back to article US consumers flock to Mac laptops

That sound you can hear is Steve Jobs laughing after reading figures from US market watcher NPD that Apple laptops accounted for 20 per cent of retail notebook sales during July and August. That's the key back-to-school sales period, and it indicates that the MacBook family - expected to be refreshed any day now - has struck a …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Adrian
    Jobs Horns

    US consumers flock to Mac laptops

    And then the US economy collapses.

    'Nuf said.

  2. YumDogfood

    For day to day stuff my MacBook Pro just WORKS

    It is a delight to *use*, rather than as a box to hack upon, but with VMWare loaded as well I have OSX, Linux and XP all running at the same time - very nice to have source files in shared folders and building for cross platform tools (gcc, freepascal+lazarus).

  3. It wasnt me
    Thumb Down

    Youve hit the nail on the head

    With one line. "Backlash against windows".

    Im no MacTard, and Id rather be without a phone than own a jesus phone, but ill never again buy a windows PC. My last (Dell) laptop with Vista on is really, truly, terrible. There is no warranty, the manufacturers of the software and hardware coulnt give a shit once its posted, and Vista is really, really, bad. I even still use the Sony Vaio (XP home) that I bought the dell to replace as its a better experience.

    Apple on the other hand, I dont really like them a great deal, but when my parents keyboard failed I took it back to the apple store and it was ready for collection the next day. Other than that the performance is the same as the day it was bought, and nothing has gone wrong. Its nothing against microsoft, my Windows mobile HTC phone hasnt crashed once in 21 months. Vista is just shit, end of story, and the manufacturers should be hit hard.

    So Ill be buying an Apple next time for exactly the same reason ill be voting conservative. Theyre nothing special, but the alternative is just shit.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    @It wasn't me

    Chill. Wipe Windows, install Ubuntu (or whatever distro you want) and move on. M$ is becoming increasingly irrelevant as Linus and other systems catch up (nay, exceed it).

  5. Hans Silver badge


    Same here, will get a macbook pro .... when the new models come out

  6. Thomas

    "a company that's so often regarded as a doomed irrelevance"

    I don't think anybody has considered Apple to be doomed for years; they have a stable stranglehold on the design sector for computers, and all the iPod money they can spend.

    I'm an Apple user and I prefer their OS, but I don't think they deserve 20% of the consumer laptop market. Regardless of value and arguments about intagibles, the cost of entry is too high and the company too arrogant.

    They're well positioned to produce an SCC though; I think the AppleTV runs the current OS X on sub £200 hardware - I'll bet they could turn that into a £400 SCC once a keyboard, trackpad and 10" screen are added.

  7. Mark Greenwood

    It's not just Apple that's benefitting from Vista

    When I wondered into my local, independent PC shop looking for a new laptop, and politely asked if I could put my Mandriva Live Linux CD in it to see if it would boot - not only was I told 'yes of course' but 'you're the third person this week who's wanted to try that'. Seems that many people want new laptops but only a proportion of them want Vista. Vista's the reason I went Linux ion the first place and it would seem I'm not the only one.

    To the guy above whose Dell is truly terrible - try putting Linux on it, it'll probably run at 3 times the speed and won't annoy you all time time. Some of the time yes, but at least you'll be using it...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ it wasnt me

    Most machines with Vista pre-loaded or under-specced or chock full of unnecessary oem bits of crap. that is no different than the XP machines that still keep coming with all the bundled rubbish (Dell, Sony, Acer being among the worst culprits). Personally I have found Vista a joy to use and far more stable than XP, but I appreciate that not everyone has had this experience.

    I don't know why you have been having a problem with your warranty on the Dell as any time I have had to get something replaced, apart from having to deal with the robotic indian script readers my replacements have been with me the next day.

    But please just look at your Apple experience to date

    'my parents keyboard failed I took it back to the apple store and it was ready for collection the next day'

    It's a keyboard - why couldn't you have a replacement straight away? Surely they must have had some stock of such a basic part. If it was having to be delivered to the store why couldn't they deliver it to your house? Sorry but to me that isn't a great customer service experience. Plus having to deal with the staff numptys who applaud and cheer just because someone bought an Apple product puts me right off them.

