Print 117 comment(s) - last by jonmcc33.. on May 22 at 7:09 AM

Apple's $1,800 MacBook Air.

Apple's iMac starts at $1,200.
The Apple monster keeps sating its appetite for growth on the pc retail market

Somewhere, Apple CEO Steve Jobs must be smiling.  The iconic and controversial electronics figure, rarely skips a beat in his tireless promotion of the Mac computer.  Q1 2008 also brought some very impressive numbers for Apple.

This time it wasn't Jobs who was hailing the Mac's market turnaround, but NPD, fresh off their latest number crunching.  In Q1 2008, Macs overall took 14 percent of the market for personal computers, and took a whopping 66 percent of the lucrative $1,000+ personal computer market.  On the desktop side of things, Apple owned a 14 percent overall retail share, and 70 percent share of the $1,000+ sales.  For notebooks, the sales were 14 percent and 64 percent respectively.

Stephen Baker, NPD's vice president of industry analysis pats Apple on the back for its impressive numbers and gives a stick to Windows PC makers.  He states, "In notebooks [Apple is] growing two times the market; Windows notebooks are pretty much flat right now."

Apple notebooks, according to Baker, are up 50 to 60 percent from Q1 of last year, while Windows notebooks show virtually zero percent growth.  On the desktop side of things, Baker states, "They're up 45 percent.  The [overall] market is down 20 percent. Windows desktops would be down 25 percent."

Baker comment glibly, "iMacs are growing and the Windows desktop ain't. No matter how you look at it, Apple is outperforming Windows."

Some would be quick to point the finger at Microsoft and Windows Vista.  Vista has earned substantial criticism, though some supporters ardently defend it.  However, love it or hate it, Baker doesn't think Vista is a big factor.  He states, "I don't believe that Vista's to blame.  The vast majority of consumers don't care [about the installed operating system]."

What is the key to the Mac's success, particularly in the high-end market?  Baker says part of it is due to the fact that, besides the Mac Mini, all Mac's are priced at over $1,000.  Baker states, "If you don't give people a choice, people will spend more."

He sees the growth of Mac sales as a sign of consumers making emotional decisions.  He argues that the average consumer doesn't care so much about features, but cares more about how they feel the overall experience of the computer will be.  He states, "Consumers don't care about features.  People see a value proposition in an offering that gives them a great experience."

Baker also says that Apple is cashing in via improved retail store presence, including benefits from increased business at its own stores.  He says, "Apple has got better distribution than it's had in the last 15 years.  They're in the right spot right now. There's the iPod advantage. But the big thing is the stores."

Apple stores, he says make the customer feel like they are the recipient of individual attention.  Says Baker, "What Apple drives home: This is a product that we own from factory to finger.  We exert some control so that you get the best experience. When you get in the store, we get you what you want."

The next logical question, Baker says is, "[Apple has] already won when somebody comes into the Apple Store.  How does it play in places where they're not the only answer? How big a handicap is Windows?"

Therein lays the key to Apple's success in Baker's mind -- "captive channels".  He advocates that if Microsoft hopes to remain successful it should follow in suit, opening at least a small chain of Microsoft stores.  He states, offering an analogy to the fashion industry, "In a multi-channel environment you should have some kind of owned--and operated--channel as well.  When you look at Coach they have their own showcase stores as well."

Apple's strong sales will likely be fodder for more debate among detractors and fans.  However, Baker provides an interesting third-party perspective from the firm watching all the numbers.  While his suggestion of a Microsoft store certainly seems outlandish, stranger things have happened.

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Not surprised
By TheDiceman on 5/20/2008 3:59:23 PM , Rating: 5
I happen to service Macs for a living for a company that sells several different brands of computers and I am not at all surprised by the high sales. I have witnessed first hand how much Apple product well move over everything else. I have also seen the durability of the Apple hardware decline over the past two years.

Yet when I go home every night, i sit in front of an XP machine (self built of course). Mind you I happen to really like OS X, but still cannot justify the cost of an Apple unit over something i can upgrade myself (also I am a gamer and Mac still can't game over the long term).

RE: Not surprised
By mondo1234 on 5/20/2008 4:04:13 PM , Rating: 2
With all of the companies losing money right now, at least some one is not complaining about the economy...

RE: Not surprised
By Ringold on 5/20/2008 5:09:12 PM , Rating: 4
So far, really only some banks that are "losing money." HP just reported a great quarter too.

RE: Not surprised
By BoxCutterLou on 5/20/2008 4:09:47 PM , Rating: 3
What is the key to the Mac's success, particularly in the high-end market? Baker says part of it is due to the fact that, besides the Mac Mini, all Mac's are priced at over $1,000. Baker states, "If you don't give people a choice, people will spend more."

Ok, that has to be taken out of contex, that or Apple has a really piss poor business model. I'm no expert but I am a consumer. I was going to buy an apple instead of windows once, then I learned apple won't let you build your own. I also considered buying OEM, but not if there going to be arrogant. How proprietary can you really get?

I'm a windows guy, only becuase I play games. Unbuntu on another machine but I find myself reading more about how to use it rathere than really using it. Now common Jobs and open up the business and let us build.

RE: Not surprised
By MRwizard on 5/20/2008 9:37:11 PM , Rating: 1
reason being why apple won't let you build your own is because the OS is built FOR specific hardware. which is why it generally works so well (since they started using intel hardware, noy sure about before that)
what you are asking is for another microsoft company; lots of service packs, lots of driver issues, lots of bugs etc etc.

And going from the history on apple, i think microsoft would beat them solid

Personally, i hope apple won't ever go the microsoft way. i enjoy PC's way more, but if i ever do need a task specific machine eg. 3d rendering beast, i'll go mac

RE: Not surprised
By jonmcc33 on 5/21/2008 7:27:18 AM , Rating: 2
That doesn't mean you cannot build one with Apple certified parts. Just as much as Microsoft puts their stamp of approval on certain hardware because it passes their requirements Apple can do the same.

Doesn't matter. Must I say another nasty Jason Mick article doing anything he can to bash Windows? This guy has it in for anything Windows. I'd take his word with a grain of salt.

RE: Not surprised
By Pirks on 5/20/2008 4:13:10 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah, you can't justify, but you are a techie and techies are a minority. Most consumers don't know #hit about computers so they don't upgrade or play any 3D computer games with beautiful graphics. Apple caters to this really large market, and does it very well, judging by the ever growing sales numbers. If tech literate consumers were the majority of the market - then Apple would sell inexepensive upgradeable ATX towers for sure. Alas, this is not the case, tech-illiterate consumers rule the market these days.

RE: Not surprised
By omnicronx on 5/20/2008 4:22:08 PM , Rating: 2
Apple does not cator to a large market, because Apple does not cator to the corporate world. Until they do, they missing out on a good 80% of computer sales each year. Where there is windows at work, there is usually windows at home. With apples current business model it is just not going to be possible to curtail to business's. After all unlike home user, its 'function over form', not 'form over function' (should be apples slogan)

RE: Not surprised
By Parhel on 5/20/2008 4:30:09 PM , Rating: 2
Where there is windows at work, there is usually windows at home.

Surprisingly, I hear people talk about switching to Mac at home for exactly that reason. They use Windows for work, and want something different at home.

That was pretty much Apple's strategy many years ago, though, when they were heavily promoting their systems at schools. If people grow up using Apple, they will buy an Apple when they have to make a decision. Granted, it didn't work, but it seems like a great strategy to me.

RE: Not surprised
By mmntech on 5/20/2008 5:00:33 PM , Rating: 2
OS X is specifically marketed as a home/lifestyle system. It includes software specifically for that while Windows is still pretty bare bones out of the box. Windows in my opinion is a bit of a compromise between a business and a home OS with the emphasis put on business. Vista has kind of changed that though, alienating that vital market in the process. A lot of people have become disenchanted with Microsoft in recent years. The Vista controversy hasn't helped much. It doesn't matter if techies think it's FUD or not. People just aren't buying it. More people than ever are seeking alternatives.

