Originally Posted by kresh
I think the practice of including these $299 netbooks with their whopping 6GB drives and limited functionality (not all of them just the really cheap ones stacked by the hundreds at Wal-Mart) into the PC shipment market share numbers is suspect. If these netbooks are being counted as PC's then the iPod Touch should as well.
edit: (further thoughts) Windows Based cash registers/sales terminals and ATM machines are not counted in the PC shipments market share calculations and some of them have more functionality than these ultra cheap netbooks. iPod Touches, iPhones, other smart phones and netbooks should be counted in their own category as they are blurring into many categories but they are not traditional PCs.
New form factors, new device classes, improvements in cellco data speed, maturation in mobile OS's and apps and the fact that more and more people can do most of what most people want or need to do in/on/with/through/over the net will blur categories more and more. But for now, I'm reasonably sure that 95%+ of netbook buyers think of their purchases as computers - and many as their primary or only computer.
As for iPhones and Touches, they're converging, but one does belong more in a basket of smart phones and the other may even be able to Skype, but is still more a media device.
Netbooks will also spawn gussied up/beefed models - and Apple will enter the segment or create a new branch of it - and more notebooks will shed optical drives, adopt SSD, higher watt-density batteries, etc. and slim down ala the Air.
Lines drawn will certainly be arbitrary to an extent. Still, as one of my unversity profs long ago said, "Just because no one can tell you exactly where the front of your head ends and the side of your head begins doesn't mean you don't have a front and a side of your head."
Clearly, though, the metrics need to be updated and made more granular so that subcategories stand out.
My REAL surprise at this article, though, and it's not on the first page of comments either, is that unit shipments are only one part of the story. Apple's dollar market share of the PC market (however defined) would certainly raise its rankings significantly - it would certainly leap past Acer whose average gross per unit (let alone net) must be less than half of Apple's. So, just a guess, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Apple's domestic dollar market share is around 20% give or take 5%.
What was that figure a few months ago about Apple having some amazing share of the $1000+ notebook market? It was at least north of 33% or maybe quite a bit higher.
Further, developers and peripheral makers have learned that Mac owners buy more software and add-ons, upgrade their OS's more often, etc., adding a vibrant support network (already including iTunes, the App Store, Apple.com and the B&M Apple Stores) not aimed at or particularly benefitting any commodity Win PC maker.
Follow the money. It's always been true.