In a recent discussion at work, I was giving my views on the iOS platform as compared to other smartphone platforms. Nothing much really as I mainly touched on the topic of my first experience with iOS and how I left it for a some time. Naturally, the discussions soon gravitated to Apple as a company and finally settled on the Mac. Someone brought out the point that most busy, working professionals, if given a choice, would immediately flock to the Mac. Given that view, the opinion was that the Mac’s market penetration in Malaysia should be hovering around 10%, if not slightly below that.
I beg to differ on this view. Although I am a sworn user of the Mac platform, I find that a realistic figure for the Malaysia market should be around 5%, if not slightly higher. I also differed on the view that busy, working professionals would flock to the platform because I know of acquaintances who choose to stay away from the platform even if they are given the opportunity to give it a go. I believe that this is due to the human nature in general of shunning change. Regardless how user-friendly the Mac is, there is still a learning curve involved. When I first switched to a Mac back in 2003, it took me close to a month before I became completely comfortable to use it as my primary workhorse.
In light of this discussion, I ventured into the net to see how far off was my prediction. Although I did not find any data in relation to Malaysia, I did find one that had Mac penetration rates for our southern neighbor – Singapore. If Singapore, the country with the world’s 3rd highest smartphone penetration rate (Most of which I believe are iOS devices, based on my observation from the many trips there) can only amass a 10.69% Mac penetration rate, I doubt Malaysia is that close. In addition, most people who I come across still think that the Mac is an expensive platform, which is not the case unless you’re in the market for something entry-level.
Back to the discussion in question, the guy that takes the cake was a Mac user who carried his MacBook Pro into the room. When asked for his opinion about Mac penetration rates in Malaysia, he responded with a resounding… 20%!