As for the school marketing comment, the reason Apple lost ground in the mid-1990s was because the hardware was beginning to rapidly fall behind. People realized they could get a Windows PC cheaper with better hardware. The systems have caught up at this point and a lot of people find OS X more satisfying and easier to use than Windows. There are polls on that if you guys don't believe me. Of course the iPod boom has a lot to do with the recent success of Macintosh. Mac is simply trendy when it wasn't before. You get a hold of that high end urban hipster scene, that's all you need. It trickles down from there. It's not a revolutionary form of marketing but it's effective none the less. It's pretty blatant in their commercials. People see Windows as the stuffed shirt and Mac as being hip.

RE: Not surprised
By daftrok on 5/20/2008 7:14:34 PM , Rating: 2
I hate those commercials. I find it fascinating that a computer company with such a small share of the market is gloating about how easy to use and "affordable" their products are. I highly doubt the big ones (Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, etc.) consider Apple a threat because of how laughably expensive their hardware is.

Sure you can see a good number of sales but the fact of the matter is its expensive and therefore won't become a challenge until they go Walmart on their prices.

RE: Not surprised
By Pirks on 5/20/2008 7:26:26 PM , Rating: 5
Why would Apple want to go Walmart on their prices? After Apple captures all the high-end PC market (except for gaming PCs from boutiques like VoodooPC) they don't have to go any Walmart pricing, there's no reason.

Think about it - you sit on the most lucrative segment of the market, all the other home PC makers are forced to sell cheap low-profit boxes, and you get all the cream form the market by selling most profitable stuff. There's no reason to lower prices then - just keep your market share steady and make sure all the people with extra $1000+ in their pocket go to your stores. Let the poor people with less money to go to other stores and buy gazillions of cheapo boxes.

After all - why would you care if money-wise you're making the same money as all the other PC makers together? You sell one $1200 iMac and Dell sells three $400 desktops. You have same revenue as Dell but with higher profit.

See? No reason to go Walmart at all. Apple never competed on price, just because they can always compete on something else.

RE: Not surprised
By retrospooty on 5/20/2008 7:42:16 PM , Rating: 2
"After Apple captures all the high-end PC market"

On what planet will that happen? It certainly wont be on this one.

I am all for Mac selling well... (More Mac's means more competition and will force the Windows PC side to innovate faster and/or lower prices, thus we consumers win) But I dont think by anyone's estimates they will capture the high end market. You can get a higher end PC for less than $1000, and no matter how you cut it, Apple is still fluttering at about 7% of the market, not really growing percentage-wise either.

RE: Not surprised
By Pirks on 5/20/2008 8:16:14 PM , Rating: 1
Well, I meant retail $1000+ PC market - the market where common public buys their high-end home computers (not gaming ones, these are niche machines, hence not an interesting target for Apple). Apple is already dominating this kind of market in the US and will dominate even more as they build more and more retail stores across the country. Once they capture say 80% of the $1000+ retail PC market - there you go, it's done.

After that moment Apple can just sit there and enjoy their market dominance - they control vast majority (well, 80% is pretty close to that, isn't it? ;-) of the most lucrative and high-profit segment of the market for the retail prebuilt home computers, they let all the other poor guys to sell less profitable models for cheap - everybody wins, Apple grabs about a half of the home computer market spending, which is huge by itself, so they can focus on some other interesting projects then - enterprise/business oriented smartphones or something...

Like I said - whatever you call it, all the high-end retail PC market or just the 80% of this market - whatever... the point is: once Apple controls all of it or almost all of it - there's no incentive for them to start price war 'cause this will lead to loss of profitability which Dell may afford, but not Apple for sure. This is like a suicide for them. Or for their image at the very least.

RE: Not surprised
By retrospooty on 5/20/2008 9:11:43 PM , Rating: 2
Dominating a tiny portion of the market doesnt mean a whole lot.

Apple is doing very well financially, and has had a few great quarters regarding sales of MAcs but overall marketshare isnt increasing anymore. Its been stagnant since Christmas.

RE: Not surprised
By Pirks on 5/20/2008 9:27:40 PM , Rating: 1
Dominating a tiny portion of the market doesnt mean a whole lot
Well, luxury goods are not supposed to capture a significant portion of the market in the first place. If the goods are sold everywhere for a low price, like Windows PCs, they are not luxury goods anymore :-)

So yeah, you can say dominating a tiny luxury portion of the big market doesn't mean a whole lot - probably a few of Toyota execs got flamed a while ago when they where arguing for creation of a new brand - Lexus.

I suppose people like you were also asking them somethig like "what are you talking about? why should we create this special brand just to dominate that tiny luxury car market? they only sell a few thousand every year, don't bother with them, let's make only the cheap cars and sell a LOT of them!"

RE: Not surprised
By retrospooty on 5/20/2008 9:41:49 PM , Rating: 2
Whatever... I doubt these figures anyhow. There are SOOOOOOO many ways to count that its not even funny. I trust the netapps link I posted above to show marketshare. It shows Apple to be at about 7% since Christmas 07. This is a significant increase for Apple as they were 3-4% for the past decade.

I think that it has about peaked. Apple needs to do something different to grow it any more.

RE: Not surprised
By Spazmodian on 5/20/2008 9:20:48 PM , Rating: 5
The problem is that calling it the 'high-end' market is wrong. Macs are mid-range computers that are over-priced. They 'own' that market because they are the only ones in it. Similarly priced PCs are in a class ahead of the MACs as far as hardware goes. Similarly equiped PCs cost less.

RE: Not surprised
By Pirks on 5/20/08, Rating: -1
RE: Not surprised
By daftrok on 5/20/2008 10:03:56 PM , Rating: 2
So in other words, women. The feminine curves, the light colors, the fluid OS with the unnecessary 512x512 resolution icons. The small cute size and the super thinness and light weight. And of course you know its good because its sooo expensive, like Gucci bags and Prada shoes and blech. Gimme a break. Make the iMac 3 inches thick and 300 dollars cheaper if you have to. Make the Macbook Pro 1.5" thick cut the price in half.

The simple fact of the matter is this: Apple has a clear open window to cut down the price and double, even triple their sales. But the reason why they don't do it is because they don't want to tackle the issues of serving the number of users that HP and Dell tackle. Malfunctions will become to prominent on their OS if 100 million people cry foul instead of less than 1 million.

Right now they have roughly 30 million Mac users. Imagine if they had 300 million. I don't think as a company they would want to venture off into that market and since they can round up enough women to buy their computers just like they did for the iPod, they would much rather grow in snail pace rather than shoot up.

RE: Not surprised
By Pirks on 5/20/2008 10:17:31 PM , Rating: 1
Make the iMac 3 inches thick and 300 dollars cheaper if you have to...
...if you have to lower your profits - that's what you mean.

Now, why would Apple want to lower their profits?
Apple has a clear open window to cut down the price and double, even triple their sales...
...and slash their profits in half. Isn't that a stupid thing to do for any serious business?
they would much rather grow in snail pace rather than shoot up
Growing in snail pace allows them to keep high profits. Lowering prices and shooting up will immediately lower their profits.

Tell me please why would a serious business want to voluntarily decrease their profits?

RE: Not surprised
By jonmcc33 on 5/21/2008 12:41:51 PM , Rating: 2
...if you have to lower your profits - that's what you mean.

Let's see, if they sell one MacBook at $1800 or sell 3 MacBooks at $1500 is that a loss in profit? They just gained $2700 in sales! Multiply that by the hundreds of thousands and that seems to be increasing profit. I don't know, maybe I'm not as good at math as you are.

Growing in snail pace allows them to keep high profits. Lowering prices and shooting up will immediately lower their profits.

Short term...possibly. Long term? Their profits will soar. They should really use the lack of popularity for Windows Vista and take advantage of it. Offer a product of competitive price but claim better quality. If enough people switch then word of mouth gets around and that can make or break a company.

Word of mouth and competitive pricing is how NewEgg turned into a $1.9 billion company in 7 years.

RE: Not surprised
By kelmon on 5/21/2008 5:35:25 AM , Rating: 2
What absolute nonsense.

