Coolness factor, design, an intelligent business decision to switch to Intel processors (2006) and an excellent positioning strategy pushed Apple back into the game in the computer market.
Apple’s retail market share is 14 percent, and 66% for PCs costing $1,000 or more. And all this is still growing. For the first quarter, Windows notebooks had “zero percent” growth year over year. By comparison, Apple notebooks had 50 to 60 percent growth.
Apple’s success above $1,000 defies some of the conventional retail thinking about PCs, where the emphasis is on lower pricing and greater features. “Consumers don’t care about features,” Stephen Baker, NPD’s vice president of industry analysis asserted. “People see a value proposition in an offering that gives them a great experience.”
Stephen said Apple appeals to the right segments, like multiple-computer households. Consumers that are buying a second, third or even fourth PC have different buying priorities, such as ease of use.
But the retail stores make a huge difference. “Apple has got better distribution than it’s had in the last 15 years,” Stephen explained. “They’re in the right spot right now. There’s the iPod advantage. But the big thing is the stores.”