“Windows 7 did little to slow the Mac’s sales trajectory during fourth quarter, according to NPD. Year over year, Apple doubled US retail unit share — from 5 percent to 10 percent — for PCs selling between $500 and $1,000. More startling, Apple increased its unit share from 79 percent to 90 percent in the market for ‘premium’ PCs, meaning those selling for more than $1,000,” Joe Wilcox reports for Betanews. “In July, I reported that Apple’s revenue share for PCs selling for more than $1,000 was 91 percent, because of higher average selling prices; nearly all Macs sold for more than $1,000. Now Apple benefits from 90-percent unit share, too.”

“Stated differently: Nine out of 10 premium PCs purchased from US retail brick-and-mortar stores or online sites (including major chains and Apple Store) during fourth quarter was a Mac,” Wilcox reports. “The data isn’t good for Microsoft’s Windows PC partners. Microsoft and OEMs touted more feature-rich Windows 7 PCs for the holidays. Additionally, ahead of Windows 7′s launch, Microsoft spent six months marketing premium Windows PCs during its ‘Laptop Hunters’ campaign. These marketing efforts apparently failed. Apple doesn’t just own the premium market, its sales are increasing there.”

MacDailyNews Take: We’ve seen more than enough: Are the people at Microsoft’s Mac-loving ad agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, intentionally trying to sabotage Microsoft? If so, it’s working. Great job, guys; keep it up! If not, they’re as inept as the should-be used car salesman with history’s most fortunate dorm assignment who ultimately approved these myriad self-damaging campaigns.MacDailyNews Take regarding Microsoft’s “Laptop Hunters” ad campaign, April 04, 2009

WIlcox continues, “For now, as I explained in Friday post, “‘Apple iPad was my idea’,” there are no price cuts but an opening of price bands. I wrote: “iPad fills a gaping hole in the [portable] Mac product line between the aforementioned $399 and $999. Suddenly, the cheapest, functional Mac portable is $499, or half what it was on Monday. Consumers who wanted a Mac but couldn’t afford one can get one for under 500 bucks.” The day after, I posted about Apple covering all mobile computing price points from $99 to $2,499, Boy Genius Report put together a visual representation.”

Wilcox writes, “The one question remains: Can Apple really be effective taking its premium brand success to the market below five hundred bucks? That’s for iPad to answer, starting in about 60 days.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader "James W." for the heads up.]