Apple, of course, would be very happy to support 300 million users BUT only if they are buying computers at the current price. Slashing $300 from the current price means $300 less profit, unless component costs can be saved. Why on earth would anyone choose to do that? They get 10x more users but lose $300 per unit. I'm not sure what the profit margin is on the average Mac but $300 is a heck of a lot of money to lose per unit when you don't have to. And that's the point here - Macs are growing in sales much more than the rest of the PC market, so there's no incentive to cut costs. Market share really isn't very important, just as long as you are making money.

I'll also note that if someone makes my MacBook Pro 1.5" thick then I'll be angry.

RE: Not surprised
By jonmcc33 on 5/22/2008 7:09:27 AM , Rating: 2
Absolute nonsense? That's why Intel and AMD in the past have rebadged some higher end processors and sold them as lower clocked. They sell more so the company manages to get rid of product sitting on a shelf gathering dust and also still makes money.

Apple is already making a killing off of their price. I don't think at any point they would suffer by cutting prices and increasing sales.

RE: Not surprised
By robinthakur on 5/21/2008 10:13:39 AM , Rating: 2
I think that's very sexist, and not at all true :) There are plenty of men who appreciate the sleek lines, decent industrial designs and thoughtfulness implicit in most (though not all) Apple products and aren't bothered that it costs more than some rather ugly cheap looking, yet highly-specced boxes. Apple has got one hell of a brand. They correctly realise that instead of pink laptops, most women and men want computers which look good and are well built. Being a man likewise does not mean that you have to own a windowed, water-cooled, modded, overclocked pc with a blow-hole to feel validated.

You have to realise that its not just women, but the majority of people are not inherently technical, don't care about the price of the underlying components and consider the look and feel of a product to be a significant purchasing influencer.

I am an MCSE and used to build my pc's, but since I don't game anymore and became more and more obsessed with building a quiet pc which blends in well with my living environment I decided to get Mac's for my laptops and phone, though not my desktop. I've not regretted my purchasing decisions. My job entails working with Windows XP and Vista ads well as server variants daily so you can hardly call me a non-technical user. OSX has enough depth that what you describe is purely icing on a cake, it is not the creamy filling.

I do alot of development in .net and Sharepoint on my desktop and need it to be running a Windows environment and powerful. If I didn't I'd probably go with a iMac because they look awesome. Whilst you might bleat on about them being underpowered compared to custom built pc's, who honestly notices the difference when you aren't playing games? Oh and dharling, Gucci and Prada do make clothes and accessories for men as well as women you know. There's nothing like envy to inform a debate.

RE: Not surprised
By retrospooty on 5/20/2008 10:29:42 PM , Rating: 5
" Since when do the mid-range computers got Core 2 Duo 3.06 GHz clocked CPUs, similar to those in modern iMacs? "

Since quad core CPU's could be bought for $250 about a year ago.

Sorry, Macs are overpriced midrange computers. They are quality, and they are a good OS (I would say equal to MS OS's its all about preference, both do tha same things) but they are not exceptional in any way, other than style, which is a matter of opinion.

RE: Not surprised
By Pirks on 5/20/08, Rating: -1
RE: Not surprised
By retrospooty on 5/20/2008 11:08:09 PM , Rating: 2
Well, wither way you look at it c2d, and c2Quad are all way faster then 99% of us need. The fact of the matter is that Mac's are not anything special. They use the exact same CPU's and chipsets as PC's. They do cost more -and I do understand why people pay extra for Macs... Really I do. My point is that not a high percentage of people are willing to pay that much more.

Over the past 1 1/2 years Apple grew its market share after switching to Intel and OSX has matured. They were at 3-4% global market share for a decade, and are now at 7% that is a great accomplishment. hats off!

I dont think they will grow it any more with the currrent business model. If they want to break 10% global market share they will need to change. Lower prices, allow clones, sell the OS alone without the Apple branded hardware requirement... Something, or they will never get over 10%.

RE: Not surprised
By Pirks on 5/20/2008 11:23:49 PM , Rating: 1
or they will never get over 10%...
...or maybe they don't want to get over 10% because of the threat of the lowering profits. I'd stay in the high-profit 10% of the market and wouldn't touch the low-profit 90% if I were them.

I think they're doing the right thing. They let others to fight for poor customers' wallets so that they can focus to get deep into those rich bastards' wallets, ya know :-)

To each his own! I say let Dell to focus on poor customers because Dell is so excellent when it comes to competing on price, and also let Apple to focus on rich bastards, 'cause noone can milk the rich crowd as good and with such a whizbang as Mighty Steve!

RE: Not surprised
By retrospooty on 5/20/2008 11:43:57 PM , Rating: 2
What you have outlined is that Apple has found its niche market. I agree. Niche is all they will ever be with the current business model.

RE: Not surprised
By Denigrate on 5/21/2008 12:46:50 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, because making $300 on 1,000,000 computers is more profit than making $40 on 10,000,000 computers.

Next stupid argument please.

RE: Not surprised
By Chil on 5/20/2008 11:10:23 PM , Rating: 4
That doesn't change the fact that an E6850 at 3.0GHz is $190, which is very much a mid-range price point. Then again, you think $200 is "serious money" for a 9800GTX, so I don't know what to say.

RE: Not surprised
By Spazmodian on 5/21/2008 2:14:35 AM , Rating: 2
In most consumer scenarios 3.06 GHz C2D will be faster and more responsive than your 2.4 GHz $250 Intel quad, since _typical_ consumers don't run a lot of four-thread parallel calculations software at home these days. Hence both 3+ GHz C2D and 2+ GHz quads belong to one niche, called "high end".

On that logic why aren't we running on 286's anymore? It worked for everything we needed at the time didn't it? Why get anything faster? 2 cores are midrange. My E6600 is low-mid range right now, my 4400 is low-end. Right now my 3870-X2 is pretty good, in 2 years it will be low-mid range. Technology advances, who'da thunk it?

As for luxury items...

I guess if the definition of luxury is to blatantly pay more than is needed, then they can have that all they want. It doesn't make their computers any better though. MACs really aren't luxury items, they are faux luxury items...people pay more for the sake of it I guess. A real luxury computer would cost upwards of 5-6 thousand.

RE: Not surprised
By AlphaVirus on 5/21/2008 11:09:10 AM , Rating: 2
Just like I laugh at anyone here calling my 9800GTX that I got for mere 200 bucks "overpriced". Sure, some guys don't understand why would anyone pay such a serious money for a 3D card. I don't blame them :-)

Stop tooting your own horn, and look at what website you are on. We know there are graphics cards that run well over $200 so no we won't bother with calling it overpriced. If you would have mentioned one of the $400-600 cards, we might ask "Why?".
Most techies don't get this. For them hardware overclock is Da King, everything else is a useless waste of money.

You know that is not true, simply put, why waste the money? Its not always about overclocking, that is a plus though. If you can spend $900 on a PC, you can spend the $400 saved to purchase a new Wii or take a road trip with the wife, or even purchase several new games for the new PC. Or if you took that $1,300 and bought a Mac, all you have are bragging rights? That does not sound like much of a deal.

RE: Not surprised
By masher2 on 5/21/2008 12:10:21 AM , Rating: 2
> "They 'own' that market because they are the only ones in it."

Shhh. If the EU hears that, they'll levy yet another $1B fine against an American company.

RE: Not surprised
By djkrypplephite on 5/21/08, Rating: -1
RE: Not surprised
By kelmon on 5/21/2008 5:23:19 AM , Rating: 2
Absolutely agree, and this is something that so few people seem to understand. We tend to talk about market share and seem to equate a high share to success. Apple understands that this is nonsense. What equates to success is profit, and more profit is to be found in the high-end segment of the market where profit margins are high. In the low-end of the market the profit margins are so slim that you need to sell a heck of a lot of computers to make a reasonable profit, so why bother? Apple would get killed trying to enter that segment of the market because its already saturated by producers that are entrenched and they'd gain very little, beyond boosting their market share that, as I've already noted, means very little to the business.

The current business model works, so why change it.

