Report: Apple holds 29% share of premium notebook market; 46% when excluding business computers

“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.


  1. YES! Lower prices -> increase market share.

    Apple’s goal should be no less than a Mac on every desk, lap and pocket (=iPhone) in the world. Take no prisoners!

    After all, they have something like $15 BIllion (yes, that’s a B) cash in the bank. How much more do they need? (Well, that’s the wrong question really, because if they lowered their margin from 33% to 20%, their profits would soar even more because of the increase in market share). Boy I wish I was CEO of Apple…

  2. One thing to remember, its a Forture article. They have no requirement to deal in facts, only what looks good. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />


  3. Won’t have that sort of notebook market share for long if they continue with only glossy displays.

    People in the premium market need choice.

    Glossy is good for some things, but reflections on a laptop screen which is moved place to place is inexcusable.

  4. To quote: “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.”

    This sentence is rife with fallacies.

    1. Apple has not been increasing its price premiums. Prices for Macs of all types have been stable for a long time. Instead of raising price they have consistently improved the hardware that you get. 2. Their average selling price is nearly identical to the best selling PCs. Take a few minutes and compare the products offered by Dell to those offered by Apple. Once your research matches two machines on a hardware level, you will see that the prices are close to the same. 3. There’s also an optical illusion involved here; the word ‘relative’ is the clue. When sitting on a train, with another train sitting beside it visible out the windows, it is sometimes hard to tell whether it is your train or the other that begins to move.

    And as far as real prices go, I bought the first MAC on the market in 1984. It cost $5000. The MacBook Pro I have now is an incredibly better, more powerful machine and cost $1500 less. And that doesn’t even factor in the differential due to inflation.

    Some people might argue that students are a relatively poor segment of our population but they seem to be adopting Macs at a very high rate.

    This guy needs to think again.

  5. MacMan, last year AAPL was sitting at $80+ per share, a huge run-up (for me at least) from my average pps of $12.50.

    TODAY it is sitting at $170+ per share . . . a 110%+ increase from last year alone!

    And you’re telling us that YOU would do better than SJ at running Apple? Unless you’re the CEO of GOOGLE or Warren Buffett, you might want to tone it down a bit, old boy.

  6. Feh. Apple has very competitive pricing in the segments they choose to compete in, and they’ve been gaining market share steadily in those segments. The growth may slow given how exponential it’s been, but that’s no reason to change course. Apple knows better than to go after bottom-feeder customers who purchase low-margin computers and disproportionately use expensive tech support resources.

    Let Dell have those customers — that’s a strategy that’s great for Apple’s bottom line and stock price.

  7. The last line seems to defy logic – “There is little profit, if any, in selling a laptop that costs more to build and service than you make in sales”? Eh? I’d say there is *no* profit. Unless you’re hoping for additional software, etc. sales which I don’t think anyone should take for granted.

  8. Matte Boy and the ilk get over yourselves. On the laptops – they sell both! What a concept.

    The ones that complain about the iMac at least don’t have the option. I bought the glossy on my MB Pro and love it – if you don’t, get the matte one.

    Sigh. MDN Magic Word “Love” – I love it when people think before posting.

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