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Reports claim the U.S. is becoming less of an influence on the PC market as developing countries emerge

The signs of economic downturn are showing up in many places around the United States form large companies laying off employees by the thousands to the bust in the housing market leading to significantly increased numbers of home foreclosures.

The lagging economy is evident in the technology industry as well and shows in the significant layoffs coming from industry giants like Dell and Motorola. The PC industry is feeling the softening economy in the terms of fewer computers shipped in the United States.

According to research firm IDC worldwide PC shipments in Q1 2008 grew by 14.6% to 69.5 million units. Estimates for the quarter were 13.2% growth, so the industry exceeded expectations. Despite growth in PC shipments worldwide, the U.S. market slipped to a year-over-year growth rate of only 3.5%.

IDC reports that the U.S. share of the worldwide PC market fell by more than 2 points to 23% compared to the same period in 2007. This drop is showing that the U.S. is becoming less of an influence and emerging markets in developing countries are becoming more important for PC makers. The top five PC makers in the world according to IDC in order are HP, Dell, Acer, Lenovo, and Toshiba.

At the same time the top five PC makers were seeing drops in shipments in the U.S. Apple was shipping more systems. InformationWeek reports that Apple shipments grew 32.5% to one million units compared to 762,000 Macs shipped in the same quarter last year. IDC also released a report recently showing that Apple was now in the top five U.S. computer makers with a firm hold on the number 4 spot.

The gain in U.S. market share by Apple could be attributed to the often more affluent Apple buyers. With Mac systems costing more than similar PCs, the typical Apple buyer tends to be more affluent and possibly less affected by the slowing economy in America.



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RE: PC Growth was greater in US than for Mac
By Realtosh on 4/18/2008 4:37:21 PM , Rating: 2
<obligatory statistics comment>
"There's lies, damn lies, and then there's statistics."
</obligatory statistics comment>

Enough of that.
Let's look at what your calculations tell us.

"15.96-(15.96/1.035)= .54 or 540,000 unit increase in US PC shipments"

Of that..
"32.5% growth of Macs which was an increase of 238,000 units"

So... 238,000/540,000= .44, which means that 44% of all computer unit growth in the United States were Macs.

That's a pretty good place to be. With a much smaller installed base (past) as many comments have reinforced, Macs account for close to half of all growth (present). Apple has quarter after quarter of 40%-60% of Mac unit and revenue growth. If the future looks like the present more so than the past, then Macs ought to become aprox half of all PC shipments. In fact, if Apple maintains the unit growth trend of the past couple of years, eventually there will be more Mac PCs shipped than non-Mac PCs (future).

Also interesting is that the average cost of Macs is much higher than the average cost of PCs. Furthermore, the average cost of Macs is increasing, as are gross profit margins. Meanwhile the average cost of PCs is dropping, and the profit margin of PCs in general is razor thin. So Macs are getting an increasing share of the premium PC market, while opting not to fight in the bargain-basement segment of the commodity PC business. In fact, many PC manufactures charge much more than Apple for higher end machines with similar specs, in order to make up for losses in selling the low-end cheapo PCs at the bottom. So Apple can sell a high-end system at the same price and make more money because they are not losing money selling low-end boxes.

Based on specs or features, Macs cost similar or slightly less or slightly more than comparable PCs from Dell, HP and other large PC manufacturers. Many of your readers should do actual cost comparisons to realize that the Apple of today has aggressive pricing on great computers. In the areas that Apple chooses to compete in, namely mid and high-end computers; Macs often cost less than comparable Windows boxes. At the bottom end of the market, where manufacturers cut specs in order to compete on price alone, Apple does not participate. On the other hand, selling PCs in that low-end space is not profitable.

Although, the article didn't present a clear picture, there were no misstatements of fact. The writer just doesn't seem to understand the market dynamics that are creating the sales growth figures that are presented. The actual estimated sales figures as calculated by giantpandaman2 actually tell us a more interesting story, that even gpm2 doesn't see. If we had also been given PC revenue growth, instead of just PC unit growth, the differences would be more pronounced; as Apple has a larger share of the premium PC market. Apple is growing units and revenue at the top-end by selling better machines for less, while other manufactures are struggling to maintain unit growth numbers by losing money at the low-end with severely-limited cheapo PC boxes to maintain their units sold numbers.

<witty, sarcastic comment>
I wonder which of those two business model scenarios is sustainable for long-term success.
</witty, sarcastic comment>


By aussie3138 on 4/24/2008 1:55:13 PM , Rating: 2
Realtosh,

I find that stats are useless. Maybe helps the raw numbers but working in Real Estate, being forced to use Marketlinx/Tempo to get our information puts the stats in a different world.

We are "forced" to use Windows and MSIE.

Now hopefully the iPhone will change that backward MS controlled thinking.

Peter


"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

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