I was watching the recent Apple Keynote (Oct 10, 2010) and I was rather surprised by some of the numbers. I have to admit that I have not been paying that much attention to the market, or apple hardware in general but I was astonished as to there current market share compared to their historical trend back in the days when I did pay attention (1980-2000, basically when I had the time, and was not working). Personally, I think one of the reasons that Apple hardware is doing so well in the current market is normally overlooked. Previously, the closed Apple platforms were a major issue because the rate of change in the computer industry was so very high. I won’t speak for anyone else, but its has been some number of years since I have had to upgrade any of my computers to support the new version of productivity software like I did in the “old” days. We have reached a point in hardware where the inability to upgrade (change out the mother board or plunk in a new CPU) is not a major problem. For that matter with the way that CPUs and memory are so connected now, its almost impossible to really upgrade a computer without replacing all the major components. All current generation video cards are more than capable of handling the UI requirements for the OS and normal software - so that is a non-issue. This is the time and place that Apple computers are so well suited - when people are looking for stability and security in there computer decisions rather than some ephemeral ability to upgrade that would have a marginal or no impact on their actual use of the computer. The other reasons that people talk about are well documented but I will mention quickly: customer service has been great and deservers the reputation, a large part of there increased market share is due to there strong portable offerings, and of course many people have been exposed because of the raving success of the iPod and iPhone. Many people have slowly moved over to the Apple eco system. Myself, this is being typed out on a 27” iMac, and I am/was a dedicated DIYer when it came to my computers. Its still how I put together my PCs. I do retain a PC for my development (xCode sucks hard, makes my skin crawl really), and because its the environment that I most comfortable working inside. But I find that the Mac environment is not the waste land that I thought it was back in the 90s. My first Mac was a Mac Mini server and that thing is a great piece of hardware that I use as my Perforce server and iTunes server. Power consumption on it is great, its quiet - pretty much loved the thing when I plugged it in - there is something to be said for hardware-software integration and a company that works in such a connected way.