Report: Macs now have 5% of global market share

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Apple’s Mac computers have hit the 5 percent mark in worldwide market share for the first time in 15 years, according to an All Things D report.

The Windows OS has been the most pervasive and popular operating system around the world for two decades, but because Apple is sole manufacturer of Macs and every non-Apple computer manufacturer makes PCs, Macs have seemingly always been slim in complete market share. What’s interesting now is that Macs are growing at a much faster rate than PCs overall and gaining traction by slowly picking up market share. In 2004, Macs had about 2 percent of market share worldwide but as of last quarter, Macs command 5 percent of the market, according to IDC.

In terms of shipments, 24.6 percent more Macs were shipped this past quarter than in the year-before quarter, an astounding level of growth next to PCs, which grew by 5.3 percent. It’s easy to argue that Windows PC sales are growing slower because typical Windows consumers don’t feel the need to upgrade as frequently, but you could also make the case that Apple is simply becoming a more popular choice when people want new laptops, especially well-designed models like the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

So what’s driving this adoption around the world? Analyst Charlie Wolf of Needham & Co. specifically noted to All Things D that new enterprise customers and strong growth in the Asia Pacific region have helped Apple sell more Macs, on top of just increasingly being a popular choice with consumers.

In the U.S. specifically, Apple saw 25.6 percent growth in sales, compared to PC growth of 4 percent. One thing Apple is having to contend with in the U.S. and around the world is also iPad sales, which may be cannibalizing some Mac sales. But Wolf noted that iPads are likely stealing market share from PCs more than Macs. And what supports that idea is that Mac growth is so much stronger than Windows PC growth while iPads continue to sell like hot cakes.

And if Apple still feels any market share envy toward Windows PCs, at least it can look to the tablet market, where it holds a crazy lead in market share. In the U.S. alone, the iPad makes up 83 percent of tablet sales, and around the world it counts for 73 percent of tablet sales. And, on top of that, the iPad is the clear leader in global tablet web traffic with 88 percent, far greater than all Android tablets and other tablets like the BlackBerry Playbook.

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