RE: Not surprised
By Icelight on 5/21/2008 2:26:21 PM , Rating: 2
To be fair, part of the reason why Windows is somewhat bare bones is the flood of antitrust that would be coming their way if they packaged stuff in with the OS. Europe would go nuts if Office products came with Windows.

(I'm not saying that's the only reason why Microsoft keeps stuff out of Windows, of course, as the fact that they can sell Office products separately is obviously the biggest factor)

RE: Not surprised
By ImSpartacus on 5/20/2008 4:56:21 PM , Rating: 2
I was actually surprised at all the techies that own macbook pro's. I don't think Apple's desktops will go anywhere fast, but their laptops are pretty nice. With XP installed of course, lol...

RE: Not surprised
By TheDiceman on 5/20/2008 5:08:33 PM , Rating: 2
My problems with the laptops is how often the things seem to have to come back in for service and (especially) battery failure. My last Apple I owned was a 14" iBook. Had it for 4 years and was a tank. I dropped that thing, knocked it around, ran way more on it than it was meant to run and it performed like a trooper until the last day it just flat out died. We dropped a MacBook Pro once here at work. It never turned on again.

RE: Not surprised
By Ringold on 5/20/2008 5:17:36 PM , Rating: 2
Consumer Reports latest issue (June) had subscriber's reliability statistics for a bunch of brands.

Apple laptops were by a small margin the least reliable. 23% over 4 years have to be repaired. Lenovo and Compaq were the most reliable, at 20%.

Apple desktops, in contrast, were the most reliable. 12%. Second best was Compaq, at 17%, and the worst was Gateway, at 20%.

RE: Not surprised
By TheDiceman on 5/20/2008 5:40:27 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting to know, and from first hand experience would have to agree, we rarely see Mini's or iMac's come back.

RE: Not surprised
By kelmon on 5/21/2008 4:06:01 AM , Rating: 2
I won't describe myself as a techie (I got my Masters Degree in IT a couple of years ago but work as an IT project manager rather than developer or admin) but I've bought Mac laptops for about the past 5-years and they're wonderful. While I used to build my own gaming PCs in the past (last was based on a P4 Northwood processor, which gives you an idea how long ago that was), I since got bored of PC gaming and building my own computer. it's not that I can't, it's just that I no longer have the interest in doing so and the warranty that comes with an off-the-shelf computer is comforting. Of course, since I switched to laptops the DIY option no longer exists to any degree worth knowing about.

These days I'm running a 17" MacBook Pro with XP running under VMWare. The combination of that and the applications I have for OS X gives me the best computing experience I've had and I can't think of any reason to change that. The only shame at the moment is that the Mac Business Unit at Microsoft has really made a mess of MS Office:mac, so given this I am currently having to rely on Office 2007 more than I would like.

I'll also note that a surprising number of the development contractors we hire are coming with MacBook/MacBook Pros these days. Given this I really don't think you can say that Macs are only of interested to the technically inept.

RE: Not surprised
By fildaben on 5/20/2008 7:34:47 PM , Rating: 2
i would agree, techies are small minority when it comes to consumer electronics.

windows will hold the market on gaming for a long while, as it seems steve is not interested in pursuing that avenue of the market. however the regular joe, which is the majority here, he is willing to pursue that market and it seems has done well. i do hope that apple continues its success, this would force microsoft and hardware companies to reinvent their products.

fyi, for me, i like vista from day 1, never had any issues. osx is a good os, there isn't any question, it just doesn't suit my needs.

Microsoft stores
By Pirks on 5/20/2008 4:04:14 PM , Rating: 3
Well, I dunno if this is good idea for MS. They traditionally made a lot of their money on a corporate sales market, and corporations don't care about Macs due to their price. If MS were really interested in consumer side of Windows (I mean retail/home user type of customers) they'd have opened their retail stores a long time ago. I think MS just does not care about retail PCs, the only interest for them is in consoles/Xbox type of hardware. If all the PC OEMs get pushed down to the budget area, with top/premium consumer PC market 100% controlled by Apple, then what? Then nothing bad for MS, I think, since they still will continue selling gazillions of cheapo Windows licenses to the third world countries like China and Russia and so on, to poor US/Europe/Aussie citizens who can't afford Mac Mini, and to the gamer/self assembler/tech literate guys.

The only reason for MS to open their own retail stores would be only if Macs start to make a serious dent in the enterprise market and I don't see thins happening in the foreseeable future. Or am I wrong here?

RE: Microsoft stores
By mondo1234 on 5/20/2008 4:10:54 PM , Rating: 2
MS makes most of their money on Office. Windows is just the hammer to get the users to upgrade. Its the corporate world that drives this. On the office side, I dont need to spend $350-$500 on an Office Suite, I'll just use Open Office. My kids have Macs and do just fine with them. They use NeoOffice (Open Office for the Mac) Oddly enough, I have never had to work on their machines to fix anything. I use XP on my laptop/desktop btw.

RE: Microsoft stores
By keith524 on 5/20/2008 4:14:59 PM , Rating: 5
Why would Microsoft need a store? Many Macs have Windows running on it in addition to OSX?

There is a guy that rides the same bus I do and every day he whips out his Macbook, turns it on, starts his music, then launches Windows XP and does his work. Every time I see him I giggle a little to myself.

RE: Microsoft stores
By Reclaimer77 on 5/20/2008 10:30:32 PM , Rating: 4
Microsoft has plenty of stores. They are called Best Buy, Circuit City, Fry's, Wal Mart, Target and the list goes on and on and on.

For the most part Apple would not sell in these locations because they would be DIRECTLY COMPARED to other products by the consumer. And they wouldn't want that would they ?

Apple needs its own store. Microsoft is in EVERY STORE already.

RE: Microsoft stores
By Pirks on 5/20/2008 11:09:24 PM , Rating: 3
Microsoft is in EVERY STORE already
Including [wink wink nudge nudge :-)] those stores that sold Vista loaded (AKA "capable" :-)) notebooks with 512M of RAM :)))

RE: Microsoft stores
By Parhel on 5/20/2008 4:21:55 PM , Rating: 3
corporations don't care about Macs due to their price

Corporations don't care about Macs, but it isn't due to their price. It's due to application support. My Thinkpad, which my employer bought me, costs as much as any Mac.

I think MS just does not care about retail PCs

Of course MS cares about retail PCs. The only reason Apple cleaned up this last quarter in the $1,000+ category is the introduction of the MacBook Air. And, keep in mind that the
$1,000+ category is a small fringe of overall sales. According to the article, Apple's total market share among retail sales is 14%. That leaves MS with the other 86% (over 6 to 1) even in Apple's best quarter to date. Include corporate sales and online sales and I'm sure that figure looks more like 20 to 1.

The only reason for MS to open their own retail stores would be only if Macs start to make a serious dent in the enterprise market and I don't see thins happening in the foreseeable future. Or am I wrong here?

I don't understand your logic there. Mac doesn't really have any sales in the enterprise market. Maybe a handful of desktops for graphics designers. And MS doesn't make PCs, so what exactly would they carry at their retail store?

RE: Microsoft stores
By Pirks on 5/20/2008 4:59:19 PM , Rating: 2
the $1,000+ category is a small fringe of overall sales
Think about it money-wise, not unit-wise.

Don't you see that selling a few expensive computers is equivalent to selling a lot of cheap computers?

The revenue is the same when you sell three $400 Dells or one $1200 iMac. Therefore, Apple may have 25% market share and have THE SAME REVENUE as ALL THE OTHER PC MAKERS TOGETHER. Think about it.
MS doesn't make PCs, so what exactly would they carry at their retail store?
If they want to fight Apple where Apple is strong, they will have to introduce their own PCs in their own retail stores. That's a big "if" of course.

But I don't see any reason not to do that. MS was following other companies all the time, they followed Sony and introduced their own gaming console, then they followed Apple and introduced their own MP3 player, now they will follow Apple again and introduce their own computers, why not? It's the same logic as with consoles and MP3 players.

If it worked with Xbox - why it won't work with MS branded PC?

