Friday, July 24, 2009

Apple Snags Coveted Market Segment

Daily Tech mentions a Business Insider article that talks about Apple dominating the >$1000 computer market with a whopping 91% market share. I have to say that that percentage is impressive no matter what, but upon further thought it may not be as big a deal as some are making it out to be.

The first thing to note is that it says other makers are "stuck" in the sub-$500 range. In June the average computer price was $701 with PCs averaging $515 and Macs $1400. Because the average of these numbers is nowhere near the given average I'm not sure what they are including in those categories.

Anyway, I would say there are only a few types of PC buyers. Tech people (who could go either way), Mac lovers, and everyone else. "Everyone else" largely buys those cheap PCs for various reasons and Mac people try to steer them into Macland. Thanks largely to the success of the ipod-itunes combo along with the iphone Apple has been gaining a lot of users. But do these people have a choice? Apple doesn't exactly offer a cheap computer, so this for one skews their numbers. Side note to Apple: if OS X is so efficient and stable why not release a cheaper computer with toned down specs and try to gain even more market share? Might as well ride the "Apple is hip" wave while you can. I have a feeling they don't do it because it would cannibalize their high-price (and high-margin) hardware.

The second skewing point is the (probably larger) portion of the "tech people" crowd that opt for a regular PC, which include the gaming crowd. These people generally know their way around inside the computer and, as a result, are more likely to build a computer from scratch and then might upgrade rather than purchase a new one. They can even do this for the "everyone else" category. These numbers don't show up as a PC sale and I believe could make a significant impact on market share percentages, especially because few Apple users upgrade and Apple itself doesn't exactly make it easy.

A little food for thought when considering the market share. But, as I said, impressive for Apple nonetheless, who is on quite a run even in these dark economic times.

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