Apple’s Mac business generates more revenue than Windows

“I’ve been providing analysis of Apple’s operating and financial performance for some time,” Horace Dediu reports for Asymco “Recently we’ve begun to look at comparisons of financial performance for comparable companies. Now it’s time to dig deeper and do comparisons of operating performance as well.”

• The Mac business generates more revenue than Windows
• iOS powered devices generate more revenue than all of Microsoft’s products put together
• Apple’s revenues grew 413% since Q2 2007 while Microsoft’s grew 26%

Much more in the full article, including excellent charts, here.


  1. That’s revenue, not profit. Any Mac sells for significantly more than a version of Windows (Microsoft doesn’t get revenue from the entire PC, just Windows, installed on that PC or sold separately). The real number that matters is profit. Apple has very healthy profit margins in its products, especially Macs, and I suspect Microsoft does as well (at least for Windows, which has to balance out all of the other red ink divisions like Xbox, Zune, Bing, etc.).

    1. You are correct. Perhaps I made too much out of one bullet from the article. But it sounds so nice…

      Distributing software in volume will always offer a higher margin than hardware. But the “in volume” caveat is the kicker. One of these days Windows may not be so ubiquitous.

    2. And if the blue Windows bar goes down, so do the green and red bars, leaving M$ dependent on their Internet and Entertainment businesses. lol

      Microsoft is a house of cards. All it needs is a few more nudges by Apple…

    3. It takes HP, the largest PC manufacturer, to sell 7 PCs to match the profit margin that one Mac generates.

      It takes aeons for HP and other PCs’ manufacturer to attend to your problems, gets kicked around like a football and gets decent compensation to your satisfaction after paying an exorbitant price. It takes layers of bureaucracy and sweating to get Microsoft to resolve to your Windoze problems. Most of the time you have to wait for a new Windoze operating system and a new machine to rid yourself of trojans and viruses from your computing life.

      With Apple everything just works. You get instant service and a new replacement for your defective devices, sometimes way above the life of your warranty. You don’t need to get Apple’s permission to reinstall your OS.

  2. Revenues are not the same as profits.

    Microsoft sells Office for $150 and the direct cost of sale for the software is likely less than $5 because all it takes is burning the DVD and packaging it up.

    Contrast that to a $1,000 Macbook Air which costs considerably more in direct costs.

    So looking at Revenues may be interesting, but is not telling because it’s Apples vs Oranges.

    1. er.. me…

      Yes the per item cost of the MS OS is 5$ but they spent over 10 – 15 BILLION to develop that software and that is what cost money. Money you pay before you get to sell the software.

      Just a thought,

    1. “For Apple to win, Microsoft doesn’t have to lose…”

      A masterful distraction! Once Steve declared that, Apple and their fans stopped focusing on this futile fight against MS and started focusing on growing Apple. Microsoft reacted in the same way: “They surrendered, we won! Let’s party!”. While they were partying, nobody was at the wheel, and Apple was meanwhile putting together all that is needed to box MS into a corner.

      But the whole game started with that fateful declaration.

  3. While Revenue and Profits are obviously different, Horace never tries to say otherwise. What i think is telling is that Apple is taking in MASSIVE amounts of Revenue, Revenue that potentially could have gone to Microsoft if they had better products/services.

  4. The only thing that confuses me with the MS chart is “server and tools” and windows server itself. Do sales of windows server get counted with server and tools or with windows? I only wonder because ms offers a lot of server software packages beyond just windows server.?

    A clearer breakdown of the products in each division would be interesting.

  5. So, is the decrease in software prices from Apple actually a long term assault on MS? If Apple can drive the price of software down, like they did with iOS and have been doing with Lion, iWork, and most if their software, it is going to increasingly make MS look like they have ridiculously expensive software. $200 for an OS compared to $29. That price disparity could gave severe impact on MS’s bottom line in the next few years.

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