't even buy a new Apple notebook for under $1000, and I doubt they really want to sell one in that price range. Similarly, you can't buy a desktop machine from Apple for under $700, and again they really don't seem to be worried about aiming for that market.

While not aiming for a particular market is certainly not a bad thing (after all, if you eliminate the low end market, you can pull in more profits), I often wish that Mac users would stop trying to claim that they can compete for the same market that the Windows and Linux desktop PCs have generally saturated. Apple's prices are in no way out of line in the markets they appeal to, but as a PC manufacturer they appeal to a higher end market than the bread-and-butter of most x86 manufacturers. You'd certainly be in better hands comparing Apple's products to more niche-oriented PC manufacturers, though in most of those niche markets either Apple or the particular x86 manufacturer thoroughly trounces the competition (for instance, Apple's going to own the market for mid-to-high-end music for some time to come, and have made some in-roads into the low-end (where they only recently lost the market), Alienware, on the other hand, is perhaps the best known manufacturer targeting gamers today, and Apple's unlikely to compete in that market without getting more game developers on-board, although their hardware is competetive enough on those games that exist and their prices are probably better than Alienware's).

ahh oh well...
by Josh on Wed 7th Apr 2004 17:13 UTC

Theyve been saying apple is dying for years. Guess not. lol. The fact that their stores generate profit is good enough for apple.

I laughed at the thought the author said the price wars would affect apple. Here let me take a look at the ipod mini. for 50$ more you can get how many more gigs of space? 11? yet the ipod mini is selling. Hmm maybe its this coolness fact that dell just doesnt have, maybe its the brand who knows, but it sure aint the price.

What is wierd people time and again think apple is trying to compete with the PC market. They dont care how many people have apple computers as long as they are profitable in some way which they seem to be. Besides a cheap white box can only last so long compared to an engineered mac. Lets face it, how many people can brag(besides the ones with water cooled systems) that their computer needs no fan, or the interior design which in the g5s, and g4s are really nicely organized. With apple its style and quality(though they are prone to make mistakes like the problem they had with some ibook motherboards) They are generally better and last longer than a PC plus they have a good os. are some people willing or can afford a mac yes? are most? no. does apple care? again no cause they got people who will come to them because its Apple

They need the stores
by Brad on Wed 7th Apr 2004 17:16 UTC

The reason Apple stores do good and Gateway stores tanked is simple. Apple needed them, gateway did not. Going to a Gateway store isn't going to help you any over buying the computer online, unless it's your first computer so you can't get online I guess. You know what windowsXP is like, it's all around us, you know the newer computer is faster, and it will simply work much like what you have. So you don't need to deal with it in person to buy it.

Now go to apple. Sure you can buy them online just the same, but is a first time mac person going to buy one? There is a problem. With buying a mac you probably haven't used one or seen one. You know they are differant. It took years of OSX being out before I finaly saw it in person. To spend so much money on something you have never used in any way is kinda a sketchy thing to do. Odds are a new buyer doesn't know anyone with a mac, or at the least not with a new one that could serve as a taste of owning one. Apple has squat for market share. You'd have to know 100 people to have a change of knowing someone with a mac (and then know and have been around each of their computers), and if your older, or in a less urban environment youre even more unlikely to know someone with a mac. This is why the apple stores are so important to them. People can go to the stores and experiance a mac. I'd love a 17 inch powerbook, or a G5. But, I wasn't going to buy one till I had at least played with one in person. Once you own one then you'll probably just order new ones online from their on out.

Secondly Apple needs to make some real commericals. They haven't had anything but itune/ipod commericals out for months. The G5 commercial did nothing for telling you anything useful about the computer, the imac sticking it's cd tray out was cute but did nothing to tell people why they would want it, same for the power book commericals that haven't been seen in a year. And they have never had a ibook ad. Between barely having commercials, and then not truely showing the product in any way to make you want to buy it they haven't helped things. I think apple still has a way to go to save themselves from the switch commericals. They were a huge anti ad for apple. "your an idiot, buy a mac, their easy for idiots, and if you don't buy one you're a bigger idiot......" yeah great marketing. The giant ad on the left side of OSnews isn't going to get them there either. On a differant note, I thought they couldn't say "The world's fastest personal computer" anymore.


Will people stop saying macs last longer, if people keep their macs longer it has alot more to do with buying a new mac is to expensive, you can upgrade a PC all the time for the cheap. Also Apple didn't give people a reason to upgrade for years. How much slower was an early G4 vs a later G4 mac, and would it be worth the upgrade? No. And how many years did that span like 3-4 or so.

If you buy a PC of equivalant quality to a mac, it's going to last just as long. Computers don't get replaced because of computer failure very often. They get replaced because people feel like replacing them, and thats way cheaper to do in the wintel world.