RE: Microsoft stores
By Fenixgoon on 5/20/2008 10:42:50 PM , Rating: 2
why it won't work with MS branded PC

because every other PC in the world is an MS branded PC?

microsoft is a software company primarily - office, windows OS, etc. while hardware is secondary/afterthought

apple is hardware, software, and peripherals rolled into one package. albeit one that is ludicrously controlled by apple, but then again, that's how apple has succeeded - by keeping such tight control over things.

RE: Microsoft stores
By Pirks on 5/20/2008 11:03:02 PM , Rating: 2
that's how apple has succeeded - by keeping such tight control over things
And you think MS can not repeat the same kind of success by also tightly controlling its own MS PC? Why?

RE: Microsoft stores
By Ringold on 5/20/2008 11:44:51 PM , Rating: 2
Because the Genie is out of the bottle. Apple is vertically integrated, it has legal control of every part of the process.

In order to do what you are suggesting, at the very least, Microsoft would have to acquire one of the major builders, such as Compaq or HP, and then, I would assume, cut off the other manufacturers in order to not dilute the brand and to not have to worry about other manufacturers hardware specs.

Not only would that be expensive, it would transform the company for a software firm to an industrial one that suddenly has to worry about vast international supply chains on a scale it never had to before.

Beyond that, I believe MS only exists today because it's only software. They can reasonably state that PC retailers could, and in fact do, load other OS's on their computers. The fact Windows is most popular is a product of market place demand. If suddenly Micropaq / Micropackard / Microsell / Microvo became the dominant retailer of computers then the DoJ could no longer ignore them: A massive, vertically integrated giant controling the market.

I just don't think its feasible. I don't even think its desirable. It's Dell's job to be sexy, not Microsoft. They just provide a component, Dell (and the others) are responsible for the package.

RE: Microsoft stores
By just4U on 5/21/2008 1:41:59 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft is already doing it with the Xbox. Why bite the hand(s) that feed you when you can just walk right on in to a different segment and put together essentially the same thing (for a different purpose)

There is no reason for them to get into the "PC" hardware market.

RE: Microsoft stores
By Pirks on 5/21/2008 3:02:56 PM , Rating: 2
There is no reason for them to get into the hardware market
Same was said about MP3 players and gaming consoles before, and what do we see now?

Actually going into the premium PC market will benefit MS quite a lot. They just have to design a few high-profit PC models, say one desktop model and two laptop models to begin with, they should price them quite high and provide all the premium stuff rich Mac-loving crowd would buy. This means 1) decent warranty beating Apple's 2) US-based support call center with qualified and US-English speaking staff 3) sleek looks and whizbang 4) some commercials laughing at Apple and saying something like "and now Windows better than Windows, blah blah Mac sucks look how ugly it is and how it can't run this software and play those games yada yada" 5) some nice ergonomics - quality mice, keyboard with backlight, LED this OLED that, yada yada etc, and also make very thing and lightweight notebooks, I mean all the features that Apple uses to sell their stuff. In fact they just have to make just a tad lighter and a tad thinner notebooks, put just a tad better hardware in it and then yell and scream about lousy Macs being A WHOLE 1/16" THICKER and a WHOLE ONE OUNCE HEAVIER yada yada.

I mean, guys, just use the tactic Apple uses, make it somewhat more creative, don't let ugly business managers like Ballmer look into that, don't let old school Windows/Visual Basic developers anywehere close to it - and you may get maybe some success similar to Zune's... damn, that'd be painful, huh? But they really have to try, they did it with Xbox, so I don't get it why that can't do it with MS PC.

The soil is fertile for that move, I bet some folks at MS are already looking hard into that, making business plans and thinking about the best ways to implement this.

However, if the main component of the Apple's success if Mr. RDF himself, then I dunno, maybe it's just a waste of time for MS even to try this.

I'm not sure tho... maybe it's not quite 100% RDF that's responsible, and if not then MS has a chance.

RE: Microsoft stores
By Parhel on 5/21/2008 4:03:33 PM , Rating: 2
Same was said about MP3 players and gaming consoles before

I pay close attention to tech markets, and I don't recall anyone ever seriously making a case that MS should stay out of those markets. MS desperately needs to move into markets where nobody can call them a monopoly.

just use the tactic Apple uses

Why would they want to do that? MS is already beating Apple in that market. Obviously they're doing something right. Why adopt should they adopt the tactics of the competitor who they have already beaten?

In the mp3 player market, MS is the newcomer and they need to play some serious catch-up. But in the personal computer market, MS is king and they are doing exactly what they should be.

They need Apple to point to in monopoly lawsuits.

RE: Microsoft stores
By Pirks on 5/21/2008 5:17:51 PM , Rating: 1
But in the personal computer market, MS is king
MS is losing the high-profit premium PC market, this is where they should focus their attention if they don't want to see all the premium/luxury goods oriented customers falling into the Apple's sweet trap.

I suppose MS would not like to see its main competitor grabbing one half of the consumer spending on the market by selling all the expensive models and making insane profits while Dells and others are pushed into the budget low-end segment with low profits.

You probably don't realize that market share is nothing and profitability is everything. Well, I hope you'll get this later sometime :-)

RE: Microsoft stores
By Parhel on 5/21/2008 5:47:03 PM , Rating: 2
MS is losing the high-profit premium PC market

MS doesn't sell PCs, they sell operating systems. They make roughly the same amount of money whether the end user buys a $200 computer or a $4,000 computer.

I suppose MS would not like to see its main competitor grabbing one half of the consumer spending on the market

I they wanted to take away Mac's tiny sliver of the pie, would they offer a Mac version of Office? No. MS needs people to buy the Mac. As long as the Mac exists, their 93% of the market isn't a monopoly.

You probably don't realize that market share is nothing and profitability is everything. Well, I hope you'll get this later sometime :-)

Market share determines whether or not 3rd parties consider it worthwhile to develop apps for the Mac. For most people, the availability of software plays a big role in determining whether they buy a Mac. At this point, a lot of people have bought them without knowing that the Mac doesn't have a lot of 3rd party software, and for them it determines whether they are happy or unhappy customers.

Right now, Apple makes their money off of iPods and iTunes. For the Mac to be successful, they absolutely will need to increase their market share. It won't be successful or profitable long term without market share. Investors know that, and Apple knows that.

Their strategy right now should be to sell as many Macs as possible, and try to reach critical mass where developers take notice.

RE: Microsoft stores
By modestninja on 5/21/2008 5:59:35 PM , Rating: 2
Last I checked, Microsoft sells the OS not the hardware. So why would they care how much the hardware costs? They get the money for the software licenses either way.

RE: Microsoft stores
By Pirks on 5/21/2008 6:48:00 PM , Rating: 2
why would they care how much the hardware costs?
Because preventive strike is always a good idea - deliver a blow to your main competitor while you have power to do that. When in several years Apple has more cash than MS - it won't work anymore, it'll be too late. If Apple gets more cash reserve accumulated than MS has, and then decides to go for enterprise - the Ballmer & Co may start thinking about getting another job, 'cause the only powerful weapon MS has - huge cash reserve - will be totally worthless against strong and agile competitor with even more cash.

Do you understand that you have to see in the future and plan accordingly if you wanna survive as the big business?

By borismkv on 5/20/2008 4:12:01 PM , Rating: 5
At least, the ones that aren't marketed at enthusiasts. And since the vast majority of PCs over 1000 dollars are self built, it's kind of hard to do market research on *actual* sales. The 1000+ market is a really poor indicator of market trends.

By borismkv on 5/20/2008 5:05:53 PM , Rating: 5
Actually, most of those desktops *are* focused at either gaming or high-end business applications like CAD. The laptops are primarily focused at business use. Not home use. And let's next go look at what the study covers. RETAIL sales. Retail. That means that this is a study on people who walk into a store and buy a computer. Which basically means that your links are crap, because *gasp* that's not counted in this particular study. And I think you'd be hard pressed to find any of those computers you linked in a retail location.

And here's the funny thing. What this study reveals, more than anything, is that the market for 1000+ computers is about 20% of the entire retail PC market. That means that unless people start suddenly deciding that spending *more* money is a good idea or Apple decides to actually drop their prices (oh, that'll never happen) Apple will never go beyond 20% market share. Because they don't sell retail computers below $1000. Unless you count the crap mini.

