Originally Posted by WelshDog
So would we dare look far into the future? Let's assume Apple continues on their current path of expanding desktop and laptop market share driven in part by the iOS product halo effect. As OS X continues to expand, at some point would Apple actually need a mid range computer? I dunno, let's just pull this out of my proctal area and say at 20% market share would it make more sense for them to have a broader desktop range? What percentage of the Windows market is considered mid size?
That's an interesting question. Dare we even think they will ever get to 20%, or even close?
There's one paraphrased quote I like to use from Jobs before he came back to the company, when he was asked what he would do about Apple if he did come back.
He said "I would milk the Mac for all it's worth, and then go on to the next big thing".
It sure seems as though that's exactly what he's doing!
There's something that's heresy, but I believe actually has a chance now that Apple is such a different company, and is doing so well, and is now the most valuable brand in the world. If the Mac lines go below 20% of sales of the company, and average margins on them, particularly the consumer lines, are below the rest of the main lines Apple offers, they may be interested in doing something that's long been thought impossible again. That would be to allow clones.
Yes, as I said, it's heresy. But if Apple did it right, it could work. If they allowed just a small number of companies to do this, say Hp, maybe Dell, perhaps one other, and this time spec'ed carefully what could be done, Apple could do very well.
Unlike before, when Apple was floundering, and clones were thought to be required for business to take them up again, it was a gamble, that wasn't thought out carefully enough. But now, Apple is THE hottest brand on the planet. If Apple came up with reference designs that these companies would be required to follow, and Apple had approval, then it could work. These companies could manufacture OS X clones that fit into Apple line. Less expensive machines that Apple doesn't want to make. Gamer machines perhaps too. If Apple loses 25% of their computer sales, that would only be, at most 5% of total sales. Not much, and made up with other faster selling items.
But, this could double, and possibly eventually even triple Apple's market share. Who knows, it could go even higher. Then Apple would be selling tens of millions of OS X licenses, and making 80% profit margins off that. It would add to their bottom line greatly. Their overall margins could come to 50%.
This would solve a lot of problems, and allow companies to add machines from the big vendors they know and trust, while moving away from MS, which seems to be happening in a small way now. three or four years ago, 2% of large businesses had 250 or more Macs. Last year, that number rose to 7%. If Hp or Dell sold them, that could rise more quickly still.
If eventually, Apple sold 50 million licenses a year at $60 a license, not far off from what MS gets on average, though a bit less, that would total $3 billion in a year, almost all profit. Far more profit than they could get from selling much more in computers. Right now, they have to sell $20 billion of computers to make $3 billion in profit. Would they give up one for the other? They might.