"Just like how BMW's market share is miniscule compared to Ford. Sure BMW could grow its business by selling $9000 cars but do they need to? Does BMW target the same market as Ford? Does anyone care less about BMW because their cars are $35,000 more expensive than a comparable Ford? Are people insane for wanting to get their picture taken next to a BMW 760Li in a parking lot instead of a Taurus?"

well ford doesn't make anything close to a 9000 dollar car, secondly BMWs don't cost 35,000 dollars more, unless you are making one crazy comparison of models, or going with some insane overpriced model. BMW has dropped their prices massively over the years to survive. People arn't going to pay insane amounts of money for something that gets you little gains. Paying crazy amounts of money for a car is for people who somehow think a Ford is a crap car, it's not it's just a well priced car. And since when is a 7 series a competitor to a Taurus? Also what kind of person would get their picture with a car in a parking lot, (the doings of people like this don't matter to me). Maybe some sort of exotic car, at a car show. I would think a good number of people would be down with a Ford GT. Also BMWs cost more because their is a certain amount that will pay it. A large part of their cost is the transfering to the customer fines the company pays for not meeting emissions regs, and mileage standards, and import taxes. The last is why they make BMWs in the US now. Also BMW was hurting before they cut prices, Ford nearly bought BMW in 1999.

Apple need a new orginal iMac, a dirt cheap computer that people will want. One that people will buy for their kids and so forth. No the emac is not it. The need basicly a screenless imac. Something that will attrack lots of people right now. Their laptops are doing it some, but plenty of people don't want a laptop, and laptops are still more expensive then desktops. Right now Apple gets sales booms when new models comes, the faithful, or those who were waiting buy them then sales go back in the woodwork. When the G5 powerbook comes sales will be huge, but then fad away. They need a computer with mass appeal that people will buy up. They haven't had such a computer for a long long time.

re: consumer mindset
by Brad on Wed 7th Apr 2004 17:26 UTC

"I work part time at futureshop and I have to say that its very difficult to persuade someone to buy a mac. This happened just a few days ago while I was showing someone a G4 1.0GHZ powerbook

<customer> Wow thats kind of expensive and its only 1GHZ

<me> Actually Ive had people tell me that this performs aswells as an AMD-2500+ which is about 2.1GHZ. "

Gee wonder why the customer wasn't following you, maybe because you were bullshitting him. A 1.0 GHZ g4 is at best equal to a 1.5 ghz athlon, and thats probable being generous to the athlon. PPC being twice as powerful hasn't been close since the days of just a few hundred MHz. As the years went by the gab closed massively.

Yes a 1.0 ghz G4 is faster then a 1.0ghz athlon, but you can't over sell the G4, you have to be honest and tell people that it's a slower computer. The problem is Apple tried pushing the idea that they were faster then PCs for years when they were not. And you can only do that so long before people catch on. Apple should be at the G6 now, but since they failed to get a new cpu out the door they got hurt. No it's not moto or IBMs fault. Apple could have gone to something else, they could have gave them a kick in the ass to get moving. Now who knows if they will hit 3.0 ghz by august like they said. 5 months away and they are at 2.0 still.

RE: re: consumer mindset
by Anonymous on Wed 7th Apr 2004 17:50 UTC

LOL yeah the G4 1GHZ is proably closer to an AMD1700+

Its just that we've seriously haven't sold a mac in months. IM NOT JOKING! So the management "encourages" us to sell the remaining G4s.

Im with you, the >G5 were all garbage and even the G5 2.0GHZ is lagging being the AMD fx53 and P4 3.4GHZ.

RE: The trouble with Apple
by Anonymous on Wed 7th Apr 2004 17:58 UTC

"But switching to UNIX, even easy to use UNIX, might not have been the best thing for its existing user base of loyal non technical users."
this doesn't make a lot of sense. Traditional Mac users- what else are they going to switch to? MacOS was technically crappy and had to change, and no matter what, old Mac users would hate it. The people you're thinking of as 'existing user base' hate any change to their Macs (it's really like a cult), but MacOS was being left behind as 80's technology.

"The problem is that Apple products aren't really targeted at the IT user base."

No, what's going on is they are being targeted to the IT user base- that's why they went to a UNIX based OS. The reason Apple was falling apart is they were keeping old crappy 1980's technology around in order to appease Apple cultists, and also out of general laziness/arrogence, so most sectors of the market responded by switching to Windows. Jobs came in, knew what the problem was, and said, "look everyone, we're going to start making innovative, quality products again."

In the past couple years, they've actually shown some success at making innovative, quality products again, and the priorly alienated sectors are just starting to catch on.

