Apparently the Mac bug bites hard

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Editorial, Random Thoughts

In his recent keynote Steve Jobs was quick to point out that 50% of the customers buying Macs at the Apple Stores are new customers. Now that is cool and Mac sales are obviously good, but one thing has been puzzling me. I only buy a new Mac once every 3 years or so and most Mac owners I know are at the same, or an even slightly longer, buying pace. Apple reported a 20% increase in Mac sales year over year for the 2nd quarter of 2006. So who is buying all these Macs? What is going on here?

One theory I have for this trend comes from an experience I had just last night, but the same scenario has played itself out many times over the past year. While at the Apple Store checking out the new Mac Pro there was a guy next to me doing the same. We got to talking over specs and other stuff and I soon discovered he was a recent switcher and was considering purchasing the Mac Pro for his business. He told me his first Apple purchase was an iPod and because of his experience with the iPod, plus the arrival of the Intel Macs and BootCamp, he felt comfortable enough with Apple to buy a MacBook Pro. After the MacBook Pro he picked up an 23″ HD Apple Cinema display to use with his aging PC, but the graphics card was not compatible with his old motherboard. He was now at the Apple Store to return the display and while there decided to just replace the old PC with a new Mac Pro and 30″ HD Cinema display. He also told me he may pick up a Mac Mini for his wife sometime in the near future.

So you see what is going on here?

This guy switched and in the course of a few months went from a PC user to the owner of (potentially) three Macs. And this is not the only story like this I have heard over the past year. Both Victor Cajiao (Typical Mac User) and Tim Verpoorten (Mac Reviewcast) switched and became owners of multiple Macs rather rapidly.

Macs are a disease (and I mean that in a good way). The Mac infects you and spreads like a virus. There is no cure and it will quickly be passed to family and friends. I myself have three Macs in my household which are all in active use and my immediate family, save one, are all own Macs. Now, I am not saying PC users don’t have multiple systems in their homes too, but often times their second PC is more of a toy for the kids and is used to keep real viruses out.

So I guess it’s true. Apple does have viruses. The good news is, the viruses are the Macs themselves.

There are 35 comments on Apparently the Mac bug bites hard:

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  1. Joe | Aug 11 2006 - 01:10

    Very true. I bought a 4G iPod, then a video iPod about 8 months later, then the new Macbook soon after that right when it came out. I’m a very happy switcher.

  2. ChrisM | Aug 11 2006 - 01:12


    Spot on!!

    I bought a 3g iPod – my first ever “Mac Experience”. I then bought my wife a iPod Mini (Silver, 4GB). We then bought 2 iPod Shuffle’s (1GB).

    I then bought an Airport Extreme to stream my iTunes music. Next I bought a PowerBook G4, and a 5G 60GB iPod with Video.

    I now have 2 Airport Extremes and a Base Station, and have just ordered a Mac Mini.

    Bought my first Mac in January :-)

    Best disease know to man :-)

  3. Seth | Aug 11 2006 - 01:34

    I concur, this hypothesis sounds like it could very well be true. I work at a public library where free Wi-fi is provide and well, macs are in here all the time. From old iBooks to brand new 17 inch Macbook Pros, macs are growing like a virus. This is just an estimate but i would say that at least half or a tad more than half of the the portable laptops coming in have the lush Apple logo illuminating on the lid. I am very please and shocked by the outcome too. In many nooks and crannies people are surfing on macs. There are also people using plain jane PC’s, but i didn’t say they had smiles on their faces.

  4. Leonard | Aug 11 2006 - 02:47

    Great article! You hit nail on the head for me. I started last year with my first Mac mini G4, than after that my wife needed a new laptop; and so I purchased ibook. Than shortly after Macworld in Jan. it was a iMac intel for me. Also my company decided to purchase two iMac intels. (One for me) Finally I a Macbook. Now that should be it I hope.. My wallet is hurting. :)

  5. Chuck A. Spear | Aug 11 2006 - 02:00

    Yes agreed and supported. If only I had the coin to deck my whole family out in apple.

