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Most Mac Owners Also Own a Windows PC, But Not Vice Versa 814

Posted by timothy
from the I-was-gonna-tell-you-honest dept.
Barence writes "More than eight out of ten Mac owners also own a PC, according to a new piece of research. The NPD survey found that 12% of US computer-owning households have a Mac. However, 85% of those also own a Windows PC, suggesting that the Mac/PC divide is nowhere near as clear cut as both Apple and Microsoft suggest. Mac owners are also far more likely to have multiple computers in the house. Two thirds of Mac owners have three or more computers in the home, while only 29% of PC owners have two or more PCs."
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Most Mac Owners Also Own a Windows PC, But Not Vice Versa

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  • So? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @11:54AM (#29658861) Homepage

    These findings are pretty un-surprizing. Did anyone really think that computer owners could only own one computer at a time, or would typically own only one platform?

    Mac owners tend to have a lot of money. They probably have an older PC or two laying, because they still work. Or, perhaps the Mac is older, and they bought a cheap new PC to run games and Windows applications. Newer Mac owners likely run OS X and Windows on the same hardware, if they run Windows at all. But if they have an older PC sitting around, they probably still have it and use it occasionally, or let other family members use it, etc.

    The whole "fanboi only uses $platform" thing is probably overblown, with highly visible zealots who only use one platform being much more vocal and visible than those who work on both platforms.

  • Re:So... (Score:3, Informative)

    by jhfry (829244) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @11:55AM (#29658875)

    Most research isn't done to discover something shocking... its so that someone can say with some certainty that X is true.

    Sure this research tells us what we already knew... sure it's stupid that someone was paid to do the research... but even if you "knew" it before, assuming this study was done properly, you can now say you KNOW it for certain.

    What this does though is throw the numbers out of wack. If Apple claims ~10% marketshare, and Windows claims ~90%, but there is overlap in most Apple households, you could say that ~15% of households have a Mac. This equates to greater mindshare as a Windows user can also be a Mac user.

  • Re:Yeah, but... (Score:4, Informative)

    by antifoidulus (807088) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @11:58AM (#29658935) Homepage Journal
    Apple sells something called Final Cut Express, which has most of the features of FCP but at a fraction of the price($200), it does non-linear editing, custom transitions etc.
  • by CdBee (742846) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:03PM (#29659029)
    there's an app to do most things on Mac, but its often commercial. There is a better scope of freeware on Windows (although OSS apps often exist on both platforms, Closed-source free apps are more numerous on Windows, and often a free app exists on Windows where only a pay-for app will serve on Mac)
  • Does VMWare count? (Score:4, Informative)

    by wandazulu (265281) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:05PM (#29659069)

    I have only Mac hardware at home, but I do have VMWare Fusion for the extremely rare occasion I need a Windows machine.

    I bootcamp'ed my Intel-based Macs on the thought that I would perhaps need to use the machine as a pure Windows box once in awhile, but that hasn't happened; I've been surprised to find that between what I can do on a website, or what Java can provide, or what developers have been good to provide both a Mac as well as Windows version, there's nothing so exclusive to Windows that I've needed to run Boot Camp. If anything, there's just a couple of programs I use for development written in Delphi of all things that are exclusive to Windows.

  • Re:Here's why (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:09PM (#29659159)

    what for? it's the same exact hardware. same exact intel laptop CPU's except for the Mac Pro. biggest difference is Mac's use nvidia chipsets instead of Intel due to the fact that nvidia has better integrated graphics. all the other parts are exactly the same and Mac's have used identical PC components like RAM and hard drives for decades

    You forgot things little things like machined aluminum case, dual channel wireless cards. Better quality parts add up.

  • Re:Here's why (Score:1, Informative)

    by omeomi (675045) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:12PM (#29659215) Homepage
    I'm reasonably certain it's been shown a number of times that if you build a PC with the exact same hardware as a Mac, you'll end up with a PC that costs about the same. The only difference is that PC makers offer systems with a wider range of hardware options (including lower-quality hardware on lower priced systems), and include more "Click here to try AOL" crap on the desktop, thus lowering the price... and creating a market for computer retailers to charge a fee to remove that crap from your new system...
  • Math (Score:5, Informative)

    by njfuzzy (734116) <ian@ian-xCHICAGO.com minus city> on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:14PM (#29659229) Homepage
    This sounds like it could be explained by some fairly simple logic and math. If (numbers pulled out of my ass for sake of argument) 10% of people own a Mac, and 95% of people own a PC, and each household has more than one person in it... You'd get something like this kind of distribution.
  • Re:Here's why (Score:5, Informative)

    by Not_Wiggins (686627) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:39PM (#29659721) Journal
    I'm reasonably certain it's been shown a number of times that if you build a PC with the exact same hardware as a Mac, you'll end up with a PC that costs about the same.

