Why Dell, HP and the other PC manufacturers are scared

In the past week, there have been a slew of articles discussing the huge growth in Apple’s share of the overall computer market.  One article discussed how nearly 8% of computers now in use are Apples, which is a nearly 32% jump in a year and another article here.  Apple’s notebook sales jumped 61% in a year.  Another article discussed how 14% of all new computers sold are Apple (cant find the link).

To add to this growth, a number of articles have discussed the iPhone halo effect (similar to the iPod halo effect).  The big difference this time around — the iPhone does much more and is a more important part of people’s live than any iPod ever was.  If you use and iPhone and love it, buying a Mac running on similar software makes sense.  Check out some discussions/articles, here, and here.  Apple has seen a dramatic rise in sales of Macs but the interest in the iPhone far dwarfs that of Macs.   Add the halo effect plus an unprecedented level of interest in the iPhone and you have huge potential Mac growth.

Of course none of this would be possible without the help of Microsoft.  Vista’s growth is huge but it started from zeo and is in the range of 250% growth year or year.  However, that growth happens because people are not nearly as willing to switch to a new computer OS as they are to make the move from a regular cell phone to a smartphone.  A computer is already an integral part of people’s lives and they are rightfully scared of making any big changes (especially when most folks fear computers and any minor computer change).  Making the move to a smartphone is less frightening than moving to a new computer system.

Vista, as anyone who has tried it knows, is not the revolution that Microsoft promised.  It is, at best, adequate.  Whenever I turn on parallels or bootcamp, I cringe in fear of something freezing.  Components still do not work and drivers are not out.  Vista forced me to return to Apple after a near 10 year separation and anecdotal evidence shows that it is making many people do the same.

However, to return to the title of this post, Dell, HP and the other PC manufacturers are scared.  Apple sales are growing and, with the iPhone effect + Vista, they are likely to continue to grow for the foreseeable future (Windows 7.0 might change this but it is too far away to discuss here).

Why are they scared?  Apple has one thing that those PC manufacturers do not and that they can never reproduce — Apple’s OS Leopard.  Dell, HP and the others can build the best computers in the world but Apple will not allow them to run Leopard on those machines.  Those machines are stuck with Vista (or XP).  As the iPhone, Leopard & Vista have shown, people are drawn to stable software on quality hardware.  Apple has both of these things while Dell and the others only have one.  Apple’s growth can continue unabated while Dell and the other PC guys will decline and they do nothing to stop it. With an enterprise based iPhone coming down the pipe, a less virus prone & crash prone OS, and with consumers snapping up Apple’s for their homes, company’s are going to start to make the switch (as they already have).  When this switch begins to happen in full, Apple will begin to hit at the jugular of PC/Vista sales.

The PC manufacturers are tied to a now sinking (or at least leaking) ship of Vista.  If I were them, I would be scared…

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6 thoughts on “Why Dell, HP and the other PC manufacturers are scared

  1. Considering in recent studies, when comparing two like machines ie (notebooks with similar speccs) Apple is less expensive than Dell. (Just the two I and others chose to compare) And as for cost of repair? Apple care is a 3 year warranty system in which the machine is covered from any manufacturer defect and does not cost the customer a dime. Plus Apples do not have nearly the problems that their Windows counterparts do. (I know because I have to repair both) When they do all of the innards still come from the same places, ie Hitachi, Sony, Western Digital. So, Apple is not really for rich people, just people who do good research and are smart consumers looking for a superior product.
    P.S Apple is the innovator… look how Vista copied about 80% of their look ant Utilities of OSX.4. Too bad they couldn’t get it to run as smoothly and securely as the Unix Based OSX. 😉

  2. I am agreeable with u The Enlightened One! As an IT professional, I started migrating all my systems towards Linux based open source ones at work and guess what….much cheaper to run than any comparable (if they can really be compared) windows ones. I then discarded my laptop to a Macbook Pro…same result. It runs without any troubles (more than a year already). I then put aside my personal Windows PC and that for my kid also and get them replaced by iMac….same scenario….No hidden costs to run Mac machines. I recommend anyone to opt for Mac!

  3. Well said Ajay. Its nice to hear other people with similar backgrounds who have discovered the same results. In-fact, isn’t that one of the first steps for troubleshooting? Duplicating the symptom? Well in this case I can safely say that we have both duplicated the symptom in having a far better experience both economically and for peace of mind.

  4. I disagree with TheEnlightened. After knowing friends with bad experiences, the Apple Care Protection Plan means NOTHING. After costing my friend $150 in data backups to send it back, they told him it had a small dent and that’s why it was broken…thus costing him around $750 to get it repaired, and he ended up just throwing it in the trash. (With no reimbursement for the data backup)

    Apple may have quality products, but their support is horrible, and the hardware they sell is overpriced for what it is. I am a proud owner of 5 PC’s, only one store bought, my laptop. They all have Vista SP1. I have had NO problems whatsoever since the day Vista was released. I find it to be a highly stable operating system. Very rarely do I have a program crash (once a month), and my gaming computer NEVER gets restarted, it’s been on for about 3 months.

    And games are something that Mac’s will never have, because to get a Mac Pro equivalent to my PC, it would cost you $6000. That is an outrageous amount of money for a computer, regardless of how stable, for something you can get with windows for $1500.

  5. Again with the uninformed… sigh, okay, lets clear this up for you as well.
    1) Data backup is the responsibility of the end user. The ancient rule of computing still rings true today “Back up anything that you don’t want to lose or cant replace.” I don’t feel a bit sorry for anyone not knowing the importance of backing up because now a days it’s just plain ignorance if you don’t. Apple has implemented a feature in Leopard that is called Time Machine, which provides a one click backup solution. Connect an external drive, Time Machine will Launch and ask, “Do you want to make this drive your Time Machine Backup?” You click, yes, and every hour you have an incremental backup, to where you will never lose ANY data, which will save you $150 down the road. As for the dent. Dents indicate impact, (especially when on a stout aluminum case of a Powerbook G4 or a Macbook Pro) Any impact to dent that case would likely be enough to knock something lose on a logic board, and again would be an end user issue. I just have no sympathy for people who abuse their machines, and or are not responsible enough to back up important data, and then gripe and complain about a company that refuses to coddle them. It looks like Apple is trying to not only make better computers, but to also help make better, more responsible computer users, (This I am sure they will fail as I deal with users all day, and there is no hope for most) Protect your investment, protect your data. Also I am not sure what pricing list you used but I am sure I could price out a mid line iMac for $1499 that would most likely run circles around your Windows Box. This $1499 beast I am talking about has an intel core 2 duo 2.66 GHZ processor, 2GB RAM 320GB HD, a Dual Layer DVD burner, and a 256MB Graphics card. (this is stock) There is no reason your bud would need a Mac pro unless he is calculating seismic geological data, or rendering feature length movies, (which I highly doubt he is doing either) So, in conclusion. Don’t compare Apples to Lemons, and if you do please select a more reasonable comparison (not professional industrial grade with consumer) Apple has made this simple to distinguish as well… iMac (Consumer hence the “I”) Mac Pro (Professional hence the “Pro”) Oh and Apple care is awesome. I just repaired a designer’s 2.5 year old Powermac G5 which would have cost him $2.200 without it and it didn’t cost him a dime… (He didn’t use his optical drive tray as a drink holder and also backed up his data, so there were no extra charges 😉

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