Originally Posted by Groovetube
I think a few need to chill. There's a constant need to -defend apple-.
I get it. I think you are stating the obvious, that we already know about apple. Or at least anyone, who has been using apple stuff like I have for many years.
I never suggested apple cares so much as to start competing on a level the PC industry has to little to no profit to achieve 100%. Why must we talk extremes?
Apple has clearly cared enough about marketshare to make significant changes. I recall buying my G4 for over 5 grand at one time. I also remember what I paid for several powerbooks, almost 4k. Remember what the iBook G3800 was? I bought my wife one for nearly 3 grand. a year later, the iBook G4 was 1800. How about the 17" iMac G5 I paid 2600 for. Man, things have changed, bigtime!
Apple has made very significant changes since my start on macs in the 9500 days. As Steve Jobs says, they're in it to win. And by winning, that -includes- marketshare. Not necessarily 100% either...
Well, I'll grant you Apple cares enough about market share to not grimly hang onto 1990s pricing. Since they would sell basically 0 machines for that kind of money.
But that example is a bit of an extreme as well; the price of performance of course goes down over time. I believe in the late 90s it was something like $30,000/GFLOP and is currently somewhere south of 20¢.
What Apple seems to pretty consistently do is figure out the hardware/software combo available that can run the experience they're shooting for acceptably. At times of transition, like the early iterations of OS X, that sometimes gets a little out of sync and Apple's customers have to put up with less than stellar performance for a while. They then price their stuff according to what it costs to make that experience, plus their usual healthy margins.
They do this in complete defiance of the prevailing trends in mass computing, which are generally headed towards the cheapest possible commodity pricing. Clearly, if Apple were unduly concerned by "marketshare", they would have to offer something like a $600 laptop and a $300 desktop to even be in the same ballgame, which they obviously are not.
Which is not to say Apple isn't happy enough to dominate a market they created and which functions by their rules. I think the iPad fits that model: they can charge what they need to get to be profitable, but their economics of scale, vertical integration and shared componentry across multiple high volume devices mean they can make the machine they want and still be cost competitive, if not dominate.
In fact, I think the entire post return of Jobs era at Apple has been about this: maintaining a small marketshare but profitable computer line-up while working on a post-computer lineup that wouldn't be beholden to the WinTel duopoly and the quirks of history that ghettoized the Mac. I don't think they set out to dominate that market, particularly-- they did their usual thing of building the stuff that they wanted to build, peanut gallery notwithstanding-- but now that it's blown up into the better part of their business, there's no reason to go out of their way to hurt sales.