The cult of Mac is growing as Apple emerges as the key computer for US consumers, amongst which it is now the fourth-ranked computer manufacturer, according to new research from MetaFacts.
Brand loyalty, the report claims, is at an all-time high with Apple’s chain of retail stores pulling customers through the doors – and selling Macs, MacBooks, MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros in particular, the researchers claim in their latest Apple Profile Report 2008.
It gets better, “Like the camel slipping its nose under the tent, Apple is reaching into American households as the second or third Home PC,” said Dan Ness, Principal Analyst at MetaFacts. “Where Apple shines is
as the third PC, ranking fifth with 8 per cent of third Home PCs, and ranking fourth in notebook PCs, also at 8 per cent of the installed base.”
And whether that Mac is a first, second or third home computer, what households do with their machine is very different. They’re used to make websites, create graphics and “personal activities”, the report explains – probably while the Windows box gets used for checking email, playing games, and cranking up peoples scores in MMORPG games online. Or something.
Mac users are public, too, this report explains. Seems 21 per cent of Macs are used in public – double the public usage of your WIndows machine – and potentially marking Apple’s ascendancy as a laptop maker.
“If you look around at a Starbucks or cybercafé, you might think the whole world’s gone to Apple,” said Ness, “Mac users are very active and use their notebooks in more locations than Windows notebook users.”
Wait, there’s more – brand loyalty, “More than four in five (81%) of households with Apple as their primary Home PC plan to buy the same brand – Apple – for their next Home PC,” said Ness.
All this action in the consumer market, is it any surprise that the long tail effect Apple executives hoped for four or five years ago when they began visualising it has now begun taking place?
The company gets put down a lot for not focusing sufficient attention on the enterprise markets. Perhaps it didn’t – once – but for the last few years of Apple market expansion, the company’s executives have known that consumer demand would eventually become an enterprise market driver.
Think about it – do you recall when you moved jobs and were once excited about the technology you got to use because it would be better than what you could afford at home? Nowadays when you start a new job its not uncommon to live in abject fear (OK, slight trepidation) of the dated system you’ll end up working with…it’s not at all uncommon for workplace technology to be less advanced than the tech company workers have at home.
And as Apple’s consumer market share grows, so too does the demand made on enterprises to offer workers the equipment they are already familiar with.
And that’s the long tail Apple execs set in motion with the iMac in 1998.