“Apple is currently the most successful tech company on the planet.” wrote Stewart Meagher at Thinq.
He may be right about the machinations surrounding elections to the board of Disney but he needs a lesson in geography. There are parts of the planet outside North America and Europe. Less than 2% MacOS usage in Asia, Africa and South America… Is that success?
Well then there are iPhones and iPads. They do better but are still priced too high for large parts of the globe.
Apple does make money form rich folk. Is that success? Yes, in a way that matters, but it certainly does not make the world a better place as ARM plus GNU/Linux can. We are seeing products that are good enough for most people selling like hotcakes globally at much lower prices. If one looks at value for money, Apple is not successful.
Some data from a recent 10Q filing at the SEC comparing 2010 Q4 with 2009 Q4:
Unit Sales by Product:
Desktops (a) 1,227 1,234 (1% )
Portables (b) 2,907 2,128 37%
Total Mac unit sales
4,134 3,362 23%
Net sales per Mac unit sold (h)
$1,313 $1,324 (1% )
iPod unit sales
19,446 20,970 (7% )
Net sales per iPod unit sold (h)
$176 $162 9%
iPhone unit sales
16,235 8,737 86%
iPad unit sales
7,331 0 NM
$16.5billion came from Americas/Europe. $10billion came from the rest of the world, so they do better with gadgets but PCs? Forget it. If they cannot produce a small cheap PC they are not successful in my book. Look at the average sales per Mac, $1300. They are not even trying and the share of the business from sales of Macs is in serious decline. I, a single human, can produce great PCs for about $300 per seat. Apple fails at that. Perhaps it would be best if they got out of the business and sold more gadgets. The world needs more small cheap PCs. Some of their gadgets have PC-like functionality but they are not close to the price/performance a normal PC should have.