Apple's recent audio related announcements are "very welcome" and are likely to encourage "increased growth at the consumer end of the market", according to Emagic UK distributor Sound Technology's managing director, David Marshall.

Last week's Logic announcements, and Apple's update to SoundTrack, joined the company's recently announced GarageBand application, repeating the segmented approach to market-capture that it revealed with its digital video products: Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express, and iMovie.

Marshall told Macworld of his appreciation of Apple's audio strategy: "GarageBand is very welcome. With this new consumer-focused application Apple is making everyone aware that they can make their own music and is therefore opening up new markets for us. This news will help to grow the market for audio."

He added: "The audio market has been growing year on year for at least the last seven years at the professional end. Now we will see increased growth from the consumer end."

Apple acquired Emagic 18 months ago. At the time there was some concern over Apple's announcement that it would no longer support the Windows operating system in future product releases.

According to Marshall, these fears were unfounded: "Before Apple bought Emagic most of the market used Macs so we weren’t too concerned about the fact that Apple would not continue to develop for the PC. We didn't experience any loss of business even though we were now selling only a Mac product."

The effect of discontinuing development on platforms other than the Mac OS has had a positive effect for Apple, according to Marshall. He explained: "Many of the our customers who were Windows users have now switched to Mac."

Education breakthrough

And it isn’t just that the Mac platform is growing in popularity in the professional audio market. "We have seen an increase in interest in the Mac from our education customers," said Marshall.

"When Apple bought Emagic, 85 per cent of our education business was Windows based; we have since seen a huge increase in Apple's education market share." Marshall thinks this increase is partly due to universities switching to Macs and schools "following their example".

Marshall's findings reflect the analysis of analyst firm Gartner who announced recently that Apple's UK education market share is now 8.5 per cent – up from 6.4 per cent a year ago.

"Audio is definitely helping Apple to win back the education market," said Marshall.