Originally Posted by Tulkas
Another bad analogy. The console market can only be broken into submarkets that contain each contain single vendors. There are many vendors for Windows systems.
Why is this only a bad analogy when it is exactly the same thing you do to the mac?
Take the overall PC market. Reduce it to "submarkets" in the same way in the past and you have Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, Apple Mac, Wintel.
That the Mac, Amiga and ST were single vendor PCs doesn't mean that Apple, Commodore or Atari had some magical monopoly over a "market". This is just like the PS3, 360 and the Wii. If MS licensed out the 360 like they do windows all three would STILL exist in the same market. Not three.
As I have tried to say a number of times, we really have no disagreement here. If you unable to distinguish smaller segments or submarkets within the overall PC market, then you cannot. Without this, then certainly all possibility of an Apple monopoly is moot, since your have defined the market itself out of existence. No market, no monopoly, no debate.
It is not the "inability to distinguish" that there are smaller segments of the PC market but that you do not classify them as a "market". Rather it is your fabrication of a market out of a fragment of a market.
Try to define a function a foreign car has over a domestic car? Yet, within the North American market, it is common to reduce the market further into foreign and domestic. Certainly location of head offices of these car companies does not affect function of the vehicle...or maybe it does, since markets can only be defined by function????
And if GM held 100% share of all domestic car manufacturing but only 6% of the total car market it would NOT be a monopoly. It would simply be one manufacturer among many.
Mazda is the only manufacturer of cars with rotary engines. Does it have a monopoly? No. Anyone can build their own variant of a wankel rotary if they like. Just like anyone can build an OSX like unix variant if they like.
Is it forced to obey the rules for a monopoly? No. Does it have to license it's 13B rotary engine or sell it as a separate item? No. For example, you can buy the housing for their Le Mans winning R26B rotary but none of the internal parts.
Why? Because consumers have a vast array of alternatives that do the same thing. Therefore, once again you're confusing a market segment with the market as a whole.
I would think the easiest definition of a market would be the group of customer that might buy, will buy or could be convinced to buy with a given product category and/or further distinguishing criteria (a la foreign and domestic). Generally, within the PC market, this will include Windows systems, Macs, Linux etc. But, why cannot the market be more finely defined than that?
You can define a human more finely as pieces of the human body. It doesn't make a liver a human being.
Strictly by function? OK, if by your definition, a market is solely defined by overall functionality, then no, you cannot distinguish a Mac from a PC. Or server from desktop. or professional from consumer. Functionally speaking, there really isn't much to distinguish these. Some might be single purposed or specifically configured, but realistically, potential functionality is the same.
Yes, you can. A PC is a personal computer typically for a single user. Hence the term personal. A server is a typically for use by multiple users. They are only similar at the very top end of the desktop and the very bottom end of the server. The middle and top end servers represent far greater capabilities than found in even the most uber of desktop or even workstation. An 8 core Mac pro isn't in the same class with a 32 core M8000 Server much less a 128 core M9000 server even if it isn't much different from 2-4 CPU low end Xeon based server from Dell.
If Sun made the vast majority of heavy iron, enterprise servers it would have a monopoly even with the desktop PC market dominated by wintel machines that go up to 4-way (16 core) machines.
A professional vs consumer desktop PCs is harder to justify as independent markets and I'm not going to try to. There are many "professionals" with consumer grade PCs instead of "pro grade" workstations.