Microsoft's Steve Ballmer dismisses Apple as a 'low-volume player'

in General Discussion edited January 2014
As Microsoft revealed that the company sold 4 million upgrades to its new Windows 8 operating system in its first four days, CEO Steve Ballmer dismissed Apple as a "low-volume player" in markets like PCs and smartphones.

Ballmer was asked in an interview with The Wall Street Journal whether he would prefer Microsoft evolve to Apple's business model, where the company controls both the hardware and software. The chief executive said he prefers Microsoft's business model, though he conceded that it is "evolving" with devices like the new Surface tablet.

"In every category Apple competes, it's the low-volume player, except in tablets," Ballmer said. "In the PC market, obviously the advantage of diversity has mattered since 90-something percent of PCs that get sold are Windows PCs. We'll see what winds up mattering in tablets."


In the U.S., Apple's iPhone accounts for about a third of all smartphones in use, while Google's Android platform is on more than 50 percent of handsets. Microsoft's mobile platforms accounted for just 3.6 percent of smartphone subscribers, as tracked by comScore in September.

As for the Mac, Apple has seen its share of the PC market continually increase as it has repeatedly outgrown the PC market. The latest data issued earlier this month by Gartner gave Apple nearly 14 percent of the U.S. PC market.

Microsoft hopes to counter some of the success Apple's Mac platform has had with its new Windows 8 operating system, which became available last week. Ballmer revealed at Microsoft's Build event on Tuesday that sales of Windows 8 upgrades had reached 4 million in the first four days.

As for the iPad, as Ballmer noted, Apple carries the lion's share of the tablet market. The latest figures show that the iPad accounts for more than 60 percent of all tablets sold worldwide.


  • Reply 1 of 156

    The **** is wrong with this guy?

  • Reply 2 of 156

    Somebody should get this guy a tele-prompter.

  • Reply 3 of 156
    ifij775ifij775 Posts: 470member
    Microsoft's users are abandoning the PC for tablets at an extraordinary rate, and they will soon be the low-volume player.
  • Reply 4 of 156
    gfeiergfeier Posts: 127member
    Apple is bigger than Microsoft and Google combined. Neat trick for a "low-volume player."
  • Reply 5 of 156
    Balmer prefers Microsoft's business model to Apple's. Guess he prefers selling more to earn less too. If Apple is the low volume player, that would make Microsoft a low profit player. As an investor, I prefer the latter. I bet Ballmer would too.
  • Reply 6 of 156
    irelandireland Posts: 17,796member
    It's time for MS to seriously consider letting Ballmer go.
  • Reply 7 of 156

    He looks high.

  • Reply 8 of 156

    A sales guy...  it's all about sales numbers (volume).  


    I like corporate earnings:


    MSFT:  15.5B

    AAPL:   41.5B


    MSFT has to own 90%' of the market to get those returns.  Apple can make that money on 11% of the phone market, 10% of the PC market, and what 60% of the tablet market?  Who is more efficient?   has more upside?

  • Reply 9 of 156
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,072member

    Best-selling tablet, best-selling phone model, best-selling music player world-wide. Best-selling laptop line-up, best-selling AIO and approx. 90% of PC sales over $1000 in the US... Losers.

  • Reply 10 of 156

    This guys needs to just SHUT THE **** UP!!!!!!!!

  • Reply 11 of 156
    Wow, so Microsoft is really scared then. He should not be giving Apple free press.
  • Reply 12 of 156

    Maybe he meant that Apple is a low-volume player with respect to downloads of iTunes 11 image


    I hate waiting.

  • Reply 13 of 156

    Computers running Windows 7:          40%

    Computers running OS X:                   8.5%


    First 4 days:

    Upgrades to Windows 8:               4 million

    Upgrades to Mountain Lion:          3 million


    Had Ballmer had the success of Apple that he said he was content without, Microsoft would have sold around 14 million copies in the first four days.

  • Reply 14 of 156
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    ireland wrote: »
    It's time for MS to seriously consider letting Ballmer go.

    That time was probably about five years ago.

    rob bonner wrote: »
    Wow, so Microsoft is really scared then. He should not be giving Apple free press.

    No kidding. My impression is that it's generally best to not comment on specific competitors lest you give them even more air time and mind share. That said, it might not be reasonable to call them competitors, Microsoft generally sells software, Apple generally sells complete systems, and both sell to different kinds of buyers.
  • Reply 15 of 156
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 3,154member

    Nice wooden desk and staircase. I can almost imagine the photo was taken in an Apple store! Was that Uncle Fester's great idea?

  • Reply 16 of 156
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,070member

    Ballmer is definitely sipping some fermented Kool-aid.

  • Reply 17 of 156
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,715member

    So Microsoft who has lets say a 90% (probably more) market share only did 4 Million downloads in the first 4 days. Apple, which is a significantly lower marketshare sold 3 Million copies of Mountain Lion in the first 4 days. I'd say Apple did pretty well for its size. My opinion is, I don't think Windows 8 will be a huge success although they'll try to spin numbers to make it seem like it was. Many people are confused on how to use it and I at this time (maybe things will change), I don't see Windows 8 being a huge success in the tablet space either. As it currently stands, it doesn't really do anything special that the iPad doesn't already do. You can't beat Apple by copying have to out execute them with something far better and then get people to love it. Instead of playing follow the leader, they need to try and be the leader. This could truly be the demise of Steve Ballmer. I think Microsoft is better for it. He's ran the company into the ground for far too long. They need a real leader, not a business man who has no clue about the computer industry. 

  • Reply 18 of 156

    Yeah, Steve... It's much better being a high-volume, low profit player. LMAO

  • Reply 19 of 156
    Low volume shipments but highest earning.

    I seriously believe Windows 8 is going to do one of two things.

    It's either going to make Steve Ballmer or it's going to drive people towards the Mac because the interface is soooo different that people will feel that if they have to learn a new interface they may as well learn the Mac interface.

    I seriously believe Microsoft is on its way down. It's no way near as powerful as it was. I don't think it will disappear but it will sort of fracture and mostly end up selling Office for Mac... at least that's my hope. ;-)
  • Reply 20 of 156


    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

    It's time for MS to seriously consider letting Ballmer go.


    No, I like Ballmer. Let's keep him. How else will we get lulz?

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