IDC analyst: Apple MacBook wins, Windows ultrabook fails

“Ultrabook numbers will fall far short of Intel’s aggressive market share targets, an IDC analyst told CNET,” Brooke Crothers reports for CNET. “The MacBook Air, meanwhile, continues to coast amid continued popularity.”

“An IDC report today showed a weak PC market caught in its seventh consecutive quarter of little to no growth,” Crothers reports. “‘The volume isn’t there and it’s going to be way below what Intel had hoped for,’ IDC analyst Jay Chou told CNET, referring to ultra books. ‘The first half [of 2012] is about 500,000 ultrabooks shipped worldwide. It’s nowhere near Intel’s initial hope,’ Chou said.”

Crothers reports, “‘The MacBook Air is a good part of Apple’s business. It’s had good growth,’ Chou said. Unit shipments of Apple’s MacBooks were up in the most recent reported quarter (Q2) to about 2.8 million (PDF) compared with 2.75 million in the same quarter last year… It’s hard to make inroads into a market that Apple practically invented.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The remaining Windows PC assemblers are in for a world of hurt.

Related articles:
U.S. Windows PC shipments drop 7%, Apple Mac up 4.3% YOY – July 12, 2012
The PC market’s last, best hope: Apple MacBook Air wannabes – May 14, 2012
JP Morgan: Windows PC ‘ultrabooks’ just Apple MacBook Air wannabes – February 14, 2012
U.S. Windows PC shipments drop 6% in holiday quarter as Apple Macs surge 21% – January 11, 2012


    1. Yes, but “eye of the mountain lion” doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily as “eye of the tiger,” nor does it fit as neatly in a song…

  1. Ultrabooks on the PC side will be nothing more than a design change on the part of PC manufacturers. I’ve yet to see one that positions itself within a broader product lineup to show advantages or disadvantages to the end user.

  2. “It’s hard to make inroads into a market that Apple practically invented.”

    I have to wonder what, if any, market research went into the Ultrabook idea. Do people who use Windows even want this type of machine? I would say they’re creating a machine for a problem that didn’t exist, but they’ve been creating tablets for years with zero success. Once Apple comes-out with a tablet, it’s super-popular. Apple just did it right.

  3. Did the guys at intel know that the MacBook Air has an intel processor? how come they decided to go against it??? are they nuts or just stupid?
    If apple sell more computer intel sell more processors, its a win win for them.

  4. Intel wanted the “WIN WIN WIN” that’s why. If they can sell more Intel CPUs (both in Apple gear and generic PC gear), then all the better for Intel.

    The problem with the PC industry is that they have been operating under the assumption that people want Apple’s hardware for the sake of the hardware. That may have been partially true in the past, but I think today people are becoming more computer literate in that they know they want Apple’s software as well. They know the sweet spot is with Apple hardware+software and with an ultra book from your generic PC assembler, you are still stuck with Windows (or desktop Linux if it meets your needs).

  5. @ MDN: Windows PC assemblers are actually the same Chinese workshops that assemble Apple products. Design is different, not the assembly or even the commodity guts.

    When Mac market share reaches 50% in any category, then go ahead and gloat. Until then, be happy to enjoy a slimmer market share and superior quality.

    1. Assembly is actually different. There was a story not too long ago about how Chinese companies would alter the internals to save money across the board except for Apple. They bemoaned that Apple requires a very strict adherence to the original design.

    2. Actually Apple has helped create new assembly and manufacturing methods that are exclusive to their products. For instance, Apple’s entire line of note books uses a unique process of milling out a solid block of aluminum to create the case for their note books. This allows their note books to have increased strengths and rigidity.

      Most other note books are assembled from a skeleton of different parts (some plastic) which requires them to be thicker and usually not as strong.

      Also apple designs their own motherboards and even chips so those parts are not the same either.

    3. What MDN means:
      “Windows PC assemblers” – All the PC companies that just take parts and create a computer. No design, just throw the crap together and sell it.
      Think of Dell, Gateway, Acer…

    4. @ wrong again: you don’t think other companies also have design standards? Obviously there is a range of oversight, with different companies requiring different workmanship quality, but all brands now feed at the same few troughs

      @ praus: insignificant. you don’t think other brands also have significant design centers? wrong. They just happen to be aiming for lower price points, hence cheaper materials. Foxconn doesn’t care if the case is metallic or not, it’ll screw ’em together the same way.
      @ Think: the days of a “Windows PC assembler” are already long gone. No kid today buys catalog parts to build his own machine. Too lazy. Dell & others actually grew up and have engineering departments just as big and capable as Apple. Really.

      1. “Dell & others actually…….. have engineering departments just as big and capable as Apple.” Really.

        REALLY? As Big and As Capable? What kind of horse shit have you been smoking? If that was really true where are the results? Hmmm, wait. Mike? Is that you Mikey D. ? IDIOT!

      2. No…I did say just design. You said originally that Apple’s products are assembled the same and contain the same “commodity guts” as other brands. I pointed out how Apple actually created and has it’s assemblers use unique crafting methods. The method of milling out a solid block of aluminum is unique to Apple’s note books (thats a unique assembly technique that claimed Apple didn’t have). Also Apple doesn’t just use off the shelf mother boards or fans or batteries and a host of the chips inside are designed by them so I don’t really see how your “commodity guts” point has any validity left either.

    5. Apple invests in the assembly lines of these workshops. They often buy or lease the equipment (such as CNC machines), set them up in the workshops and let the assemblers use them as an investment in the assemblers.

