March 2007 - Apple Mac OS Market Share at 6.08 Percent - Declines 4.7 percent since Feb 2007

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Apr
03

By: switchtoamac at: 2:24 PM on April 3, 2007 | Comments (11)

Although up 39 Percent from March 2006, Mac OS market share as measured by market research firm Net Applications (Market Share) shows that Mac OS market share declined by 4.7 percent in March 2007.  The total Mac OS X market share percentage for March 2007 comes in at 6.08 percent.  The decline is the first  monthly drop since June 2006.

Based on the data, the following observations can be made:

Percent Increases

  • Up 39.1 percent since March 2006
  • Up 78.3 percent since March 2005
  • Up 72.7 percent since April 2005 (Mac OS X Tiger launched April 29, 2005)

The 39 percent year-over-year increase for March 2007 has slowed coming in below the 48 percent growth observed in the first two months of 2007.  The following is a view of Apple's Mac OS market share month by month for calender year 2007.  Note that Net Applications splits Mac operating system data into two groups, Mac OS and MacIntel.  MacIntel represents Intel builds of the Mac OS X operating system.  The March 2007 data can be found here.

Observe that Mac OS comes in at 3.94 percent operating system share (down from Feb 2007's 4.29 percent) while MacIntel is reported to have 2.14 percent market share (up from Feb 2007's 2.09 percent).  You can click on each image to get a larger view:



The March 2007 Mac OS data, representing PowerPC builds of Mac OS X continue to follow the declines first seen in the February 2007 data.  The March data fell by 8.2 percent whereas the Febuary 2007 data fell by 1.2 percent.  The reasons for the decline are unknown.  Perhaps existing PowerPC-based Mac users are moving to new Intel-based Macs.

Mac OS X Intel Posts 2.4 Percent Increase from February 2007
The data shows that Mac OS X Intel experienced a 2.4 percent increase as it's share rose from 2.09 percent in February 2007 to 2.14 percent in March 2007.  The increase was well below the 11.2 percent and 23.7 percent increases from the prior two months, February 2007 and January 2007 respectively.


Commentary
The first two months of calendar 2007 showed strength in the overall Mac OS market share numbers but March 2007 put a halt to the increase.  The drop in Mac OS market share is the first since June 2006 and comes at a time where many Mac users are waiting for the next release of Mac OS X, version 10.5 Leopard.  The growth of Mac OS X Intel also slowed to the low single digits.  The March 2007 numbers demonstrate that growth in the Mac user base has slowed.  I expect this slowdown to be represented in Apple's second quarter 2007 earnings report.

Vista Impact?
What role if any is Microsoft Vista having on the Mac operating system market share?  We'd like to see your comments.  Note that Vista jumped to 2.04 percent in March 2007, up from February's 0.93 percent.

About Market Share
Please visit the following link to learn about market research firm Net Applications.

11 Reader Comments

It's simple. The flood of Vista based PC's and people upgrading to Vista since it's launch is the reason.

PC vendors are flooding the market with Vista based PC's. Many people who were interested in getting a new PC waited for Vista to be released.

Is it not self evident that the Mac user base is disinclined to buy copies of OSX "Tiger" with "Leopard" soon to be released? These users (especially owners of Power PC Macs) will be looking to buy the next generation of Intel Macs and OSX Leopard at the same time.

One other reason, I'm sure there has been a decline in sales is because of the continuing revelations on websites of the large number of complaints about almost the whole range of Apple hardware - the unreliability of laptops - and hiccups with Apple software too.

I want to buy a Mac, but what I read really is making me think Visa (again).

To Clive: where are you hearing "continuing revelations on websites of the large number of complaints about almost the whole range of Apple hardware - the unreliability of laptops - and hiccups with Apple software too"? You need to read more informative, factual and reliable websites. I can't imagine anyone informed considering Vista over a Mac. The only thing is you can pay much less initially for a PC, but you immediately start paying dearly in the use of the thing with all the extra time and frustrations.

As to the unknown reasons for the decline in PowerPC machines, try this simple thought exercise.

Imagine that there are 20 million PowerPC Macintoshes in use today.

Examine the number of PowerPC available Macintoshes currently available for purchase from Apple (that'd be zero!).

Guestimate about 400 million total computers in use in January.

So, with these numbers, January PowerPC marketshare is 5%.

Increase total number of computers in use by 20 million for February. February PowerPC number remains 20 million, but marketshare drops to ~4.75%.

Increase total number of computers in use by 20 million for March. March PowerPC number remains 20 million, but marketshare drops to ~4.5%.

Mystery solved. ;-)

reinharden

PS: My numbers have no relationship to reality and are just provided to outline an explanation.

@Richard Evich

I haven't heard of systemic numbers of Apple products having problems. I manage several hundred Mac systems and know others who do the same and I haven't seen these wide-scale problems you're claiming.

If you're referring to reports by the bloggers and Microsoft supporting web-journals (ZDNet, et. al.), I wouldn't put too much weight on their accounts. They're inclined to exagerate their stories for ulterior motives. Besides, you can't read too much into a few accounts. I'm sure people would be scared to visit your town if they saw its crime statistics. But we know better than to overgeneralize.

Excuse me. My previous comment was directed to Clive.

I could be one of the reasons. I am a switcher in waiting. I plan to buy a MacBook and move all of my work related to my website, podcast and radio show to my Mac (I am currently using a Dell with Win XP Pro) but I am waiting for more concrete details on when Leopard will come out. I would hate to buy my Macbook only to then have to buy Leopard and iLife 07 two months later.

As for the quality issues that Clive mentioned, I have read those as well for the MacBook but my overall impression from people I know who have them is complete satisfaction. I just need to decide now if AppleCare is worth the money.

I am part of the reason as well. I currently have a Power PC Mac, but am waiting until Leopard is out. If Apple would offer free upgrades to Leopard to people who buy Macs now, then some of the people who are waiting for Leopard would still buy a machine now.

Some people would still wait for Leopard to avoid the OS upgrade...

I think aquiring the marginal user is becoming harder for Mac. The closer you are to 0% market share, the easier is it post a "70% increases" in market share. I mean an OS with 1 user can post a 100% increase in market share simply by adding 1 more user.

Vista is here and its a pretty cool OS. This certainly has to be weighing in on the decision in a way it didn't last year.

For a certain portion of the population, AAPL's focused product offerings help them in their decision making. For others, its a limitation.

I think the Mac OS is headed for a higher market share. My guess would be somewhere in the 10% range. I think the road there will be somewhat bumpy as the hype AAPL has been living on is replaced, one user at a time, by an experience that meets there expectation.

Not everyone will feel it meets their expectations, so a back and forth progress is reasonable.

Something else to consider.

Why is everyone so convinced people are "swicthing" to MACs.

The intel based MACs have grown by 2% and the older MAC statistics have stayed the same or dropped off.

Has anyone considered that maybe these are new consumers and not switchers?

I think MAC INTEL has seen the bulk of its growth with MAC users and a slight influx of new consumers. And yes recent problems with power macs have put off some buyers but not many... saying that Apple needs all the buyers it can get.

The reason I'm saying this is to look at when Apple had its sales campaign blitz... before and after the Winter sales season... while Vista came out in spring and missed the buying frenzy. Wait until end-of-summer purchases, when there is the next sale boom before school starts. This is when you will get an accurate picture.

Chances are MAC sales will increase slightly.. but will be well taken over by Vista sales.. thus dropping Apple's share once again.

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