The Mac mind share dwarfs its actual market share

The Apple Mac market share has been reported to be around 8-9 percent and growing, but if this search volume graph from Google is any indication, the Mac market share is nothing compared to its mind share.

(Comment about the graph: We have equated the above “interest level” (from Google’s Insights for Search) to mind share in this article though the correlation between the two most likely isn’t one-to-one. However, since people usually talk about the “Mac” and “PC” platforms using those specific terms, we think the comparison is relevant.)

Note how the search volumes for “PC” and “Mac” have converged over the last five years. They are essentially equal since early in 2007. This graph only shows results from the “Computers & Electronics” category, so the results don’t include irrelevant results.

Is this mind share a “gift” from Microsoft?

Another interesting observation here is that the convergence shown in the above graph is more the result of the search volume for PC decreasing over time, rather than the search volume for Mac increasing.

This could possibly have something to do with Microsoft’s problems with getting Windows Vista widely accepted, making people look elsewhere for alternatives. If this is the case, the Apple marketing department should send a thank you letter to Microsoft…

What will this do to the Mac vs. PC market share?

Is this a sign of things to come? If Apple can keep the mind share of their Mac platform equal to that of the PC platform, will the market share follow? We don’t know, but it surely can’t be a bad thing for Apple.

Other explanations?

We know it’s a simplified approach to just compare search volumes for the terms “Mac” and “PC”, but this is not meant to be an all-conclusive, über-scientific report. Agree or disagree, if you have other theories and ideas, please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments. A discussion is most welcome.


  1. one thing is for sure, as long as there’s steve jobs, apple’s market share is going to grow. things doing good for them: web applications (you only need a web browser), ipod/iphones, student market

    thing bad for them: netbooks is all about windows, as for now. also the pro market is still untouched by apple, apart from niche market such as creative and life sciences.

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