Thursday, March 17, 2011

Macs At About 15% In The US, A Stepping Stone For Apple's Mobile Strategy

By now, you know that Apple is doing quite well in some countries, more than the 3-4% of global sales that some firms like to publish. In fact, if you include iPad into the mix, as these same firms equate netbooks as regular laptops, Apple would be the largest PC maker in the world.

In fact, Apple has 15% of the OS market in the US.

But this charge here is a clear demonstration of just how far Apple has come in general and specifically, the Mac. That's right, this is about the Mac. And the Mac isn't going anywhere as many bloggers and tech pundits fear.

Now, not to rehash what you probably know through your day's browsing, but I want to focus just on how Apple can further make inroads into the psyche of the other mobile users. And let's face it, from now on, it's about laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

Actually, in Apple's case, it's Macbooks, iPads, and iPhones. (Oh, and let's not forget the iPod touches. However, the touches do not get the respect that they deserve but Apple owes a large part of its mobile success to the touches. I'll follow up on a post another time.)

And what's important to note is that Apple is well positioned in these three segments of the mobile market.

And further more, Apple has managed to achieve something that will give it an advantage that no other companies, including Google, Microsoft, RIM, or HP has been able to achieve. I'll give you one guess.

Nope. It's not the ecosystem or the iTunes although we know it is also something that no others have managed to duplicate. It is as if Apple has secret magical dust that it used to make all these pieces work.

That I am talking about is the general familiarity of the iOS that millions of users have with it. And With the release of Lion (the next Mac OS upgrade), Apple brought what it learn from the iOS and incorporate some features into Lion.

It's launchpad that works like the screen swiping n the iOs devices. It's also the four finger swipes to the left and right. It's also about the new Mac App store that iOS users will be familiar with.

Another example will be the directional scrolling on the Macs now conforms with the way it works on the iOS. Swipe up, and you move down the screen.

And over time, Apple will prove both the iOS and the OS X that includes additional features shared between the two.

You cannot say that about the Android, Blackberry OS, or Windows Phone 7. And if you're an iOS user who happens to have a Windows machine and the next time you upgrade, you probably would take a look or two at the Macbooks because you're already familiar with its operations. You've seen it before and you have experiences with it.

Furthermore, Apple will increasingly follow Google into the cloud. Admittedly, Apple has been late to the game. But I think it recognizes that as people take up more iPhones, iPads, and Macbooks, it has to offer a solution that allows users seamless access to files and media.

We can already guess where Apple is going with mobile computing. In the next couple of months, we will learn more about Apple's mobile plans further, maybe as soon as April when it traditionally shows the world what it has planned for the next iOS. And later this summer, we'll finally get Lion.

And for iOS or Mac fans, or if you're just a general Apple fan, 2011 is going to be about iPad 2 as Steve Jobs said. It's going to be a huge year for Apple's mobile vision.

More on Apple's OS marketshare at TUAW, Macdailynews.

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