back to article Strong laptop demand drives Apple US retail share to 13%

Apple's share of the US retail computer business grew faster than the rest of the market last month to grab 13 per cent, market watcher NPD has revealed. Between May 2006 and May 2007, notebook retail sales rose 40 per cent, NPD said, driven by a strong consumer shift to portable computers. Apple's share of the market hit 14. …


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  1. Ben Saxon

    Doing very well - however...

    So Apple's share in laptops and desktops is rising... clearly the advertising is working. I believe that there's still a lot they could do to increase that share, however. I know I'm far from the first to say it, but Apple really, really should be thinking about making a customisable mid-range desktop with support for a wide range of graphics cards. That way they could really take a massive chunk out of the desktop market and possibly the gamer market too.

    There's a lot of people out there who want this, and yes I realise it will mean a lot of extra work software-wise to make OSX compatible with a wider range of hardware, but the payoff, if it's done right, could be absolutely massive.

  2. Mectron

    Simple explanation

    now that Apple computer can run Microsoft OS. peoples buy more Macs to... run windows on it...

    The time will come when Apple will only be another PC maker.

    Apple OS as never been more then a toy, always was, always will. If peoples want a different OS, use Linux at least you will get the real thing, not a pathetic half backed clone.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeah and my nephew's a monkey....

    In an extensive survey of like 10,000 sales in a limited selection of outlets.....which doesn't reflect the true picture at all.

  4. Dillon Pyron

    Yes, notebook

    At home, we've been buying nothing but notebooks since 2002. Hook up a monitor, keyboard and mouse. Buy a second power supply and put it in the backpack and we're ready to go. The only problem is I'm gigabit enabled at home, but the notebooks only do 100Base-T. I guess by the time 10 gig hits the home, we'll have 1 gig on the notebooks and standard on most desktops.

  5. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Have you even used OSX?

    >Apple OS as never been more then a toy, always was, always will.

    Have you even used it? Mac OSX is built on top of a Unix OS. It is no toy. It's music and MIDI functionality is first rate, you can configure any multi out audio card for 5.1. No need for ASIO as Apple's coreaudio is already suitable for musicians.

    Just because the interface is minimal doesn't mean it's limited or lacking in power.

    I used to slate the Mac but then bought one and used it. It has much of the Linux software you know and love, it has a Bash command line. If you like Unix systems it is the Unix system done right. Sun tries to make Solaris as a desktop OS, but it's years out of date.

  6. Jonathan


    I don't know about the MacBooks, but the MacBook Pros and Powerbook's before them have GBit ethernet.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    > I guess by the time 10 gig hits the home, we'll have 1 gig on the notebooks and standard on most desktops.

    Gigabit ethernet has been standard on Apple notebooks for a long while (even the humble macbook on which I type this).

  8. Marcus Bointon

    Hackday spells it out

    At hackday London, weekend before last, around 500 mostly invited hackers descended on Alexandra palace for a spot of spontaneous coding. Of those, I reckon easily half used Apple laptops, and pretty much all the ones I saw were running OS X, and if not, Ubuntu. Of the rest, Windows as primary OS probably accounted for less than half, i.e. <25% overall - of the 20 or so people I sat with, 3 ran Windows (and XP at that). That the supposed pick of the web development community is spontaneously endorsing Apple so heavily says to me that they're doing something right.

    Dillon - What are you on about? Apple Laptops have had gigabit for years.

    Mectron - You've clearly never used OS X. If it runs on Linux, it probably runs on OS X too. Linux on the desktop is still a distant dream. Ubuntu is cool and all, but it's not close. Parallels is a joy to the x-plat developer.

  9. Craig Cruden

    Another software developer gone Mac.

    I went with my first mac 2 weeks ago. I have used windows (and linux) based computers for many years. Most of the software that I develop is in use at financial institutions (banking, insurance).

    I have a computer farm at home (mostly linux, one windows) that I use to develop when I am working from home, but I needed a replacement for my 4 year old laptop -- so that I can work on the road easier. This time I chose the Macbook Pro for my portable development machine primarily because it ran a Unix variant as the core operating system (so it is closer to the environment that I deploy my server software on). I could have chosen to run Linux on the laptop, but it was just too much of a hassle making sure that all the drivers would be handled (more of a problem with newer laptops -- older one typically get supported).

