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Noise Over Mac OS Market Share "Slip" 481

OakDragon writes, "Mac OS market share actually slipped since last September. This reverses a trend in the winter and spring months that showed some slight growth. The actual percentage loss is small: 0.02%. But it may be significant since it follows a solid growth trend. It must be disappointing to Apple and Mac fans to see what is basically a flat line in desktop market share." Mac-oriented sites are pointing out the unreliability of the metrics from Net Applications, which are based on users of the HitsLink service.
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Noise Over Mac OS Market Share "Slip"

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  • Statistics..... (Score:5, Informative)

    by BWJones ( 18351 ) * on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @06:18PM (#16141657) Homepage Journal
    I'd have to say that from my limited sampling, these numbers are very possibly off and a .2% downward change is likely statistically insignificant, especially given their sampling methods.

    Traffic from my blog [] primarily from the US shows about 19% of traffic is from the Macintosh (200-900 unique visitors/day). Of all the traffic that hit my blog from the recent Boing Boing posting, it appears that of those that clicked through, over 23% of the clicks were from Macintosh systems and from the traffic I get from Slashdot, about 15% is from Macintosh systems. This limited sampling shows a steady increase in the percentage of Macintosh users that have visited over the past few years.

    Traffic from another site I manage, Webvision [] (I know, I know, ....really old design from the early 90's, but it's been low on my priority list for the last four years) was likely the first online textbook receiving much more international traffic (about 1000 unique visitors/day from all over the world) and I have seen the international Macintosh marketshare increase from about 4% to 6.5% of total traffic over the past year.

    Both of these statistics mirror the trends I have seen reported for the platforms marketshare on much wider scales. These are direct measures that I am reporting as opposed to a fee based service like HitsLink whose measures are not as direct. Too bad Google's Zeitgeist no longer reports on platform statistics which were a good measure of overall platform usage from a much wider used resource.

  • by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) * <jmorris@[ ] ['bea' in gap]> on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @06:29PM (#16141746)
    Go dig into the numbers a bit. I'm not a Mac fanboi (see my abuse of one earlier today) but this is a non-story. The site in question is tracking Mac OS and MacIntel seperate, so of course Mac OS is dropping. Add the two together and you get a different picture. They appear not to have fixed the scripts that generate the cute graphs though, because up to now they broke out each OS variation so they could see the migration patterns in Windows versions.
  • by Gothmolly ( 148874 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @06:31PM (#16141768)
    99% of the computer buying population has no idea what your post even means.
  • by BWJones ( 18351 ) * on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @06:36PM (#16141796) Homepage Journal
    "Other" is actually Linux combined with Mactel (and still others) as they break out the Mactel and MacOS (PPC) separately apparently......

  • Re:Statistics..... (Score:2, Informative)

    by garcia ( 6573 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @06:39PM (#16141812)
    Traffic from my blog [] primarily from the US shows about 19% of traffic is from the Macintosh (200-900 unique visitors/day). Of all the traffic that hit my blog from the recent Boing Boing posting, it appears that of those that clicked through, over 23% of the clicks were from Macintosh systems and from the traffic I get from Slashdot, about 15% is from Macintosh systems. This limited sampling shows a steady increase in the percentage of Macintosh users that have visited over the past few years.

    I really hate when people post their statistics coming from their blogs. It is just as statistically insignificant as saying that there are a large number of Linux based Firefox users visiting Slashdot.

    My website currently has 117953 hits this month of which 2997 are MacOS users (2.54%). Not only that, but I know that several *regular* readers use OS X as their main OS (myself included). Just so you know, less than 0.57% were from Slashdot referrers, 27% were direct and 45% were from Google.

    Obviously my site doesn't cater to Mac users specifically nor nerds specifically and that's why 92% of the traffic I receive is Windows based.
  • Talking about using CP/M is funny, but, since few Slashdot readers know what CP/M is, they won't understand the joke.