#1 problem with Apple Marketing: Fanaticism
by Anonymous on Wed 7th Apr 2004 18:34 UTC

One of the big problems I see with Apple's image is the fanaticism that comes along with it. There are too many Mac users for whom owning an Apple is an experience of such religiousness that they treat the uninitiated as sub-human creatures. Mac users seem to think, pretty often anyway, that this is great, that they can convince people of how great the product is by showing their devotion to the brand, and Apple seems to encourage this behavior.

But what I see happen quite often with people who are interested in Macs to begin with, is they get scared off by these people. It's really freaky. Even people who WORK FOR Apple are like that half the time. They think it's not just a computer, but it's a cause, it's a way of life.

Well, for a lot of people, computers are just computers. A lot of Windows users would actually be more likely to look at a Mac if you let them in on the little secret that THEY AREN'T VERY DIFFERENT.

Now, I'm not saying that the mac doesn't have its selling points, but my mother is more likely to think about buying a mac if she knows that typing a letter in word, e-mailing her brother, and browsing the web will be close enough to what she does on Windows that she might even forget the differences after a week.

Newsflash: Mac cheaper than PC!
by Stu on Wed 7th Apr 2004 19:12 UTC

I bought a G3 iBook 800MHz a few weeks ago, brand new with the OSX Panther upgrade disks included for a shade over £500 GBP including vat (tax) & delivery. I would have been hard pushed to find a new PC laptop for a similar price, and when that was the case all the other catalogues went straight in the recycler!

Great news as I'd pretty much written off the chances of getting a mac due to the entry level prices. Imagine my joy ;)

Stores and Apple's Market Share
by amos on Wed 7th Apr 2004 19:30 UTC

1) Apple's stores aren't intended to "sell" products as much they are intended to promote consumer mindshare. Secondarily, Apple maintains stores in an online world because consumers like knowing there's a brick and mortar dealer around the corner. The consumer may never NEED to visit the store, but it's comforting to know it's there.

2) As reported in Slashdot, the number of Macs hitting Google is at a 2 year high. Yes, Google's methodology is prone to all sorts of errors, but it suggests things are in fact improving.

3) For the past 3 years the problem with the Mac has been the G4 and an immature operating system. Apple recognized this and did three things in 2003: it unveiled the G5, it played to the strengths of the G4- the laptop market, and it worked like hell to rewrite OsX. In these 3 areas, high performance desktop chips, low-power laptop chips, and a leaner, faster OS, Apple has a clear road for the forseable future.

4) Linux. Beyond Fink, Apple is making it easier and easier to turn Linux apps into native OsX apps. The reverse is also true. The resulting cross-pollination is creating an explosion of programs for both Linux and OsX

5) Just say no to Microsoft. I have a Windows machine at home, like it and rarely have problems with it. But entire nations are realizing that it may not make sense to tie themselves to closely to Redmond. As a result, billions of government dollars are being invested to subsidize competitors to Windows. Yes, Linux is the primary recipient of that investment. But Apple gets to play that card too.

6) Two years ago I was ready to write off Apple. Now, I think it's poised to reclaim some long lost turf. Windows fans should hope this is true... real competition is the only thing that pushes corporations forward.

RE: Stores and Apple's Market Share
by Anonymous on Wed 7th Apr 2004 19:40 UTC

4) Linux. Beyond Fink, Apple is making it easier and easier to turn Linux apps into native OsX apps. The reverse is also true. The resulting cross-pollination is creating an explosion of programs for both Linux and OsX


Now I dont know about that. Why is it that there is still no quicktime/itunee for linux? It seems that the apps are only going one way; linux -> OSX

re:Newsflash: Mac cheaper than PC!
by Brad on Wed 7th Apr 2004 19:57 UTC

"I bought a G3 iBook 800MHz a few weeks ago, brand new with the OSX Panther upgrade disks included for a shade over £500 GBP including vat (tax) & delivery. I would have been hard pushed to find a new PC laptop for a similar price, and when that was the case all the other catalogues went straight in the recycler! "

Oh wow, one model, holy god, BUY NOW BUY NOW. Please this argument gets stupid. One cheap model does not make all macs cheaper then PCs. Apple does price their laptops fairly competitive. The rest, not so much. Also their frankly isnt very much that is interesting for most in the ibook. There is probably something you saw in it, but not for most people. I would guess you wanted a 12 inch screen. Now I know there are many mac die hards that love this. But frankly smaller isn't something that most people want. Hense why there is more and more 17 inch models coming out. I would safely bet that I could find much more disirable PC laptops for less or equal cost. $1100 isn't that impressive for that laptop at all. Hell, If I only had that much I'd buy a emac, or I'd spend a bit more and get a remaining stock Dual Powermac, or a 1.6ghz G5. But in the end I wouldn't spend that much on a computer. If I'm going to spend over a grand on a computer, I'm getting something damn nice, not an ibook. Other wise I'll spend my money on a nice Shuttle XPC for much less.

