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Mac OS Dwindles in Importance to Apple

Analysis: iOS, already a larger share of Web traffic than Macs, will only grow as Apple builds on its strengths in mobile devices.

By Ed Oswald, Technologizer Feb 11, 2012 4:00 pm

The anti-Apple crowd loves to point out that Apple’s Mac market share, while up dramatically over the past few years, still pales in comparison to the overall PC business. What many of them miss is the simple fact that the Mac platform is less and less important to Apple as it continues to post strong sales of iOS devices.

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iOS is the future, and that future is now if you believe statistics released by advertising analytics company Chitika Insights on Friday. Its data shows that for the first time, Web market share for iOS surpassed that of Mac OS. This shouldn’t be surprising considering the 133 million-plus iOS devices sold during the year.

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Since September of last year, Mac share has fallen about 25 percent to 7.96 percent of Web traffic, while iOS has exploded 50 percent in the same period to 8.15 percent of the market. Where did that growth come from?

It came in the months following the release of the iPhone 4S on AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. That much wider distribution accelerated sales, and is likely the reason why iOS is now a larger share of Web traffic than Macs. This will only grow as Apple continues to build on its strengths in mobile devices, and reflects a broader shift among consumers where accessing the Internet via mobile is commonplace.

“Apple’s habit of launching cutting edge gadgets year after year is driving consumers to newer products. Combining this aspect with the similar functionality of iOS devices and a lower price point, it may be that consumers are choosing to go mobile, instead of purchasing more expensive Apple computers,” Chitika writes.

This shift is not hurting Apple’s bottom line because profit margins for its iOS devices are about the same as it is for its Mac line, and on top of that, sales of those iOS devices are accelerating. Mac sales are still growing, although at a much slower pace, so Apple loses nothing.


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