Daily Archives: January 26, 2012

The year of the iPad for the second year in a row

The iPad and Mac businesses both grew well in the last quarter. Tim Cook said they are observing some cannibalization of Mac from the iPad but much more switching to iPad is coming from the Windows PC market.

The evidence is still hard to pin down directly but the fact that PC sales (excluding the Mac) are down gives credence to the claim. Mac growth, in contrast, is largely unaffected. The following chart shows the the iPad volumes vis-a-vis Mac volumes and the Mac growth through recent history.

The iPad has out-sold the Mac since inception and is now about three times the volume. However, the growth rate in the Mac has not changed much.

The impact on the PC market has been discussed recently and the data in the following chart is an update given more precision on the units from Apple: Continue reading

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Price competition

Apple’s products are often seen as being priced “at a premium”. This is mostly a matter of perception, but in certain categories Apple’s products are priced above the industry average (though probably still affordable to sufficiently large populations). As a result, when competitors launch lower-priced products there is a tendency to expect Apple to react and reduce its prices to compete.

This expectation was evident when AT&T had an exclusive on the iPhone. The assumption among many (expressed in comments here as well as elsewhere) was that a switch to multi-carrier distribution would result in a price reduction and consequently a reduction in margins.

It was evident in the iPod and the Mac businesses over the years as prices for competing products collapsed.

It is also evident with respect to the iPad where expectations are that the Kindle will cause a reduction in the iPad price (and presumably in the margin).

However, the data we have from Apple on their pricing shows no concessions to competitive price pressure. The following chart shows the historic prices that Apple was able to obtain for its main product lines:

Continue reading