But here's where this study is terribly misleading. We have no idea what their data actually represents. Is this information from retail sales in large retail outlets? Does it include data from small computer shops (a very large percentage of $1000+ PCs are sold from small computer shops that build customer computers, information about sales for these companies is virtually impossible to track accurately)? Statistics are basically worthless and are good for nothing more than the propaganda that Jason Mick enjoys writing unless you know, and share, every single detail about the study.

*prepares for the semi-coherent Picks rant about how much of an idiot I am because of yada yada yada*

By borismkv on 5/20/2008 5:37:08 PM , Rating: 5
Oh, you have a gaming laptop? Wait! What happened to Apples being able to do everything? What ever happened to your "If you want to game, get an XBox 360" thing? Can't practice what you preach? I'm afraid I'm going to have to ignore every single anti-PC comment you ever make from now on because you're a hypocrite. You suggest that people do things even *you* aren't willing to do. Now who's the liar?

And retail sales are hardly an indication of actual trends in computer sales, particularly in the truly money-making markets of the computer industry, business workstations and servers. This study shows exactly 0% of business trends. You're just such a fanboy that worthless news like this will give you a hard-on. Face it. Owning 60 percent of 20 percent of any market is hardly worth talking. And that is all this study says about apple. They own, 60 percent, of 20 percent. But hey, it's good fodder for the Apple spin doctors and fanboys.

By borismkv on 5/20/2008 6:17:40 PM , Rating: 5
But you *haven't* gotten a 17"MacBook pro and an Xbox 360, unless you lied, again, about having a 1000 dollar PC laptop that you play games on. Or do you have a Mac with Windows on it? BAHAHAHAHA! Oh you're funny. You keep talking up Macs but even *you* use Windows on it. That makes me laugh so much. You call me a wintel fanboy when you have a Wintel machine! AAAAAAAHAHAHA! Oh I love it.

By borismkv on 5/20/2008 8:06:09 PM , Rating: 5
In short, you're a troll. Thanks for playing, sir. Have a nice day.

By jonmcc33 on 5/21/2008 7:48:30 AM , Rating: 2
Retail sales are indication of the global market trends. They just show what general public prefers to buy for home use.

It doesn't show OEM online or corporate sales, which vastly dwarf retail sales. Retail sales only include places like Best Buy or even the rare Apple Mac store.

Retail sales of Windows Vista pale in comparison to OEM license sales. Getting the bigger picture yet?

By Pirks on 5/21/2008 3:45:11 PM , Rating: 2
Retail sales of Windows Vista pale in comparison to OEM license sales. Getting the bigger picture yet?
And retail sales of Macs pale in comparison to online sales of Macs. So what? ;-)

By Parhel on 5/21/2008 4:11:24 PM , Rating: 2
And retail sales of Macs pale in comparison to online sales of Macs. So what? ;-)

I very much doubt that. The reason most sales of MS products aren't retail is that they sell en masse to businesses whereas Apple doesn't.

I'm sure Apple sells plenty of Macs online. But, unless I see trustworthy statistics claiming otherwise, the Mac's high retail sales numbers compared with their very low overall market share forces me to assume that the vast majority of their sales are retail.

Sick of all those Apple stories
By Segerstein on 5/20/2008 4:30:05 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sick of all those Apple stories. Apple this, Apple that. Prices of hardware have fallen, but Apple didn't let their prices fall. Now they brag that they have large percentage of market above a certain price!!!

Apple Computer isn't much more that "designer" cases & "designer" GUI on BSD along with hype. I absolutely hate this HYPE because hype by its definition is exaggerated and thus it send wrong signals to the regular user. Simply, it is disinformation. And I feel sorry for people that pay Apple the price premium for the hype.

Less hype --> the more it forces Apple Computer products to compete on their merits!!!

So please, less Apple Computer stories.

By Omega215D on 5/20/2008 5:03:48 PM , Rating: 3
While I do want Apple to lower the price on their MacBooks (Though I got mine for $900 new) it does have a few advantages over other brand laptops. Without paying a fortune or having to carry a thicker battery I get about 4 -5 hours run time on my MacBook. The thickness doesn't change when moving from the front of the machine to the back so it fits well in my backpack. The machine is also 1.08" thick so it is slim for a 13" notebook that costs less than $1200.

Of course the MacBook and the MacBook Pro are the only Apple products that I like, the rest of their stuff is kinda overpriced.

RE: Sick of all those Apple stories
By Smartless on 5/20/2008 8:18:56 PM , Rating: 2
Here's an example of smug... My fiancee's mom just got through telling me I'd better scan my thumbdrive since Windows comeputers have viruses and her Apple machine never gets them. Kept my mouth shut but if Apple gets more popular, we'll see who the hackers want to get now.

By AlphaVirus on 5/21/2008 11:24:17 AM , Rating: 2
Lol you should school her next time, I clown those types of people that spew nonsense. It's funny because the majority of people that make those comments do nothing more than web browse to MySpace and check email.

People are afraid of what they do not know, I have not gotten a virus since 2000 when I first started fooling with trojans and backdoors. My cousin accidently sent it to me and crashed my computer.

RE: Sick of all those Apple stories
By ATC on 5/20/2008 8:47:09 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sick of all those Apple stories. Apple this, Apple that.

Why don't you just skip them then? It's really easy.

And I feel sorry for people that pay Apple the price premium for the hype.

Don't feel sorry for them. They're enjoying their switch. I have yet to meet one person who has switched back to windows once they've worked on a mac. Traffic seems to be flowing in one direction.

You want to feel sorry for someone? Feel sorry for those who've only really used one platform while making it their daily mission to spread FUD about the other platform(s).

By Segerstein on 5/21/2008 12:33:55 AM , Rating: 2
Without the hype, Apple lovers would get the same Apple technology at a lower price point.

Hype hurts customers of Apple Computer!

By Reclaimer77 on 5/21/2008 12:19:19 PM , Rating: 1
I have yet to meet one person who has switched back to windows once they've worked on a mac. Traffic seems to be flowing in one direction.

Lie. Lots are " switching back " because Mac's are running Windows now as well. If there was no demand for Windows than why did Apple go out of its way to ensure you could dual boot Windows in Macs ??

So yes traffic IS going in one direction. Straight to Microsoft.

By pauldovi on 5/20/2008 4:42:51 PM , Rating: 3
Baker comment glibly, "iMacs are growing and the Windows desktop ain't. No matter how you look at it, Apple is outperforming Windows."

100% - 15% = 85%....

85% > 15%... Guess he didn't look at the most obvious angle.

How many people buy over $1000 desktops? I don't know anyone who has...

RE: Dumb
By Master Kenobi on 5/20/2008 6:17:48 PM , Rating: 5
Most people in the >$1000 price range on PC's are gamers and techies that know how to roll their own, or buy a cheap one and upgrade it. Apple is competing against Alienware, XPS, Voodoo, and Falcon. Who gives a damn?

RE: Dumb
By pauldovi on 5/21/2008 12:05:51 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, everyone I know in the >$1000 market builds their own stuff. Laptops more frequently venture into that >$1000 market, but I doubt it is a huge market.

RE: Dumb
By jonmcc33 on 5/21/2008 7:51:19 AM , Rating: 2
Add up the price of all the components inside my PC and it's well over $1000. Of course I'm that small 5% gaming PC builder though.

RE: Dumb
By AlphaVirus on 5/21/2008 11:19:13 AM , Rating: 2
That is usually what happens when I purchase a new PC. I buy a cheap one in the $400-600 range and just upgrade the certain parts I need most, ie. dedicated GPU, lower latency ram, and higher clocked cpu. Eventually it reaches the $800-1000 range.

Microsoft Voluntarily Follows Broadcast Flags
By rsmech on 5/20/08, Rating: 0
RE: Microsoft Voluntarily Follows Broadcast Flags
By omnicronx on 5/20/2008 4:11:23 PM , Rating: 2
Gah.. misinformation already spread..

