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66% Apple Market Share For Sales of High-End PCs 724

An anonymous reader lets us know about a recent analysis of retail computer sales numbers that shines a spotlight on Apple's sales growth as the PC market has flattened. In the lucrative >$1,000 PC segment, in the first quarter of 2008, Apple's retail market share was 66%. This includes a 64% market share for laptops and a market share for desktops of 70%. The article attributes the bulk of this success to Apple's stores. Fortune picked up this report and pointed out the somewhat obvious fact that the >$1,000 PC segment is Apple's by default, since Dell, HP, and Lenovo sell the bulk of their machines in the $500-$750 range, and Apple has only one model selling for less than $1,000. As the analyst said, "If you don't give people a choice [in the Apple stores], people will spend more."
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66% Apple Market Share For Sales of High-End PCs

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  • by Totenglocke ( 1291680 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @12:58AM (#23471154)
    is exactly why I don't own an Apple. I'd love to have a Macbook Pro, but I just can't justify paying that much for yet another computer. I really think Apple would increase their market share of all systems if they lowered their prices or at least had models that started at lower prices.
  • by TinyManCan ( 580322 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @12:59AM (#23471164) Homepage
    These numbers don't really represent that much. They are for U.S. Retail sales. Since Apple is very dominant in the (tiny) retail computer sales industry, its not a shocker that they have high market share in a slice of that market.

    If you were to count BTO computers sold over phone or internet in the U.S. Apple's market share would drop. Add the rest of the world and Apple's market share shrinks even more.

    That said, Apple is gaining speed and is only going to be selling more computers for the foreseeable future.

  • by gnutoo ( 1154137 ) * on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @01:09AM (#23471238) Journal

    Very funny, you flipped a troll conversation about Apple fanboys into a Windows fanboy send up. It is as if the entire energy and malice of the GP was turned onto the GP by a subtle shift in balance.

  • by inTheLoo ( 1255256 ) * on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @01:38AM (#23471450) Journal

    You have one of two cases and I don't think you like the one you already chose:

    1. The hardware identical, so people are paying the premium for software that works.
    2. The hardware is different and that's what people are paying for.

    Both of these are losers for Windows fanboys, but the first is closer to true and th worst. The fact is that people are paying twice as much for Macs and the only difference is software and marginally better hardware. There are "premium" Wintel laptops but they are sitting on the shelf because people are buying twice as many premium Apples. The real bummer for those other hardware makers is that they have produced far more laptops than Apple can and must be piling up big losses while Apple is having trouble metting demand.

    You joke about it but you have nothing but insults.

  • Re:You get... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @01:47AM (#23471494)
    Haha, only serious, right? First off, in order to get a Dell laptop with a comparable processor, you have to go to the XPS line. You're not going to get an equivalent Core 2 Duo without jumping up to the high cost lines.

    But even then, you're stuck with the cheapest EVERYTHING ELSE. A computer isn't just the processor.

    You have the motherboard, the memory, the hard drive, the video card, the sound card, the battery, the power adapter, the integrated peripherals like webcam and microphone, the keyboard, the mouse, the case, the ports and where they're located, and so on.

    Yeah, they both use Intel Core 2 Duo processors from the same source. But you'd better believe that you're not getting the same quality everything else on a Dell as you are on an Apple.

    Trust me on this. A Dell laptop lasts a maximum of two years without major repair. Either the hard drive dies or the memory dies. That's not to mention the Dell batteries which become useless just after the warranty expires. Guess who works at a company that has a contract with Dell to provide all our PCs.
  • by Divebus ( 860563 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @01:58AM (#23471574)

