Is Apple's odd and sometimes confusing marketing getting the job done? According to the IDC, it is. Factoring in many things, such as Apple's switch to Intel processors, the immense popularity of the iPod, easier developer adoption of OS X and many others, Apple is seeing good market gains. By the end of this year, they'll have around a 3% stake in the desktop market, perhaps rising to 4% a year from now. While that number is pretty small, Apple saw a long slump in which adoption of Macs was almost non existent. The recent surge in sales isn't going unnoticed by anyone, especially not Apple:
In announcing Apple's fourth-quarter earnings, Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's chief financial officer, said that the company had seen an "unprecedented demand" for its Mac line in the fourth quarter, selling 1.61 million Macs—the most ever in a single quarter.
The gap between PCs and Macs has been narrowing rapidly the past year, and is likely to continue to close. Given the near fanaticism that many Mac users have, Apple's biggest challenge is convincing PC users to “switch”. Their commercials and other propaganda, while often appearing condescending to many, seem to be working. More competition is always a good thing.