For me the closest thing to a mac laptop I would want is the 17 incher, but I'll wait till a G5 model since the current one just isn't worth the money. The iBooks look like something made by playskool for kids to play with.

Right now It's a hard sell to sell anyone anything less then a G5 mac. Which really cuts down on the options. A 1.6ghz G5 powermac would be your cheapest option, I think they are 1600 bucks. Plenty of 1000 dollar PC will take that thing. Sure it looks pretty, but for those who haven't looked, PC makers are making some nice looking cases to.

This shouldn't become a this model vs this model, this is better then that and what about this bla bla fest. Across the board PCs are cheaper that it, period. Apple has come a long way, the powermac definitly gave them a boost, OSX has gotten very nice. But stay realistic.

re:Newsflash: Mac cheaper than PC!
by Brad on Wed 7th Apr 2004 20:00 UTC

wait a minute, a G3 ibook? How is that new, did you mean G4? if you ment G3 thats not even a current model. Saying you bought a brand new mac and its an out of production model that sat on the shelf for a year doesn't count, if your trying to say macs are cheaper. PCs get real cheap when they are no longer a current model.

"The iBooks look like something made by playskool for kids to play with"

Wish I had the money to hook you up with one of these 12" G4 800MHz iBooks just so I can watch as you slowly pull your foot out your mouth. They might not be the fastest but they are damn smooth when it comes to getting work done.

re: Don Cox
by A.K.H. on Wed 7th Apr 2004 20:06 UTC

Surely it ought to be enough to bring out a new model every three years or so? Is there really enough progress in hardware design in a year to justify new models?

In short, yes. I'm in the same boat. I want a powerbook, but I dont' want to by until they update them. Why? In PC land, new components come out, and older components drop in price quickly. With Apple, they are price competitive with PCs, *when they come out*, but after 7 months, your paying top dollar for components which cost a LOT less in PC land.

It's the principle really. I don't want to be ripped off like that.

re: Mac price misconceptions
by DJ Jedi Jeff on Wed 7th Apr 2004 20:16 UTC

While giving that a 12" notebook is cheaper, it's quite easy to find many 14" notebooks from Dell that cost less than a 12" notebook from Apple, even when upgrading the hardware to get equivalent items (such as DVD+/-RW/CD-RW combo drive).

That's because Dell, in addition to selling real laptop computers, also sells desktops cleverly designed to look like laptops.

This is exactly the problem I usually have with looking at a Mac, because I get charged for a modem, keyboard, mouse, and maybe an 802.11 adapter, all of which I will never use on a desktop system

Really? You can actually buy a Dell without a keyboard and mouse? I found a way to upgrade the mouse but at what looks like full retail price for the new mouse. Similarly, I can't take out the modem or the ethernet. I am sure Dell would configure a system without these items but there does not appear to be a way to lower the price by removing them.

Dell will allow you to remove the monitor. But the savings of $50 is almost a joke.

Really, I just don't know what you are talking about.

iMacs and PowerMacs often have to stand up against $200-500 desktop PCs for comparisons, and when the Apple products start at 2-3x the top end of that curve, things tend to go south quite quickly

1. You can't get a real valuable (for anything other than a firewall) $200 PC anywhere
2. Perhaps you should use the eMac for comparison then. That IS the value model in Apple's lineup.
3. Nothing in the $500 range on a PC can possibly compare to what you get in a G5 PowerMac. Don't make me laugh.

I wish people would stop being vague about such things and point out exactly why they feel the price difference is justified.

DUH. There IS no price difference. That is what people have been saying (that you have been ignoring). The ONLY difference is that Apple forces you to buy a minimum bundle of features.

re: They need the stores
by DJ Jedi Jeff on Wed 7th Apr 2004 20:20 UTC

If you buy a PC of equivalant quality to a mac, it's going to last just as long. Computers don't get replaced because of computer failure very often. They get replaced because people feel like replacing them, and thats way cheaper to do in the wintel world.

When you buy a $500 el-cheapo computer you're either going to have to upgrade it soon or replace it entirely. When people do replace the computer it contributes to "marketshare" numbers. There is a reason that they publish marketshare (volume) and marketshare (revenue) separately - they are both important.

If company A sells one $1000 product to a customer per X years it has the same revenue per customer as company D which sells two $500 products to their customer per X years. But the normal marketshare numbers will show company D with twice the marketshare.

Mac = 0.5% *real* share and falling like a stone
by doctor k on Wed 7th Apr 2004 20:29 UTC

There are about 7 to 9 million Mac OS X users today. This includes all the people running OS X on old Mac hardware as well as all the new purchasers of Mac OS X.