  9. Eric Dennis

    The Economy Effect

    The economy is effecting everyone now from top to bottom. Not just the middle class. That will have an effect on consumer buying decisions, particularly as we wait for the Senate to vote on the "Rich Wall Street Guys Bailout Plan". Some of us aren't rich and don't have the big bucks to afford the high and mighty Macbook or Macbook Pro but that doesn't mean a Windows Buying decision is a bad one. I have a Compaq Presario Desktop that I've been running Vista Business on for a year and there I've only had a couple of crashes and no real problems. I recently bought an Acer Aspire 5315 Laptop that is equipped similar to a Macbook but I did not pay $999 for it. I paid $398 and with another 1GB of Ram, it still cost under $450. My Vista user experience has been fine. It has it's quirks, but those quirks aren't enough for me to damn the operating system and over spend on a Mac. To each his own, but I don't see a lot of people in this economy rushing out to buy a Mac anytime soon, especially if the US Senate bails out the rich clowns who caused the problem in the first place- WALL STREET.

  10. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton


    Although in the corporate sector whilst the fools wander around proudly showing off their wonderful fancy but over priced crApple ware notebooks , but an evil secret lurks in the units harddrive as the OS has been scrubbed and replaced with Windoze XP Pro licensed software and none of the overpriced crapple equivalents so as the unit thus complies with the audited corporate license structure and none of this dual boot rubbish either .

    How evil is that a "Q" computer who external looks deceive !

  11. Nic Brough

    UK/Euro figures?

    I'm curious, I mean the US consumer is finally seeing sense (i.e. Vista is a steaming pile of stuff that simply can't be polished), but what about the UK and Europe?

    The figure in my family 5 years ago was 1 Linux, 1 Mac and 6 XP boxes, but it is now 2 Linux, 5 Mac and 1 XP. I can confidently say that most of the shift to Mac has been as a result of "my XP box is old, I need a new computer, but Vista is so bad...", and I can't see them turning back. But I'm curious about the rest of Europe.

  12. Ben Bradley
    Jobs Horns

    They just work

    That's why people like them. Don't have to worry about drivers, installing this, configuring that etc.

    That's why iPlods have been a massive success as well. People don't want to get involved in configuring a cd ripper / encoder, and then learning how to drag&drop onto a removeable drive.

    Most people will pay that price premium for the convenience and for the lack of knowledge that is required to use it.

    What Microsoft and Apple need to realise though is that the principle of an OS is becoming irrelevant IMO.

    It's getting to the stage where most of the software that people would want to use, will run on Windows/Linux/OS X

    My work Win XP Pro laptop's been running great for the past 3-4 years now (touch wood)... a quick OS re-install every 10-15 months keeps things nice and swift.

    But keeping a Windows installation in snappy working order requires people to be a bit smarter with how they work... not having a Start Menu that cascades into about 5 columns of RegCleanerSuperDuperAntiSpywareHonest and hundreds of shortcuts to uninstall programs usually helps.

    Most people can't be arsed with such things!

    What will my next laptop be?

    Well it will probably have Windows Vista, but I'll be looking for a way to switch it to XP.

    I hate to see clock cycles wasted on fancy fisher-price colours and bouncy icons.

    And it won't be one of these 'netbooks' either, it will all be about the expensive ultra-mobile for me... I've had enough of lugging 2kg of laptop around for the past few years. Me wants one of those 1kg Sony units with the insane battery life!

  13. Mick F

    No better

    I have as many performance problems with my two Mac's as I do with two XP machines. I think that the Apple share of the market will reduce as money gets tighter, they really are not worth the extra and repairs cost the earth.

    I also find I am beta testing Apple software (not saying M$ are angels) , they do update often but then it is fixing bugs from the last release.