    Actually, it has been shown to be cheaper to build your own Mac. [lifehacker.com]

    I'm only addressing your Hardware comparison. In reality, there are more things that go into the value of a "computer solution" than just the hardware components: software availability/quality for your own needs, support, design/appeal, etc.
  • Re:Here's why (Score:2, Informative)

    by avianchaosx (1209384) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:39PM (#29659727)
    For high-end machines, I've seen articles showing they are comparably priced, but those articles tend to forget that the mainstream PC makers offer discounts all the time. I don't think I've ever seen a real sale on the Macbook line (and a free iPod touch or whatever they decide to bundle is not equivalent to getting a discount worth the MSRP of the bundled device), while Dell, HP regularly have large discounts on their machines and the retail stores have sales every week. Taking that into consideration, the cost of a PC is a significantly less.
  • Re:Here's why (Score:2, Informative)

    by shmlco (594907) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:58PM (#29660051) Homepage

    Of course, if it's a bargin you want you can also go to Apple's web site and buy refurbished Macs and save 10-20%.

    On the flip side, like certain cars Macs also have a fairly high resale value. After a year or so you might be able to resell that Mac for half (or more) of what you paid for it. Whereas after the same period of time you might be lucky to get 20-30% of your purchase price for that Dell off eBay or Craig's list. (And you had to use a Dell, to boot!)

  • Re:Here's why (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @01:08PM (#29660225)

    Actually, I just went through and customized a Dell Studio Slim with a larger hard drive (500GB, vs the mini's 320GB) and a faster processor (2.93Ghz vs 2.0Ghz) for $500, vs the Mac mini's $700.

  • Re:Here's why (Score:4, Informative)

    by MBGMorden (803437) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @01:16PM (#29660403)

    If that's true then most PCs must be of the "low end" type, Celeron rather than Core 2 Duo - right? Is that true?

    Absolutely true, which is why the CPU performance wars have most faded away except for hardcore gamers. Computer chips have been fast enough to do literally everything the vast majority of users want to do now for the last 5 years or more. RAM requirements have gone up in that time (on a newer OS anything under 2gb and it feels slow to me, though I have 4gb on my main machine), but I'd wager than 90% of users can't tell the difference for their tasks between any 1Ghz+ chip and the fastest quad-core on the market.

    The chip makers long ago figured out that the "budget" cpu market was much higher volume (though much lower margin).

    I'd bet that if Apple put out an honest to goodness budget system: small tower case, cheapo Celeron processor, 3.5" hard drive (lapop drives cost more), a regular old tray loading DVD drive, and that's it. No bluetooth, firewire, other other nonsense that the vast majority of users never use, then they'd sell them like hotcakes. They just don't want to because margins are low on such systems, and they know very well that even among their loyalists that's all most of them need, and people already paying gouged prices would flock to that system, cannibalizing their ridiculous markups.

  • Re:I have both... (Score:3, Informative)

    by phayes (202222) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @01:29PM (#29660627) Homepage
    You conveniently did not mention that the Mac underwent it's second major change of architecture about 4 years ago & that Apple's backward compatability after these migrations has been about as pain-free as possible.

    Why don't you ask those who bought Windows on non-Intel architectures how well Microsoft helped them once they decided that they were no longer pertinant for their bottom line? Hell, why don't you ask them how bad their support was for during the period microsoft pretended to give them support?

    I'm one of those who has both Macs & PC's at home. I had an original 68020 Mac II with A/UX, kept & upgraded it it for a decade, then moved on to PCs when Apple abandonned A/UX yet hadn't yet announced OS X. Now that OS X is stable I'm slowly moving back. That may stop if Apple's DRM lockout tendancies on the iPhone backpollute OS X...