    For windows users using Mac programs is extremely painful and unintuitive and I'm sure the same is true the other way around.
    I haven't heard that out of the 60-some people I've introduced to Macs. Everyone is used to menu driven things and take to anything new very quickly. My experience says you just show new users the differences and within a short time they're buying a Mac for themselves. Why? Not because it's shiny or anything but because OS X isn't nearly as needy as Windows.
  • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:07AM (#23471622)
    Fortune doesn't know what "by default" means. Dell et al certainly offer LOTS of machines that cost > $1000.
  • by HeavyDevelopment ( 1117531 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:12AM (#23471664)
    I mean seriously. If you can't drop a grand on a computer and you are "professional" then I think you might need to think about another profession. All these people whining about computers that cost more that $1000. I don't get it. A photographer can easily spend $10K on a good digital camera set up and not blink an eye. Ask any carpenter how much they have spent on their tools, 10K is a drop in the bucket. But so many /.ers get their panties in a wad about spending anything more than $500. This is so stupid. Why not get something that works. As a long time windows user that made the switch, OSX simply works better. I still have to use windows at work and I have reboot 2 or 3 times a day. Although I do have to admit that Macs run windows better than any Dell, HP, or whatever I've had. So in short if you are a professional and you are still messing around with low end crap....all I have to say is you get what you pay for. And if you consider this flamebait or a fanboi masturbation exercise then so be it....I know what works.
  • by Odder ( 1288958 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:20AM (#23471710)

    You have GNU/Linux. Windows users are buying Macs for twice as much as they are willing to pay for Vista machines because they don't know enough about free software. The party will be over for both Microsoft and Apple when more vendors join the free software movement. EEEPC and Dells with Linux preinstalled just work and that's a large measure of what Apple customers are spending premium dollars on.

    A side note to all of this is that premium is not what it used to be. $1,000 is what people used to spend on middle of the road desktops ... fifteen years ago. The same equipment would sell for $2,500 if it's worth had kept up with inflation. Obviously, that has not happened even for Apple. Premium computers were selling for $5,000 back then and that's what they are going for today, despite tremendous strides it convenience and utility.

  • by theurge14 ( 820596 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:26AM (#23471746)
    Do you really believe Apple is the only computer maker that offers computers for more than $1000? Or did Alienware suddenly drop their prices?
  • by flabbergast ( 620919 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:38AM (#23471818)
    No flashing logos? On the MacBook I'm using right now there's a giant glowing Apple logo on the back of the screen. I also get the spinning disk quite a bit. =D Or how about when something happens in an application that's out of context and the Dock tells you about...by bouncing the icon until you switch over. I think that counts as a flashing logo. =D

    As for not "moving my hand from one place" try moving between open files in Xcode within the same window pane without using a mouse or the touchpad. Its <option><command><left arrow> or <option><command><right arrow>. I don't mind having to use two modifiers but I do mind having to use two hands. Or how about page-up and page-down? Again, on my MacBook, for aesthetic sake, page up and down were left off. So, I have to use two hands (<fn><arrow up> to page up. Or Home and End. Is it <command><left arrow> or <fn><left arrow>. I've found it depends on the application. Will it take me to the end of the line or the end of the text? And will the cursor come with it? Or Delete. Again, depends on the application.

    Yes, no stupid buttons on a MacBook (or Apple keyboard) Instead, Apple decided to appropriate the functions keys. Who needs those right? I do: Parallels or VMWare is worthless without re-assigning all the Expose and Spaces keys. <Command><F12> here I come!

    Also, on my 4 year old eMachines I can click, right click, scroll and middle click without having to move my hand off the trackpad either. And, there are trackpads out there that pan too. Sure, it doesn't do it with two fingers like the Mac trackpad, but at least I get two real buttons which can then simulate a third (for true Unix goodness)

    Look, my primary machine is my MacBook and I love it. Further, I do Visualization research on a Quad core Mac pro. But OS X and Apple are not the end all be all of of good design. I love the MacBook keyboard but guess what? Showed up on the Vaio first. And the matte grey finish for the hand rests? Mine are kind of scummy and discolored. I've had a bunch of Dell laptops (D610, D620, Inspiron 3200, 700m) and I've never had the hand rests of them go all scummy. And don't get me started on the Dock...

