“Dividing notebook price ranges into fifths, or quintiles as the statisticians call them, Apple already has a 29% share of the U.S. market for notebook computers in the highest quintile — up ‘stunningly,’ notes analyst Toni Sacconaghi Jr. of Bernstein Research, from 8% three years ago. In the consumer and education market (i.e. excluding business computers), Apple share of the top quintile notebook market is nearly 46%,” Phillip Elmer-Dewitt reports for Fortune.

“While other PC makers have been lowering their average selling price, Apple has been steadily increasing its price premiums relative to the rest of the market — great for keeping profit margins high, but not so good for growing market share… If you look at the high-priced markets Apple chooses to play in, says Sacconaghi, you see that it already has a surprisingly dominant market share — without much room for growth.” Elmer-Dewitt reports.

“‘Accordingly,’ Sacconaghi concludes, ‘we believe Apple faces a trade-off in its Mac business over the next 2 – 3 years: either lower price (and margin percentage) to sustain share gains, or retain its current price premiums and face slowing unit growth,'” Elmer-Dewitt reports.

Full article, including a graph from Berstein’s report showing the rapid growth in Apple’s share of the premium notebook market from 2000 to today, here.

MacDailyNews Take: Developers should take note of the fact that many more people (and those that are most likely to spend money) have Apple Macs than most people think.