Apple Dominates High-End Laptop Market


For years now, conventional wisdom has held that Apple’s halo strategy — using iPod marketshare to pump up Mac shipments — will take off any day now, and the company will leap from 3 percent marketshare to much, much more.

A post at Apple 2.0 suggests that this expected growth has already arrived and might be reaching its limits. For the first half of the 2007 fiscal year, Berstein Research reports, Apple carries nearly 30 percent of the high-end laptop market — the 20 percent of laptop computers sold that fetched the highest prices. This is an increase from 7.8 percent only three years ago. The switch to Intel has obvious made the MacBook and MacBook Pro into runaway hits. When removing business sales from the equation, Apple has almost 50 percent of the high-end laptop market. Which is great, except that it means that Apple’s gotten its boost.

Where’s the new growth going to come from in the computer business?

16 responses to “Apple Dominates High-End Laptop Market”

  1. Luckystar says:

    The new growth will come from…Subnotebook.

  2. Woody says:

    Is this really news to anyone? They ARE the high-end laptop market. It’s like saying BMW outsells Lexus, while everyone else is driving Toyota and Honda.

  3. Joseph says:

    Mac OS market share is growing. The iPod success helped. And the switch to Intel helped. But an equally important reason for the Mac comeback is that the reasons to NOT buy a Mac no longer exist. We forget that there were valid ‘network effect’ type reasons that helped Windows become nearly ubiquitous a decade or so ago, and that those reasons are gone. Without them, the market share of competitors to Windows (not only Mac OS) is bound to increase. This is happening. Consumer attitudes change slowly so it doesn’t happen in a day. There are plenty of people who still think like it’s 1995 and in their minds associate Macs with incompatibility issues and the like. But there are also plenty of users who are considering a Mac today when 5 years ago Apple wasn’t even on their radar screen.

    So attitudes are changing. Consumer awareness is increasing. Apple’s retail presence is growing. And Mac OS is a great OS. It may not be for every type of user, but for a huge portion of users it provides a superior experience. So while the iPod ‘halo’ effect may have reached its limit, there are all sorts of other reasons to think that Mac OS will continue to increase market share. Apple is in a great position now that the days of a 1-OS world are over.

  4. Deocliciano Okssipin Vieira says:

    … and just imagine if …

    … Macs were good with games?

  5. Andrew DK says:

    “Where’s the new growth going to come from in the computer business?”

    As far as notebooks are concerned:

    1) The upper price quintile of notebooks will increase (thus “100%” isn’t the ceiling)

    2) Apple will release a sub-notebook. (And you thought people went crazy over the iPod Nano? Haha!)

  6. Doug S. says:

    D.O.V.: I’ve been asking that question for the last 20 years, and it matters a lot less now than it did 10 years ago. MMOGs are platform-agnostic for the most part. Consoles are where the action is, and I don’t see that changing for the forseeable future. So your rather smart-alecky remark is essentially irrelevant.

    Where I can see a possible significant intersection between OSX and gaming is a suggestion that Pete (I think) made a while back about how the iPhone (and I think we can add the Touch to the equation now) could become a PSP-killer. I can see that happening.

    As to Pete’s original question, I think it’s taking a narrow view of things to say that there’s no room for Mac sales to grow because Apple already ownz the high-end laptop market. There’s still plenty of room to grow in the desktop market and the lower-end laptop market. When Mac made its debut two decades ago, it had a high profile in the university market that it subsequently lost. It seems to be regaining that presence, and the process is not yet complete. Furthermore, Macs will gain important mindshare among people who will be active consumers for decades to come.

  7. Carter says:

    Not affecting their spending plans in retail, judging on this.

  8. imajoebob says:

    1) If you’re not going to read your own blog, why should we? (
    2) When Dad or Mom uses a MacBook Pro, Junior gets an iMac or mini on his desk
    3) Gaming is useless. Everything that hasn’t yet will soon be ported to Wii, xBox, PlayStation. Which are already connecting over the Internet, so any advantage a PC had is ending. Jobs is smart enough to skip investing in a dying market. Maybe on the iPod touch, but not OS X.
    4) Home networking – REAL networking belongs to Apple, but they don’t capitalize. A combined mini/TV (the rumored nano?) would lock this up. It’s the entertainment and file server hub for the entire house. Build a simple tool into Leopard to automatically detect and set up a connection, and have it appear in Finder. Add a DVD player (no recording), a big honkin’ drive and Firewire ports. Let Belkin and LaCie make the external drives and boxes that you can stack on/under the Apple box. When you need more storage, just buy it and plug it in. Maybe even help Belkin create an A/V hub in a stackable box that can be controlled by the mini/TV/nano – or the nano by the Belkin’s remote. Want the computer on your big screen? Or AppleTV, iTunes, or a DVD? Press A. Cable? B. Stereo? C. And so on. Heck, you can finish that report for work (from your MacBook drive) on the 52″ Plasma while the Final Four plays PiP. It’s your server, your Internet hub, your audio system, your TV. And it’s completely plug and play (with Macs).
    5) Windows is a dinosaur. Most people associate Vista with Win 3.1 or 95 or 2000. That’s a legacy of faulty software that’s hard to overcome. People use it because they don’t see another choice. Vista is the best version of a bad OS. Each and every time Apple releases a new version of OS X the critics and users rave. We can only imagine what a leap an OS 11 might be! Microsoft needs to hit a home run with its next OS, drop the Windows name, and do it in less than 3 years. Or Apple will be number 2 in sales between Dell and HP (in either order).
    6) Quality will out. Who bought a Japanese car 30 years ago? Fringe buyers. They were hard to find, not what anyone was used to, but did things well without the problems. GM used to have market share more than 60%. It’s now in the 30’s. What’s the number 2 car company in the world today? Toyota. Pretty soon it could be number one. It won’t outsell all the other manufacturers, just every one of them. Apple seems to know that.