    My current mix is new Mac & Ubuntu laptops & a few older PCs with a mix of Ubuntu & Windows. One way or another, my household will be windows free within 5 years when the older PC's are no longer useful.
  • Re:Here's why (Score:5, Informative)

    by Astadar (591470) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @01:35PM (#29660715)

    I spec'ed out the xoticpc as closely as I could to the MBP 17" stock model at $2499. It came to $1218.

    However, it has a 1400x900 display (vs 1920x1200), no wireless-n option, no GeForce 9400M/9600M GT graphics, no information about weight and, possibly most importantly, no information about battery life.

    While it does come in significantly less expensive, I don't think that you can argue that they are equivalent.

  • Re:Here's why (Score:3, Informative)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @01:37PM (#29660753) Homepage Journal

    We probably would also find that more Mac users have high-end sonic toothbrushes and Windows users have the regular kind.

    Mac users are more likely to have butt plugs and jars of K-Y in the top drawers of their nightstands, too, but I'm sure that's just coincidental.

    And they love show tunes and Streisand records. That's well-established.

  • Re:Here's why (Score:5, Informative)

    by jedidiah (1196) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @01:41PM (#29660813) Homepage

    Not quite.

    Dell offers a "tiny desktop" that is less than the Mac equivalent while having better specs.

    Furthermore, this "tiny desktop" can be upgraded with much more interesting options that simply aren't available from the Apple equivalent.

    The problem with the "specs games" that Apple fanboys like to play is the fact that a PC doesn't restrict you to one spec. One PC brand wont even do that.

    So I can replace my 09 mini with a $200 ION or get a much more expensive Dell that will blow the doors off the Mac.

    I can also get a semi-custom system for the same price as a mini that has most of what you would buy a Mac Pro for.

    Macs are more expensive because Apple Corp is confident that the faithful will bend over.

  • Re:I have both... (Score:2, Informative)

    by yyr (1289270) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @02:03PM (#29661135) Homepage

    My 10-year-old beige Power Macintosh G3 will run OS X 10.2, fully supported by Apple. It can also run OS X 10.4 using a third-party utility called XPostFacto.

    Of course, you'll need some upgrades (particularly RAM, and a CPU upgrade will help too) before it will work well, and some old technologies like the floppy drive and old serial ports are not supported. But OS X actually runs acceptably on this computer, if you don't mind waiting a few moments for things to happen. Obviously iMovie and GarageBand are out of the question on this old boy but Firefox and Mail run fine, which is enough for most people.

    I have a 450 MHz G3 in there now, a 10K RPM UW SCSI hard drive, and I think 448MB of RAM but I'd need to check...haven't powered it up in a while.

    Anyway, to get back to the original topic, I think one reason that some Mac users have more computers is because they tend to buy Macs again...but they tend to not want to get rid of their old machine. I have gotten rid of three Macs in my lifetime: my first, a PowerMac 6100, because it wouldn't post any more and wasn't worth fixing, a Power Mac 7600 I obtained secondhand that I had no further use for (and had faulty RAM), and someone else's Power Mac 6500 that they asked me to dispose of. I still have:

    • an old Powerbook 180 (still works great but battery is shot, bright 640x400 16-greyscale active matrix screen!)
    • the old G3 I mention above
    • Mac Mini G4 1.5 GHz, for e-mail, Web browsing and throwing together a few videos...iMovie HD doesn't seem to work as well on Intel.
    • iBook G4, which I use for Web browsing during evenings
    • white MacBook (2nd gen) I use to develop software (running Windows XP)

    And the odd thing that perhaps only other Mac users will understand is that I really enjoy using all of them, each in their own way.

    So now I'm curious about this... counting my PC, my fiancee's PCs and our non-Mac laptops and netbooks... we have, in total, 6 of those. So that's 11 computers in total, 5 of which are Macs... wow, that's more than I thought.

  • Re:Here's why (Score:3, Informative)

    by jasonwc (939262) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @02:34PM (#29661565)
    And their prices on the 13.3" Macbooks aren't that great either. For $1,000 you get a 2.13 Ghz C2D, 13.3" 1280x800 16:10 screen, 2 GB of DDR2 800 RAM, a 160 GB Hard Drive, an Nvidia 9400M chipset, 802.11n wireless + Bluetooth, a 5 hour battery and 5 lb. size.

