AAPL Stock: 117.81 ( -0.22 )

Printed from

Macs rebounding on college campuses

updated 12:40 pm EST, Mon October 30, 2006

Macs rebounding in schools

Apple's shipments of Mac laptops increased 49 percent over the same time last year as revealed by the company's fourth quarter financial results, which showed a 'blowout Mac quarter' and a 32 percent increase in U.S. PC market share. That increase was driven by MacBook sales and Apple's successful back-to-school promotions, challenging Dell's overwhelming dominance on college campuses. Experts tracking both student purchasing and institutional trends say Apple is quickly expanding its presence at colleges and universities, according to Inside Higher Ed. Eric Weil -- managing partner of Student Monitor, a national group that tracks the consumer habits of college students -- believes that the rise of iTunes as well as the iPod digital media player, combined with Apple's ability to position itself as an especially 'hip' brand, and an overall increase in notebook purchases contribute to the trend.

"If we look at ownership and purchase intent, among those students who plan to buy a new notebook, naturally number 1 is Dell, but number 2 is Apple. Which is huge. If we went back five years ago, IBM's ThinkPad owned that spot. And now the average student doesn't know what a ThinkPad is," Weil said.

A student monitor survey of 1,200 full-time four-year undergraduate students conducted at 100 campuses in the spring of 2006 found Apple as the number 2 preference among 19 percent of college students. The study found that Dell is still the clear leader among those students with laptops, but that Apple holds 21 percent of the market with no close second-place competitor.

Apple is also adopting more preferred provider agreements with colleges. The Cupertino-based company's preferred provider agreements with four-year public research institutions increased to 66.7 percent over the same time last year, and Apple's private research university agreements bounded to 60 percent from 50 percent over the same time period. Public and private four-year college gains were less substantial, however, rising roughly 2 percent and 3 percent respectively. Kenneth C. Green -- founding director of the Campus Computing Project -- believes the difference in price between comparable Macs and PCs may have fallen, increasing college students' desire for Apple systems.

Written, edited and compiled by Jeff Valvano

by MacNN Staff




  1. dynsight

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I am curious to see a study at the end of the school year to see if they ran windows or used OS X.

    If one is going to run windows, there is the added cost of Parallels and XP. One can save some $$$ by using bootcamp, but that is still not the choice for novice users.

    Hopefully, buyer's remorse will be minimal, and when these students graduate, they take their Machabits with them.

  1. ClevelandAdv

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Former Student

    As a Mac user and recent student - I found no need for Windows (and I was a Computer Science student). Of course in the 'real' world I find few uses for Windows, other than checking web pages in IE.

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Psychological hurdle

    I strongly believe the main motivator is the ability to run Windows. When an average first-time Mac buyer finds out that those machines are able (under certain conditions, with additional cost and hassle) run Windows, they finally give in. In so many cases, this is the ultimate dealmaker - and it's almost 100% cerain that none of them will ever end up running Windows after all. All they needed is to be pushed and the ability to (potentially) run Windows was the needed excuse. The laptops are beautiful, they are cool, they are hip, you are quickly associated with other cool people, they match iPods perfectly... not to mention they do exactly what is needed.

    Someone will probably do another survey (perhaps even a study) next year to find out how many are now running Bootcamp (or Parallels). It will be very surprising if it's a double-digit percentage.

  1. McDave

    Joined: Dec 1969


    $$$ for Windows XP?

    Of course, being students, they'd never grab an illegit' copy of XP thus reducing the cost to time wasted using Windows - surely not!

    Realising the Mac was better all along will practically eliminate buyer's remorse - except to be even more mis-trusting of 'the norm' and frustrated by corporate systems (as those of us who actually own & use Macs are)


  1. ibugv4

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Its trendy, thats all

    While I used to share your biased glee on this subject, it's all because of iPod. Apple is cool, when the next big thing that isn't from Apple dethrones their empire, this market will switch and forget all about Apple. Enjoy it in the short run.

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Ultimate Ears Megaboom Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears (now owned by Logitech) has found great success in the marketplace with its "Boom" series of Bluetooth speakers, a mod ...

Kinivo URBN Premium Bluetooth Headphones

We love music, and we're willing to bet that you do, too. If you're like us, you probably spend a good portion of your time wearing ...

Jamstik+ MIDI Controller

For a long time the MIDI world has been dominated by keyboard-inspired controllers. Times are changing however, and we are slowly star ...


Most Commented