  6. entaj | Aug 11 2006 - 02:32

    Agreed! I switched 1,5 year ago. Now my whole family,and my girlfriend has a new mac, each of them happy switcher.

  7. Caleb | Aug 11 2006 - 02:23

    I bought my first iPod the summer of 2004, a 3g 15gig. That winter I sold my custom built PC to my friend and bought a 12″Powerbook. I couldn’t be happier. I used to think macs were for people who didn’t understand computers, now I am a total convert and follow every bit of news about the company, have watched the past 5 years of keynotes, and bought Apple Stock. Many of my college friends just bought MacBooks for school. I am excited about the bright future for the mac.

  8. macFanDave | Aug 11 2006 - 02:31

    Good story . . . crappy headline!

    I made my in-laws get a Mac mini for web surfing, e-mail and card games. They were just getting too much spyware and adware when they wer on Windows.

  9. Scott | Aug 11 2006 - 02:25

    Brilliantly put Adam!!

  10. Neil Forker | Aug 11 2006 - 03:12

    I have a similar story. I built a screaming PC at the end of 2004. I used it for a few months before I purchased a 40gb iPod to use with it. I eventually upgraded to a 60gb iPod (these were both Photo iPods, btw).

    In the meantime, the company I work for was clearing out old machines. They had a PowerMac G3 (one of the old Beige ones) that was no longer being used, so I took it. It was loaded with Mac OS 8.5, so I started looking around to see what was available for this machine. I was able to get a copy of OS 9.2.2 on eBay. So, I went forward with upgrading the OS on the machine, and I was floored by how incredibly simple it was.

    This got me thinking: The iPod is simple to use and so is this OLD Mac. AND the old Mac was fast for as old as it was and what software I had for it. I began to look into the newer Macs to see what they were like.

    I subscribed to the MacCast during this time, and I started asking Adam questions about the Macs abilities compared to the system I hsd just built. With the info in hand, I decided to sell the custom system, and I purchased an iMac G5 20″ (ALS). Within 3 months, I had purchased a Mac Mini for my daughters to use, and recently I purchased a black MacBook to replace a dying Dell Inspiron.

    ALSO, I purchased an iPod Nano 4GB for my wife, a 1GB for one of my daughters and a older 20gb iPod (when they were still available) for another daughter. I even talked my father-in-law into buying a 60gb 5Gen iPod.

    I think my family has been officially assimilated.

  11. Austin | Aug 11 2006 - 05:11

    Wow based on that story I’m getting really excited right now. I am saving for my first mac, a Macbook, and I’m hoping to switch my parents over to the mac, as well. They both have windows machines which are SLOW so I hope they will switch too.

  12. Ronnie | Aug 11 2006 - 05:46

    I am about to switch to the Mac… I am desperately saving money to get a 20″ iMac.
    I am gonna wait until 2007 when Adobe products become universal since I heavily relay on then.

    I have been saving for the past few months, and I am already thinking of buying a MacBook after I get the iMac.

    I have convinced my computing teacher to switch.
    I have convinced my spanish teacher to switch.
    I have convinced some of my friends to switch.
    All my friends say I talk too much about macs.

    I am sick of Windows, so I’ve been wondering if i’m gonna be able to wait until 2007 and resist the temptation of spending all my money.
    I think I will need to buy at least something cheaper like a mac mini for now.

  13. Rich A | Aug 11 2006 - 05:59

    Right on the money with this one Adam . I say new MACS for everyone, Mr. Gates will pick up the tab!

  14. Austin | Aug 11 2006 - 06:14

    And by the way, Adam, GREAT article!

  15. Dave | Aug 11 2006 - 07:31

    Macs are like viruses…I’ll go along with that. Except there is one remedy for that *viral attack* and that as everyone knows is money or lack thereof.
    I still a college student for another year and I can tell you it sucks. Tuition goes up. Books go up. Parking goes up, and this happens every semester. Gas and rent go up to. Most students can only work part-time and even then for low wages. I realize Apple does give students a discount, but us Mac Addicts that are still in college can rarely afford the latest and greatest Mac when it comes out.

