“By releasing operating system upgrades at a more frequently and stable pace, Apple Computer is able to gain more profitability per user from its OS software than Microsoft, an analyst’s study has found,” Slash Lane reports for AppleInsider.
“PiperJaffray analyst Gene Munster recently compared Apple’s Mac OS X and Microsoft’s Windows pricing schemes and found that although Apple prices its OS software at a lower average selling price (ASP), it costs Mac users more per year to have the latest OS,” Lane reports. “According to Munster’s analysis, Apple releases a new version of Mac OS X about once a year for $129 (or an average of $107 per year to keep current), whereas Microsoft releases new versions of Windows about every 2.25 years for an average cost of $114 a year (or $48 per year to keep current).”
Lane reports, “Munster maintains an “Outperform” rating on shares of Apple Computer with a price target of $99.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: You’ve really got to stretch the definition of “keeping current” to apply it to Windows users’ “current” OS. Windows XP debuted on October 25, 2001. Windows users are using a half a decade old OS that’s seen two “Service Packs” designed to “improve security” (Microsoft did a great job with that, huh?). That’s “keeping current” in the Windows world, we guess.
In an almost identical timeframe, Apple has released:
• Mac OS X v10.0 (Cheetah) – March 24, 2001 (US$129)
• Mac OS X v10.1 (Puma) – September 25, 2001 (Free upgrade for existing Mac OS X users. US$129 for new users.)
• Mac OS X v10.2 (Jaguar) – August 24, 2002 (US$129)
• Mac OS X v10.3 (Panther) – October 24, 2003 (US$129)
• Mac OS X v10.4 (Tiger) – April 29, 2005 (US$129)
Current: Mac OS X v10.4.7 (Tiger) Update – released June 27, 2006 (Free)
(Not counting tens of other free “point” updates (what some might equate with “service packs”) that Apple released for each major Mac OS X version.)
When one company performs by shipping new major OS versions at regular intervals and one company is stagnant for half a decade, is it really any wonder that the former generates more profit per OS user than the latter?
[UPDATE: 12:19pm EDT: Added free upgrade info for Puma.]