August 2010
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Day August 4, 2010

70 percent of college freshmen are entering school with Macs [Updated 2]

Increasingly, companies are giving their employees a choice to either use Microsoft Windows PCs or Apple Inc.’s Macs, the analyst said. And, increasingly, employees are choosing Mac over Windows. To boot, Chowdhry said 70 percent of college freshman are entering school with Macs, up about 10 percent to 15 percent from a year ago.

via Microsoft shares retreat after downgrade.

Remarkable indeed.  I remember when in 2007 40% Macs was headline news at Princeton, having quadrupled from 10% in 2003.

[Update] Chowdry’s estimate seems an exaggeration but Mac share on campus seems to be growing. The most current data shows a probable 50% penetration in private colleges (my estimation is 70% is accurate for Ivy League schools) but a probable 20% penetration at public schools.  Still way above retail share in the US (10%) and way above corporate share of practically naught.

[Update 2] According to survey data from Student Monitor, among those who planned to purchase a new computer, 87% planned to buy a laptop. And among those students 47% planned to buy a Mac.
47 percent of 87 percent is a lot more believable. The chart from Fortune Tech shows that intent to buy for Apple went from 14% to 47% since 2005.

More data, some courtesy of Macobserver readers:

RIM's decomposing innovation

It’s hard to get excited about the new RIM Blackberry Torch.  It’s not exciting in a positive way and not exciting in a negative way. It’s just more of the same and the same is not all that bad. Then again, the same is not all that good either. Every piece of the Torch product is playing catch-up with others’ innovations without enhancing the core innovation RIM itself brought into the market years ago.

RIM has a significant but deteriorating share and is a company that has done very well as an entrant in a space dominated by larger incumbents.  But there is a strong smell of Palm about it.  The musty smell of decomposing innovation. Wall Street seems to smell it too (two year stock price chart relative to AAPL below)

The problem seems to be that, like in Palm’s case, mobile computing is a game for big companies.  If you ask why Palm and RIM became uncompetitive you get two different reasons. Palm could not do hardware and distribution well and RIM can’t do software well. But these reasons have remedies which neither company can bring to bear: resources and processes. Palm did not have the resources for distribution and production and RIM did not have the processes to be a software platform company.

Their values and priorities are adequate but competitiveness today, in this market, requires projecting market and development power.

I can only conclude that RIM is simply too weak to make it in the long run.

An iTunes dialog box designed to bring a tear to an iPhone owner's eye

Tear of joy, that is.

Georg Friedrich Händel – Oratorio – Messiah, HWV 56 Part 2, No. 44 Chorus

Performed by The English Concert & Choir

An apology

This site is fairly new. It has been around for only about 6 months. In that time there have been 393 postings and 586 comments. It has been read 100k times and I’ve moved it three times to accommodate this growth. Lately, thanks to links from John Gruber’s Daring Fireball, views have increased dramatically (to over 10k/day). This has been a blessing but also a dilemma because the traffic is overwhelming for the humble hosting setup I have. So much so that the site was down due to overload much of yesterday.

I apologize for this downtime.

I am trying to find a solution and have implemented a few optimizations (thanks to my lovely wife’s suggestions).  I also turned on full text RSS feeds so readers don’t need to hit the site for full articles.  In the mean time I hope readers will be forgiving and return even if the site is overwhelmed.

Additional suggestions on how to maintain a high quality of service are welcome.