  16. Missy | Aug 11 2006 - 09:04

    Funny you should write this, Adam – I was just thinking about how I started with an iBook, just to ‘see wwhat OSX was all about’ and now I have four iPods (two minis, a nano, and a video) a Powerbook and an iMac 20′ Intel, and I was in the configurator playing with Mac Pro configurations looking to replace the one remaining PC server in the house. Definitely viral!!!!

  17. Ben Whetstone | Aug 11 2006 - 09:57

    Hey adam,
    You could not be more correct.
    Here is how it went for us…

    Blue 4gb iPod Mini – Christmas time 2004
    Mac Mini – December 2006
    MacBook – June 2006
    30 gb iPod (black) – June 2006, Back to school promotion
    17″ Intel iMac – July 2006
    and another 30 gb iPod (black) – June 2006, Back to school promotion

    So there are six apple products within 2 years, starting with the iPod, then a total switch from PC to mac, we just sold our last PC last week and now we are an all Apple family.

    So I totally see where Steve is right on with his data and your theory is most likely correct Adam.

    PS, we will probably add another white MacBook for a soon to be graduate from nusing school.

  18. lars | Aug 11 2006 - 11:11

    the best windows system ever was the 3.0 then came the 95 which I used the first time in 97. in the late 98 I saw the light. I was introduce to a mac at around that tim ethe iMac was introduced.

    summer 2000 I bought my self an iMac DV 20gb. since I was travelling a lot between England and Denmark. I studied in England. I decided to get a PowerBook. I got the PowerBook October 01. I still got my titanium PowerBook with 20GB. it is an old computer now and I am thinking of getting a stationary computer after new year, it’ll properly be a MacPro.

    concerning the rest of the family, my Uncle has always been a mac user.

    my dad is windows user and still he is commenting my mac using. the first only apple product he have is a an iPod g4. he have talked sometime that it could be an idea to switch to a mac, but again my dad is like the pc guy in the apple adds. so I am not sure he does that.

  19. Parmeet Shah | Aug 12 2006 - 01:33

    Damn right adam!

    I am from India and the frequency of finding a mac user here is astonishingly low. I am a part of that trend. I bought an ipod nano. Then my uncle bought an ipod video 30 gig, same with my granddad, my brother got a nano too. Then I switched with an ibook G4. I convinced my dad to get a 17″ Macbook Pro for his business… So within 1 year,… do the math…!

  20. Rusty | Aug 12 2006 - 01:42

    Hey Adam,

    I concur. I once owned 2 PC’s and was a PC only guy (gaming machine and laptop). One of my friends bugged me for ages about how great his mac was, but it wasn’t until I was complaining about how hard it was to make videos and DVDs (using windows movie maker and Nero 6) that he showed me iDVD and iMovie. I already had an iPod, so I was comfortable with the brand.

    So first I sold the PC Laptop and bought a powerbook G4. Then I wanted to build a media pc, so instead of windows media center, I bought a mac mini (so small and quiet) with elgato. Pure gold. Now I don’t own any PC’s at all (though I did buy an XBOX 360 to game on).


  21. Jamie | Aug 12 2006 - 05:20

    I started with my 3G iPod in around Spring of ’04. It then took me quite a while to get into Macs, but by Summer of ’05, I was decided that I wanted a Mac. I eventually got a refurb’d iBook G4 in October of ’05. I loved the OS so much, that I sold my Sony PC in December of ’05, and picked up a new 17″ iMac CD as soon as they were announced in Jan.

    I then decided that my iBook was just too slow for my needs (the speed of the iMac Core Duo made me realise this!), and so I sold the iBook just 6 months after buying it, and bought a base model MacBook as soon as they were released.

    So I have had 3 Macs in under a year (6, if you count replacement Macs – I’ve been pretty unlucky with all my Macs, not during day to day operation, but problems when they 1st arrived!)

