Mac Awareness May Have Hit Tipping Point

After spending some time "working" at Starbucks, I'm seeing a few signs Apple may have already hit a tipping point with Mac OS X, particularly with laptops. This hasn't come in the form of a giant thunderbolt launching down from the sky, but just some subtle hints.

For example, a few different people have seen me using a Powerbook (too overprotective to expose the MacBook to the real world so far) and asked about it, sometimes mentioning that they're thinking about buying a Mac. Even those that don't say they're buying one are at least aware of them. One person wanted to know about the Intel-based machines, particularly what the speed was like. My response was simply "stupid fast."

Contrast this to a few years ago, where people may have noticed an Apple logo, but wouldn't think much about it, much less ask about how I like the machine. Even just a fifteen second demo of TextMate got some attention in one case.

My little anecodotes obviously aren't enough to go on by themselves, but putting all the pieces together, I get a feeling that big things are underway. Just looking around blogs, it's obvious that Apple laptops are springing up everywhere at conferences, and the direct and indirect coverage that Apple received for the announcement of Boot Camp is more than just a blip.

In particular, it drew attention to the fact that Apple has a new generation of hardware available this year, and it's not some oddball brew of nonstandard hardware -- it uses Intel chips and can run Windows and Linux. It also appears to run Windows games very well.

While Apple has hit several stability milestones in the past, it feels like they might be entering an era of real, solid growth. Has anybody else seen signs that things are moving in this direction?
Design Element
Mac Awareness May Have Hit Tipping Point
Posted Apr 26, 2006 — 11 comments below


stridey — Apr 26, 06 1131

The biggest sign I saw is that one of my die-hard Windows friends told me he was thinking about buying a Mac and asked me about them... but hadn't even heard about Boot Camp!

Justin Blanton — Apr 26, 06 1132

There's no doubt about it Scott, big things are afoot. I too have noticed an increase in general awareness and curiosity, and more to the point, I've been receiving a lot more e-mails with very specific Mac questions (usually related to the Intel move and available software applications). The world will come around eventually. :)

ANdres Valenciano — Apr 26, 06 1133

Sure and not only in the US.

Costa Rica is a small country, most of the people that use computers has beige-boxes with pirated copies of Windows. But in less than two years the distributor for Apple here ( I remember they are in the business since the 80s) has opened 3 stores in malls.

Now, this is important, why? The average income here is much, much, much less than the US average, even for "good salaries" so, even taking this in consideration people are much more interested in Apple stuff.

Sure Ipods help a lot but laptops are a very attractive product because they are competitive in price with similar Windows laptops.

Zac White — Apr 26, 06 1134

Yep. My exact same friends that were the first to get iPods are starting to get Macs. The explosion is nye!

Oliver — Apr 27, 06 1135

A couple of weeks ago I was on a train from Belgium to Holland. As I sat there with my powerbook I noticed 3 other people with laptops in the train, and yes they were all macs! That's quite something when just 5 years ago (when I switched) I had a hard time finding a store to buy OS X.

Paolo Bosetti — Apr 27, 06 1136

You are absolutely right, I have exactly the same feeling here in Italy.
I'm not sure this is a good thing... Maybe I'm wrong, but mass products are usually affected by low quality issues.

mardoen — Apr 27, 06 1137

Same here (Berlin) -- and I'm wondering about the fact that cafes with wifi usually have at least 50% Macs.

adam — Apr 27, 06 1138

As a mac techo in Sydney, Australia I have noticed a marked increase in awareness of and respect for Mac OS X. You see more students with powerbooks, more at conferences and G5s appear in the background on TV.
Oh yeah - we're selling more too :)

James — Apr 27, 06 1139

Well, not specifically now, but last semester I took a rather small CS networking class (about ten people or so showed up regularly). Three people had iBooks. I was the only person with a non-Apple laptop.

... And six months later, here I am on a Mac.

David Weiss — May 02, 06 1151

Scott, you are absolutely right! It's an amazing time to be a Mac user, but even more exciting if you are a Mac developer.

Matt — May 02, 06 1152

I know as a college student here in the States (Cincinnati-College of Mount St Joesph) that the art kids who get powerbooks are looked upon as if they are the luckiest kids around. I had to switch back to windows because of my major, but now that I am going to Xavier University (Cincinnati) I am going to splurge and treat myself to a Macbook Pro. But its amazing how people have a Mac and what even gets me sometimes how many people are still using G3 macs!


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