What Means The Rebirth of The Mac to The PC of Consumption

More than one month ago that Apple filed of record financial results. Although all bulbs rested on the iPhone due to its more than 21% revenue growth year-to-year, the Mac did not have all the limelight that deserves. During the same period, this segment grew almost 18% over the same quarter of the previous year. Comparing all of the 2014 fiscal year to 2013, Mac has increased its turnover by 12%.

A few days ago Walt Mossberg published an article in which he reflects on Re/Code on the road travelled by the longest-lived Apple category. Entitled “the second act of the Mac: from the darkness to the ubiquity”, Mossberg came to affirm the following:

While the jump in the quarterly results was unexpected, no one who has been paying attention should be surprised. If you look to your around, at least in the United States, it is hard to miss the fact that the Mac has been growing in recent years. Whether in the office, a coffee shop, airport or a Conference, the Mac seem to be everywhere.

In his article he goes on to say it is very shocking if we compare this situation with the vivid at the end of the 90s, completely opposite. We must clarify this situation happens more at home than in the rest of the world, as it is where Apple has greater support in its home market.

The Mac is the bastion of the personal computer

Let’s be clear, the Mac still has a tiny market share of 6% worldwide. But we also have to take into account that the average sales price of a Mac in the past 14 years has always been above 1,200 dollars (see top chart). If we combine these two facts with the growth that Mossberg said in his article, It continues to be even more surprising the performance of recent times Mac.

The situation of the Mac has a very strong contrast with that of the rest of the market. Earlier this year, Charles Arthur published an article in The Guardian where he spoke of “Value trap” for PC makers. In it, Arthur showed its calculations on the average price of the Mac and different manufacturers of PC over a period of 8 years (approximately):

All average sales prices tend downwards. The average price of a PC sales has fallen since the 614 to $544, between Q1 of 2010 and 2013 Q3, 11%. More serious is the fact that the media benefits have fallen of 15.71 to 14.87 dollars per PC in the same period. I.e., the benefits have increased percentage, but it is still below 3%.

How are these data compare with the Mac? This has been their performance during the same period:

  • Average sales price: 1.277 to 1,229 dollars, a fall of just 4%.
  • Benefits media for Mac: 241 232 dollars, more than 15 times that of a PC.
  • Profit margin: 18.9%.

Any manufacturer would want these numbers to.

Manufacturers abandoned the consumer market

As we have said sometimes, the corporate market is governed by rules different from the consumer. Several manufacturers use computers as “Trojan horses” to other more profitable services such as consulting. But in the consumer market isn’t the same. The relationship between the customer and the PC stops at the time of the purchase, which makes that this market is very unattractive or directly cause them losses.

Taking into account the stagnation or decline of the PC market, it should not surprise that numerous companies have thrown in the towel. Dell, Sony, Toshiba, HP and Samsung are some who have decided to abandon the consumer market or retract partially. While the commoditization is beneficial for us users, it is a real poison for them. Many are spending real shrines with their shareholders at the same time that Apple’s confidence has returned and is on track to $ 1 trillion.

The role of Apple in the Post-PC Computing

Make it clear: Post-PC does not mean “without PC” as some believe. Simply, the conventional computer is not going to be the only way to satisfy our computing needs. For many, it is no longer the main device to be productive. Smartphones and tablets compete him prominence at the same time that bring the computer into the hands of millions of people for the first time.

Therefore, to understand what is happening and have a global vision we must talk about market data processing, not the PC, smartphone or tablet separately. I think that this “global” market It is going to polarize into two ranges: high and low. The mid-range would disappear. And I think that Apple has a very important role in both.

In the high range, we will have conventional, laptops and desktop computers. A very lucrative segment, as it is now. Any consumer who look for a computer with these characteristics, you will have to consider the purchase of a Mac at some point. Such as Mossberg said, the Apple computer is no longer that desert in terms of software and compatibility. The MacBook Air is the reference computer for many home users.

At the bottom we find very cheap computers and tablets of all kinds. $200, computers with Windows Chromebooks very cheap and even cheaper tablets. The iPad, with its 56 different combinations between models, colors, capacity and connectivity, plus a price range that goes from the 239 to 809 EUR, will be sufficient to meet the needs a very lucrative part of users.

For all this, maybe that Apple does not dominate in market share ever. But if you look at the market of Informatics of consumption here and now, is already running with the juiciest portion. An enviable position of facing the challenges of the future.