    Anyway, since I have convinced my sister to get a MacBook for her new computer, and she loves it too!

  22. Jeremy | Aug 12 2006 - 09:59

    Your theory is 100% correct. As of last February – I purchased a Mac Mini (my first Mac in almost a decade). From that date I have purchased an G4 iBook, an Intel Based Mac Mini, and – two weeks ago – a Black MacBook. I love this stuff and it is habit I hope to never give up – no intervention for me.

  23. GaryJohnston | Aug 12 2006 - 04:13

    My story is very similar to Jeremy. I had wanted a Mac Mini when they were first introduced but for some reason held off.

    When the Intel Mac Mini was brought out I again thought of buying one but held off. That was until I heard of bootcamp and by the Firday I had purchased the Computer.

    Since then I’ve bought a black Macbook (my first laptop) and I’m very happy. I’ve since removed XP from the mini and now have it installed on the Macbook.

    This gives me the best of both worlds in that I can use OS X but can switch to XP when I need it for work.

  24. Syar | Aug 13 2006 - 05:34

    Macs are a drug (in a good way) I myself have brought a 2 iPod’s, a Mac mini and an ibook all in quick succession and now the Intel chips are out i am looking at a 20″ iMac and maybe even a new Macbook if i have the money

  25. Mike | Aug 13 2006 - 06:18

    You hit the nail on the head Adam.

    I bought 15GB 3rd generaation iPod first, in 2004 bought a PowerBook G4. That has been followed by iPod mini for my daughter plus Shuffles for me and my wife. Earlier this year bought Intel iMac, just last month bought iPod with Video. Will probably by Mac Mini to replace my wife’s PC later this year.

    If I can get all my work applications to work in Parallels on the iMac, I might consider replacing work PC laptop with Macbook Pro.

  26. Henry | Aug 13 2006 - 11:26


    I think your theory has merit. We started with a pair of iPods (4G Photo and a Mini) and later on I bought my wife an iMac. Hopefully soon I will get my own MacBook. So yes, it does spread.


  27. DC | Aug 13 2006 - 04:05

    I recently got an Intel-based Macbook and could not be happier. My history: my first computer was an Apple II+ (black Bell & Howell) in 1981. From that point on, I owned Macs through college and grad school. When I started working in the mid-90s, I switched to PCs to be sure I could swap work from home to work without a problem.

    Since I’m now going to law school part-time, I needed a new laptop. Law school requires a PC. I’ve long wanted to go back to Macs because of my experience with Apple products for so many years. I’m hoping I’ve bought my last PC, and that I’ll be able to buy Macs form here on out.

  28. Jerry Rodriguez | Aug 13 2006 - 04:56

    I’m a switcher too. Although I used to have an apple IIc, followed by a Mac Se, SE30 then a PPC 6100. In the mid 90s I built my 1st winPC and now I’m left with 3 desktops and 1 dell notebook.

    After dealing with all the bugs and security holes in windows, I wanted to go back to Apple but proprietary software from my job always kept me from going back. People forget that most bussiness run some sort of software that only runs in the windows platform. So for me, when it was announced that you could run windows on a Mac, it caught my interest and I began to listen to several podcasts including this one on my newly acquired video ipod. A month later, I purchased a 2GHz macbook. Replaced the 60gig HD with a 100gigHD and 2 gigs of ram. IT’s sweet. I wanted something small & easy to carry and this was perfect. During the first week I installed boot camp and then I tried parallel. I liked the convenience of Parallel so I restored my macbook using the restore CDs and loaded windows in parallel. BTW, I only use windows for work related stuff and I have been able to run EVERY piece of software I’m required for my job. Boy it’s nice to have the cake and eat it too.

    Two weeks later, I ordered an iMac 20in 2GHz for the wife and installed it in the kitchen. She loves it! Understand, that my wife was very afraid of touching a windows PC. She is having fun using the icamera and sending pics of our kids to relatives. Can’t wait to show her iChat.