MS already has enough haters DT, lets at least give them a good reason to hate... not something that has been implemented for 4 years, yet nobody knew about, and nobody (until there was a mistake) ever implemented. It was also the CGMS-A flag that NBC enabled, not the broadcast flag. All it takes is the word protection and MS in the same sentence for someone to screen DRM!! from the top of their lungs.. get a life...

RE: Microsoft Voluntarily Follows Broadcast Flags
By rsmech on 5/20/2008 10:39:46 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe not to others but you seem to be the MS fanboy.

I'm no MS hater, I dislike Vista, have always used windows, tried Linux. But by no means am I a MS hater if you were to look at other posts I have made. If this is misinformation I'm just relaying it on the site I read about it on, so take a chill pill & lower the flames. I'll take windows over apple any day, I just dislike the controls built into Vista period. If I am wrong about them, I read them here. If Vista restricts my media use in ways XP doesn't then I'm right on so chill out.

RE: Microsoft Voluntarily Follows Broadcast Flags
By omnicronx on 5/21/2008 9:31:44 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe not to others but you seem to be the MS fanboy.
Obviously I am a fanboy because I stopped the spread of misinformation. Use whatever OS you want I don't care, just don't complain about something when you have no idea what you are talking about. The article never claimed any sort of DRM, as this was originally an FCC ruling, which was probably put in the software for compatability, (cable cards etc) not to specifically cut out MCE users from recording content.

By rsmech on 5/21/2008 1:36:34 PM , Rating: 2
How about I know some people who bought Vista were disappointed. I know the free printers given away with new machines didn't even have working drivers. I know my Quickbooks wouldn't work with it. I know there were issues with sound cards and video cards. I know I won't be using Vista anytime soon. Go ahead & tell me it wasn't MS fault, fine. But it's like opening a restaurant & saying sorry the food sucks but it's our suppliers. Sorry that item on the menu isn't available yet, we couldn't get it yet. Your not going to blame the vendors for the restaurant are you. No you are going to say this place sucks. If you want good customer experience & you are depending on others to help deliver it, well you better make sure you can depend on them. I'm sorry the quote from another DT article was incorrect for your liking. We don't need to add to the already earned negativity towards Vista.

Consumer numbers?
By drinkmorejava on 5/20/2008 4:39:53 PM , Rating: 2
Are these numbers just for consumers, or do they include businesses too? There is no way that Apple is beating Lenovo, Dell, HP,...combined in >$1000 laptop sales across the board.

RE: Consumer numbers?
By Accord99 on 5/20/2008 4:46:08 PM , Rating: 2
Only the US retail market, which is a small fraction of the total US market.

RE: Consumer numbers?
By Scott66 on 5/21/2008 12:06:18 AM , Rating: 2
Since the stats are for brick and mortar sales, the vast majority will be consumers and small business. Dell's and Lenovo's sales are mainly internet or direct business sales (not included in the stats), Apple though does a lot of internet sales as well, so they are not counted in these stats either. Also educational sales are not included.

The original stats in the article don't distinguish between laptops and desktops, two totally different target markets.

In other words these stats are totally worthless (At least Apple is not the source)

Less problems with MAC
By booboo58 on 5/20/2008 5:58:39 PM , Rating: 2
I own a small business and I have fewer dumb, time consuming problems with my MACs compared to my PCs. I have always used PCs W2K and XP and got my first OS 10 Mac 6 months ago. It requires less work to keep running smoothly. Small wonder that people who need the performance of a high end computer to earn a living like MACs compared to any flavor of a PC. MACs save time, the most valuable thing I have.

RE: Less problems with MAC
By 67STANG on 5/20/2008 6:41:08 PM , Rating: 2
I have a G5 Mac with a beautiful 23" Cinema HD Monitor. Sitting next to it: a Dell Precision Notebook running Windows XP and hooked to dual 22" Monitors. Between the two of them,I use the Dell MUCH more. While the Mac has pretty much the same programs installed and is much prettier, I find OSX to be the software form of diarrhea.

It's productivity is horrible compared to XP/Vista and even the most simple tasks in Windows involve much more work in OSX. I also find as far as the hardware goes, Apple goes out of their way to remove and/or hide easy-to-use buttons in favor of streamlining the design.

RE: Less problems with MAC
By kelmon on 5/21/2008 5:51:00 AM , Rating: 2
It probably depends on how you like to work, but I'll agree that I use a Mac because I find them to be less annoying than Windows boxes and I can get my work done faster. Other people, I note, report the opposite, and hence I suspect that this is either because they are unaware of the tools available in the system (unlikely if they've actively tried to learn the OS and the applications) or simply don't like to work that way. It happens. I'm very much drag-n-drop in my approach to working and its so well implemented in the Mac OS and applications that it's just wonderful. The Mac just fits how I like to work.

At the end of the day, I don't much care about the price of the computer as long as I can get done what I need faster and with less hassle. A Mac delivers that for me.

By GTaudiophile on 5/20/2008 10:13:23 PM , Rating: 2
For a company that was on life support in the mid 90s, I have to really hand it to Jobs. Talk about sticking it to the man. Who thought a computer company would be running the music industry a decade ago?

I use Windows XP at home and at work. As does my GF, my friends, and most of my immediate family members. I build my own PCs. I game...less and less. Windows is a tool, not much different from the ordinary pen. It gets the job done. Gee whiz.

Apple has made the personal computer exciting again for the masses. When it comes to industrial design, from top to bottom, they are second to none. I am sorry, but they just look good and work great. I have limited experience with OS X but it looks great too. Apple hardware is also packaged a cut above everyone else, from the Mini to the Powerbook.

I say good for them and keep it up! 3G iPhone anyone?

RE: Applause
By Reclaimer77 on 5/20/2008 10:33:52 PM , Rating: 2
Apple has made the personal computer exciting again for the masses.

Then why aren't " the masses " buying them ?

RE: Applause
By Pirks on 5/21/2008 3:21:50 PM , Rating: 2
For the same reason the masses don't buy Lexus cars, going for cheaper Toyotas and Chevys

What about DIY
By thebrown13 on 5/20/2008 10:43:49 PM , Rating: 2
Everyone I know does DIY instead of pre-built machines... And I mean EVERYONE.

RE: What about DIY
By themadmilkman on 5/21/2008 12:49:53 AM , Rating: 2
If that really is the case, I think you should get out more.

RE: What about DIY
By just4U on 5/21/2008 1:58:51 PM , Rating: 2
He probably means people he interacts with regularily. I know the same holds true for me but .. that's because I've built everyones machines and mostly, they come to me for advice on anything computer related. (I say mostly because sometimes I shake my head at their impulse purchases)

By LemonJoose on 5/21/2008 12:14:12 AM , Rating: 2
A lot of the people I see buying Apple stuff are doing it for the physical product design and marketing image -- the "cool" factor, and that is not something that Microsoft has a lot of control over. Why can't Dell, HP and Sony come up with PC designs as cool as Apple's? Maybe Microsoft has to take the lead itself if it wants its OS showcased in cooly-designed hardware. It's not MS's strongest suit, but they do have some hardware design successes, such as the Xbox 360 and its controller, the second-generation Zune, and the introduction of the optical mouse. Apple actually actually ended up copying the two-button mouse and scroll-wheel eventually after long stubbornly stick with one-button mice.

By BF04 on 5/21/2008 7:10:49 AM , Rating: 2
Little late posting, however I made Apple very happy last night. Wife is going on a trip to Europe and needed a new laptop. I searched around, compared Dell, HP and Apple. Everyone I know who has an Apple rav's about the ease of use. I talked with an Apple sales rep and I was looking at the Macbook Pro. After explaining what the wife will use it for, he actually tried to talk me down into a Macbook. In the end here is what I got.

Macbook Pro 2.4 15.4in screen (wanted the larger screen)
Iphone + bluetooth headset
.MAC and a other accessories.
It includes Ilife so it will be easy for take/edit pictures, make website and 1 click upload everything to as she goes on her trip. I did not find anyone else who even came close to offering a complete package. Yes I could have gotten one piece from here, setup web hosting from another company..etc. But why, it's all their. She was amazed when I got it all up and running last night. The iphone was very easy to setup which I was little worried about.

