I think Alyce and I both agree that "the iPod's success has been the prime driver of Apple's amazing growth." Also, I think we agree that the company's iTV and iPhone ideas hold promise. But those businesses remain corollary to Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) core identity as a computer company, and so it's that business I'll focus on here.
Let's examine three of Alyce's assertions:
- "Apple has always been good at providing a system many people find more elegant and user-friendly than Windows and communicating the perception that to get a better product, you pay a higher price."
- "Apple's stubborn refusal to compete much on price is finally going to work in its favor. Consumers are infinitely more tech-savvy than they were, say, 10 years ago, and less intimidated by technology."
- "Recent data from Gartner showed that Mac is taking market share from Windows machines."
Well put. But the facts suggest otherwise. Sure, Apple is taking market share -- less than 1% over the last year. Big whoop. I mean, the Mac has been around since 1984. After 22 years of trying, this "better product," which is "more elegant and user-friendly than Windows," still can't get one person in 20 to "pay a higher price."
Why not? Perhaps because, as Alyce says, consumers are getting more tech-savvy. Apple's "hook," after all, has always been that it's easy to use - intuitive, even -- in comparison to what we used to call the "IBM clones." But if consumers are savvy enough to handle a PC these days, and the PC is cheaper . well, I suspect that helps to explain Apple's mere 4.8% market share.
Putting Windows software on a Mac doesn't solve Apple's market-share problem. All it does is turn a Mac into an overpriced PC. Poetic, since Apple is an overpriced stock.