Monday, December 12, 2016

Which Macs Are People Using?

I’ve been thinking about the Mac lineup lately. When will Apple updates its desktop computers? And, when it does, should I switch back to using a desktop as my primary computer? There’s been a lot of talk lately about how notebooks have really taken over and how Apple doesn’t update the Mac mini and Mac Pro very often because they don’t sell well. This may be true (and also partly a self-fulfilling prophecy). However, I can say that people definitely do use them. Here are some recent statistics from my customers:

40%MacBook Pro
10%Mac Pro
8%MacBook Air
6%Mac mini

Of course, these numbers are not representative of the Mac market as a whole. My customers are probably slightly more technical than Mac users in general, though not as much as you would think. All I know for sure is that they represent people who pay for software and have great taste.

Starting at the top, I think most people would have expected the MacBook Pro and iMac to dominate. You might not expect to see 10% using Mac Pros, when the Mac Pro hasn’t been updated since 2013. The number for the Mac mini is probably better than you would expect, too, considering that it’s rarely talked about and surely many of them are used as servers. There’s actually a 50:50 split between notebooks and desktops. Apple has got to be selling more notebooks now, but desktops probably stay in use longer.

The numbers for the MacBook seem really low to me. The 2% (1.68% before rounding) includes both the MacBook One and the plastic MacBook that was discontinued in early 2012. The 12-inch MacBook never seemed attractive to me—overpriced and underpowered, not to mention the keyboard—but I would have expected to see more people using it. There are already 1.49% using the new MacBook Pros with Touch Bar, despite shipping delays. It’s frustrating that Apple sees the MacBook One as a worthwhile niche but doesn’t want to make a high-end MacBook Pro with a larger display, more RAM, a real keyboard and trackpad, etc.

A few more notes:

Update (2016-12-12): Seth Willits:

My customers: Prosumer app very close to yours, though MBA and MP are switched. Pro app: 70% MBP, iMac 15%. Same order below.

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