    I have my development environment up and running on my mac laptop (except for Oracle which I have to wait for 11g to come out) [I have an oracle server which I can access remotely]. Basically for development, it was not a very hard decision. The Macbook Pro was a better fit.

  10. elder norm

    MS fan boys. :-) ??

    I get a kick out of people that are doing the "Apple will never amount to anything!" over and over. :-)

    I wonder what they will say when Apples share is 30-40 percent??

    Hey, all software has its good and bad points but when the only thing I hear is "If it aint the biggest, it aint no one!" I know enough to ignore the person saying it. LOL

    Its going to be in interesting year. Trust me on this.


  11. Frank Bough

    Oh Not Again...

    "Apple OS as never been more then a toy, always was, always will."

    Yeah, the hundreds of thousands (millions?) of people who earn their living using Apple PCs exclusively are really just playing about. And the the millions of people who use Windows to play games are really engaged in serious commercial computer use.

    Will this lobotomised brand-bashing nonsense EVER end?

  12. Fred Fnord

    Um... whaaaa?

    "Apple's share of the US retail computer business grew by more than the market as whole managed last month to hit 13 per cent, market watcher NPD has revealed."

    I think you skipped some words, a piece of punctuation of some kind, and possibly a capital letter in the middle there somewhere.

    "Apple OS as never been more then a toy, always was, always will. If peoples want a different OS, use Linux at least you will get the real thing, not a pathetic half backed clone."

    *snicker* Oh please. My company has adopted MacBooks as the new laptop standard. They all go out dual boot, Mac and PC, with Parallels so they can run Windows on top of the Mac if they need to. So far (we have ten) we don't have a single person who is using Windows regularly. So apparently they, at least, disagree with your half-baked assessment.


  13. Shannon Jacobs

    What about the anti-Vista contribution?

    I'm surprised neither the article nor the comments mention this. There seems to be lots to dislike about Vista, and so far I know of no reason to like it over the alternatives. Buying a Mac is certainly one alternative to Vista. I rather suspect that a lot of those Mac sales are coming from that path, though I admit that I didn't consider it too seriously. (I started switching to Ubuntu Linux over a year ago, and at this point I'm able to use it about 95% of the time at home, and about 20% of the time at the office.)

  14. McDave

    Keep the iMac all-in-one format

    Surely 90%+ of the market aren't into hardware upgrading/optimising. Apple need to keep doing what they're doing and educating people that the software is the only part of the machine they'll use, so focus on that and don't get distracted by stuff you'll never really understand.

    & c'mon no enterprise really uses Windows! It's just a ploy to keep employees busy. Any serious business is done on UNIX/LINUX and most media production on OSX - Windows is good for stealing it though!

    Giles, you've hit the nail on the head. The guys who slate Macs all have something in common - they've never actually used one.


  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Fred Fnord

    sentenced tidied up.


    El Reg

  16. Mike Moyle

    Look at it this way...

    Re: Simple explanation

    By Mectron

    "Apple OS as never been more then a toy, always was, always will. If peoples want a different OS, use Linux at least you will get the real thing, not a pathetic half backed clone."

    ...So let me see - MacOS is a "half-baked" (I'll assume) clone of Linux because it's baed on UNIX which came... ummm... before... Linux...


    Yuh-huh! Yuh-huh! That makes good sense!!!


    I've had many discussions with Linux users who seem to feel that all users should be able to hack the command line - that to do less is, somehow, sub-human.

    As a Windows-, Linux-, and Mac-user (and as a UNIX metwork sys-admin, in a previous life) my usual reply is to ask how they ever manage to use a pencil.

    As far as I'm concerned, expecting a user to know how to hack his system's internals in order to be productive on his computer is exactly as reasonable as expecting a user to dig up his own graphite and clay and chop down his own cedar tree to make his pencil. (Don't even get me started on ball-points!)

    If a computer system allows a user to get his work done easily and efficiently, it is a good system If it doesn't, it isn't. Any discussion that does not answer that basic criterion FROM THE USER'S POINT OF VIEW is, as far as I can see, simply a way of showing off how much kewler than the average user one believes oneself to be.

    As an example from (slightly) outside the Windows/Mac/Unix/Linux brouhaha, in which so many have invested their emotions) I read, a while back, Jef Raskin's book "The Humane Interface", in which he describes his goals for a next-genertion OS and interface. Based on that, I went to the Raskin Center's website ( to test-drive the ideas.

