Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Can Apple Capture 20-30% of the PC Market? What Will That Landscape Look Like?

Apple's Mac sales have been on a tear in the last few years.  It's been beating PC sales and the halo effect from the iPod has been expanded by the iOS devices.  And according to iSuppli, Apple is within striking distance of being in the top five global PC makers.

By that, it means number 5.  However, can Apple go even further?  Perhaps capture 20 or even 30% of the global PC market?  

I really don't want to think that far ahead.  that's probably a decade or so away if that happens.  But if you include the iPad, Apple is already the largest PC maker in the world.  And Mac sales are just beginning to take hold in Asia.  

Furthermore, no longer is Apple's Macs considered expensive.  While you can buy a $400 or $500 Windows laptop, they don't give you the milage like a Macbook would.  Furthermore, the competition seems to be at the Macbook Air class with Intel pushing its ultrabook lines.

However, PC makers are having trouble matching Apple's $1000 entry point.  Most ultrabooks will need to use slower chips, cheaper materials and parts just to get to $1000.  Otherwise, they will have to cost on average $500 more than the Air.

And Apple could be getting unexpected help from one corner of the PC market:  Microsoft.  It just unveiled Windows 8 that won't be out until 2012, a year from now.  However, Windows 8 will be fragmented between different types of chips including AMD, Intel and Nvidia.  And the softwares may have cross-chip support.  It means that if you buy an app to run on an Intel PC, it most likely will not work in one running on Nvidia's chip.

For consistency, folks may look to Apple's Mac.  

Apple isn't out of the PC market just yet even if it has declared us in the post-PC market.  There are billions more to be made still and Apple's PC growth is capture a lot of that profit.

Source:  gigaom.

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