What’s Left For The Macintosh In A Post-PC iOS World?

In a long think piece, Appleinsider’s Daniel Eran Dilger notes that “2013 was a rough fiscal year for the Mac. observing that for the past six years, Apple’s Macintosh personal computer business has been vastly overshadowed by its sales of Post-PC mobile devices. So he asks, “What future is left for the Mac?”

Dilger notes that for six and a half years (26 consecutive quarters) prior to last year’s holiday season (Q1 2013), Apple’s Mac sales had been outpacing the growth of the global PC market, but in 2012, PC sales began dramatically retracting for the first time since the dotcom collapse in 2001, and while Apple had theretofore remained impervious to this contracting demand, it was forced to report a significant decrease in Mac sales for the December 2012 quarter, with Macs sales continuing flat year-over-year in the March quarter and retracting again in the June quarter, albeit that PC sales in general have fallen so precipitously that “Apple’s own stagnant growth looks veritably radiant in comparison to the clammy grey death-face of the general PC business.”

So, says Dilger, “Should Apple go mobile? Is it time for Apple to give up on the Macintosh and plant both feet into the Post-PC future? Not necessarily, he contends, noting that at last Spring’s Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, the company pointed out that its Mac installed base has grown to 72 million, a 100 percent increase from five years ago, while the PC market has only grown 18 percent over that same period, and stopped growing at all a couple of years ago, and Apple is earning nearly as much from its Mac platform as Microsoft is from Windows. He further observes that the only other companies with PC operating systems are giving them away, and likely any of them would like to be in Apple’s position of taking in nearly a billion every year on OS upgrades on top of the company’s industry leading hardware profits, and while the PC competition has been diligently copying Apple hardware, they haven’t been able to clone is the reason why so many people buy Apple’s hardware.

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