Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Apple: Eating Microsoft's Lunch?

The climb of Macs in market share has placed Apple in the top tier of PC vendors in a number of industrialized countries, though Apple remains too low in unit sales to be a top-five vendor by volume globally. If one counts tablets among PCs, Apple leads the world in PC unit sales. But being the biggest manufacturer by volume doesn't mean Apple's platform sells more units than platforms that are distributed by multiple hardware vendors: when tablets are considered PCs, Apple's share of the PC market is 20%. So is this a big deal, or not?

At Asymco, Horace Dediu illustrates how the dominance of Microsoft's platform has eroded since 2004. Particularly when one considers phones and tablets, Microsoft's platforms no longer show the dominance they once held. This is particularly true as one considers that Apple holds the top-end of the markets in which it competes: Microsoft appears in many cases to be selling to a less desirable and less profitable customer. As recently illustrated by its huge iTunes sales numbers, Apple's ability to generate post-sales revenues on content easily surpasses that of Microsoft.

Canalys goes further: the Wintel share of the computer market – the share occupied by Microsoft Windows running on Intel-compatible hardware – is set to fall 65% in 2013. What people thought of as a "PC" through the '90s won't really be the face of the PC at all any more.

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