Are Mac sales driven by "Intel Inside"? I think it's more to do with "Windows Inside"

Are Mac sales driven by "Intel Inside"? I think it's more to do with "Windows Inside"

Summary: Over on Apple Matters there's an interesting piece by Chris Seibold that suggests there's a correlation between Apple switching to Intel CPUs and the dramatic increase in Mac sales. Is it really "Intel Inside" that's selling Macs? Or is it more to do with "Windows Inside"?


Over on Apple Matters there's an interesting piece by Chris Seibold that suggests there's a correlation between Apple switching to Intel CPUs and the dramatic increase in Mac sales. Is it really "Intel Inside" that's selling Macs? Or is it more to do with "Windows Inside"?

Pre switch Mac sales were flattish. After the first Intel powered Macs came out sales trending decidedly up and once the transition was complete Mac sales took off.

Seibold then goes on to look at, and dismiss, the notion that Mac sales were driven by Vista (or user's poor reaction to the OS) and Mac OS X refinement. Breaking down the sales into desktop Macs and notebook Macs, Seibold concludes that it's the superior Intel processor in the notebooks that's driving sales, given that it's an explosion in portable sales that are really driving Mac sales.

It's a compelling read (and I encourage you to read the piece), but I'm not convinced.


Because I have a hard time believing that most people know what brand the CPU in their Mac is, and of the minority that does, few care. The days of a processor brand name or MHz/GHz selling a system is behind us (OK, power sells to hardcore and power users, but as far as the buying public go, it's irrelevant). The idea that it was the lure of "Intel Inside" driving people into Apple Stores to buy Macs doesn't make any sense to me. Joe "Buying" Public doesn't think like that.

I have a different idea, one that's linked to the Intel CPU, but not directly.

Boot Camp. Yep. My take on the Mac sales explosion is that it was the ability to set up Windows on a Mac as a dual boot OS was what really made Macs both viable and relevant. It allowed people to make the leap to the new OS, but still have a safety net in case things didn't work out. Compatibility was no longer a sticking point and people could switch between operating systems to suit their needs.

Note: I know that apps such as Parallels allowed people to do this, but the leap to a third-party app is too much of a leap for most.

Intel CPUs made Boot Camp possible, so in a way it was Intel that helped boost Mac sales, but only indirectly. What really boosted Mac sales was Windows.

Topics: Intel, Apple, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Windows

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  • Very interesting

    I'm really gonna have to agree with you on this one. I hear a lot of the "my Mac can run a PC but your PC can not run my Mac" too often, and I agree that its only possible because APPL switched to intel (and MS EULA doesn't require you to have a Windows logo slapped on the hardware that runs it's OS).

    I doubt MS minds though, cos it means more Windows licenses will still be sold. :)
    • I think that it's more likely

      that 2/3rds of the Windows installations on Macs are Torrent images so
      Microsoft probably don't make a great deal out of them.
    • Dual Boot

      Now it's all x86 format (Intel) I'm pretty sure you can format a hard drive to dual boot Mac OSX and Windows XP, meaning you can have more than one partion on your drive and can run either Mac OSX or Windows XP
  • Not a bad call

    Surely a lot of switchers had a key Windows app or two that
    they didn't want to leave behind--at least until they got
    comfortable with what's available for OSX. Having a nice
    dual-boot computer gives them the best of both worlds.
    Better yet is the inexpensive emulator like Parallels, which
    not only lets you avoid rebooting, but also allows you to
    share data between worlds.
    • Dual Boot

      Again if you have two sep partitions you don't need an emulator if you know what you're doing. I did tyhe same with a Linux distro and Windows XP
  • For myself

    I must have Windows "available" for my work. Though I probably use Windows once or twice a year for work emergencies, and Citrix has allowed me to use Mac OS for 99% of my work needs, though I could go 100% Mac OS now. But I could not have taken the initial plunge on Mac if not for dual boot. So yes, for me it was 100% because of "Windows inside", NOT Intel inside.
  • Let it run Linux

    and EVERYONE will buy a Mac, and the age of Windozes will fade away by next year!!
    Ron Bergundy
    • It CAN run Linux

      So what's your excuse now?
      • It doesn't come that way from Apple

        Like the ability to order a PC with Linux.

        If Apple made a mac with Linux installed from the factory, then people would be buying them in droves!!!

        The ONLY reason PCs with Linux from dell or HP or Compaq don't sell that great is because theses people don't want Dell or Hp or Compaq hardware.

