Gathering Numbers 
How many folks around the world use Macs as their main machine? To satisfy my curiosity and 
other staff members, I did a little research of my own. Like all good researchers, I started 
googling for sales figures: 
There is Al Fasoldt s article from March 2004, 
http://aroundcny.com/technofile/texts/mac033104.html
 and Dennis Sellers  article in April 2004: 
http://www.macsimumnews.com/index.php/archive/37/
. John Papola wrote about focusing on 
specific markets and percentages in January 2005, 
http://homepage.mac.com/jpapola/iblog/C142463209/E1354383806/
 and this comes from the 
MacDailyNews, June 2005,  
http://macdailynews.com/index.php/weblog/comments/5933/
.  
Meanwhile, SlashDot gathered commentary, 
http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/06/05/0548225&from=rss
. 
I love this quote from SlashDot; 
" While I don t have any hard numbers to provide, from what I ve seen working in a 
Mac/PC repair shop is that we see a lot more old Macs come in for service than old PCs. 
People are still bringing in old grey PowerPC laptops and Performas. They use them 
every day. When we suggest they upgrade, they say no, this machine does everything I 
need it to. And that s a machine that s 10 years old. It won t do everything I would 
personally want, but for these grandmothers and so forth, it s still operational and useful. 
We do see PCs come in that are getting near 10 years old, very, very rarely, and it s 
almost always to do a data transfer to a new machine. You just don t see someone with a 
10 year old PC that says; "this machine still does everything I need it to." Now that might 
be a statement about the user or about the computer, but I tend to think it s a mix of both. 
For that reason I would expect the install base for Macs to be surprisingly large. All said 
and counted, I might go as far as to say that 30% of all Macs manufactured, ever, are still 
in use today. If I had to guess wildly on PCs, I d place that number at somewhere closer 
to 10%." 
However, I tend to disagree a little with the commentor's percentages. According to Apple, there 
were 60 million Macs that had been sold worldwide by 1997. These were mostly pre G3s 
http://www.theapplecollection.com/various/why_prefer_mac.html
.  Many are still in use, but we 
probably can heavily discount how many are in use today.  
The G3's began shipping in 1997 and Peter Perlslo has captured a timeline at 
http://haxor.dk/articles/apple.html
 and so has 
http://www.apple history.com/
. If you want the 
info on each Mac model, you can always download MacTracker at 
http://www.mactracker.ca/
.  
  MPN, LLC 2005 macCompanion 
Page 6 
August 2005, Volume 3 Issue 8 




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