    CP/M is Control Program for Microcomputers, an OS used with 8088 microprocessors back before IBM thought of selling PCs. It was a dog of an OS, mostly because it was unfinished. Back then CP/M was sold by a company that thought printing the original of manuals on a dot-matrix printer with an old ribbon was acceptable practice.

    The Morrow Microdecision came with a Command Line Interface language called Pilot that was in many ways better than the CLI that comes with Windows XP. I suppose Microsoft's plan is never to supply a finished OS so people will always want new versions.

    Bush lied, the U.S. government killed thousands. Impeach.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @06:50PM (#16141901)
    Well, I just priced out a new workstation comparing the top of the line MacPro and an equivalently configured Dell. I ended up buying the 3.0Ghz version of the MacPro for $1000 cheaper than an equivalent Dell.

    I'll be honest: I read that and I thought you were lying. So I went and looked for myself, and sure enough, I can't duplicate your results.

    I can't get the Dell price down far enough. Only $1000 more expensive than the MacPro? The best I can do is $1500 more expensive.

    Excuse me while I go and try to find all the pieces of my entire fucking worldview that you just completely shattered.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @06:51PM (#16141904)
    One thing that many people forget is that what Dell has on their website for prices is WAY more than businesses actually pay. At my previous employer, a Dell desktop that cost us around $600 was close to $1,100 on the public website for the exact same machine without the "corporate discounts".

    Just because a workstation costs more than an Apple on the Dell configuration page that is available to the general public, it does not mean that any companies are actually paying that much. Dell regularly gives heavy discounts, especially if buying multiple machines. I also know that Apple discounts, but not almost 50% off of the web page price.

    This is not a critisism of Apple at all, just trying let people know that Dell's web page prices for business class machines are WAY more than any smart business would ever pay.
  • by OnanTheBarbarian ( 245959 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @07:12PM (#16142043)
    Anyone who thinks that a 0.02% change is likely to be statistically significant has to be smoking crack. Of course, with enough users and a rigorous enough methodology, it's possible, but I doubt it.
  • by Brad Oliver ( 604118 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @07:15PM (#16142066)
    If you click on each month, and combine Mac OS with MacIntel, you get the following:

    Sep 05: 3.74%
    Oct 05: 3.87%
    Nov 05: 4.11%
    Dec 05: 4.35%
    Jan 06: 4.21%
    Feb 06: 4.30% (4.28 + 0.03)
    Mar 06: 4.37% (4.29 + 0.08)
    Apr 06: 4.49% (4.33 + 0.16)
    May 06: 4.42% (4.19 + 0.23)
    Jun 06: 4.32% (3.92 + 0.36)
    Jul 06: 4.29% (3.80 + 0.49)
    Aug 06: 4.33% (3.71 + 0.62)

    The reported 0.02 decline by the Inquirer is the difference of Dec 05 (4.35) vs Aug 05 (4.33). I'm not sure why Dec 05 was chosen as the comparison month vs. Sep 05 (which paints a rosier picture) or Apr 06 (which paints a bleaker picture) but there you have it.

  • Re:Price much? (Score:3, Informative)

    by be-fan ( 61476 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @07:28PM (#16142164)
    That's not a fair comparison, for three reasons:

    1) The Mini is a low-end machine, and Core 2 is a brand new processor. Even Dell is only fielding Core 2 in its higher end XPS and Precision lines, just like Apple is fielding it in their higher end iMac and Mac Pro lines. The only reason you got it in a lower-end machine is because you built it yourself, which 99% of buyers won't do.

    2) Your "custom machine" includes no warrenty and no technical support. That's probably not a problem for you, but it is for Apple's target market.

    3) The two products you mentioned aren't in the same market! The Mac Mini is a SFF machine, something which carries a several-hundred dollar premium in PC space (for machines several times as large as the Mini).

    The basic problem you have is that Apple doesn't have any product targetted at the market you're talking about, the headless desktop. Apple's desktop is the iMac, which is very competitively priced in its market. For example, to get a machine like the $1500 iMac 20", you'll pay Dell $1850 for a comparable XPS 210. At that price, the two machines have the same processor and RAM, the Dell has 70GB more HDD, a TV tuner, and an USB2 external disk, while the Mac has Wifi/Bluetooth and a much faster GPU. It's also, based on my own experience, more compact, nicer looking, and quieter.

