Windows remains by the far the dominant operating system, but Apple’s systems are on the rise. In the third quarter of 2008, 9.5% of computers sold in the US were produced by Apple, up almost a third compared with one year earlier.
That proportion looks set to continue rising according to a recent study showing that, among people intending to buy a computer in the next 90 days, 29% of laptops buyers planned to get a Mac, with the figure at 26% for desktop buyers. It’s worth noting that this figure has fallen slightly over recent months after generally rising consistently since early 2006.
Because Apple produces its own hardware (and doesn’t license it to other manufacturers), buyers usually have to take into consideration both the operating system they prefer and the specifications of computer they want. The only place the two systems directly compete is with a company called Psystar which offers custom-built machines running the operating system (Windows, Apple’s Leopard, or Linux) of your choice. However, Apple is suing Psystar for allegedly using Leopard without permission. As the case is currently going through mediation, any figures showing which system Psystar customers preferred may be kept secret for now.
The chances are that Apple may continue to gain market share, but its growth will eventually be limited by the number of large organisations which either prefer Windows or are too wary of taking on a rival system.