The Mac is seeing a shift in new users

Half of recent Mac buyers are switchers from rival platforms

About half of recent Mac purchases are not made by long-time Apple loyalists, but are instead switchers from PCs and Chromebooks.

The Apple product line has long competed in a market dominated by various operating systems and manufacturers. Notably, the rivalry between macOS and Windows has been a staple of tech discourse for decades.

However, recent analyses reveal a surprising trend — many Windows PC and Chromebook users are now opting for Mac computers.

A recent study conducted by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) dives into the backgrounds of Mac laptop and desktop customers, particularly those who have recently made the switch to Mac. About one-third of Mac buyers in the past year were previously Windows-based PC users.

Additionally, prior Google Chromebook owners represented 16% of new Mac customers. All told, the data suggests that nearly 60% of Mac buyers in the last year were new to the platform.

Bar chart comparing Mac (43%), PC (35%), and Chromebook (16%) market share percentages for 2023.

Past computer ownership (year ending in December)

The iPhone remains a crucial factor for the platform shifters.

“It feels like we are back in 2001 at the first Apple store, with newly minted Geniuses actively trying to convert PC owners into Mac buyers, CIRP speculates. “In fact, we think iPhone, which arrived six years later, is continuing the job that the Apple Store started.”

The iPhone revolutionized the smartphone market and now serves gateway for users to explore other Apple products, including Mac computers. This effect is reflected in the data presented by CIRP on Wednesday.

While the Mac was historically been a foundational product for Apple, the roles reversed a few years after the iPhone released. Originally, Mac users spurred iPhone adoption because the then pre-iCloud device needed a Mac to serve as a “hub” for organizing content.

Now though, the iPhone is Apple’s primary product that drives growth and sales. Consumers are still switching to the iPhone, many of whom may be PC or Chromebook users.

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