        If people had a choice to run Linux on the mac without any software to make it possible, then Mac sales would probally quadruple in about a 3 month time frame.
        Ron Bergundy
        • OK, that tears it... you're a moron.

          [i]The ONLY reason PCs with Linux from dell or HP or Compaq don't sell that great is because theses people don't want Dell or Hp or Compaq hardware.[/i]

          LOL!!!! Yeah, you go right ahead and keep saying that... prove to the world that you're a moron.
          Hallowed are the Ori
          • Then why else do you believe

            that for companys like Dell or HP, that they're not selling more Linux systems then they do?

            Because people don't want a safe, secure, unhackable and virus and mallware free PC?

            no, because people WANT Linux, they just don't want their hardware!!
            Ron Bergundy
          • Or they want to run Adobe or Microsoft products. [nt]

          • Because, generally speaking, nobody wants Linux

            While you and your circle of friends and acquaintances might want Linux, the 60M copies of Win7 sold (mostly to consumers) clearly indicates that MOST PC users would rather buy Windows than move to a free OS that doesn't offer them what they want.
          • not true

            most users are happy to run linux, but most
            don't know that they have a choice that isn't a
            mac. and most also don't know that it is free.
            there are a few who have tried linux before, but
            were unsatisfied with it because it was an old
            version. the linux kernel and the whole system
            in general has evolved massively from what it
            was even 5 years ago. linux is being developed
            at a much faster rate than widows or mac. as a
            result the linux system may soon surpass windows
            or mac in their ever growing feature set. i
            migrate people over to linux as one of the
            services i provide as a business owner.
            customers are generally very happy with linux.
            only one of the systems i installed for people
            is no longer running linux. and that system has
            since been thrown away. linux is a viable option
            for some. but even i will admit that there are
            few games that run well in linux as of yet, and
            wine is generally not a valid solution. i love
            linux and i love the games that there are, but
            until we can get wine working well enough for
            games or enough native games, we will never have
            the massive userbase of the other os's. we have
            gained ground, but there is still much work to
            be done.
          • Amen to that!

            You nailed it.
          • Unreal. Completely.

            So bizarre its like right out of a comic book.

            People don't want Linux because it cannot do all the things Windows can. Its that simple.

            Get used to it.

            If Linux does what you want it to, great. But seriously, get used to the idea that the vast majority of people using Windows do not have security problems and that Windows is still easier to use then Linux.

            Again, one last time, GET USED TO IT.
          • Linux not as Easy as Windows?

            Sorry I am sure I read that, can you please point me towards a live version of Windows/OS X that runs from a CD, installs to a flashdrive or a DVD RW.

            Can you show me any other OS that has the support, software and updates that any flavour of linux has. Point to any OS that allows you to make it how you want it to react, that does not have restriction to what you can do to it as a power user given but you can also make it indestructible to the clown user.

            I have never figured what people buy Apple for, Windows because it is the main stay of business and home computing is quite clear, but Apple OS?. Linux used to be a geek thing but now it has grown up and is far superior to anything else out in the OS market, secure, fast, reliable, individual, extremely stylish, Independence of large corporations and their control.

            Also just to put it in context Apple and Linux has the same share of the market, around 10%. So keep your Windows/OS X but don't flame the beautifully free and open Linux it is and should be the way forward NO RESTRAINTS.

            Gnu day to you.

            P.S. I better say I would not want Linux on an Apple as I would want a PC that had power behind it not a nice finish and lacking in balls. This is not to say you need a powerful PC to run Linux as I am sure it is the only one that would install in just about anything you put it into.
          • Aside from games,

            (which it seems Macs have a little trouble running as well). If you name an app or feature of win* then I guarantee I can find something to do the same or better under gnu on any distro. GUARANTEE.
            ftr - long time debian/'buntu server admin & I occasionally dual boot vista on my home box so I can... you guessed it, play games.
          • Out of orbit godhelpme I will die of laughter

            Waaaa HA!!! The Majority of Windows users DO have
            problems! Get real damn! A Trip to Geek Squad is
            an excuse to drop HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS Of course
            this is no problem when you are a tech cashing in
            $$$ and of course they don't have a problem unless
            its bad checks. I have never seen a black and
            white bug before either right? No need for that in
            the Windows world.
          • Dude, you will never convince them.

            Linux users are like the Hare Krishna folks that
            used to hang out at the airports. All they can
            hear is themselves speaking and the sound of their tambourines. Everyone is mistaken except them. Mac
            users are the Christian Scientists of computers.