I am tech guy, I build my own gaming pc's and work as a Windows Admin. I am also one of the few who likes Vista. :)
I have 64-bit running, 4gb ram, Q6600 and game alot. Wife had a Dell laptop before, never again. It had problems from day 1 and Dell refused to sent us the reinstall disk. They wanted $99 for the disk. The HD finally crashed after 1.5yrs and it is a paper weight. A friend purchased a new gaming PC from Dell. Top of the XPS cost $3k, it has gone through 2MB, 1 PSU so far. I build his wife a comparible pc through Newegg, no problems. I can see why Dell is losing market share.

I am not a Apple fan boy yet, but now I have my first Mac it will be interesting to finally compare first hand.

By jonmcc33 on 5/21/2008 7:57:56 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure when the last time you checked out a Dell. Their Optiplex and Precision line is pretty good looking on the outside and very well laid out on the inside. I have a Precision 390 for my work computer and it's one of the best designs I've seen for an OEM PC, especially internal layout.

By EvilBlitz on 5/20/2008 5:30:58 PM , Rating: 3
Please can we tighten up a little on the journalism.

Thats 66% of RETAIL(only brick and mortar stores) that are $1000+.
No where does it state what size the non retail $1000+ market is in comparison.
Also it does not state wether this is US sales, World sales or Ethiopian sales. It is most likely US sales only. If the world figures were just as rosy I would have imagined they would have stated them.

Really this comes across as a weak pointless article,picking the one segment they really do well in(their MAIN market since they are more "upper class" computers) and blaring a trumpet.
I know apple have been doing better lately, but this is pretty yawn for news. I bet even with the crap that is vista I could cherry pick a good segment.

RE: Yawn
By Varun on 5/20/2008 10:27:49 PM , Rating: 2
Well since this is a Jason Mick article what did you expect? I don't think I have ever seen someone put so much spin on news in my life. It's sad that Anandtech, one of the tech sites I trust the most, links to these articles.

Oh well it's either this or his Vista bashing.

Maybe he could realise that high end Apple hardware started selling a lot better when they decided to let you run Vista on it. Now you get the cool looking laptop that runs the OS you need to run to get your work done.

High end = $1000 in Apple dollars?
By mattclary on 5/20/2008 9:52:52 PM , Rating: 2
OK, I have an issue with the spin on this.

So, most computers that are priced over $1000 are Apples.

We all know that if an Apple costs $1200, a comparable PC is going to cost $800 (or certainly less than $1000)

Do you see where I am going with this?

If you take even $900 PCs and count them as "high end" (i.e. comparable to the overpriced Mac selling for $1100), then I suspect the landscape shifts a bit.

$1000 Apple Dollars <> $1000 PC Dollars

By Belard on 5/21/2008 1:50:41 AM , Rating: 2
Thats kinda make sense...

A $1200 imac with a 20" wide screen is equal in power of a typical $700 desktop with a 20" monitor... but with the optional ability to upgrade the video card and power supply.

The Mac Pro is the worst in my book... $2800 for the base model. But since it's using high latency Server class memory that is super expensive... a $1200~1500 PC desktop with a single CPU will be just as fast if not faster for desktop usage.

By Reclaimer77 on 5/20/2008 10:22:23 PM , Rating: 2
These quotes from Baker would convince me otherwise. Oh my, where to begin.

We exert some control so that you get the best experience. When you get in the store, we get you what you want."

Uhhh I do get what I want ? But you just said...

Baker states, "If you don't give people a choice, people will spend more."

So which is it ? Am I getting what you want, or am I getting a product with your " exerted controls " because I have no choice and you can get me to spend more ?

He states, "Consumers don't care about features. People see a value proposition in an offering that gives them a great experience."

Consumers don't care about features... hmmmm. Really ? This is not only wrong, but he states it in a way that its impossible to have features AND a valued experience. Since when.

When you get in the store, we get you what you want."

I'm so confused ! You just said I'm buying what YOU want me to buy, for more, because I " don't have a choice ".

The Apple business model truly does SUCK, and no matter how sensationalized you write the stories, they have been and always will be a tiny player in the PC market. Bakers comments are so patronizing and condescending to the consumer I just cannot believe people buy into this.

This articles premise is like me stating " Ferrari captures two thirds of $200,000 + exotic car market ". Well no s%@# !!

( not a good analogy because with the Ferrari you truly ARE getting a car loaded with features, performance, and luxury. Price be damned )

By Pirks on 5/20/2008 10:57:22 PM , Rating: 2
with the Ferrari you are getting a car loaded with features, performance, and luxury
Yeah, Ferrari is pretty close to Mac Pro in this regard

One acronym describes it all...
By phaxmohdem on 5/21/2008 11:03:35 AM , Rating: 2

I love reading through the comments on these kind of "Apple pwns PC in * " stories. Why do people get mad that Apple is doing well? How does Apple's alleged success encroach on your ability to BYOPC, or purchase a PC from a standard manufacturer if you want to? Do you really want that Apple/PC troll owning the same computer as you and desecrating its good name? If anything Apple is helping us PC heads out by driving manufactures to create more compelling PC products.

Live and let live folks. Who cares if "Apple Fanboi x" (who you've never met) loves his new Macbook, who cares if "PC Fanboi me" (who doesn't want to meet you) loves his Thinkpad T40p?

And as for the OS X v. Windows crappola... Get over yourselves. I predict in a year or so the industry will go through a retro MS-DOS phase anyway rendering the arguments moot. ASCII FTW.

Sweet, I have now dropped my own turd on to this steaming pile of comments. Hey, can someone pass me some T.P.?

By AlphaVirus on 5/21/2008 11:35:23 AM , Rating: 2
Why do people get mad that Apple is doing well? How does Apple's alleged success encroach on your ability to BYOPC, or purchase a PC from a standard manufacturer if you want to?

I think its the people who have some sort of knowledge of the tech world getting frustrated because majority of what Apple users spew is fodder from Apples' zaney commercials. Along with the users, Apple itself stoops to such low standards on its commercials to try and fool people into purchasing their products.

Apple knows, once a person buys one of their $1000+ computers that they wont go to anything else. After you spend that type of cash, you won't like having to spend more, especially if it is not claimed to be as 'luxury'.

If anything Apple is helping us PC heads out by driving manufactures to create more compelling PC products.

I have to disagree. The technology world is ever increasing with already thousands of companies fighting for our money. Of course Apple stirs up mess, but I don't think it makes any dent in the PC world that you think it does. The only thing it has made manufactures create are all-in-ones which do not suite very many 'PC heads'. We like being able to quickly open a case, swap out a broken hard drive, and go. We also like being able to upgrade any chance we would like.
And as for the OS X v. Windows crappola...

This stems from the whole fanboyism effect. I don't think many people have hate towards OSX itself, its more about the Apple fanboys that always say "Hahaha I am superior than Windows users because I can't get viruses, enjoy your BSOD whild I surf on the safest OS in the world." It annoys me just as much but I try to avoid those OS debates.

retail retail retail
By JoshuaBuss on 5/20/2008 5:16:41 PM , Rating: 3
man, all these numbers can be so misleading. all this means is people buying expensive computers at stores are picking up apples more often than not..

well duh.. apple computers are some of the only computers that are still that expensive in stores.. seems like these days most people buying a decent $1,000+ PC are buying them online or even just buying individual parts then building it themselves..

I'd like to see what the ACTUAL market share of the $1,000+ computing segment looks like... not these crazy 'retail sales' only figures..

By walk2k on 5/20/2008 4:36:57 PM , Rating: 2
Got it.

By tmouse on 5/21/2008 10:34:34 AM , Rating: 2
They released their new ultra in the first quarter (a typically slow one for the industry). Lost of Mac people bought one (as they usually do replacing their old ones). Numbers go up (they had better, if you release a new model and sales go down its time to pack it up). They are picking up some market share but no where near the rate it’s implied to be. This makes it sound like they will be the major player in a couple of years which is not going to happen. They have had higher percentages in the past, later this blip will phase down and maybe they will see 1-2 % market share increase at the end of the year, maybe.

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton

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