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The Almighty Buck Businesses Apple

Apple Dominates "Premium PC" Market 475

itwbennett writes "Macs made up a whopping 91 percent of the $1,000-and-up computer market in June. Not so long ago, $1,000 got you an entry-level machine. Today the average computer sells for $701, while the average Windows machine sells for only $515. Still, Macs only make up 8.7% of PC sales. But is that really such a bad position to be in? Consider an Apples to Apples, that is, Macs to iPhones comparison: the iPhone takes only a sliver of the phone market but a much larger share of the profits."
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Apple Dominates "Premium PC" Market

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  • by Anrego ( 830717 ) * on Saturday July 25, 2009 @02:36PM (#28820371)

    but Mac has no real "economy" option. Part for part, as many mac fanboys will tell you, mac hardware is around the same price as PC. The difference is that you can buy stuff that is a few months old (still very good hardware, but not the latest and greatest) and save a lot of money.

    I guess you could call that the "premium pc" market.

    I equate it to designer sunglasses. People will spend $300 for this years sunglasses, passing over last years (now priced at $20). I think mac appeals to this market.. people who want the absolute latest and greatest regardless of how much actual added value they are getting.

  • Ob. Car Analogy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bheer ( 633842 ) <rbheer@gm a i l .com> on Saturday July 25, 2009 @02:38PM (#28820395)

    BMW has about 5-8%* of the auto market, but they make a lot of money in that little niche. You don't have to dominate the world to be profitable.

    And yes, this does go to show that Microsoft is right in the laptop hunters ad -- Macs *are* pricier. But to those that buy them, they get something of value for that extra $$$.

    *I just made that up.

  • De-spinning. Again. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @02:39PM (#28820403)

    Wow, what a clever manipulation of statistics. Somehow people who spend less than $1,000 don't have "premium" computers? How does that even work? I mean, I blow $1,500 on hardware but no software and it's "premium", but if I'm a poor graphic designer and buy a PC for $700 instead and spend the rest on Adobe's atrocious licensing fees, that makes me "not premium"? This doesn't say anything about "premium" or "not premium" -- this DOES however say a lot about how much people are willing to blow on Apple products. Answering why they're doing this is left as an excercise for the reader.

  • Apple doesn't suck. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MikeFM ( 12491 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @02:47PM (#28820461) Homepage Journal

    I don't buy branded PCs. If I need one, usually for a Linux server, I build it. If I want a desktop computer I buy Apple. The hardware is better quality than most branded PCs and is highly similar between units so it can easily be tested and relied on. It also happens to look nicer and come with an OS that works a whole lot better. We use VMWare Fusion for those who need Windows or Linux desktops.

    My Dell, which has a bigger screen and faster CPU than my MacBook, is mostly used by my wife and she is wanting to switch to a MacBook because it is so much easier to use and doesn't get to hot when used on your lap. My sister recently switched from PC to MacBook too.

    A couple hundred dollars of cost upfront is a lot cheaper than TCO on a PC and in almost every way a Mac is better,

  • Re:In technology... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by El Lobo ( 994537 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @03:07PM (#28820635)
    Usability for who? I have been a Mac user (unfortunately) since MacOS5 days and up to this day I find the Apple way of thinking wayyyyy overrated. They are great creating an aura of "best usability" for themselves, but there are a lot of moments that still irritate me in that philosophy. They do a good work fixing those things and making you believe that they were right, though, and are still right even today. I remember years ago how Mac fanboys could call you imbecile just because you insinuated the advantage of a 2 buttons mouse. Or the advantage of making Macs Intel compatible instead of powerpc. The same people now scream the greatness of those 2 things without even remembering the past.

    The people defending today the "one menu to rule them all" philosophy with all the "mouse on the edge, easier, blah blah" will be overjoyed and forget about their advocacy if Steve some day decides to think with his head and change this irritating "feature"...

    Overall I like Windows this days a lot more and only use my Mac when needed (testing, etc).

  • by Tony ( 765 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @03:10PM (#28820653) Journal

    The Macs I've owned over the past few years (starting with a Powerbook for my wife) have been excellent. The hardware and construction are top-notch. The design (worth a little bit, anyway) is superior to pretty much everything produced in the Wintel arena.

    Most important, though, the OS kicks ass.

    Using a Mac is not just a neutral experience. It is pleasurable. Combine the excellent hardware engineering, and the superior UI design of OS X, and you have a machine that is worth the extra money. (Which really isn't extra. As others have pointed out, a comparable Wintel machine is in the same price range.)

    Me, I still gravitate to Linux. When my wife ran MS-Windows, though, I had to either lock her machine down and manage it myself, or let her manage it, but re-install the OS every six months. With OS X, she can manage the machine herself, and I don't have to lock it down or re-install all the time.

    My sig still holds. MS-Windows (and the machines it typically runs on) is like Budweiser. Cheap, but not worth the price. Once you get used to the good stuff, it's hard to go back to the shit peddled as "The King of Computers."

  • A US-only thing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by loufoque ( 1400831 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @03:12PM (#28820669)

    As usual, this is a US-only thing.

    In Europe, 1,000 EUR (1,422 USD) and more computers are commonplace, and Apple is not any more expensive than the other computer manufacturers (on the contrary, for laptops, they probably offer the best deals at the moment).
    Yes, we are being exploited.