      Also, Apple comes up with a lot of new ways to use materials combine materials and assemble them unique to Apple. Such as bonding glass to aluminum, etc.

      The batteries in MacBooks, iPhones and iPads are unique to Apple. They made their own designs to fill the internal cavities of the devices.

      Apple gets Intel to design chips and boards to certain requirements, include Thunderbolt port, etc. And Apple designs its own SoC’s using its ARM license. A lot of work has been done by Apple to use graphics chips and manage power, optimize and use hardware for acceleration, and find unique cooling solutions, that there is very little that Apple systems have in common with any one else’s products, except perhaps the telecoms chips and the main part of some of the Intel chips.

      So, what are you trying to say? That Apple is “merely” a software company or big box retailer or service company, and Apple needs “reference designs” from the likes of Intel or Microsoft so that it has something to sell? Until the topic is Microsoft, then Apple is suddenly a hardware company again. Frustrating isn’t it? Just accept it, Apple can do it all.

      1. @ MacBram & Muppetgate:

        So you’re agreeing with the MDN take that Dell and HP and Asus don’t have all the capabilities you mentioned? Owning equipment, innovating assembly and construction technologies, designing custom batteries and motherboards, getting sub-suppliers to send them custom components. You don’t think Apple’s larger competition can – and does – do this? You would be wrong.

        Just because Apple currently offers the customer the best overall user experience doesn’t mean that it is a sustainable advantage, nor that its competitors will ever cede significant additional market share or profits to Apple. … especially since Apple hasn’t really offered customers anything in the way of all-new, never-before-envisioned electronic devices or services in the last 2 years and in fact seems to be ruining the Mac OS one bloated feature addition at a time. Apple’s transition from innovator to incremental operations improver should be rather obvious, especially now that the firm is headed by the “Operations Genius”.

        Allowing Apple to build up its hubris would soon also allow it to build its complacency, which of course leads to stagnation and downfall. See also: all successful companies ever organized since the history of mankind. None stayed on top for more than a few generations.

        1. Mike,

          Apple makes an average of 30% profit on a laptop or desktop.

          PC makers make 0% to 5% profit on a PC. Some lose money.

          Apple can afford the best designing, parts, assembly, testing, research, bulk buying, the list goes no and on.

          Apple can also afford the best coders to make the best software and operating systems.

          No company can outspend Apple. No company can out design Apple. No company can use the best hardware in their PCs except for Apple.

          Apple makes the best PCs, hardware and software because Apple can afford to do it.

          Get your head out of your ass and test drive an Apple PC.

          1. @allthego:

            I will ignore your pathetic insult and respond instead to your claims: profit does not equate to good design. Apple itself provides evidence for this. When Apple was nearly dead, it still produced more innovative and thoughtful designs than the big firms that were rolling in the dough and churning out plastic beige boxes by the million.

            the thing is, Apple isn’t really pushing the envelope anymore. So it’s time to stop the end-zone dance that Apple fanboys have going here. HP and Dell may have chained themselves to Microsoft and RedHat for their OSes, but their hardware sells like hotcakes, especially to large institutions that don’t give a damn about “best desinging, parts, assembly, testing, research, bulk buying, ” and so forth. In fact, the mainstream market doesn’t even consider Apple branded products because they cost more to purchase initially than their junky PC counterparts. And the wave of cheap tablets will take its toll on iPad profits no matter how inferior the other tablets are.

            Do you really think i don’t “test drive” and Apple every day?

            1. I’ve never tried to look out my navel from the inside. How’s the view Mike? Dolt! Now get upstairs. Your mom’s calling you.

            2. “Apple is not pushing the envelope anymore”…hmm

              I’m not sure what your reference for pushing the envelope is. Apple has just delivered the first ever Retina display Macbook. Regardless of the brand name “Retina” the result is a super high def display that no one was even close to coming out with.

              On top of that, the battery time is a huge 7 hours of use or 30 days of standby. Most laptops I’ve used are lucky to hit even 2 or 4 hours and the standby time is abysmal.

              You’d think the size and weight alone would be pushing the envelope for such a high powered machine. Throw in the super strong body and I think we’d have reached most people’s definition of pushing the envelope.

            3. @ Banjo: you said, “I’ve never tried to look”. Everything after that point was complete nonsense that only showed your immaturity.

              @ praus:

              According to some reviews I’ve read, the new Macbook Pro with Retina display doesn’t achieve the stated battery life.

              All other Apple products are getting long in the tooth, according to MacRumors:

              So no, i don’t think Apple is innovating across the board as well as it could. Like Jobs, i have higher expectations than the average fanboy.

  6. I think Intel is pushing Ultrabooks because they are afraid of Win8’s smaller code size and better performance on older chips. The reviews I have seen on older PCs that only had Win8, not just partitioned, were faster then they were before.  If OEMs go with their current designs then they will only need older, cheaper, less profitable chips.  Even worse AMD.  They need Ultrabooks to keep profits up. Most PC people shop on price, this will not be good for them.  

  7. “The MacBook Air, meanwhile, continues to coast amid continued popularity.”


    “The MacBook Air is a good part of Apple’s business. It’s had good growth, unit shipments of Apple’s MacBooks were up in the most recent reported quarter (Q2) to about 2.8 million (PDF) compared with 2.75 million in the same quarter last year”

    Ok which is it numb nuts? Are they coasting or are they doing very well?

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