    P.S. I think the m1330 is actually a pretty nice piece of kit. Its designed well and its got discrete graphics and can be had for cheaper than a MacBook if you wait for a sale (which happen about every other day).
  • Re:Correction (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr.mac@com> on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:51AM (#23471902) Journal
    Keep in mind that the Mach microkernel is not unix, it came from CMU. Some userland stuff came from the *BSD lineage, but calling OS X a "true UNIX" rings about as true as calling windows + cygwin the same.

    What's your next guess?

    In OS X, Mac schedules threads and allocates memory. That's about it. The rest of the kernel services in OS X either came from BSD, or were written in-house at Apple.

    Mac OS X is UNIX. Read and learn. [apple.com]

  • Re:You get... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:59AM (#23471960)
    Yeah, let's not forget screens [crosspond.com] (a friend has dozens of these, which thusly account for thousands of dead pixels), batteries [engadget.com] or any of the other components [appledefects.com], really.

    Hardware failures are common and it wouldn't be a real problem if (1) Apple's harware wasn't so homogeneous, so that when a few users have a problem, others will probably follow and (2) Apple didn't send blindfolds (glossy, shiny, but still blindfolds) to anyone who complained, claiming the warranty is of one year only when my country's laws clearly state that it lasts 2 years if the product was sold here, regardless of who made it and where.

    On a sidenote, they're so picky chosing the right RAM byte by byte that I've been waiting for a replacement for a stick for 2 months. It's not my computer and it's not regularly used, but still...
  • by Bodrius ( 191265 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @03:03AM (#23471990) Homepage
    Perhaps it also has to do with the fact that Mac laptops are damn good PC laptops too... and some people are willing to pay the premium to have both a very nice OSX laptop and a great WinPC laptop that's not about to break in 12 months.

    I've had experiences with my share of laptop manufacturers over time - with differing levels of disappointment - and I've seen paper machie constructions with more structural integrity than some Dell laptops.

    I'm rather happy with my Lenovo these days. It's pretty solid and fast enough.

    But from using current Mac laptops, I've been impressed at how well they work as a WinPC laptop (runs Vista better than any other I've tried), and the quality of hardware / design.

    There's lots of competition in the PC mobile market.

    But there's not that much competition for good and durable PCs in that market as one would like.

  • by Tom90deg ( 1190691 ) <Tom90deg@yahoo.com> on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @03:10AM (#23472034) Homepage
    A kind of similar tale for me. My college has a program where it "gives" the new students a laptop. It's a basic model, HP Compaq 6515b. Does it's job, not high end, but it does what it's supposed to. About a month before we got ours, we hear that the incoming semester received Macbooks. I've no idea what kind, but they were the same price as the Compaqs, so that may give you a ballpark.

    And let me tell you, my friends, were all sorts of pissed. I asked them why, because logicaly, if the whole school uses Windows PCs, having macs would only complicate matters. Their responce, and I'm not making this up.

    "Macs are pretty. I don't care how good they are, but they look nice. I feel like a REAL college student if I have a Mac on my desk."

    Shocked me, and nothing I said could convince them that they wanted a Mac because they were pretty. IF they wanted it because of ANY other reason, i'd been fine. But just because it's shiny...it was just beyond me. Apple sells image, which is why they have whole stores set up to show it off.
  • Re:You get... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by eiscir ( 968749 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @04:17AM (#23472392)
    Firewire (400 in the MB, 400/800 in the MBP). Tiny built-in webcam and microphone. Built-in DVI-out. Built-in analog/digital (optical) audio in/out. Thin. Light. Near-silent operation. Fast boot. Slot loading drive (minus points for not having a DVD burner on the entry level MB, which is pretty cynical). Magsafe power adapter. Tiny power brick with built-in cable management. Multi-touch trackpad (better on MBP, but even the MB has two-finger scrolling and tap.) No stickers. No preloaded crapware. OS X.
  • by RonTheHurler ( 933160 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @04:55AM (#23472590)
    Same point, more succinct:

    "There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply. The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey."
    John Ruskin (1819 - 1900), (attributed)

    Damn true, and I concur with your post 100%.

  • by ronanbear ( 924575 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @05:09AM (#23472648)
    To be fair, chavs didn't just discover it. Burberry was carelessly selling to them and lapping up the extra sales and profits until they realised the damage that the -synonymous with chavs- Burberry print baseball caps were doing to their image.