  • by Achromatic1978 ( 916097 ) <robert@chromablue. n e t> on Saturday July 25, 2009 @04:07PM (#28821117)
    Other than OS X Server, by their definition, it IS a premium PC. That's part of the point of the complaint about the definitions behind this so-called report. It's not listed as a rackmount or tower server, just Apple's high end PC option. And by the same definitions, selling one of those devices is apparently the same market share as selling 20+ Dell Precisions. Excuse me while I laugh...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 25, 2009 @05:06PM (#28821547)

    I challenge you to find a similar PC that is cheaper:

    This person [ubuntuforums.org] did it a year ago. (Wonderful what a little google search [google.com] can do, isn't it?)

    I just threw one together with similar specs for $350 plus shipping, and it even has wireless (g, not n, but who has an n router?). Throw Ubuntu on there and you're good to go. The case measures 11.8" x 5.1" x 8.7", so it's a little bit bigger, but I think that's worth $250 in savings :P

    Case [tigerdirect.com] (larger than the mac mini)
    Motherboard [newegg.com] (lacks firewire and wireless n, and has an older video chipset)
    Processor [newegg.com] (much faster, 2.8GHz vs the mini's 2.0GHz)
    RAM [newegg.com] (2GB vs the mini's 1GB, but only 800MHz)
    Hard drive [mwave.com] (500GB vs the mini's 120GB)
    DVD-RW [mwave.com] (24x vs the mini's 8x)

    (None of those are affiliate links, don't worry :P)

    Now if you spend a little more time searching than I did, you could certainly get better parts and still stay well below the mac mini's $599 price level. One thing I would suggest is using a smaller case that includes a slimline DVD-RW, as did the person in the ubuntu forums link I started this post with. The case used by the guy in ubuntu's forums measures 6.5"x6.5"x2", the same size as the mac mini.

  • by dkf ( 304284 ) <donal.k.fellows@manchester.ac.uk> on Saturday July 25, 2009 @06:35PM (#28822291) Homepage

    You're comparing business class machines (MacBook pro) to consumer shit (Dell). Buy business notebooks (elitebook/thinkpad lines for example) and I think they are as solidly built as a Mac.

    I had a Dell laptop for many years. Corporate grade. It wasn't a bad machine, but it had rather a lot of quirks and there were a number of places where Dell's heritage as a cheap box shifter still shone through (the keyboard was a particular issue). So far, the MacbookPro that replaced it has held up much better, with the exception of two issues. (One was fixed in minutes after taking it in for service, and the other took around a week.)

    To summarize, Dell have a bit better quality control (or did at the time that laptop was bought) and Apple have much better design.

    You can also get a better resolution then 1440x900, but I don't think you would consider that a problem.

    You pay for larger screens with weight. If you're moving around, reduced weight is really nice. Which isn't a point for or against any particular manufacturer; it's a personal choice thing. (If only more OS desktops coped with really small displays. On one particular Dell netbook I was looking at recently, both Windows and Gnome/Ubuntu insisted on popping up dialogs where you couldn't see the OK/Cancel buttons... Oops! I suspect this is an area where OSX copes better because its graphics are trivially fully scalable; not tested it though so I might be wrong.)

  • by daybot ( 911557 ) * on Saturday July 25, 2009 @07:05PM (#28822525)

    ...there are hardly any of them in the shops

    But your comment was that development of new faster hardware has pretty much stalled. I strongly disagree with that.

    It's true that laptop chips haven't done very much - I have the same 2.16 chip as you, in a late 2006 15" MBP - but the hardware has come a long way elsewhere, especially inside Apple. Just about everything other than the CPU is significantly better on the current versions of our respective laptops. Better screens with LED backlight, much faster graphics, huge multi-touch trackpad, and check out this battery life graph [anandtech.com].

    There's a lot more to come in 2009-10: Calpella [wikipedia.org], i.e. Core i7 Mobile, and the gradual, or possibly snowball-like, emergence of SSD drives in mainstream laptops.

  • Re:In technology... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @10:33PM (#28832377)
    I agree with your post but.

    Yeah, a new PC out of the box from apple is setup better than same from an OEM. That's not Apple vs Microsoft. That's Apple vs HP and Sony. HP and Sony etc really need to pick up the ball to deliver a much better out of box experience.

    They need to dump the shovelware, trialware, and utter crap, and invest in good quality productivity options.

    This is why you always buy from the business line of machines. Dell and Lenovo drop the crapware on their Latitude/Vostro/Precision and ThinkPad lines. No trialware, no AV, nothing added on. This is all a moot point however as the first thing any decent IT dept will do wipe the machine and put the company SOE on there, even if it's only a very basic SOE. This is probably one of the many things the GP was doing wrong, yes he may have fixed it by going mac but I or any other sysadmin worth a damn could have provided the same solution it for A$200 per machine instead of A$1000 per machine.

    Dell Latitudes may cost more then the Dell Inspirons or XPS but they are higher quality and still cheaper then the nearest Macbook. Vostro is there for the SMB/SME who wants to save money as they use low end components. In addition to this if I buy 10 of any business laptop from Dell or Lenovo I get a discount off the total order, obviously the more I order at once the more I save. Dell will even give me a few hundred straight off the top of a single Latitude. I don't see Apple providing the same deal. We lease all our machines so they have a turnover of 2-3 years (I use 2yr leases as we require high end hardware) so any supposed longevity* provided by mac's is also a moot point.

    * We have two Macbook 13" for the coloured crayon department, both are 18 months old. Both have discolouration due to heat and one is developing cracks in the plastic, the other has been mothballed due to an unspecified HW problem that the Apple service centre cant find.

"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon." -- Howard Chaykin