Back to Mac Event: Mac Platform Stronger Than Ever

CEO Steve Jobs began today’s Apple (s aapl) event by turning over the stage to COO Tim Cook, who gave a short “State of the Mac” speech which illustrated both the strength of the platform and its importance to Apple.

Last fiscal year, the Mac accounted for 33 percent of Apple’s business, generating $22 billion in revenue, an amount that would make a “Mac company” number 11o in the Fortune 500 list. While that’s impressive, the real story is in the number of Macs sold: some 13.7 million for fiscal year 2010, three times the number sold just five years ago.

Cook went on to point out the effect that astounding growth has had on the development community, noting there were more than 600,000 Mac developers, and the number was growing at a rate of 30,000 per month. Cook then noted a few premier developers, like Valve with Steam, and now AutoCad for the Mac.

Moving to retail, Apple announced it now has 318 stores worldwide, visited by some 75 million people last quarter. Of the 875,000 Macs bought in Apple Stores, half were sold to people new to the platform. In the U.S., Mac market share is now at a shocking 20.7 percent of retail sales, which is astounding considering that just a decade ago, Mac market share was in free fall.

Customers are happier than ever with the Mac, too. According to Cook, the Mac is the top-rated computer in terms of satisfaction going back many years from respected organizations like Consumer Reports. If you had any fears that the Mac wasn’t important to Apple, banish them now.

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