This sum total of 7-9 million users is about 0.5% of the sum total of PC users.

Even with the most aggressive approach to making the Mac numbers look good, one can only bump the Mac share of the installed base up to 0.65% or so.

As more and more of the base of computer owners shifts to Asia, the Mac percentage will fall even lower. It is quite possible that within the next 5 years, Apple's share of the installed base of computers will fall to 0.1%.

The share of the installed base is equivalent to the energy of your ecosystem. And the Mac ecosystem is almost out of energy except in some very small niche markets -- pro audio for instance.

In short order, 99.9% of the human computing universe will be running on something else other than Mac. Thus buying into the Mac world is something only the rich can afford. For anyone else, it is buying into a system running out of energy -- a world circling a dying star.

re:Newsflash: Mac cheaper than PC! by brad
by Stu on Wed 7th Apr 2004 21:06 UTC

> Oh wow, one model, holy god, BUY NOW BUY NOW. Please this argument
> gets stupid. One cheap model does not make all macs cheaper then PCs.

Sarcasm ... not an art that becomes you ;) The point of the post is that I picked up an (admittedly old) iBook for what it would have cost me to purchase a "cheap and nasty" underspecced PC laptop which was originally all I thought I could afford. Yes, it's old; yes, it's an obselete model; no, it doesn't mean all macs are cheaper than PC's.

> Also their frankly isnt very much that is interesting for most in the ibook.

"Most" or "you"? Not everyone thinks a P4 3GHz 1GB ram is an essential purchase for web browsing, office tasks and a few games. The vast majority of people I meet through work are running between 500MHz - 1.5GHz with 128/256MB ram with no major incentive to upgrade, and we're talking about nearly a hundred people across many industries here. In fact I can only think of about half a dozen people I know who have a system over 2GHz!

> There is probably something you saw in it, but not for most people. I would
> guess you wanted a 12 inch screen. Now I know there are many mac die
> hards that love this. But frankly smaller isn't something that most people
> want.

The compact size was one major selling point as I like my portable to be just that. The 4+ hour battery life also helped (beat the hell out of the 1-2 hours of most lower end PC laptops). The build quality was a pleasant side effect I didn't expect at the price I paid. As it happens, the most likely alternative to this would have been one of the smaller Sony's but I was scouring ebay for weeks with little of any interest within my budget.

> I would safely bet that I could find much more disirable PC laptops for less
> or equal cost.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say! I looked for many months and spent my money on the iBook because it met all of my criteria.

And it's not that I'm a Mac zealot or anything either - I have had an IBM PC since the days of 386's and have run Windows (3.1 - XP) for most of that. I recommend upgrading to Windows XP to people who are still using Win 95/98/ME even though I've been running Linux for the past few years.

I have seen Mac's at various stages and hadn't really been impressed, but that changed with the new iBook/iMac designs and Mac OS X. Mac's became an object of desire but I really didn't think I could ever justify the cost. Now I have one and have been instantly impressed.

> Hell, If I only had that much I'd buy a emac, or I'd spend a bit more and get
> a remaining stock Dual Powermac, or a 1.6ghz G5.

All being highly portable as per my requirements. Pay attention please!

> Right now It's a hard sell to sell anyone anything less then a G5 mac. Which
> really cuts down on the options. A 1.6ghz G5 powermac would be your
> cheapest option, I think they are 1600 bucks.

See my above comment re: "beauty" and "beholder". You should try PC shopping in the UK sometime - it's a whole different ballgame.

> But stay realistic.

Wide awake and on THIS planet chief ;)

re: Mac price misconceptions
by Reb Bradley on Wed 7th Apr 2004 21:29 UTC

"This is exactly the problem I usually have with looking at a Mac, because I get charged for a modem, keyboard, mouse, and maybe an 802.11 adapter, all of which I will never use on a desktop system."

I've just got to ask...you don't use a modem,keyboard or a mouse?? Just what do you do with your computer?

re: re: Mac price misconceptions
by Brad on Wed 7th Apr 2004 22:26 UTC

""This is exactly the problem I usually have with looking at a Mac, because I get charged for a modem, keyboard, mouse, and maybe an 802.11 adapter, all of which I will never use on a desktop system."

I've just got to ask...you don't use a modem,keyboard or a mouse?? Just what do you do with your computer?"

