Why Is Apple Satified With A Small Market Share?

Over the years I have read many articles, posts in the forums and have spoken with colleagues who own Apple systems to make some valid conclusions about Apple computers. Overall the quality of hardware and the Apple operating system are superior to PC’s and Windows. Because of a small but loyal customer base, Apple has been able to keep itself smallish when compared to the grown up computers players, which could be exactly what they want.

Though at first it appeared that Apple was going to make a major move in the computer market when their Apple vs PC ads first appeared on TV, it would seem that Apple was just wasting advertising dollars. After a commercial would air, I did not observe anyone tossing their PC out the window and running to their nearest Apple store.

Yet when it comes to other Apple products such as the iPod or iPhone, folks have flocked to buy these items. If it was just Apple fanboys who purchased these products, sales would have been dismal. Yet both products have demonstrated their popularity in the marketplace. These products were purchased after glowing reviews as well as word of mouth by people who had bought them.

One would of thought that with the lackluster response by the Windows community to Vista, that this would of been a shot in the arm for Apple computers. Why than does Apple still struggle with their computer sales? Is it pricing that keeps people away? Lack of knowledge that an alternative to the PC exists? Better marketing by Microsoft and others? Do thy fear that if they sell to many computer systems quality would suffer? Technical support would not be able to keep up with demand?

Or is Apple just satisfied to keep a small market share and a loyal fan base?

What do you think?

Comments welcome.


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I have been writing for Lockergnome for eight years.

  • stefan

    its not that apple is satisfied with its market share, its that youre comparing operating systems as opposed to the actual computer manufacturers. Of those, Apple is in quite clearly in the top 4 or 5 brands, and is making progress by selling more and more laptops.

    its a long term process which will see Apple gain more market share, as you cant expect everyone to suddenly drop everything theyre familiar with and switch. Its this familiarity which Apple and Microsoft rely on to get people locked into their OS, and now that more and more and more students are buying apple laptops (kind of ironic when theyre supposedly so expensive (though that in itself is often a fallacy based on their specs)) they will hopefully continue to use macs through their life, at which point their offspring will be born using macs, and so the core customer base expands.

    that core base is what apple will rely on in years to come, and is what will save apple if things start going a bit wrong.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi Stefan,
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for our comments.

  • tyboulder

    I think you’re right in assuming that Apple is satisfied with it’s relatively small marche niche when it comes to their computers and OS’s. I do see *a lot* of younger people migrating though– and like the poster above me I can only see the leading to greater market share for Apple in the long term. It’s hard to say what’ll happen in the long term though being that OS’s may not even be sold anymore– with 95% of common computer app’s being internet based. I heard a lot of people say that Vista would be the last Microsoft OS, but clearly that’s not their intention… Anyway, as for now I think you’re right, there is no way that Apple can compete in the business segment with their pricing and relatively inflexible software support. A small business can get a fully functioning Dell up and going for less than $500. Apple’s cheapest offering is what, $1200? Simple economics show that in the short term there is no way for Apple to grab any sort of massive market share. But they know what they’re doing… look at share price.

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