    Now that the Mac Pro is out, it’s time to shutdown my 2GHz AMD X2 64bit desktop system. The downside to switching is figuring out what to do with all these Win PCs.

    It’s NICE to be back home. A P P L E

  29. A.J. Mann | Aug 14 2006 - 05:54

    I have to agree completely. After graduating college in 2001, I switched from Windows to Linux. It had its quirks, but I got it nice and usable as an everyday desktop PC.

    In late summer 2004, after hanging out with a bunch of Mac Heads in IRC, I bought a PowerMac G4 from eBay, just to try out OS X. A month or two later I ordered a new 12″ PowerBook. The following January they announced the first Mac Mini at MacWorld. I ordered one the next day. I bought a very old PowerMac G3 at a computer show earlier this summer, just because. And finally, I bought a MacBook Pro a month or so ago and gave the PowerBook to my wife.

    So that’s 5 Macs in less than two years. My checking account hates me, my credit card company loves me, and I’m having the best time with computers I’ve had in quite a while.

  30. Victor Cajiao | Aug 14 2006 - 10:10

    Right on the money Adam. The bug did hit me hard about a year ago and I went in with both feet. I now own 2 macs (just got rid of my first mini), and I’m looking at a Mac Pro as soon as Leopard releases.

    It’s a good bug and I sick with the best Mac Virus, that of being a happy owner and now Mac Geek.

  31. James “Psy” Kocsis | Aug 14 2006 - 12:58

    Wow, this is awesome!!!

    Welcome switchers!! Now, let’s continue to change the world.

  32. Rodney Kerstetter | Aug 15 2006 - 06:20

    Your observations are 100% correct for my situation as well. I bought my wife an iPod shuffle, and within 3 months we owned 2 more iPods, 2 MacBooks, and a Mac Mini. We completely converted our household to Mac and intend to stay that way. I must say that after that buying spree it will probably be a few years before we get a new one. (Those MacPros sure are nice though :)

  33. BT | Aug 15 2006 - 04:48

    I have a similar story as well, but my first encounter with a computer was an apple back in 1980s used by my dad. Since then I have always been a windows fan, back in the days of DOS and windows 3.1. My dad kept on buying macs and I always thought the machines were too overpriced here in Brunei. Once in a while I would use macs for certain things because they seemed faster but I kept having problems with compatability with my windows machine. I was impresed with the G3 powerbook which had bigger screens and could handle video playback better than my desktop pcs.

    Since late last year, I received a 5G ipod and saw that it was easier to use macs with my ipod, including making and converting my own videos. So I took the plunge and bought my first machine when iMacs became intel machines. I almost bought the iMac G5 in december before the new ones were announced. last june I bought a macbook to replace my notebook.

    So that’s 2 macs in 6 months and I hope these machines will be enough until the replacement of leopard comes out in 2008…

  34. Mike | Aug 15 2006 - 07:21

    I admit it. I became infected with the Mac disease about a year and a half ago. Bought a 4G iPod (20GB) and loved it. When the new Intel Macs came out, I ordered a 20″ iMac at the beginning of March. Then, at the end of May, I got a 17″ MacBook Pro. And, if my little business plans keep moving along, I’ll have one of those shiny Mac Pros with a 30″ Cinema sometime in the next year. Ahh, my credit cards and Apple love me….

  35. Jason | Aug 18 2006 - 02:07

    For me, it was iTunes. I used to download my music and got sick of searching for what I wanted and the poor and inconsistent quality. So, I started buying my songs on iTunes for 99 cents each. I was so pleased with the quality of mp4 compression and the software, I ripped my entire cd collection into iTunes. Then, I bought the Airport Express so I could listen to all of it on my stereo wirelessly. Next, the iPod was the perfect solution for taking it all on the go.

    That entire experience sold me on Apple. For the first time, I am now an owner of an Apple computer (just bought a MacBook 1 week ago) and enjoying it even more than I thought.