    It was nothing to do with chavs suddenly starting wearing the same Burberry jackets that everyone was familiar with; instead, Burberry bizarrely brought out a range of clothes that only chavs would wear.

    Your example is one that perfectly points out the dangers that Apple would face if they went toe-to-toe with Dell for $500 laptops and grey boxes.
  • Re:Price != High End (Score:5, Interesting)

    by koinu ( 472851 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @05:35AM (#23472762)

    FACT Apples have always been about the same OR BETTER priced compared to equal PC's
    Exactly. I once wanted to order a HDD which failed. I opened up the case and have seen an ordinary Hitachi 250GB drive with SATA. Apple wanted about 3 times the price, because they say they "test them very thoroughly and this is not such crap that other PC customers get". Yeah right... do I look that naive? As if they got special HDDs with blessings from Buddha personally.

    FACT Apple has always been at the top of the list for quality and customer service
    Exactly. I waited 2 weeks for the HDD replacement in my Xserve RAID system. This was an expensive "applecare" contract. This contract said, someone would come and replace the drive. Instead the HDD was shipped. They also wanted the failed disk back.

    FACT one of the reasons Apple is doing so well right now is Redmond fanboys are buying Macs to run Vista on...even the PC mags agree that MacBooks are the best windows machines out there.
    No. People buy Macs, because they feel somehow better. They want to have a moment of pride. Well, after short time, all the attention to the Mac is over, because everyone has to do their fucking work. Now, as you mention it. There are 2 colleagues here that have Macbooks Pro. So what? They still use MS-Windows XP on them.

    I have a simple FreeBSD notebook here and can do my work without MS-Windows.

    FACT sub $1000 PCs are crap..thats why most people that go to Dell's site to buy one of those $500 PCs leave spending around $1500
    Who the hell buys complete PCs? I recently upgraded my old PC for just $300. It is over twice as fast as my last PC. And btw, I can construct an entire PC, part by part, and it runs without any problems for just $200 more. And it has a very decent quality, it is not comparable with any PC that companies like Dell sell (I have not single no-name component). Go and buy 1GB RAM more in Apple shop. They charge you about 10x as much. My PC parts are carefully chosen. They are not crap at all. I simply choose good quality prodcuts and try to find out which have a decent price at the moment according to their speed and power requirements. You won't have this choice with Apples.
  • by leenks ( 906881 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @05:46AM (#23472812)

    Go price them up - you know how hard it is to hardlink to anything once specd up on these sites.

    I bought Mac Pros for work (fully kitted out, just after the refresh) and they were significantly cheaper than the Dells, plus I can triple boot them. The key is it needs to be high end and fairly close to release - Apple generally don't reduce their prices much over time so the deals get less attractive.

  • by KrimZon ( 912441 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @07:06AM (#23473240) Homepage
    In my experience things have always been best quality when mid-priced though. I've bought cheap running shoes which didn't fall apart but were uncomfortable, Nike ones which fell apart because they were made of a material that decays over time, and finally Hi-Tec which have always been robustly built and not that expensive. And the clothes I buy are just clothes - I don't seek out the cheapest or the most expensive, but I go back to places where I've found ones that fit me well (they're often either a little too wide or short for me) and are made of material that feels comfortable.

    When I started out building myself PCs I tried to get the cheapest parts, but then when I stopped being a student and got a job I realized I could pay more and get stuff that's comfortably faster or bigger. That said, my cheap K6-2 system still runs today, though it has been made obsolete by my old dell latitude laptop which makes as good a server at 1/6 of the power consumption.

    I bought an Apple Keyboard recently because I like to try out interesting looking peripherals every once in a while. I can handle the keys being flat and the enter key being small - that's all fine with me, I bought it because it was different. But while the body is quite stiff and heavy, the key mechanisms themselves are pretty cheap feeling - the keys all rock from side to side, and some keys only have one spring under it when they really should have two or more. The rocking is made worse by the fact that they're flat - normal slightly concave keys will still cup your fingertip when they rock slightly, but with the flat ones you can feel the slope.

