Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Apple Inc.'s Mac Gains Even More Share Against Microsoft Corporation's Windows

By Ashraf Eassa - Jul 23, 2015 at 10:00AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Apple continues to catch up with Microsoft in the PC.

A well-known storyline in the world of technology is that the PC market is expected to contract in the high-single-digit percentage range. However, one company that seems to be bucking that trend is Apple (AAPL 2.14%). Last quarter, Apple reported seeing its Mac unit shipments rise by 10%, with revenue up 2%, and in the company's most recent quarter, it saw Mac unit shipments and revenue surge 9%.

Given how weak the overall PC market is, this is a clear indication that Apple continues to gain share against systems running Microsoft's (MSFT 1.70%) Windows operating system.

The product refresh surely helped, but Windows laptops saw refreshes, too
One possible explanation for Apple's solid share gain in the quarter is that the company recently refreshed its MacBook products. The MacBook Air models as well as the 13-inch MacBook Pro saw refreshes to include Intel's (INTC 1.46%) Broadwell processor family, and both the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros were updated to include Force Touch trackpads.

Apple also introduced the new fanless MacBook in March, expanding its Mac portfolio.

That said, while new products probably helped Apple, the competition in the world of Windows laptops didn't sit still, either. Many vendors updated their systems to include Intel's Broadwell processors, and in some cases -- such as with the Dell XPS 13 -- vendors rolled out totally redesigned systems with impressive specifications.

These new systems not only didn't help the Windows vendors defend share against Apple's Mac, but they also failed to spark a revival in the consumer PC market at large.

Will Windows 10 be a game-changer for the non-Apple vendors?
Microsoft has said it will be releasing its next-generation Windows 10 operating system on July 29, which is just over a week away as of this writing. Windows 10 is expected to bring improvements to the user experience, particularly for more traditional PC usages, which some believe could help stimulate interest in buying new PCs.

That said, Microsoft is giving the operating system away to existing Windows users, so there is a chance that users might simply accept the "free" update to Windows 10 and continue to use existing systems. After all, the system requirements for Windows 10 are actually quite modest, as you can see here.

If I had to place a bet at this point, I would say that Windows 10 in itself probably won't do much to fundamentally improve the market segment share of Windows-based devices relative to the MacBooks.

That said, if the Windows vendors can put out systems based on Windows 10 and Intel's Skylake that offer significant, practical advantages over what the MacBooks have (assuming Apple doesn't have a big update of its systems with Skylake), that might help Windows share relative to Mac OS.

A great show from Apple
Apple has done a fantastic job executing with the Mac. Mac OS is, in my view, a well-designed, PC-first operating system. The Macs themselves, too, are well built and highly functional.

With that in mind, I do hope that Apple chooses to overhaul the MacBook Air lineup this fall to include a higher-resolution display with narrower bezels to further improve the value proposition of the devices relative to competing devices, which often use higher resolution/better displays.

At the end of the day, though, even without industrial design and display updates, the MacBook Air/MacBook Pro lines seem to be doing quite well. Who am I to argue with the consistent success of Apple's Mac business?

Ashraf Eassa owns shares of Intel. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Intel. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Apple Inc. Stock Quote
Apple Inc.
$172.10 (2.14%) $3.61
Microsoft Corporation Stock Quote
Microsoft Corporation
$291.91 (1.70%) $4.89
Intel Corporation Stock Quote
Intel Corporation
$36.11 (1.46%) $0.52

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/14/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.