    ...and found that the system appears to ASSUME that the user is a touch-typist.

    If the user can move seamlessly from the keyboard to the mouse and back without taking his eyes off the screen, then it may well be faster than current systems. For those who, like me, never learned touch-typing the process is painfully slow. Technically, it may be brilliant. But from the point of view of an average user, it may be a non-starter, since it appears to REQUIRE the use of a skill OTHER THAN THE SKILL USED TO DO THE ACTUAL JOB in order to DO the job. If one needs to learn to use - ArcView GIS, say - to do one's job, that is one thing. Expecting the user to learn touch-typing in order to learn ArcView is taking a step backwards.

    In the same way, expecting a user to learn the command line or system internals in order to use a computer to perform a productivity task is, as far as I'm concerned, a backwards step.

    To put it another way: You've never worked a tech-support helpline, have you? Expecting J. Average User to learn to hack his system and NOT expect him to do something monumentally stupid - like finding out WHY " *.* " is not our friend, for instance - is a recipe for disaster! <insert grin here>

  17. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Exaggeration everywhere

    I have never used an Apple, and I don't know much about OS X, but what I've read about it doesn't seem bad to me. I do believe that OS X can only be better than Windows when it comes to security - that has to do with the very basic differences in build philosophy between the fruit and the glass.

    But I'm a gamer, and as far as games are concerned, Apple is way, way behind. The number of boxed games available for Apple machines on store shelves in the single dozen. As for PC games, well let's just say that I have bought almost 250 games and extensions since I first found a PC game on a store shelf about 23 years ago.

    Apple will have a chance in the game market when every single game release comes with a version that is Apple-compatible, not before.

    Now that Apple is based on Intel hardware, that could actually come pretty quickly. And if it does happen in the next few years, then I'll have just what I need to avoid Vista entirely AND do away with my security problems in one go. So, Apple, how about getting DirectX into OS X ?

  18. Hugh_Pym

    There seems a rough consenus here

    OS X = business

    windows = games

    Sounds about right to me.

  19. Mat

    X rated

    I'd say that's fairly unlikely - it is far too much in Microsoft's interest to keep Apple down as much as possible, at this stage, especially with Vista being so poor and Apple yet to release another upgrade to theirs. But you're right, wide acceptance of the OS will not come til people can take their pick of games to run on the platform.

    I also think people hear are giving far too much yardage to the "Apple OS is a toy" comment - I seriously doubt that poster has experience of an OS more advanced than the one the Xbox is wrapped in, nevermind uses Linux. Anyone with any experience of current IT recognises the Apple OS as a leading, if not the leading, OS at present.

  20. Eric Van Haesendonck

    Game support is indeed the problem

    I think I would have tried a Mac if it had better game support, the game support is really a problem for macs in the customer space.

    On the other hand the situation may get better for apple this year because of 2 factors:

    - First new generation console are more capable network wise and graphic wise (in the case of Xbox360 and PS3), which may make switching from a PC to a Mac + Xbox360 or Wii possible, if a bit expensive.

    - Second Vista has a lot of trouble with driver support and performance. If you have to junk your old hardware and peripherals, why not switch to apple? Also macs seems to be very responsive and pleasant to use, which doesn't seems to be the case with Vista.

    I must say if I had to upgrade my computer this year I would have a much better look at OSX than I had before because of the 2 reasons above.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: There seems a rough consenus here

    "By Hugh_PymPosted Tuesday 26th June 2007 08:08 GMT

    OS X = business

    windows = games

    Sounds about right to"

    Fine, if all you need to do on your Mac is noncey stuff like Photoshop or web design.

    How many high-end engineering / CAD applications are there for OS X then?

  22. Scott Mckenzie

    Games are coming

    I'm a recent convert, having got a Mac at work 18 months ago, since then 2 more have joined the company... i'm the SysAdmin too, in an otherwise totally Windows environments, so it may seem a bit odd.

    I personally love the simplicity of them, they do everything they say they can, with minimal fuss. Should an app crash then you can Force Quit and open it again straightaway and carry on, something that Windows can only dream of.

    It does always seem to be the people who've not used Macs who slate them, i've been guilty of the same in the past, but i'd never go back now and if only SAP would run on OS X i could shift the entire company over!!!

