The big news from Apple last week was the new line of MacBook Pro models. What’s not to like? New keyboards. New displays. Faster Intel Inside from quad-core to six-core 8th generation chips. And up to 4TB of SSD storage and 32GB of RAM.
Truly, the MacBook Pro is a professional level machines (with a price tag to match). Those new Macs overshadowed some other news regarding the personal computer industry. Sales are up. Sales are up for the first time in about six years. Since Apple is the only PC company that shares real numbers, how do we know the rest of the industry is out of its multi-year funk?
Guesstimates. Both Garter and IDC– two companies that make such industry guesstimates– say traditional PC sales have increased recently. Including the Mac.
So, what’s the big deal? Somehow or another, as the PC industry remained in the doldrums for the past half dozen years– while the Mac has increased sales each year; in fact, increased market share 38 of the past 40 quarters– marketshare remains a measly 6.9-percent. That’s according to IDC. Gartner puts the U.S. marketshare at 12.7-percent but worldwide sits at 7.1-percent.
Again, these are mere guesstimates because only Apple publishes real numbers, but both Gartner and IDC seem stuck on marketshare as the metric of importance.
Well, what other metrics would you want to look at?
How about, oh, I don’t know– revenue? Macs are premium priced PCs and never compete with the traditional Windows or Chromebook personal computers which sell for $500 or less, so it seems likely that Apple’s revenue share would be substantially higher, right?
And, how about profit share? You seldom see that number floated around but guesstimators in the past have pointed out that the Mac’s premium price status also generates higher revenue which also generates higher gross margins which is exactly what you need to get higher profits.
Ipso facto and alakazam. The Mac is the profit share leader with about a 50-percent share.
If only Apple had decided the iPad was a personal computer like the Mac. It is, of course, but also not. Both IDC and Gartner– and Apple– put tablets and Chromebooks into different categories and count only desktop PCs, notebook PCs, and those hybrid ultra-mobiles like Microsoft Surface.
If iPad were included in the marketshare category, Apple’s Mac would rule. Marketshare, revenue-share, and profit-share.
Mac sales numbers aside, the new line of really powerful MacBook Pro models might set the stage for a new line of Mac notebooks; perhaps an entry-level model sans Intel Inside, and instead, equipped with one of Apple’s own ARM-based A-series CPUs.
Would you buy a Mac notebook with an Apple-designed CPU inside?