Apple owns the US premium retail PC market

· by Steve · Read in about 3 min · (459 Words)

apple_logoThis was pretty interesting; CNet reports that according to NPD stats, Apple has 91% of the retail PC sales in the US above $1,000.

Now, let’s add the caveats here:

  • That’s retail PCs. Of course, loads of people build their (desktop) PCs from OEM parts rather than buying a prebuilt machine, so it’s safe to say that these sales are almost all going to be laptops, where Apple particularly shines.
  • Also, these are primarily going to be consumer purchases, because businesses tend to buy in bulk and not at retail (excluding the smaller businesses) - again Apple is far more popular in the consumer space than in business (barring the iPhone).
  • The above $1,000 range is a minority of all sales; a majority of people buy cheap rubbish 😉
  • This is only the US, where Apple seems more popular

So, the headline isn’t quite as accurate in its crushing assessment as the wholesome reality, but even so it’s pretty impressive. When it comes to laptops, I always buy quality because I’ve been disappointed many times by machines that looked good on paper but turned out to be poorly constructed, poorly designed, and had all kinds of heat / battery life / general robustness issues, which led me to always buy from the ‘premium’ range in the last 6 years or so. At first that was the likes of the top-end Sonys, but after being convinced to try a MacBook Pro, I’ve been so pleased with the overall construction / design and the ability to use OS X as well as Windows that I’m very unlikely to buy anything else next time (my next hardware revision will be 2010, I generally switch every 3 years, which is reasonable if you buy something decent to begin with).

The talk now is about whether Apple will start making a netbook, to compete at the cheaper end of the market. Personally I don’t care - I quit buying cheap laptops ages ago, I don’t think it really ends up being cheaper in the long run. Powerful and cheap machines tend to be poorly built - I’ve burned through (literally in a couple of cases!) far too many laptops that couldn’t handle their power actually being used regularly, or which developed problems because the build quality was naff. Cheap machines with decent construction but lower spec (e.g. netbooks) just need upgrading faster if you have my sort of needs, or are just a supplement to a ‘real’ machine, either of which costs more in aggregate, and the resale value when you do upgrade is usually not even worth considering. In the round, buying a premium laptop relatively infrequently works far better for me, and as such Apple already provide what I want. YMMV 😀