    I know that a keyboard isn't necessarily representative of the whole shebang, but it gives the impression that nowadays the extra money is going more toward design than engineering.
  • by Upaut ( 670171 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @07:06AM (#23473246) Homepage Journal
    In that Apple actually pays computer scientists, engineers, etc. a decent wage. And they are run by managers that actually give a damn about the job that their team does.

    So we get things that actually work better out of the box, and mature well over time. Hell, each apple product I have bought has lasted me 4+ years. And then I only "upgrade" because I can afford to upgrade the storage of the laptops myself, increase the RAM significantly, and a fresh install, and give it to a member of my family. Who are shocked that the finest computer in their house was not the dell running vista, but the four-year-old mac... Gaining new Apple users, and when they will buy a new computer in a few years, they might decide to go with the brand that has lasting value.

    Seriously, if you want to pay less, then you devalue their employees. Make 'em more like Microsoft minions, expendable and not working together at any point. Sure you get the product eventually... And its cheaper.... But customers will most spend the rest of that products life complaining about it.

    And no, I am not bashing the "free" concept of Linux, because Linux is a passion. One might spend a few days working out a glitch they encountered and submitting the fix. Then they feel great about accomplishing something no one else has done, and might go on to mend other things, or add other features. By keeping it a hobby that all are free to contribute to, people contribute for free.... And if we added up all those man hours on our favorite distro in a given year, it would be a fortune to pay.
  • Self-built? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Godji ( 957148 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @07:07AM (#23473248) Homepage
    Didn't RTFA, but does that figure take into account the possibly large number of users who never bought a computer, but built one from parts?
  • by v1 ( 525388 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @07:44AM (#23473424) Homepage Journal
    the mac mini is apple's answer to Dell. want to buy a dell? ok go for it. then when you've had enough, come buy a mini and use your old dell monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
  • by tgatliff ( 311583 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @07:50AM (#23473460)
    I agree 100%. Meaning, Dell would love to sell a system that would compete directly with Apple, and I think that if they had an OS that could go head to head with OSX, then I think they would have a fighting chance..

    Dont get me wrong... I really like all my macs (100% mac laptop enviroment w/ VMWare server Windows), but the main thing I like is OSX. Vista does not even come close, and Linux, eventhough it is certainly reliable enough, in all its variants really not equipped to take on OSX on the desktop side...
  • by hlt32 ( 1177391 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @08:40AM (#23473834)
    So Apple is only good value for money if you're an early adoptor of high end hardware.

  • Re:You get... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kklein ( 900361 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @08:43AM (#23473866)

    Thanks. I tire of people reducing an entire computer to 3 or 4 components. I bought a MB simply because it was the best laptop for what I wanted to pay. I figured I'd poke around in OSX, but basically run XP on it.

    A month later, I had put my work computer away and was only using the MB at work, and then found that XP at home just bugged the hell out of me with all its annoying messages and beeps and boops and "I connected to the Internet, aren't you proud of me" business. The next bonus I got bought me a Mac Pro (on it right now) and I sold my lovingly handcrafted gaming PC to a friend so it would stop collecting dust.

    It's a whole package.

  • Age ranges (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Barumpus ( 145412 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @08:52AM (#23473962)
    I would like to see a break down of the age ranges for those who are buying the Macs. I have multiple computers in my home of both the PC and Mac varieties. I purchased a $1500 iMac a couple years ago just to experiment with a Mac. My wife became more comfortable using that then the lap top she was using and we wound up buying her her own. Interestingly enough, my daughter still prefers her PC. My mother-in-law (age 75)was using a basic HP lap top but has since switched to an iMac due to being a self-contained unit. Once the other "older" family members played with it, they began purchasing them. It is now a very common scenerio to find all of the 50+ year olds in my family using Macs for email and iChat instead of PCs and phones. This is either due to comfort with the system, the general appearance, or just because they plug in 1 power cord and go with it. Each one of them could easily get by with a cheaper, yet still functional enough, Windows based PC.