Well, I think he was talking about a phone modem, i think you can only delete this on the powermac, people increasingly don't need these. The mouse and keyboard, well, the apple mouse is something you throw away soon as you get it. I think this is something that makes people mad when getting a mac, you have to go buy a real mouse for it, at least with a PC you get something acceptable. For keyboard, eh well, some don't like mac keyboards. But maybe he has oen all ready he likes and wants to keap using, same could go for the mouse. Granted the same would apply here with a PC if he was keaping one he liked. The keyboard isn't really an issue, but apple really needs to offer a 2 button mouse option to people. It's 2004, the one button mouse only deal is pathetic, especialy on the laptops where there is no way around it (hooking mouse in a laptop is a step towards it being a desktop). What he didn't mention was the monitor to, they only offer one model that doesn't come with a monitor. People allready have monitors they shouldn't have to pay more to get something they don't need. Monitors should be seperate, people run completely differnt upgrade cycles there.

jeebus
by kratz on Wed 7th Apr 2004 23:21 UTC

What the hey ya?
These posts by brad and others are all recycled arguments that were boring and mostly wrong last year.

I fail to see all the energy these ec's use posting away about how bad macs are etc ad nauseum.

Grow up, walmart price checkers.

The time you waste posting all the fine details about how terrible macs are could be spent doing constructive things.

Oh thats right , EC's aren't constructive people.

kratz
by Brad on Wed 7th Apr 2004 23:29 UTC

When the hell did I say macs are bad? I like them, I intend to buy one in the near future, hopeful about 3 months. They are good computers. That doesn't go against anything I or others say. I think nearly everyone hear likes them. But we are also realistic, they are expensive (hense not owning one now), they are slower then their counter parts. And there are things that apple should do that they are not that is just plain silly.

I go for quality and price, thats what most people seam to go for. Apples have a premium price on their quality, but they are nice. If I have the money I am willing to spend it on one.

People need to stop seeing people pointing out problems with something as an attack. If you like something and arn't crazed you can see the faults in it and still like it.

"and others"
by kratz on Wed 7th Apr 2004 23:57 UTC

Wrong dude; the slow, expensive (with extra slices of condescending bitchiness) mantra that you and others have posted here for ages is OLD and boring (I mentioned you speciclly cause you're the last chronological walmart poster).
Friggin let us mac users use our machines to make money with, create with, have fun with, without the insults (cult, rabid, whatever and ever).
I garunfukintee you, that whatever price premium macs charge to finance their R n D, I will make up in a couple of hours using said machine.

To all walmart price comparers, BORING.

RE: We have to spread the word
by Shutupalready on Thu 8th Apr 2004 01:59 UTC

I personaly have converted 7 people in the past year. Hell I have walked out of the apple store with 3 new iBooks since it opened in charlotte last month. The funny thing is that when I take someone in there, it does not take but 5 minutes of them playing around untill they make up their minds. Every day I ask at least 2 people if they have been to the apple store yet ;) I finally got a 12" iBook yesterday. Its is SWEET!!! My girl will be getting one in a month and an iPod. Every time I walk into an apple store its stuffed with people using every machine on display! The apple stores are doign their part, it's up to us mac users to do our part... educate ;)

Holy shit! I hope this guy was making fun of mac drones because if not this is the whole problem with the mac community. I, for one, would bitch slap this fool if he was harassing me "Have you gone to the apple store yet....I'm going to "switch' you". What the fuck is wrong with idiots like this guy

Laptop price comparison....
by Jason Umiker on Thu 8th Apr 2004 05:29 UTC

For those saying there is no price benefit, that is total bull. I bought an iPod a few months back and had been making regular trips into the Apple store to oogle at the laptops. I was just about ready to plunk down my $1100 for an iBook not too long ago. I am an avid linux/unix user and was looking forward to being able to run Word next to my favorite unix apps and all that comes with unix with a slick GUI on top. And I had heard great things about the battery life which was always horrid on my last PC laptop. Then, I forced myself to go to Dell's website and just see what $1100 would get me. I ended up with an Inspiron 8600 w/1.4 Ghz P-M, 512MB Ram, 40 gig drive, DVD+RW drive, NVidia GeForce 5650 w/128MB DDR Vram, integrated 802.11b and bluetooth, a beautiful 15" widescreen, a second battery, and a 3 year warrenty for $1500 after rebate. And that with using all of the software I already have (I had bought XP Pro and Office previously) which is an often overlooked and expensive part of the apple purchase, btw. I got a machine that is pretty comparable to the 15" powerbook, if not better spec-ed, for well over $1000 less when you throw in AppleCare and software and the AirPort and the second battery etc. Plus, I am really impressed with the Pentium M/Centrino... even with all that is in here I am getting over 4 hours stardard usage on a battery which was unheard of with my previous Pentium III-M system. Intel finally produced a low power nice performing notebook processor/chipset and Dell finally was able to rip off the 15" powerbook form factor. I love my new notebook which is blisteringly fast, feels solid, is relatively astetically pleasing, and MUCH MUCH cheaper than a similarly spec-ed Apple. On the order of 4 digits cheaper... And I really wanted to justify the Apple... but the numbers just don't justify it. And those that say they do are deluding themselves. The bottom line is you pay quite the premium for Apple and, to quote Ford (which has been mentioned here a few times), if you don't understand what the price/performance/features of the PC world are "look again" and the iBook/Powerbook don't look so inexpensive. Your unix desire can be satisfied much more cheaply with something like this and Linux and you can VMWare into Windows, the same as you would with VirtualPC on the Mac, with much better performance and compatibility.

