Why Apple scares the Wintel PC assemblers

“On the surface, the answer should be the iPad and its eco system. But the iPad is a new category and while it is true they fear Apple’s potential of owning this market and making it hard to create products that are competitive, this is not the product that they fear the most,” Tim Bajarin writes for TechPinions.

“The product they fear the most is Apple’s MacBook Air,” Bajarin writes. “When Apple first introduced the MacBook Air, a lot of the PC vendors thought it was a gimmick.”

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“But when Apple also decided to kill their MacBooks, or their entry level laptops and only bring to market MacBook airs at prices close to their older entry level models, the PC vendors sat up and took note of this quickly,” Bajarin writes. “To them it signaled that Apple is getting ready to start a full out assault on what has been sacred territory for them. Sure, they can still create laptops under $500 and sell them all day long. But they also realized that Apple is now setting the bar for laptops at a new level by using the MacBook Air to help define the next generation of laptops and, they know that with Apple’s buying power and International reach Apple could price them even more aggressively in the very near future.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related article:
PC makers struggle to match MacBook Air pricing with ‘Ultrabooks’ – July 29, 2011

25 Comments

    1. I thought the new Mac mini is i7 Dual core multi threaded?

      Is it really that much faster? My everyday mini is a C2D 2.66Ghz 2009 with 8GB of ram.

      I wonder if the new minis can hold 16 GB’s like the Macbook Pros. Would be sweet if they could 🙂

        1. Hey thanks Kingmel! I also found that the new Mac mini’s can hold 16 GB or RAM 🙂 OWC has the kits but they ask too much right now.

          Looks like I will be getting a new mini and use this one for my iTunes server! 🙂

  1. Mr. Dell, why don’t you do what you tole Apple many years ago: Close down your miserable company, give assets back to shareholders. HP, Acer, Levano, do likewise, you miserable bastardage, like Obama.

  2. They actually sat up from their chairs?! Major accomplishment for snoozing management. Maybe they can set an alarm to go off more often so they can see Apple blaazing past their fat arse. At lest they will know what hit them!

    Think different- Fact: Thinking is what Apple is doing while the rest are drooling in their sleep or drunken stupor.

  3. If the PC assemblers are actually aware of what the MBA means to their business, then they are one step ahead of the MP3 assemblers, the cellphone assemblers, and the tablet assemblers, who all denied what was obvious to Apple users.

    1. … comprehension with them. “When Apple first introduced the MacBook Air, a lot of the PC vendors thought it was a gimmick.” That was before Apple changed its mind from “let’s build an ultra-light laptop” to “let’s replace our entry-level laptop with our ultra-light”. Uh-oh!

      1. Maybe it was by introducing a MBA which wasn’t a great performer and didn’t have great connectivity, that Apple appeased them. But after they snuck the MBA in, the last two iterations of the MBA, especially the most recent one with the Thunderbolt (bus) interface and much improved performance, must have come as an unexpected (bad) surprise.

  4. The new MBAs are awesome! And it isn’t as if this should be a big surprise to anyone. SJ stated a long time ago that this is where Mac portables were heading. Just like with the iPad, Apple has a commanding headstart in this category as well as pricing advantages via economies of scale. Go, Apple!

    1. That’s why Apple needs a large war chest. It now has the equivalent of $76 billion. This is a huge strategic advantage. Apple is a bank by its own and it does not need to pay any fees to the greedy banks in Wall Street. Now those who bitched about Apple not giving out dividends are surprisingly quiet and is coming around to realize Steve’s logic which they have missed before. With times like this, cash is king.

  5. I was sitting next to a businessman on the plane today. He had an iPad 2 and a laptop (“slim” Samsung – which was very thin at the edges, felt like cheap plastic compared to the MBA, but was surprising thick overall when you got away from the edge.) turns out he is a salesman for Microsoft. I asked him if he uses the iPad more, bit he said he got it to better approach his customers that had one.

    I asked him exactly what he does, he said he tries to “help his customers do more with less”. I thought, “that’s about the best way to sell for M$”. LOL!

  6. This is more than just discontinuing the white plastic MacBook. They upgraded the Macbook Air to be as fast as anything before it, priced it be be competitive, and put in place the Mac App Store making the lack of a CD/DVD drive practical. Adding Thunderbolt capability is just icing on the cake!

  7. Love the new Air – it just has one fatal flaw this time around… It’s limited to 4GB and has no room for expansion. If they could just shoehorn a memory slot in there, I would jump on it in a heartbeat. I suspect I’m not alone.

  8. Inspired by the Dell business model of wafer thin margins slimmed down to nano paper thinkness. I wonder what Microsofts slice of that pie is going to look like.

    Personally I can see Ballmer going the BOGOFF route pretty soon. Get Vista 7 OEM version for 1.99 cents and we’ll thrown in a copy of Ultimate/Professional/Executive/God Vista Platinum 7 with gold embroided studs and a two year paid subscription to MSN/Live with Bing premium.

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