Apple's Mac OS Market Share Rises 26 Percent Year Over Year

« Previous article.
Next article. »


By: switchtoamac at: 12:00 AM on October 2, 2006 | Comments (8)
Apple's Mac operating system market share is up 26.2 percent year-over-year from September 2005 to September 2006.  Please note that this does not mean that Apple's market share is 26.2 percent.  The number represents percent increase.  My prior post for August that demonstrated a 24.4 percent increase caused confusion as many readers were confusing "percent increase" with actual market share percent.  Data used in this post has been obtained from Market Share.

Key Percent Increases

  • Up 38.4 percent since January 2005
  • Up 34.0 percent since April 2005 (Mac OS X Tiger launched April 29, 2005)
  • Up 12.1 percent January to September 2006 - despite Intel transition
  • Up 9.0 percent since August 2006 - just one month

Below is an updated view of Apple's Mac OS market share month by month for calender year 2006 up to and including September 2006.  Pay careful attention to the numbers because Market Share splits Mac operating system data into two groups, Mac OS and MacIntel.  MacIntel represents Intel builds of Mac OS X Tiger.  Have a look at the September 2006 data.  Mac OS is reported to have 3.88 percent of the operating system share while MacIntel is reported to have 0.84 percent operating system market share.  When the numbers are combined, we get the following (Internet Explorer users may have difficulty viewing the images.  If so, click 1, 2, 3).  You can click on each image to get a larger view:

2006 Mac OS Market Share
2006 Monthly Change
2005-2006 Year Over Year Growth
Growth is Accelerating

The graph clearly shows that 2006 has been an exceptional year for Apple as Mac market share is clearly on an upward path.  When the data in the above tables are analyzed, they demonstrate several important trends.  The first is that the Mac OS operating system has been experiencing at least 23.5 percent year-over-year growth during each month in 2006.  The Mac operating system has experienced year-over-year acceleration for two straight months following a relative decceleration in July 2006.  The third and most striking is that Apple's monthly percent increase from August 2006 to September 2006 is 9.0 percent, marking the largest month to month increase thus far in 2006.  Fourth, Apple's 4.72 percent total market share marks the highest level the company has experienced in 2006.

Not discounting Apple's growing popularity in almost all verticals, a significant chunk of September's increase was probably a result of the recently concluded back-to-school shopping season.  Many students and consumers opted to purchase their first Macs and many were enticed by Apple's 2006 Back-To-School promotion that gave students up to a $179 rebate good towards the combined purchase of an iPod and qualifying Macintosh computer.  The promotion ended on September 16, 2006.

September's data shows that Apple's share of the most used operating systems is not only growing but the rate of change is also accelerating ahead of the upcoming hoiday buying season.  I expect that Apple will experience brisk Macintosh sales for the remainder of the year and will continue to grab market share from its competitors.

8 Reader Comments

how will vista affect this. the battle ground has changed and u still fighting over desktops
dont get me wrong im an apple fan and just want it to win 4 a change

Where do these figures come from? According to OS Weekly, the market share dropped. It's very funny to see both headlines next to each other in MacSurfer :)


I've linked to the Market Share site. That's where the data is coming from. The OS Weekly article is relying on August data where the comparison is Dec 2005 at 4.35% and August 2006 at 4.33%. Note that in a prior article I question the November and December 2005 data.

i said it before and I'll say it again:

I find it interesting that this article, as long as it is, fails to mention or even speculate on the reasons for market share fluctuations throughout the year. Since macs have a higher relative presence with students, and personal computer users (say ~8%) and a very low presence in corporate offices (say ~2%), that would explain the rise in market share in September-December (when people are buying and using personal computers and laptops for the home) and the drop in June-July (when corporations are stocking up on new hardware and school's over so consumers aren't using their macs as much) Does this make sense to anyone else or am I crazy????

Yes, I expect the numbers to be above 5% for the first time since 1995 this November and December, but I gaurantee they'll fall back to 4.something in the spring.

It's a pretty simple concept.

Guys, does it matter whether Mac's share is 5% or 3% or 10%,
even at 3% share Mac is still around and if it is ENVY that gets you to want Apple's share to fall, well, that is you.

I think that the market share figures should be split into consumer market share, Small Business market share, education, Corporate market share and embedded market share (ATM's, control & process machines and such).

All those categories say different stories are important for different reasons. As a software / hardware developer who decides if I should launch application for Mac as well as for Windows - it would make a very big difference if I would know that Macs enjoy say 10% market share in my intended group (consumers).

On the other hand German software company SAP could not care less for consumer and small business market share as they sell their software only to corporations.

Last but not the least, there are tens of millions of ATM machines and PC's running windows running all those information displays on train stations and airports alll over the world. Those will never get to run anything except windows and some specific piece of software. All those distort statistics to the point of making them (almost) worthless.

As always there are lies, damn lies and statistics. This report is indicating that Mac popularity in consumer market is rising rapidly and that is agood news. For the rest - we simply do not know. We need better statistics.

Guys. Let's get this straight!

The "market share" referenced in these articles is not the same as the market share figures provided quaterly by companies like Gartner and IDC.

Gartner et al, provide quaterly SALES figures for all NEW computers.

Switchtoamac's figures are taken from, so if anything they are much closer to computer OS USAGE share. Or more precisely, OS share of computers visiting web sites using the 'hitslink' ststs service. !!

That said (depending on the range and number of sites counted) it should provide some general details of who is surfing the web.

What these figures definitely show is that, in the last couple of years, Mac OS usage is increasing.

How many ways can we say that Apple's comparatively small market share has risen by a small amount?

Speak your mind - Leave a Comment