    In short, Apple's prices on the Intel Macs are great, if they're selling the product you want. If they're not, then its not fair to make comparisons with products they sell that aren't intended for your market.
  • by Petrushka ( 815171 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @08:04PM (#16142417)

    I've just put together the complete figures, based on their stats, incorporating both "Mac OS" and "Macintel", since December last year. Mac OS overall is down from a high of 4.49% in April, but consistently up from a low of 4.28% in June.

    Month. . "Mac OS" "MacIntel" Total

    Dec 05 . 4.35 . . 0. . . . . 4.35
    Jan 06 . 4.21 . . 0. . . . . 4.21
    Feb 06 . 4.28 . . 0.03 . . . 4.31
    Mar 06 . 4.29 . . 0.08 . . . 4.37
    Apr 06 . 4.33 . . 0.16 . . . 4.49
    May 06 . 4.19 . . 0.23 . . . 4.42
    Jun 06 . 3.92 . . 0.36 . . . 4.28
    Jul 06 . 3.80 . . 0.49 . . . 4.29
    Aug 06 . 3.71 . . 0.62 . . . 4.33

    (Bit of a job getting that to look right and get it past the lameness filter!)

  • by MojoStan ( 776183 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @08:13PM (#16142463)
    I don't know what you've been smoking but for the same price of a top-rated Mac Pro at 3GHz, you can get a 3.73GHz from Dell, so why don't you please stop spreading FUD and have a nice cup of shut the fuck up.
    I don't know if you're kidding but, if you're not kidding, I'll tell you what at least 90% of Slashdot readers already know: the Mac Pro's (and Dell's) 3.0GHz Xeon (model 5160, Core Architecture) is faster (benchmarks start here []) and more power-efficient [] than Dell's 3.73GHz Xeon (model 5080, Netburst Architecture).

    I know this can be a little confusing to computer novices. The 3.73GHz Xeon is slower and uses more power than the 3.0GHz Xeon, even though they use the same socket. However, you shouldn't be talking shit, especially about a subject you know little about.

  • by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) * <jmorris@[ ] ['bea' in gap]> on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @08:15PM (#16142480)
    I just went and speced out a hefty Mac and a Dell. Had to go with the super duper video since it was the only model both offered.

    Dual 3.0Ghz Xeon
    4GB Memory (4x 1GB sticks on both, ECC on both)
    4X 500GB SATA drives
    512MB NVidia Quadro
    DVD +/- everything drive
    No monitor on either system

    Apple: $7,449 firm
    Dell: $5,575 before the infamous Dell discounting starts

    One year warranty on the Apple, Three years Economy OnSite on the Dell
  • by grappler ( 14976 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @08:25PM (#16142540) Homepage
    From one of the linked articles osing-os-share/ []

    Web usage by only HitsLink subscribers is just a small random sampling and has nothing to do with overall market share.

    If that is really a random sampling, it has everything to do with overall market share. But it isn't. It is a sample of the market which subscribes to HitsLink. That's not a random sample.
  • by camperslo ( 704715 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @08:25PM (#16142545)
    IIRC you'll have to look at Dell's business machines to find comparable pro hardware (dual Core 2 "Woodcrest" Xeon CPUs - the 5150 chip is 2.66 GHz). I believe Dell has an offering called the Precision 690.
    The non-Xeon Core 2s cannot be used in pairs of chips. One chip = 2 cores.
    At 3.7 GHz, it sounds like you're looking at machines with the earlier Pentium IV or D CPUs, much different animals.
    Note that the Xeon is dual core, so with dual Xeons you're getting four cores.
  • Re:My Mac Sucks (Score:4, Informative)

