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Apple Macintosh Installed Base Set To Grow Again December 9, 2004

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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While this news will no doubt be lapped up by the Apple faithful–I’ve resisted writing anything about any of the other baloney “iPod effect” stories that suggest the iPod’s success will help the struggling Macintosh–this one is more deceptive than most. “Unit sales”, or “installed base” don’t mean anything if the growth of the PC industry exceeds that of the Mac (and it does). For example, if just one ex-PC user switches to the Mac this year, than the Mac’s “installed base” increases, rendering this headline moot.

As for unit sales, any growth is better than atrition, of course, but that success is also rendered moot if that growth falls well below the growth of the overall industry. And lets see, Gartner says that the PC industry will grow 13.6 percent in 2004, while Merrill Lynch puts growth closer to 12 percent. Either way, that means that Apple’s market share will fall once again. And each year that happens, the Mac market becomes less enticing to developers, consumers, and businesses, sorry.

And, sigh, I’ll mention once again just for kicks that I’d love to see Apple really grow its Mac market, though no one seems to believe it. I just don’t see that happening, despite the many iPod Love stories out there. But only Apple and the year-end market share figures will prove that one way or another.

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