Re: Laptop price comparison
by edmacman on Thu 8th Apr 2004 08:55 UTC

Good point Jason. So I did the same with my G5 1.6 ghz. Went to the dell store to see what you could come up with that would be comparable to mine. Alas, no 64 bit processors i did find. ok , so i stick with the top of the line 3.4 pentium, 2 gig of 400 ddr ram (i bought my ram on the open market, same as you would) slower vid card( they didn't have same one i have, but still 64 mb ddr) a larger sata drive(nice!!) , a crapola monitor( couldn't ditch it, i already have 21" sony crt). a very nice machine, for about 300 bucks less than mine. a solid bargin, to say the least. hp and compac canada were slightly cheaper, but still close ( within 500 of mine) . only problem i have with these machines?

1) windows. been there, done that. not saying good or bad, just my preference... behind max osx, behind linux, behind any bsd, comes windows. for me.
2) uh , all 32 bit cpu's. mine's 64, and when market get's a load of 64 bit os by end of year, what will yours resell for? what will mine ? get it?
3)maybe what things look like don't matter to you, if that's the case my sister can be reached at 1-800-fat-chick!! happy times! ( just kidding, she's lost wieght!)

The whole stereo type mac is more money thing realy is crap.
i bought my first emac for 1100 canadian. sold it 6 months later to a friend for 900. and yes , we're still buds. he couldn't find one for that price. i never would dream of that with any pc i've ever had.

Also, I've had 4 brand new puters in the last year. a emachine 1600 amd, a home built (re upgrade emachine) 2600+ barton, an emac 1 ghz, and my g5 1.6ghz mac. All in the last 12 months. I am not going back, and won't be buying any new ones for a long while.. (well, maybe a dual 3 ghz , if it happens. what am I saying???!!) My point is this: you get what you pay for. And mac's are a little more , a little better, and hold value alot better.

re: Mac price misconceptions
by PainKilleR on Thu 8th Apr 2004 11:48 UTC

That's because Dell, in addition to selling real laptop computers, also sells desktops cleverly designed to look like laptops.

So anything over 12" is no longer a notebook? What about people that want a desktop-replacement that's "luggable"? In any case, the 14" notebooks that cost less than the 12" iBooks are certainly better suited for portability than the last notebook I used, and many of their models are comparable to Apple's offerings. Again, though, it's all a matter of what you're looking for.

Really? You can actually buy a Dell without a keyboard and mouse? I found a way to upgrade the mouse but at what looks like full retail price for the new mouse. Similarly, I can't take out the modem or the ethernet. I am sure Dell would configure a system without these items but there does not appear to be a way to lower the price by removing them.

Dell will allow you to remove the monitor. But the savings of $50 is almost a joke.

Really, I just don't know what you are talking about.


I'm talking about buying a PC in general, not just a Dell, or Gateway, or whatever. Regardless of who I buy my PC from I'll have to buy my keyboard and trackball from someone else, because the makers of the keyboards and trackballs I use don't make PCs. I can use the same things on any new PC, or on a new Mac, but either way I'm not going to buy a new keyboard and mouse that I'm going to just toss out the window or throw into the box at work with all of the Dell mice and keyboards sitting there (thanks to the handful of people that replaced them with their own).

Similarly, I don't buy a PC if I can't specify the chipsets used for the mainboard, ethernet, video card, and sound card (even if all of these are built into the motherboard). If I buy a notebook, at least I have a long list of manufacturers to choose from until I get the balance of price and parts that I'm looking for. In general, though, I avoid notebooks specifically because they are harder to upgrade and there are so many things that have to be accepted from the OEM. I can go to any local shop and get what I want for a desktop system, even if they have to order half the hardware.

1. You can't get a real valuable (for anything other than a firewall) $200 PC anywhere

Computers don't have to be valuable to be useful. A 1.3GHz linux system from WalMart can be very useful for many people. I know that I'd probably still be using a 1GHz PC if mine hadn't stopped working after a move. Thankfully, I only had to swap out the CPU and motherboard (but since I had extra money at the time, I upgraded to 2GHz and swapped out the RAM, case, and power supply as well).