    As for the games things, Apple have recently signed deals with some major game developers so more should be on the way soon... personally i use a Wii and an Xbox 360 for gaming though but i appreciate others want PC's for games.

  23. Mark W


    The niche PC Games are just a way for the hardware manufacturers to make more money by the latest and greatest game needing X upgraded graphics card and Y upgraded RAM with Z upgraded CPU.

    Let's face it, based on sales alone, PC games are a minority compared to games consoles. In the top 25 games on Amazon, you have 2 PC games (World of Warcraft and The Sims 2) neither of which need special graphics cards or amazing spec machines (and both of which are available for the Mac aswell). The rest being majority Wii, Xbox360, DS and a couple of PS3 games.

    Agreed a PC can be the jack of all trades, but IMHO I prefer to play games on a console (which means the game designers have to work harder and be cleverer because it's a fixed specification for the life of the console, generally). Also, the cost of the games is the only cost, not a new video card every time a new game comes out ;o)

    For home use for e-mail, web browsing, video editing, music I have 2 Macs - an older iMac and a Macbook. It allows me to do so much more out of the box than a PC without spending money on extra software to get things done. Plus it's easy for my kids to use, allows me to control what they can do on the web (again, integrated into Mac OSx without needing to have a degree in IT to configure, allowing my wife and I to administer what the kids can see), secure out of the box, and not overly complex like Windows. My macbook does have parallels on it and an XP licence, however, XP's very rarely used, if ever.

    Oh, and it doesn't suffer from spyware, malware or viruses ;o)

    (For the record I'm an SVR4 Unix SysAdmin, Did my MCSE with NT4 and now work in Networks, so I'm definitely not an Apple Fanboy.)

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I bought an iMac last week after having a PC laptop for four years and using a PC at work (for too long!). I’m absolutely delighted with the purchase – it looks beautiful, it starts up and shuts down in (relatively) no time at all, and (once you have gotten used to the differences from Windows) the OS and bundled software is really intuitive and a pleasure to use – even for mundane tasks. Also, I had to get some pictures from my camera, get some files off my flash drive and even tried out my old Microsoft mouse – I just plugged them in and they worked – no installation process / downloading drivers / frustration-when-it-doesn’t-work needed. That’s how computing should be!

  25. Alan

    On gaming

    At the WWDC, it was announced EA will be porting games to the mac, notably, the cash cow franchise that is harry potter, and their sports titles.

    I still play a lot of games, albeit dual booting into windows on my mac, and the machine (in this case an iMac) is more than capable of running games (w00t oblivion) even under vista. It is a bit of a pain, but really, when i'm playing games, it's not like I'm doing anything else, so booting into windows isn't really that much of a problem. Hopefully, in the future I wont have to, but it's hardly a chore doing it now.

  26. Craig Cruden

    mac is business, gaming better elsewhere...

    The last few messages have tried to sell the mac for "gaming", this is obviously a stretch -- the mac is not the best machine for gaming. If you primarily are interested in games, a game console (PS3 or Xbox 360) is the best way to go. The next best is the Windows platform, then last is the mac. EA announcement was a sham, they won't be porting the games, they will be running them through an emulation layer (that is two layers of performance draining - emulation, and OpenGL which is not optimized for games).

    If you use the computer for business, then the mac is the best way to go. If you use it for business, but also a little for gaming (and you don't want to shell out the money for a console -- which is a better investment than getting a high-end graphics card just for gaming) -- then probably an intel mac with a dual boot to windows.

    As far as Vista? It took them 5 years to go from XP to Vista -- and that release reminds me of MS DOS 4.0 -- a failure in the worst way. The computers at work are primarily windows machines right now (working on resource management software off of windows -- which should allow development should be able to migrate off of windows completely. The company has refused to update to Vista. What is in-store for the next release, based on prior history -- they will try to fix Vista in Vienna in 2 years time, the next major revision will follow 2 or 3 years later.... that is five years from now..... That leads me to believe that the code base for windows is so bad, that it is currently strangling Microsoft -- which is why they feel the need to scare people from using Linux.

    Microsoft would be better off doing what Apple did, take their windowing environment and replace the core with Unix.... that would allow them to focus on two areas -- graphics optimization for games, and the User environment (and quicker releases).

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