    The followers have their heads in the sand over security. The first serious OS X virus will take down all but a few Mac's

  14. Robert Lee

    Not hard to fig out why

    With Vista, any laptop/desktops are instantly turned into shit, little wonder why Mac market grew so fast, no thanks to the super Microsoft Vista, Steve Job must be laughing so hard now that for years hes been trying to break into the consumer market without success, but suddently Vista came, and without having to do too much, the Mac slice of pie just got bigger.

    I am no Mac fan, nor Linux fan, but deep down I do hope they can gain enough market share to show MS how crap they are at making OS, as well as trying to force users to use whatever crpa they are given while trying to educate them how things 'should' work.

  15. Richard Porter

    OSX, Linux and XP all running

    Don't forget Virtual RiscPC! I much prefer to use my real RiscPC for most things, and a MacBook Pro for portability, decent browsing and other stuff that RISC OS isn't good at.

    Dell and HP have the problem that they're stuck with Windross and maybe Linux if they bite the bullet.

  16. K

    Perhaps another convert??

    I hate Apple - but I'm beginning to hate Windows more, I'm sick of staring at the same slow bland desktop each day - Now I'm seriously considering buying and running Windows via Parallels on.

    I installed MacOS on my Sony TZ laptop the other day, and the dam things runs MacOS faster than my Desktop PC runs Vista (which is actually a workstation with 2 dual xeon cpu's).

    The only thing really keeping back is the ability to play games.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    OS X still regularly

    Gives up the ghost for me on my MacBook Pro, for the uncrashable OS it is pretty poor. Better than XP but not as good as Ubuntu.


  18. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)


    I use OS X every day and have since the Public Beta days. I've had one kernel panic, when I put a USB 2.0 drive into my 12in PowerBook G4's USB 1.1 socket, and that was my fault really. No other OS X crashes until I upgraded to Leopard on a MacBook Pro.

    Then I ditched MS Office and I've never had a crash since.

    See and

  19. Anonymous Coward


    Most people who need a computer don't give a crap what it runs (they're not all el reg readers), but they DO want and expect it to run without issues. that's one of apple's biggest strengths.

    i'm a windows xp user and have been running windows since 3.1. but the next machine im buying will definitely be a macbook. i know it'll run everything i need (as a web developer) and won't cause me as many issues in the long run as ive had with my pcs.

    other smaller reasons are that their tech support is good - or at least was when i had some ipod issues. their products look good too.

    ok so they're expensive, but in the long run probably worth paying extra for?

  20. Simon Langley
    Jobs Halo

    So much easier to use

    Until last July, my wife had been using Windows for a decade, most recently Vista.

    However, she was in the market for a new machine so I bought her a MacBook. She had never used a Mac before but after two days of helping her get used to it, I now spend literally a tenth of the time helping her compared to when she was running Vista. She has almost no problems (particularly with wireless which plagued Vista on her and my son's laptops) and the bundled software is so easy to use that she just gets on with it.

    Macs are more expensive, but my wife loves her new machine. It looks great, it's reliable and most importantly, easy to use. From my perspective, the time saving for me was worth the price of the laptop several times over.

  21. Chris Gibson

    Atari vs. Amiga

    Are you all mad? "I hate Apple... I hate Microsoft more... Apple are arrogant... M$ produce crap OS...". Why don't you all just find an OS that you prefer, and use that?

    Personally, I never liked Windows much, and switched to OS X a few years ago. I like OS X, and I'll stick with it. If I find that a future version of OS X becomes too slow, or buggy, maybe I'll give Linux a go. That's kinda the end of the thought process for me... I grew out of arguing the point back and forth when I sold my Amiga.

    Seriously, if you really can't find a single Operating System that you actively enjoy using, well... it might be time to move away from computers and do something else.

  22. Bad Beaver
    Thumb Up

    consumers are smart

    Apple lappies are sharp, come with oodles of great software, OSX is sweet candyland for people who lack the time, passion or competence to tool around with Linux or the masochism to run Windows, yet Macs do run every major OS option you want and are plain great value for money. And they last. On the go I'm still on a 12" G4 with no plans to give it up. It works.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Erm, what's with that Macbook Pro picture?

