October 04, 2011, 2:24 PM — 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% 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%, compared to 4%--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% 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.