In the recent iPad 2 announcement by Apple
, Steve Jobs revealed, that Apple now earns most money on post-PC products like iPad, iPod, iPhone, Apple TV etc. This tendency does not need to continue for a long time, before the Mac computers are reduced to merely strategic products for the company.
Good riddance! :)
When you have just a very tiny fraction of the market share it's very easy to sell more in other ones. It's a bit more difficult when you have a very large share. Apple is surely not a significative player in the PC market.
So I guess the Mac's will only be sold as development platforms for iOS devices. Although I predict that the next Mac Book Air will mimic the functionality of the iPad. The forth coming Mac OS X Lion http://www.apple.com/macosx/lion/ is integrating features from the iPad, so it only makes sense to start including the hardware.
@LDS: In USA, Apple has more than 10% market share, is currently on an upwards trend for market share, and is currently the third largest PC vendor after HP and Dell.
And worldwide Apple is in the "other" group, thereby it is below the 5% of Toshiba. Focusing on one market only is useless today.
Anyway, Apple has lefft the server market as well. Does it mean server era is over? C'mon, Apple align it decisions to its own market. Which is not the average PC and server market.
The world market is highly segmented - for instance, there are still lots of countries, where Android phones and iPhones are very rare, and non-English markets tend to prefer embedded solutions over platform solutions because of localization issues. There is a direct competition between PCs and settop/console boxes, and the PC is increasingly losing that battle, especially where English is not understood well.
But seriously, is it much different for Microsoft? How important is the consumer PC business to Microsoft these days? According to several reports, the iPad price is kept low in order to get more customers into their ecosystem, just like we know it from settop boxes, gaming consoles and other consumer hardware. Apple seems to be about to turn the PC market into something similar, with a Mac app store. I believe that Microsoft is already trying to figure out how to do a business model where they lose money on each sold PC.
I don't believe that it makes sense to talk about "a server market" - there are many types of servers, and Apple runs its own datacenters, too, just like everybody else - and they also claim to have done innovation in that.
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