    by Carthag ( 643047 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @08:40PM (#16142657) Homepage
    Wikipedia [] sez: "The My freelance gig in front of a Mac trolls appear in virtually every discussion about Apple Computer. The troll claims to have witnessed <the latest Apple hardware> taking 20 minutes to copy a 17 MB file from one folder to another and proceeds to question all Apple users as to their platform choice. It is a straight forward copy-and-paste from a weblog entry [] by Jason Kottke. It has also led to some very inspired and amusing parodies."
  • by The Bungi ( 221687 ) <> on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @08:57PM (#16142760) Homepage
    Yes twitter... too bad w3schools is not even close to being representative of the real world. Might as well use the statistics from
  • by BWJones ( 18351 ) * on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @09:06PM (#16142813) Homepage Journal
    Are you sure you are entering the dual core architecture Xeons? Are you sure you are adding the second Xeon dual core chip, because funny enough, but I get this:



                    Two 3.0GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon
                    4GB (4 x 1GB)
                    500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
                    500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
                    ATI Radeon X1900 XT 512MB (2 x dual-link DVI)
                    Two 16x SuperDrives
                    Both Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and AirPort Extreme
                    Apple Keyboard and Mighty Mouse - U.S. English
                    Mac OS X - U.S. English

    Estimated Ship:?3-5 business days
    Free Shipping


    Dell Precision Workstation 690 (750W - 32bit)
    Dual Core Intel® Xeon® Processor 5160 3.00GHz, 4MB L2,1333
    2nd Processor
    Dual Core Intel® Xeon® Processor 5160 3.00GHz, 4MB L2,1333
    Operating System
    Genuine Windows® XP Professional, SP2 with Media
    Graphic Cards
    512MB PCIe x16 ATI Radeon X1900 512MB, Dual VGA or Dual DVI or DVI + VGA
    4GB, DDR2 SDRAM FBD Memory, 667MHz, ECC (4 DIMMS)
    CD-ROM, DVD, and Read-Write Devices
    1 48XCD AND 48X CD-RW/DVD Combo with Cyberlink Power DVD(TM)
    2 48XCD AND 48X CD-RW/DVD Combo with Cyberlink Power DVD(TM)
    Hard Drive Configuration
    C1 All SATA drives, Non-RAID, 1 or 2 drive total configuration
    Boot Hard Drive
    500GB SATA 3.0Gb/s,7200 RPM Hard Drive with 16MB DataBurst Cache(TM)
    Hard Drive Internal Controller Option
    SATA/SAS Integrated Card - For Connecting Internal Hard Drives
    2nd Hard Drive
    500GB SATA 3.0Gb/s,7200 RPM Hard Drive with 16MB DataBurst Cache(TM)
    3rd Hard Drive
    4th Hard Drive
    Dell Wireless 1450 (802.11 b/g) WLAN USB 2.0 DT Adapter
    Sound Card
    Sound Blaster® X-Fi(TM) XtremeMusic (D), w/Dolby® Digital 5.1
    Digital Media Creation
    USB Entry Quietkey, No Hot Keys
    Dell USB 2-Button Mechanical Mouse with Scroll
    Floppy Drive and Media Card Reader Options
    No Floppy Drive
    No Speaker option

    From $6225
    Now from $5,975
  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr.mac@com> on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @10:07PM (#16143125) Journal
    I think Apple should start selling ATX CPU/MB combos.

    People with a fiduciary responsibility to thousands of shareholders have decided that expanding into the cheap shit market wouldn't be a good move.

    Speaking as a shareholder, I'm rather glad that you're not in charge of Apple's product planning.

  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr.mac@com> on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @10:09PM (#16143140) Journal
    You heard right. When you take a Mac out of the box, you just plug it in, turn it on, give it a username and password for it to create the administrator account, and then you can either fill out the registration info or hit command-Q and start using it.