    If going by personal observations, I will wager a guess that the larger part of the 66% is made up of people who are at mid to upper age ranges.
  • Re:Style is money (Score:4, Interesting)

    by stewbacca ( 1033764 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @08:57AM (#23474004)

    Money is social status. It's the fact that it costs more and is out of reach of the mob that makes it stylish...
    I hate this mentality. Unfortunately, it is true in many cases (such as the torn jeans), but I have a hard time buying that logic when it comes to Apple products. First of all, Apple products have a tangible value to them, in that they are well crafted and work well. There is no joy in using Apple products because they are grungy, poorly designed or counter-culture.

    The mentality I really despise is that I use my iPhone at the coffee store because I'm some sort of "hipster" and I'm trying to impress everyone around me. Well here's a news flash, I'm not. I'm using my phone to access my email in a public place...where's the crime in that? This a far less worse crime than those idiot-borgs who walk around with the $49 blue tooth thing in their ear trying to impress how important they are upon us.

    Frankly, I (and most other Apple consumers I know) don't give a rat's ass about what other people think about our stuff.

  • by Lodragandraoidh ( 639696 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @09:23AM (#23474304) Journal
    Not to put words in his mouth, but I think the grandparent post was making the point that it is the 'fit and finish' (e.g. integration) of the hardware and the software that is the differentiating factor:

    Apple is selling exactly the same hardware for twice as much. The only difference is software.

    While he may not be completely accurate, I think he makes a good point when you read between the lines.
  • by stewbacca ( 1033764 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @09:24AM (#23474334)
    Ignoring the "My anecdotal evidence blah blah blah" guy's comments, you make an excellent point. It is easy to show that transitioning to OS X is very painless (but not the other way around). I did so in my grad thesis! The only two issues for new Mac users in my research was the concept of closing a window doesn't quit the program, and pushing the "maximize" button doesn't make the window go full screen like in Windows. One other minor quirk is that PC users have a hard time adapting to the one-menu at the top concept, but this was found only in more advanced users.

    Other issues I noted really demonstrate that learning the "windows way" really limits the user. Example: you don't HAVE to close the document you have open to move it or rename it in MacOS, even though you've grown accustom to having to do so in Windows. I won't even get into the way Windows users over-think installing and uninstalling apps!

  • by Mongoose Disciple ( 722373 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @09:47AM (#23474618)
    Personally I think the claim is mis-leading anyway. The category is narrowly defined as not only over 1000, but also bought retail. So it's crafted to exclude all the expensive workstations and servers bought by corporations, since they don't usually just drive a truck to WalMart to buy them retail.

    Further... and I realize this is purely anecdotal:

    100% of the people I know with Macs bought them retail in an Apple store.

    0% of the people I know who have bought non-Mac PCs in the last 5+ years bought them retail. They bought them from a place like Dell online, built them from parts, had someone else build them from parts, etc.

    Obviously Best Buy is selling uncustomized non-Mac machines to someone retail or they wouldn't still be doing it, but I don't know the people who are buying them.

    Possibly, this says something about the appeal of the Apple store as a retail venue vs. as an online order venue. It's hard to say.
  • by arminw ( 717974 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @12:35PM (#23477526)
    ...Apple forces you to buy things...

    Really? Did Steve Jobs come by your house and hold a gun to your head and bark: "Buy a Mac or else?" No? Boy are you lucky. Buy some Apple stock and get some of that profit back in YOUR pocket.
  • by poliopteragriseoapte ( 973295 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @01:30PM (#23478628)
    The lenovo you just spec-ed is NOT comparable. Many use Apple's DVI output to get top quality output on large LCDs, up to 24". You don't get that with your lenovo. This is a must-have feature for anyone getting a laptop as desktop replacement.
  • by DECS ( 891519 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @03:27PM (#23480678) Homepage Journal
    Two reasons why PC vendors aren't doing that:

    a) Microsoft can punitively raise their Windows licensing to the point where any savings from shipping Windows-free Linux PCs are erased. As long has Microsoft can maintain that kind of pricing power over what is a utility monopoly, things can't change. Incidentally, that's why every PC maker advertises "we recommend Windows XP/Vista." It's in their contract! Linux sales and advertising are tightly controlled by Microsoft using its OEM leverage.

    b) PC makers investing in software development are afraid that their contributions to GPL software would be used against them. So HP develops a desirable Linux distro that works flawlessly with all the modern video cards, etc, and then Dell can come along and sell it on their PCs without any contribution back, and at no investment expense. Dell wins, HP loses all its investment.

