Skip to comments.So Much for Stagnating Mac Growth
Posted on 08/25/2010 3:41:47 AM PDT by Swordmaker
I have to constantly remind myself that sales estimates can be all over the place, so when a recent report suggested Macs sales werent improving as fast as some expected, I was ready to attribute that state of affairs to the extreme success of the iPad.
However, it now appears that Mac sales may actually be growing faster than previously believed.
Theres a story in this weeks issue of Fortune that, in June, sales of new Macs to the enterprise actually soared nearly 50%, about three times higher than the rest of the PC industry. In addition, sales to government soared 200%, which is 16 times faster than the rest of the market.
At the same time, sales to consumers improved by roughly 35%, so its clear Macs arent losing their luster for home users either.
But the enterprise? Now maybe its just a statistical blip, since Apple has such a small market penetration in the business world. Perhaps the same is true for government users, but maybe, just maybe, so many business users are sick and tired of the ongoing problems with Windows that theyre looking for an exit plan. Sure, perhaps Windows 7 is far better than its predecessors, but when Microsoft can only list such silliness as pinning document windows on the corners of the screen as one of the most compelling new features, you just know that they have nothing important to say.
But whats most fascinating is the fact that this is all happening when the iPad seems to be selling far more copies than anyone expected. At the same time, are new iPad users buying them as extra devices, or are sales being cannibalized from other products?
If the latter, just what products are we talking about? Macs? Evidently not, unless you want to argue that far more Macs would otherwise be sold. PCs? Perhaps, since sales of new PCs, outside of the business market, havent gone so well this summer, particularly in the netbook category.
Of course, you have to realize that a netbook is not a terribly inviting product. Theres not an ounce of innovation to be found. All the PC makers did was to shrink notebooks down as small as they can, and use cheaper components, including slow processors. Its hard to take a $300 netbook and expect it to offer anything close to credible performance for all but the most basic tasks. Everything is a compromise.
The iPad is a totally different product with extremely snappy performance and a smart, intuitive interface that actually takes the PC into a whole new dimension. Consider that, until the iPad came out, no other PC maker had a clue what to do about tablets. After touting the arrival of tablet PCs 10 years ago, the best Microsoft could so was to deliver a clumsy alternative to the regular Windows computer with a stylus to click buttons on the screen.
Watching one of these tablets in action certainly demonstrates how bad they are, and why they have been abject failures outside of certain business categories.
Our family doctor, for example, has a network of Fujitsu tablet computers in his office. The doctor and his assistants carry them around while examining patients and consulting records. They employ the ever-present stylus to activate functions using a special vertical market application thats designed for physicians. But actual text is still entered via the keyboard. Were not talking about an iPhone-styletouch interface here, but a kludge based totally on a traditional PC that employs a stylus in place (or in addition to) a touchpad or mouse.
Its no wonder such devices didnt catch on for the vast majority of users.
Of course, now that the iPad has been a proven success even early in its lifetime, the rest of the PC world is madly scrambling to deliver a credible competitor. But so far rather than deliver product, they are delivering hype. Claims mean nothing without a powerful product lineup to demonstrate they can truly deliver the goods.
Consider that recent silly statement from Chang Ma, vice president of marketing for LG Electronics mobile-devices unit, who praised the iPad and then promised they could build a better tablet. All this without any evidence that LG can develop an operating system that comes close to matching the iOS. Or maybe they plan to rely on the forthcoming Google Chrome OS, but that would put the LG tablet computer in the same range as other products using a Google-based OS. Wheres the differentiation?
Indeed, why are members of the mainstream press taking anything Chang Ma says seriously? Does he have experience in this product category that he can point to in order to prove his claims? Not a chance.
With all this nonsense, you dont have to wonder why more and more businesses have opted to order the real thing: a Mac.
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Given the current conditions and situation, do you think this is really good news?
Impressive sales growth. We will see what the figures are for the next quarter, but I anticipate it will be more of the same.
I was in a Apple store last Saturday. The place was extremely crowed. There were over sixty people in line to buy an iPhone. I would imagine that some of those people are new Apple customers who may later more on to buying a Mac.
I’ll wait for a reponse the the question that was asked.
