Apple's web professional market share

When computer market share statistics are mentioned, Apple is usually said to have something like 2-3 % of the PC market worldwide. Maybe that's an accurate number, maybe it isn't. For this site, however, the numbers are completely different.

That got me thinking about why. I am a Mac user myself, but I don't write about Macs or Apple or Mac OS apps specifically. I mostly write about web standards, accessibility and usability. Most of the time in a pretty technical way, too. So why are 15 to 20 percent of my visitors Mac users?

Does it reflect the web design and development community as a whole, or does it just show that those interested in the subjects I tend to write about are Mac users to a greater extent than the general population?

On sites that focus on visual design, a large percentage of Mac using visitors is to be expected. Since my posts tend to be pretty technical, or at least not specifically focused on the visual part of web design, I don't think that's the case here.

My theory is that there indeed are many Mac users among web standards adopters and advocates. But why? I can think of a couple of reasons:

  • Future proofing your ability to browse the web. One of my reasons for picking up web standards is very selfish. I saw it as a way of making sure that I would be able to keep using my Mac to browse the web. Come to think of it, there are tens of millions of other Mac users, so maybe I'm not being so selfish after all.

    A few years ago, it looked like the web was heading towards becoming a gigantic Microsoft-only application. More and more sites were greeting me with Don't use Internet Explorer on a Windows machine? Tough luck. Go away.. Not in those exact words, but that was the message. I wanted to do whatever I could to stop that disease from spreading to the entire web.

  • Mac users are outside the Microsoft sphere of influence. Many web developers are so stuck in their Microsoft world that they hardly know that alternatives exist. And most of those who do know don't care. It's all about Microsoft for them. They use Microsoft tools on a Microsoft operating system and check their stuff in a Microsoft browser, completely unaware of the world outside. Not so for Mac users. Maybe we're more willing to try alternatives. Well, we're actually forced to since there are no Mac versions of any Microsoft developer tools. And Internet Explorer for the Mac is dead.

I think those are two important reasons. There may be more.

What are your statistics telling you? Do all sites focused on web standards and accessibility have lots of Mac using visitors? If so, what do you think is the reason for that?

Posted on October 5, 2004 in Web Standards