    The reason Apple is doing well is because it has no obligation to or dependance upon Microsoft for Windows licensing. If it did, it would instantly be in the same boat as Palm and the other PC makers. And secondly, Apple can invest heavily in developing its own proprietary OS.

    Mac OS X is a unix distro with a unique kernel that is open but which no other PC maker can effectively really use or benefit from, and a proprietary development framework and GUI.

    Recall that Ray Noorda at Novell and then Caldera tried to pull off something similar with OpenLinux and then United Linux, but couldn't manage to get either one together. If a major software developer couldn't wrangle a suitable Linux desktop distro, how could a PC maker like Dell or HP, neither of which can make software that isn't any better than a flaming turd?

    Caledera's OpenLinux: The Linux "Mac OS X" That Failed [roughlydrafted.com]

    And for insight on how well a community/corporate partnership can work, look at OpenMoko. It predates the iPhone, but still can't dial from the GUI.

    Apple iPhone vs the FIC Neo1973 OpenMoko Linux Smartphone [roughlydrafted.com]

    Before you volunteer to help a PC company develop a Linux distro, you might want to consider why they aren't asking for help and why the task might be less appealing than driving nails through your eyelids.

    Mobile EEE PC, UMPC, and Internet Tablets vs the iPhone: Linux' Mobile Problem [roughlydrafted.com]
  • by skarphace ( 812333 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @04:11PM (#23481476) Homepage

    Apple sells an integrated system the sum of which is greater than it parts. When you buy a car, you get a whole vehicle.
    Unless you're a car geek.

    People are willing to spend money to get a complete working system. In the end that is cheaper than having to waste valuable time to periodically have to clean crapware off the system...
    Unless you like spending time setting up a system exactly how you want it.

    You should see why there are a bunch of folks on /. that don't like Macs. You can't tinker with them at all. No replacing hardware, no tweaking software, nothing. Apple's way or the highway.

    And car companies that do that piss off car geeks to no end. If they can't work on their own car, there's no point.

    So I'm sure people here can understand why 'normal' users may like macs but to us, they're garbage.
  • by arminw ( 717974 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @05:30PM (#23482872)
    ...Unless you like spending time setting up a system exactly how you want it...

    In a sense, geeks with money can buy a Mac and have their cake and eat it too, at least when it comes to software. With software like Parallels or Fusion, you can install and run every OS MS has ever made, from DOS on up. You can install any number versions of Linux. OSX itself has a *NIX core that will compile and run most UNIX software. A good geek can muck around in the software innards until the system is exactly to their liking.

    Now if you're a hardware geek, or poor, better get or build yourself a PC box with just exactly the bits and pieces you want and then have fun with the software as well. Booting multiple OS on a normal PC is tricker, with more chance of something going awry, than simply running any number of OS on a Mac under a VM. Of course VM software works on a regular PC also. Geeks can even run OSX on a regular non-Mac PC.

    On that note, I wonder if someone would get in trouble for coming out with a VM on a PC that ran a legally bought copy of OSX as guest OS under say Linux as the host. Maybe something like that already exists. It seems that would be a more elegant solution than the Pystar hack. If users can run a legally obtained copy of Windows in a VM on a Mac, it ought to be OK for someone to run a legal copy of OSX under Linux or even Windows.

    Does Apple's EULA or any EULA for that matter have the force of a legally binding agreement? If there is no violation of law, such as copyright law, there may not be much that Apple can do about such a scenario.

Money can't buy love, but it improves your bargaining position. -- Christopher Marlowe