While it's certainly unfortunate that the PC market in general is not doing as well, conservatives can take comfort in the fact that an innovative, capitalist American business is flourishing in otherwise tough times.
Regardless of your feelings about Apple or their products (I don't recall if you've said you're an Apple customer or not), it's nice to see signs that not all computer businesses are in trouble.
I don't have shares of any of these companies, but I imagine the holders of AAPL are pleased.
Given the political leanings of Apple's executives and directors, and the propensity of this adminstration to use government contracts to reward political allies and campaign contributors I'm sketical of attempts to portray it as nothing more than the technical superiority of the product. I'm not drinking that Kool Aid.
> Given the current conditions and situation, do you think this is really good news?
I think I misunderstood your question, in my response above #6.
Perhaps you meant, is it a good idea for Apple to be selling computers to the government?
I personally don't have a problem with more Macs going into government offices; I use both Windows and OS-X extensively and I'm sure Macs would serve as well in those applications, with a small period of adjustment, similar to the adjustment necessary from XP to Win7.
Do you have any experience integrating MACs into a Windows Security Domain?
My understanding is that Apple is the only American computer company that does NOT make political contributions.
All the major computer companies lean a little to the left. What's your point? Just bashing Apple? Microsoft leans at least as far left, AND make contributions to leftist political causes. That make you feel better?
There's no conservatively-politically-acceptable choice, sorry to say.
Can’t speak to that, but NSA put out some time ago their recommendations for securing Macs in government use. I’m not sure if the current revision of that document would answer your questions or not.
Let’s just say that I find the proposition that I have no reason to be suspicious of the political connections of a corporation who’s board of directors includes Al Gore to be dubious at best.
From what I've read, Dell has consistently supported conservative political causes and candidates.
Being both a hardware and softare vendor does give Apple proponents the flexibility to comapare them to Microsoft or various hardware vendors, depending on what's convenient at the moment.
I use Active Directory for authentication and authorization within my company's Windows Domain, but there are limits to its usefulness on account of its incompatibility and non-interoperability with most of our mission-critical applications, which are not from Microsoft. AD plays nicely with the Microsoft apps, in general.
We've addressed AD's incompatibility issues in a variety of ways; on the Macs we have VM's for talking to the Microsoft apps that are incompatible with anything but Windows. After fighting with AD for a couple years, we now use a combination of Samba and OpenLDAP for most of our applications very successfully.
Microsoft's Active Directory intentionally does not play well with non-Windows computers. It's designed to lock out anything that's not from Microsoft. Unless you're an all-Microsoft shop, using AD is a royal pain. Which is, of course, Microsoft's intention. As the marketshare leader, they historically haven't have any business motivation to make it possible to use anything else.
However, as more outfits discover the alternatives, my guess is that AD will be relegated to the All-Microsoft shops, and everyone else will find better ways to make things play nice.
Yawn. Nothing personal... but look at all the BoDs and you'll find there's nothing much different. If you've got a particular case on for Gore, so be it, avoid Apple's products. Done. I have no argument with your personal choices.
What would be your assesment of the government’s ability to implement secure heterogenous networks?
Could be; I don't have stats close to hand, one way or the other.
> Being both a hardware and softare vendor does give Apple proponents the flexibility to comapare them to Microsoft or various hardware vendors, depending on what's convenient at the moment.
Or conversely, being a SYSTEM vendor, Apple doesn't compete with just Microsoft or just Dell. Rather, you have to assemble a SYSTEM from various PC software and hardware vendors, and then compare it to a Mac.
It's not "convenience", it's a matter of definitions.
So basically, if you don't like Apple, don't buy the product but you don't have any business questioning those government contracts? I'm afraid we're going to disagree about that.
It's not "convenience", it's a matter of definitions.
Microsoft doesn't do that, but the comparison to MS will show up, even in purely hardware related threads.
Hardly -- you're welcome to your opinion and you can question whatever you want, as can I.
I'm just saying, if you don't like Apple's products, or Apple's BoD, don't buy their products. Your boycott of their products is entirely your right and I encourage you to express your opinion that way. But there's no additional screaming need to come to an Apple thread and pee all over it, to no overall good effect. :)
That is, IMO, the conversation about network security is cogent. Pissing and moaning about Al Gore, not so much; been there, done that. YMMV.
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