With all the media attention Apple gets for its revolutionary products, particularly in the mobile segment where it dominates with its iPhone and iPad, a relatively small number of online poker rooms have released software that is Mac compatible, not to even mention the lag in the industry when it comes to mobile compatibility. Players both in Europe and the US are met with frustration when trying to find Mac poker sites, which can result in alienation of this market segment and loss of potential profit on the part of the rooms.
In 2011 Mac enjoyed a 14% market share in the United States, according to Wikipedia. Of course, until regulation occurs in the US market, the focus of the majority of the large poker rooms is on the international market, where Mac is also popular and poker players experience similar difficulty finding rooms compatible with the platform. As ZDnet.com recently reported, while Apple is currently struggling with its Mac and iPhone products in the European markets, it is still doing well in UK sales, with 30% growth in the UK market in the third quarter. Sales are also strong in the global market, with the company seeing growth in the United States, Japan, as well as in China.
Yet, with Mac users comprising a sizable, if not huge segment of the market, many online poker rooms still don’t offer software that is compatible with Apple machines. As Poker Fuse recently noted, there are only a small number of rooms with Mac-specific clients, among them PokerStars, Merge Network, and Party Poker (whose client only recently came out of Beta). Mac users tend to be more affluent than average computer users, too, so making poker software more accessible to a player base with disposable income would be a wise move by the poker rooms.
The industry has been slower still to embrace the mobile boom of the last few years, with even fewer online poker rooms offering mobile applications and accessibility than those providing Mac compatibility. With more and more people the world over carrying mobile devices, there is an increasing demand for poker rooms to allow players to access their accounts for mobile play. Additionally, with last week’s release of Mac’s new operating system, OS X Mountain Lion, which further integrates Mac laptops and desktops with iPad and iPhone, the coming months should see an increasing demand for mobile optimized, fully Mac compatible poker clients.
One thing is for certain, should regulation come to the United States, major poker operators will need to be looking to a younger player base, as many of the casual online players from the US who came to the game during the mid 2000′s poker boom have ceased playing in the wake of the UIGEA and Black Friday. With the popularity of Mac on the rise and with Mac products catering to a younger, hipper audience, poker rooms would be well-served to embrace this market segment. US players looking for information about rooms accepting US players should check out this Americas Cardroom Review.