“Apple’s updated $999 MacBook, $1,199-and-up iMac and $599 Mac Mini models may look sharp, and some add such thoughtful features as a wireless mouse that includes the ‘multi-touch’ technology first seen on the iPhone. But Windows-based computers can cost half as much — even before you factor in Apple’s inflated charges for memory and storage upgrades. Since there’s a recession going on and we’re all smart capitalists, buyers will undoubtedly switch to more affordable alternatives. Clearly, Apple is doomed,” Rob Pegoraro reports for The Washington Post. “Except it’s not.”
Pegoraro reports, “In its quarterly earnings announcement Monday, the Cupertino, Calif., company blew away Wall Street’s expectations, shipping more Macs in a quarter than ever before — 3.05 million — for a $1.67 billion profit. The New York Times noted that ‘Macintosh sales have now grown faster than the rest of the PC market in 19 of the last 20 quarters,'”
“Analysts and critics can insist that Apple has to ship a netbook to stay competitive, and Mac shoppers can wish that the company would turn its considerable talent for design to that category of computer. But Apple doesn’t have to do that any more than Cadillac owes the world an $18,000 subcompact… As grotesque and incomprehensible as Apple’s existence may seem to people content with an affordable PC, the company seems to have taken up residence at a spot in the market that other vendors seem unable to barge into,” Pegoraro reports.
“Manufacturers of Windows-based PCs can craft higher-end models… But they can’t do much to differentiate the software on those deluxe models — whether it’s Windows Vista or the new Windows 7, shipping Thursday — from what they ship on the $400 boxes lining mass-market retailers’ shelves. Apple won’t license Mac OS X to them,” Pegoraro reports.
“This could be a self-reinforcing trend: As PC builders keep having their profit margins squeezed, they have fewer resources to devote to high-end consumer products, while Apple’s focus on the most profitable end of the market leaves it with ever more money to dump into product design,” Pegoraro reports. “Or buying small islands.”
Full article – recommended – here.
MacDailyNews Take: Clearly, Pegoraro gets it.
Macintosh is the aspirational brand in the personal computer market and Apple is smart to keep it that way. – MacDailyNews Take, October 24, 2008