Apple (AAPL): Steve Jobs Pipe Dream

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"A lot of Windows customers are going to switch because of this stuff," Mr. Jobs said. He was referring to new programs that will be available on Apple’s (AAPL) iMac computers. These will include a feature called Numbers that can do that same things that Windows Excel can.

The Mac now has 5% of the market for US personal computers, and the team at Apple dreams that one day that number could be 10%. Dream on.

While attacking the MP3 market was not terribly difficult for Apple’s iPod, further growth of the Mac is up against the core interests of Microsoft (MSFT), Dell (DELL), and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ). And, they are not likely to let go of more share easily.

One of the weapons that the PC proponents have is the pervasiveness of the Windows OS. Getting Macs to inter-operate with computers loaded with Windows is by no means easy. It is hard to imagine almost any large enterprise taking on new software across thousands of computers. It is also unlikely that most consumers are interested in leaving the familiar Windows-based PCs which have been part of the computing experience for years.

Apple may get its Mac market share to 6%, but it won’t get much higher than that.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.