    I only ask because the keys are still silver on currently shipping machines...

  24. James Pickett


    1 in 3 dollars = 1 in 5 laptops? They're still overpriced, I see...

  25. James Butler
    Thumb Down

    @James Pickett

    Exactly ... you can parse whatever you want out of the research. If 3 Windows laptops (@$500) cost the same as 1 Macintosh laptop (@$1500) then how does that work? (Or even 4-to-1 @$350 and @$1400, respectively.) It looks more like about a 50-50 split than a 20-80 split. Next time, how about figuring out how many UNITS of each were sold, rather than basing it on something as volatile as retail price? Bad math does nobody any good ... unless El Reg is deliberately trying to inflame its readers with flawed conclusions?

  26. aManFromEarth
    Thumb Down

    Macs are great except for forced OS upgrades.

    Too many applications are not built to be backward compatible with older Mac OS X releases, forcing users to upgrade. The drop off rate is particularly fast compared to Windows. e.g. Apple kindly give away XCode for free but the latest version will only run on 10.5 and you cannot download their older versions. In contrast, creaking old win2k will run most Windows applications today and still receives windows updates.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    They run Windows

    M$ doesn't give a shit as long as those Macs run Windows, which they are.

    And Vista is no shit; the shit are those knuckleheads who can't figure out a sophisticated OS such as Vista; the simpleton OS X is better suited for them.

  28. Fazal Majid

    Status symbols

    The high prices may actually be an element of their appeal because it gives them an aura of exclusivity. People may be buying them for much the same reason they buy BMWs when Toyotas will get you from point A to B just as well, if not in style, with better reliability to boot.

    I'm not an Apple-basher - I own an Air myself and prefer OS X. I just don't believe it is intrinsically superior to a X300, apart from its ability to legally run OS X.

  29. McDave


    Why are you comparing prices of different products in different categories? The average consumer can't do anything useful with a Windows machine but give them a Mac and they're away doing everything the Windows machine promised. It's like saying a kit-car is cheaper than a completed, useful production model - of course it is!

    (Incidentally once you've spec'd the Windows PC up to that MacBook level not forgetting webcams, decent LCD & 802.11n the difference cost is only about 10% - not that we're fooled by hardware specs anymore)


  30. McDave

    @James Butler

    Both are covered, 20% is marketshare by units. 35% is marketshare by $


  31. McDave


    Vista's great!

    If you have a top-of-the-line notebook and haven't used anything else.

    Who's more stupid? The person who has a life and won't tolerate crap design, or the person who think's he's clever by 'figuring out a sophisticated OS'?


  32. joe
    Paris Hilton

    RE:They run Windows

    "And Vista is no shit; the shit are those knuckleheads who can't figure out a sophisticated OS such as Vista; the simpleton OS X is better suited for them."

    Simpleton OS X? You miss the the point. Complexity is the standard in any modern OS. Functionality to manage that complexity is what the interface is supposed to do. If you want to get into the guts of an OS try Linux. You will find a sophisticated OS as well but simplicity in it's design. MS has created a convoluted OS on an over engineered architecture with little thought to functionality. If you want to split hairs; MS was touting how much emphasis they put in to simplifying the user experience in Vista. So how did the windows explorer simplify that? All it is is a bad ripoff of finder and resembles the horrible early JAVA file browser more than an advancement. How did treating the user like a complete moron when trying to connect their system to a network and hide the important parts to configure it? XP network management was simple and strait forward. Vista? If you like it then i bet you like playing the Ballmer game. You know he's been doing it to the IT and business world for years.. You stand, lean over with you hands on your knees and spell R-U-N. More and more of the world is waking up and are tired of playing that game; that's why we see shifts in consumers purchasing choices or OS's. Its too bad that you haven't.

