politics and economics

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by fatfish, May 11, 2003.

  1. fatfish macrumors 6502


    May 11, 2003
    Poulton-le-Fylde, UK
    New member, I have been reading this forum for a few months now, following in the main, discussions about the next generation chip (almost certainly now PPC970).

    Been using macs for about 8 years, before that I didn't know what a computer was and wasn't aware of microsoft until about 97. Have only really been rooting around in my system for the last few years. Until recently I had no interest in specs and speculation, but lately I've become paranoid I'm paying a lot more cash for a lot less machine.

    I've decided to take an interest in what Apple can offer me in the near future

    I've spent some time reading about technology, but so far as politics and economics are concerned, I'm a complete novice.

    Can anyone please explain the following:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/images/smilies/wink.gifApple Macintosh - What is apple and what is Macintosh, I note that they produce 1 set of accounts, but Apple seem to be the software guys and Macintosh, the hardware producers.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/images/smilies/wink.gifMarket Share - What does this mean? When I first became aware of MS in 97, I was told Apple or Macintosh or what ever, had a 15% share of the market, now I'm hearing figures of 5, 3 and 2%.

    But is this software sales, OS software sales, Hardware sales and do these figures relate to volume sales or $ sales or are they sales at all?
  2. Ugg macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2003
    your links didn't work for me so wasn't able to see what they had to say. Apple is the name of the company, Macintosh is the name of one of their computers, iMac, Lisa, Performa, Powermac are other names you'll see listed. The most current operating system is OS X, code named Jaguar. One of the biggest advantages of Apple computers is that the hardware and the software are made by the same company, therefore there are fewer problems.

    Yes, at one time Apple did have a larger market share, for various reasons they've lost to other computer/operating systems. The percentage in the US is about 3% and I've heard, although I don't have figures to back it up, that Apple's share of the non-US market are around 5%.
  3. patrick0brien macrumors 68040


    Oct 24, 2002
    The West Loop

    First off, welcome.

    Second, please let me start helping andwer your questions with a disclaimer: It is late, and I am tired, so I may be a little 'thin' in my details. I will revisit this thread and correct if I see a hole later :D

    First question:
    "What is apple and what is Macintosh?"

    Apple is a computer manufacturer incorporated in 1976 by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniac, who built what is commonly referred to the first personal computer in one of their garages. That being said, soem argue that the Altair was the first PC, but history records the former.

    Macintosh is the primary product that Apple produces. Apple's focus is being a hardware manufacturer first, software creator second. But due to the fact that they do both design and create the hardware and write the Operating System itself is fairly unique in the computing industry. I beleive the only other computer manufacturer of any real consequence that writes its own Operating System is Sun with Solaris.

    Until January 24 1986, Apple produced computers branded that same as it's company name. Computers like the Apple II, ][ Plus, ][e, ][c, and finally the ][gs. This line of products used an Operating System based on Basic which was in turn licensed from a tiny (at the time) company called Microsoft.

    But in 1984, Apple created their very own twist on an Operating System purchased from Xerox that was of a new type: a Graphical User Interface.

    This led to experimentation and the LISA. But Apple needed a new brand and so they created the Macintosh (a kind of apple). And they've been there ever since.

    Apple is dedicated to selling the best computer they can make - that is the motivation behind the product.

    Second question:
    "Market Share - What does this mean?"

    Market share is the measure of how much (%) of the market one incorporated entity is selling to. The market is defined as those who are willing, able, and seeking, to purchase a good in the classification of those the afore-mentioned entity sells.

    So, using your stated 3%, that means that out of all of the possible purchasers with money to spend, Apple is only able to sell the 3% of them in a given measurement period.

    That dosen't sound so good. However, don't dispair quite yet...

    As many economists say, "there are lies, damn lies, and statistics."

    This is true here as well, if you apply what is otherwise an accurate statistic from a particular perspective, one can turn that fact into a great bit of misinformation - especiallly if it itself is bungled.

    An example of this is when I was in a statistics course, this was used to illustrate such a "bad" statistic: "Statistics show that only 5% of the population dies after the age of 90 years." Worded like that that could sound like if you make past 90 years, you only have a 5% chance of dying.

    Ok, that little illustration behind us, lets add some further spice to that statistic of 3%.

    Apple Macintoshes have a typical lifetime of 5 years (I've read this many times), the average Personal Computer that runs Microsoft's Windows Operating System (slang: Wintel; PC) has a lifetime of 2 years. So that means that every 5 years, a given member of the market buys 1 Macintosh, but the same kind of person intersted in a PC would have purchased 2.5 (or halfway through the lifetime of his third). This means that in a "perfect world" where there is a 1:1 purchase ratio between those buying Macs, and those buying PC's, the maximum market share the Macintosh could possible attain would be roughly 28.5%.

    Remember what I said earlier about how a "bad" statistic can be made worse by bungling it? Well, journalists often mix up the statistics of Market Share with Installed Base.

    Remember, Market Share is those looking to buy. But once they make a purchase and their need to buy satisfied, they are no longer a member of that market. They are now a member of the Installed Base.

    Installed Base is far more difficult to measure as there are no samples taken like one can at Point-Of-Purchase. But using several methods, like IP Web hits, and mathmatical process-of elimination, the general number that seems to keep showing up is that the Apple Macintosh has an installed base of about 11.6%.

    That would mean that 11.6% of all actively-used computers on this planet are Macintoshes - with that 5-year lifespan.

    I hope that helps!

    <edited for spelling and grammar>
  4. gerror macrumors 6502

    Oct 25, 2001
    Dude, you're good!
    I never looked at it like that about the market share, altough I know Apples are living a lot longer than pc's.
  5. patrick0brien macrumors 68040


    Oct 24, 2002
    The West Loop

    Well, I hope that's a compliment to an ability to cut to the facts. :D

    If so, thank you. It is my responsibility to drill to the facts of a given situation, regardless of the complexity of the fluff and interpretation that stands between myself and they.

    Nice to know this consultant's still got it. :D

    Good illustration that things aren't as simple as thoose in marketing and the media would like to portray huh? I'm sorry to say that I was once a member of both industries.

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