  • by doh123 ( 951318 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @10:27PM (#16143227)
    you still did more wrong. I configed the Dell 690 the way you listed and the total came to $7784

    i think you used the Xeon 5050 3ghz chips, and not the Xeon 5160 3ghz chips....
    huge difference as the Xeon 5050 are $930 less per processor on the Dell config

    the 5050 is an old netburst (P4) chip, and the 5160 is the woodcrest (Core 2) chip
  • by c_forq ( 924234 ) <> on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @10:28PM (#16143234)
    Still a Dell win? that is $1,000 more then the Mac Pro! What the hell is your definition of a win? Want to play poker somtime?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @11:53PM (#16143593)
    The video card you chose on the Dell is not the same as video card you chose on the Mac. In spite of the names, the Mac version includes specialized hardware to run 3-D stereoscopic goggles with your video output. The Dell version does not include this. It is a specialty, niche add-on that seems to make the Dell similar in price to the Apple. But in reality you are getting short-changed by buying the Dell (just like with the sub-par sound system). Not to mention that you started out with a budget box to even get this close. Start with a real Dell pro machine and see how close you can get. It is not even a competition.
  • by Smurf ( 7981 ) on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @12:15AM (#16143679)
    My Powerbook also came with the trial / crapware versions of Stuffit, Omnigraffle, OmniOutliner, Quicken and some eReader thing that I forget the name of. No, it didn't take long to clean those off - but that's no excuse for them being there in the first place.

    Actually at least OmniGraffle and OmniOutliner, along with GraphicConverter and a couple other things were extremely useful extras that came with my PowerBook (bought in 2003). They were NOT trial versions nor crippleware. I use them regularly, although I haven't updated them since then.

    I'll sorely miss OmniGraffle when I eventually buy a MacBook Pro, since it's no longer part of the package. Not sure about GraphicConverter, but OmniOutliner sure is included.

    Maybe you should have actually tried them before deleting them. And yes, if you don't like them you can just delete them, along with the trial version of Office and Quicken. My PoweBook didn't have any eReader nor .Mac trial, so I can't comment on those.
  • by mhollis ( 727905 ) on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @10:36AM (#16145803) Journal

    You are actually my favorite kind of control freak. You want high quality and you are willing to invest your own time and make sure you get it.

    But then there are people like my Aunt Jeanne who can't do that. They have to rely on the computer sellers to get it right the first time.

    One thing I've been telling people for a long time is that Macintosh computers last longer. I purchased my current Mac in 1999 and it is still very useful. I can run the latest operating system software on my Mac. There are two applications that I cannot run on it currently that are of interest to me: Motion [] and Shake []. Motion requires a faster processor than the one I have (a Sonnet 1GHz upgrade) and Shake requires at least a G5. Final Cut Pro HD will run on my machine, though I'm not currently working with it.

    All other applications that I might use do run on my Mac and probably will for the forseeable future, which will allow me to still use my computer for another year -- though I would like to upgrade after Apple has all of the kinks out of the early Intel boxes.

    A seven-year-old PC cannot usually run the latest operating system or applications because you cannot put enough RAM into the box to get it to do those things. My argument is that one should take useful life into account when figuring costs.

    And I value jmorris42 (1458)'s time -- perhaps more than he does. It takes him time to research and purchase all of the components he needs for his high-quality homebrew computer. It, then, takes him time to assemble it. Dell and Apple both charge for their research and assembly, which is why both will cost more directly than the unassembled components.

    My question for Apple is, will the new Intel boxes have useful lives for as long as their Power PC-based ones.

    I also question the basis for the suggestion that Apple is losing market share or that their market share is flattening out. If you are logging which operating system is hitting your servers, you have to take into account the fact that Apple's included browser, Safari [] may be set up to masquarade as Microsoft Windows-based Internet Exploiter, thus reducing the frequency of hits that are known Macintosh computers.

    I think both Apple and Dell are doing good innovation. And, while Apple may be winning some kind of price war presently, commodity pricing may be manipulated by working on the supply chaining as well as putting together exclusive contracts with certain key manufacturers. Apple seems to have a price edge today. They may not tomorrow. Frankly, I didn't buy an Apple computer because it was cheaper. I bought an Apple computer because I knew it was made by a top-tier manufacturer that supports its product and because I wanted to run Apple's operating system which, I believe, is easier to use than Microsoft's.

I go on working for the same reason a hen goes on laying eggs. -- H.L. Mencken