    Maybe people are tired of "Working" on MS products and want something that is just fun and stable at home. I used to have to fix MS crap all day, now i work and play on systems that "Just work" That includes my MacBook Pro at home an Imac at work. Linux and UNIX are now my bread and butter so i can empathize with people who don't want to fight with their puter. It seems that quality and stability are becoming more prevalent to the consumer; that's why Vista fails and why MS is failing; all be it not as fast as some of us would like! :)

    Paris because she may get the R-U-N joke but she doesn't care as long as you are.. :)

  33. Scott Mckenzie


    Firstly that Macbook Pro picture is one of the images floating around the net as a likely replacement model - no idea if it will be the one, but hey!

    Secondly, since getting my girlfriend her first Mac 3 years ago the number of times i've needed to assist has decreased dramatically, an upgrade to an iMac 9 months ago has made life even easier, Time Machine has saved her on many occasions (including recently when she managed to somehow remove it from Applications and I used it to recover itself - impressive!)

    As someone said above many folk don't want to mess about with things they want convenience and simplicity and things that work... whilst Macs have some issues on the whole they're a county mile ahead of anything from Windows, and whilst Linux is great, it's still way to complex for the average joe. The number of people I know who've shifted to Mac is growing regularly and after a couple of weeks of getting used to the changes I've not had one person say anything other than "i'd never move back to Windows again"

    We now have 5 Macs in the company I work for, around 20% of the machines we have.... and more and more people are moving over... now if only they'd bring out some sort of native SQL application that'd be great :D

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I jumped ship to Mac OS X. It works well, I have half the problems i did running win2k / XP, the default bundled apps do most of what I want (I always liked iTunes and used it before i had an iPod), and iPhoto does what I want.

    I am not saying either are perfect, far from it. But they are useful and work.

    The people that have not had problems with vista seem to be amazed that there are people out there that have never had problems with OS X, and vice versa.

    One look at vista, and i was like, why? totally descoped functionality. Nothing interesting.

    So a choice of Linux (I even decided ona distro), Solaris or OS X, and in the end i decided that OS X and an iMac were worth the cost.

    The one thing that made me chose the iMac over PC hardware was actual the price, at the time the entry level iMac was the same price as the Shuttle PC I was looking at, and had a monitor mouse and keyboard.

    I think this is good for users, as it might improve the market, MS might see where it went wrong and HP, Dell and the like might see that user experince is important.

    I do think Apple, with what is procieved high cost of owner ship, will have a bad time of it during the credit crunch, but the managed to do ok during dot com.

  35. Carniphage
    Jobs Halo

    OS X is not just for idiots

    There are two sides to OSX

    Yes, you can give it to your kids and it's easy enough for them to actually do homework on it. You can give it your granny and she can figure out how to send an email and go on online dating sites.

    But if you are more computer savvy, OS X is proper Unix. Not the cut-down Unix-wannabe that Windows tried to be. And not just the almost-Unix that Ubuntu is.

    Out of the box, OS X lets you use more than 2GB ram - without having to buy as special 64 bit version. There's no registry to become polluted. Privilege protection works.

    Better than Ubuntu is having supported applications that work properly.


  36. Hans Silver badge

    @Eric Dennis

    Luxury items, as weird as it sounds, are not that much affected by the economy. There will always be people with money. I am far from rich, but I am gonna get a mac book [pro] next month. I think it is worth it, and do not compare el cheapo laptops selling < 500 with Mac books, please ... it's like comparing Fiat or Ford with Audi. You usually get what you pay for, it might not be processing speed, but it's design, reliability, durability, support and pleasure. I had an XP laptop for work and no, XP, or Vista for that matter, is not what I call a pleasing experience. I used Vista for about 6 weeks, and I hated it.

    To the other twat who was mentioning that you don't see why your processor should waste cycles to make an icon bounce. Please, cut the crap, that stuff is done almost totally by the GPU, unlike in Vista. It worked fine on my PowerBook G4 550Mhz (!) with rage 128 with 16Mb vram. On Vista, or XP, move a window around quick and watch how the cpu usage goes up, nothing else needs to be running, just Windows Explorer. Now do the same on a Mac, or on Linux (with compizfusion) ... I have linux at home for work, and I use compizfusion only because it accelerates switching desktops, moving windows etc. not for the eye candy.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020