    Here is what I got for $650 at Best Buy:

    Asus U80A:

    2.1 Ghz C2D
    14.1" 16:9 LED 1366x768 screen
    4 GB DDR2 800
    320 GB Hard Drive
    Integrated Intel 4500MHD Graphics
    802.11n Wireless, Gigabit Wired
    HDMI/VGA Out
    4 lbs, 7 hour battery (6 hours normal usage with wifi + browsing, 8 hours without browsing)

    So:

    Pros:
    - Equivilant CPU
    - Double the RAM
    - Double the hard drive space
    - 1 lb. lighter
    - 2 hour longer battery life.
    - $350 Cheaper!

    Cons:
    - No Bluetooth (added a USB bluetooth dongle for $15)
    - No dedicated graphics.

    Nonetheless, you can't play games on a Mac anyhow so the dedicated graphics doesn't get you much. My Integrated Intel graphics can hardware decode 1080p H.264 in MPC-HC (Blu-Ray + x264 encodes) which is what I wanted.

    With the ultra-bright 16:9 LED screen and hardware accelerated decoding, I can watch HD movies on battery which is great and the battery lasts all day. I've tested over 8 hours without wifi and 6+ with.

    The Macbook doesn't seem like a great deal to me.
  • Re:I have both... (Score:3, Informative)

    by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @02:41PM (#29661679)

    5 year old Mac hard to keep up to date?!

    What crack are you smoking and where can I get it.

    A 5 year old Mac would be something sold in 2004 (2009-5 = 2004), so that would be models like the iBook G4 (1Ghz), PB 12", iMac G5 (slim white - same case as the 1st gen intel iMac), Powerbook 15" G4 (1Ghz to 1.5Gz), Powermac G5 and Xserve G5.

    I have 3 Macs in that range (Powerbook 15" 1.5Ghz, iBook G4 and iMac G5 1.8Ghz.

    The Powerbook G4 is running on my desk *right now* with the latest version of 10.5 on it, running just fine. I even installed a security update for it that Apple released not long ago.

    Funny that for "obsolete hardware".

    10.6 is the first major shift Apple has made to finally put PPC to bed (ie, you can't run it on PPC) - when they switched to Intel they continued to roll universal binaries of everything and even kept the Classic environment running until long after it finally should have died for people who just couldn't let go of OS9 apps. So, up until the 10.6 release, the 2004 era macs on my desk (and even the headless iBook G3 I have that was rumbling along quite happily as a silent, book-sized file server) was untroubled by any "forced upgrades" that Apple was pushing at me - in fact, they have been very accommodating with backwards compatibility where possible (classic, rosetta, universal binaries, X-code dev tools with build settings that could target older OS builds [10.2, 10.3 and 1.4 as I remember]).

    You can "do things" with old Mac hardware that is just as vintage as 10 year and 5 year old PCs with just as much efficacy, you just seem to be of the opinion that Apple has been slamming doors unnecessarily to drive hardware sales.

  • Re:I have both... (Score:3, Informative)

    by je ne sais quoi (987177) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @02:44PM (#29661741)
    I'd like to see the GP put Vista on his 10 year old PC and then come tell us how well it runs. The only reason you can even put an OS like XP on a 10 year old PC is that MS didn't release a new operating system for a little over five years. I have been forced to run 10 year old PCs with XP on them, they run slowly, it doesn't matter that you can technically install the software, the user experience is garbage.
  • Re:Here's why (Score:3, Informative)

    by mjwx (966435) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @10:47PM (#29666161)

    This idea that Mac users are buying an image is simply nonsense. They are buying a feature set:

    The idea that Mac users are buying a feature set is simply nonsense. They are buying the image:

    The "look and feel" of a Mac.
    The elitist culture.
    Shiny white box.
    Smugness.

    You'll find Mac users care about Aesthetics then care about Unix or application authoring (which as the iphone attests to, is not easy).

  • Re:I have both... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Waccoon (1186667) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @02:53AM (#29667267)

    Are you sure all the features of OSX are intact and working with your PPC unit?

    I bought a PPC Mac to test Java compatibility after a number of people complained that my apps weren't working on the Mac. I would have been better off buying a paperweight.

Vitamin C deficiency is apauling.

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