Mobile products like iPhone and iPad may get all the attention—and drive huge sales—but Macs and Lion operating system are also generating big momentum for the company, CEO Tim Cook said during Tuesday’s iPhone-focused Apple event.
Cook said Mac OS X Lion—available only through the Mac App Store—had been downloaded 6 million times since it launched to the public on July 20. Cook noted that Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system took about 20 weeks to reach about 10 percent of its installed base; according to Cook, Lion hit that mark in two weeks—one-tenth of the time.
That might simply be an indication that Apple’s customer base is highly enthusiastic, but other metrics show that the base is expanding. Cook said there are now 60 million Mac users around the world; the MacBook Pro and iMac have been the best-selling notebook and desktop computers in the United States, with the result that Mac has sextupled the PC industry’s rate of growth in the last year—by 23 percent, compared to 4 percent—a trend that stretches back to every business quarter over the last five years. Macs now comprise one of every four PCs sold in-store, Cook said, and there’s still room for Apple’s computer business to grow.
If the ceiling is still high for Macs, Cook said, the market has matured for MP3s. But the iPod remains an important business for Apple, Cook said, with 45 million iPods sold during the year ending in June; half of those devices went to first-time buyers. Apple continues to retain more than 70 percent of the MP3 player market with more than 300 million iPods sold since the first model was introduced a decade ago; Sony, Cook noted, took 30 years to sell 220 million Walkman units. And all that hardware is helping Apple on another sales front: iTunes has now sold 16 billion downloads of music and other entertainment media, making it the No. 1 music store in the world.
Cook’s recap of iPod sales came on day that Apple not only rolled out iPod nano and iPod touch updates, but when Microsoft stopped production on the Zune.
Apple’s other mobile devices—in addition to attracting publicity and critical praise for the company—are also doing big business. Despite stories that the Android operating system has overtaken Apple for smartphone marketshare, Cook says the iPhone is still outselling all other models of smartphone—with a 125 percent rise in sales during the second quarter, compared to 74 percent for the entire industry. The iPhone 4 has comprised more than half of all phone sales in Apple history, Cook said, aided by its consistent No. 1 rating on consumer satisfaction surveys—the iPhone has topped the J.D. Power survey six consecutive times. Even with that success, Cook said, there’s still plenty of growth potential; the iPhone still comprises just 5 percent of all mobile phones (including non-smartphones) around the world.
Scott Forstall, Apple’s senior vice president of iOS Software, said that the operating system—which runs on both iPhone and iPad—now accounts for 61 percent of the mobile web market. The iPad has also ranked high in customer satisfaction, and is growing in institutional use: About 1,000 K-12 schools and 1,000 universities in the United States have distributed the tablet to their students; the iPad is also increasingly replacing paper manuals and logbooks in airline cockpits. More than 80 percent of hospitals are testing the device; 92 percent of Fortune 500 companies are doing the same.
All those iOS devices have driven app sales. Forstall said there are now half-a-million apps in the App Store, with more than 140,000 made specifically for the iPad. Apple’s customers have downloaded more than 18 billion apps. And Apple has paid more than $3 billion to App Store developers.