2. Perhaps you should use the eMac for comparison then. That IS the value model in Apple's lineup.

I know this, but then an eMac starts at $800. The "value" models of Apple's line can't even be purchased without a monitor, even, as you said, with Dell's "laughable" $50 off for no monitor. The low-end eMac has the same amount of RAM as the WalMart $200 PC, 10GB more hard drive space, a combo drive, and a monitor, for $600 more. I can add a 17" CRT for $150, a DVD+/-RW/CD-RW drive for $80-150, and an 80GB hard drive for $120, and still come up with money to upgrade the system beyond the eMac. For the $200+ left, I could pull quite a nice motherboard/CPU/RAM combo from one website or another, just in case the 1.3GHz Duron isn't good enough (which, frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't).

3. Nothing in the $500 range on a PC can possibly compare to what you get in a G5 PowerMac. Don't make me laugh.

You're right, the G5s start at $1800, which isn't at all what I was comparing things to. I was instead looking at the $1300 iMac and the $800-1100 eMac. Instead, if I wanted to compare to an $1800 PowerMac, I'd start with $1000 PCs and work my way up to the $1800-3000 range of the PowerMac.

DUH. There IS no price difference. That is what people have been saying (that you have been ignoring). The ONLY difference is that Apple forces you to buy a minimum bundle of features.

The point is that there is a significant price difference, and that the "minimum bundle of features" can only account for that to some degree. You can always find a model here and there in which Apple has a competetive offering, but overall they don't compete in most of the market for PCs, and in the high-end they quickly outpace the cost of an x86 PC.

re: Mac price misconceptions (@Reb)
by PainKilleR on Thu 8th Apr 2004 11:56 UTC

"This is exactly the problem I usually have with looking at a Mac, because I get charged for a modem, keyboard, mouse, and maybe an 802.11 adapter, all of which I will never use on a desktop system."

I've just got to ask...you don't use a modem,keyboard or a mouse?? Just what do you do with your computer?


I've never used a dial-up modem on my computer. Considering that I'm 26, that shouldn't be too surprising (I've used a dial-up modem on my parents' computer, but even they have never owned a 56K modem, since they had cable internet access before 56K ISPs popped up).

I use an ergonomic keyboard. Any straight keyboard is an instrument of torture or a worthless piece of plastic, depending on whether or not I use it. If a PC manufacturer doesn't understand this, I don't buy their PC, regardless of whether it's Dell, Apple, or Wal-Mart. The mouse is the same issue, I have to use a comfortable trackball, and have definitely gotten used to 4 buttons and a scroll wheel as a minimum. Even the worst offenders on the x86 side usually give you a 2 button scroll mouse, but that's as useless to me as a 1 button mouse.

re: laptop price comparison
by elvino on Thu 8th Apr 2004 15:59 UTC

Tried configuring the laptop as you spec'd it and came up with over $2400. I'm sure there were some deals involved that won't occur until I actually order but still I couldn't get anywhere near the $1500 you quote. Went back and configured it as close to the Powerbook G4 Superdrive as I could. Prices ranged from $2100-2300 depending on which processor was used.

 re: laptop price comparison
by elvino on Thu 8th Apr 2004 16:03 UTC

Sorry, continued post: Still doesn't take into account the operating system (preference I know, but one I'm willing to pay for). Nor does it have the iLife suite of programs - you'll have to factor in the cost of those, if the digital hub is something you'ld be into. Form factor is also a big selling point. The Dell just looks like a cheap piece of plastic. All in all not worth the couple of hundred I would have saved. I have the AlBook and its by far the best computer I have owned.

Semper Fi

"RE". Time To Correct Mac Price Misconceptions
by socam on Thu 8th Apr 2004 17:45 UTC

Good post Anonymous but why isn't Apple advertising those good points about the Mac. Apple needs to grow it's "install base" to have a healthy future. Most consumers I see in these computer stores are clueless about computers. Which means they probably never heard about Macs. How can Apple sell to these people if they don't advertise to them? Use some of that money being spent on the iPod ads and lets get the word out. I remember in the Apple Performer days, Apple aired infomercials on the Performer computers and the advantages of Macs over Windows. Well if there is a good time to advertise the advantages of Macs over Windows (virus, patches, unstable...) its now.

I think Apple made the right move by opening it's own stores. The Stores are very inviting too consumers. Reminds me of a sharper image store, you just have to go in and touch the goods. Someone needed to tell Gateway that bright lit stores are inviting not dark hard to see barns.


 re:"RE". Time To Correct Mac Price Misconceptions
by Debman on Thu 8th Apr 2004 19:20 UTC

umm...... their installed base is growing...

you are yet another victim of the "marketshare matters myth"

marketshare is a measure of how many units ship per quarter. it does not measure the growth of installed base which in apple's case IS growing.