Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mac Doing To PC What iPhone Did To Smartphones

One key question I came away from the WWDC keynote is if the Mac is on the way to reignite the PC war that Apple has lost in the 90s.  After all, Mac sales has outgrown the general PC market each quarter for the last five years and in the latest quarter, while the market shrank 1%, Macs have grown 28%.  Is something going on here?  Is the Mac doing to the PC what the iPhone did to the smartphone market?

Granted the smartphone market is now dominated by Android because of Google's effort and it is a very good platform, Apple continues to play a big role in shaping it.  Not to mention that Apple has a majority of the profit in the smartphone business.  But Apple will never be able to dominate the phone market the way its iPod did to the MP3 market.

With PC, however, there is almost a staleness to Windows that people don't get too excited over even with new versions.  People get excited about new Android devices and new OS updates but that is not the case with Windows at all anymore.  And perhaps, it is just an issue of perception that Microsoft no longer innovates (which they do quite a bit).  

And the difference is that while Android devices are still growing in numbers, PC sales are down.  So what is going on here?  I know there is the thing about the halo effect from the iOS devices and iPod but there has got to be more than that.  Apple has consistently said that 50% of Mac buyers were former PC users.

I think it's the idea that we could be in a post-PC era.  People are buying smartphones and tablets instead of personal computers and for those who continue to buy computers, Macs has been granted the perception, true or not, that is has more value than your standard HP and Dell.  

Whatever the reasons are, something has changed in the last five years in the PC market that has, for the duration, shift the wind in Apple's favor

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