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Ballmer says tide has turned on Apple

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  • User profile image
    Ray7

    According to Uncle Steve, in these difficult times, folk are not willing to pay $500 for the Apple logo.


    With Apple's Mac sales declining, then there could be some truth in what he says, though I wonder if, in the scheme of things it really matters. I think Apple has its sights firmly set on the mobile market, and judging by the latest updates to iPhone OS, they do have a very good chance of taking a serious chunk of the enterprise and vertical applications space. 

    Years ago, Steve Jobs was asked what he would do if he was still in charge of Apple, and he famously replied:

    'I would milk the Mac for all its worth, and then move onto the next big thing.'

    So while Ballmer is crowing about the Mac's declining sales, perhaps he needs to pay closer attention to what the iPhone is doing, because from where I'm standing, everything on the Apple side is going according to plan ...





  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    In current economy, who isn't sell less? And I agree on your iPhone thing.  iPhone and appStore is really hitting it up. WinMo is still looking so outdated compare to iPhone. Saying Apple is sliping with no competitive killer out there? That's just day dreaming.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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  • User profile image
    tfraser

    It is difficult to put a quantitative dollar value on the fit and finish of the Mac lineup. Where I think Steve Ballmer is wrong is that he's inferring there is no value in it, when sales statistics might indicate that there is.

    Whenever someone makes the decision to purchase a Mac instead of a PC, there is something that tells them that the extra cost can be justified. I'm sure that the "quality" factor - perceived or real - is responsible for this in a lot of cases.

    Sure, his comments that making this price justification will be harder given the current economic conditions are valid, but that is more a denial of the problem than a long-term competitive approach. Global recessions shouldn't be what you base your perspective of competitor strength on. Once there is less financial stress I see no reason for Macs to not continue selling well.

    I think the best solution for Microsoft and the Windows OEMs is to just hit back at Apple with products that are true rivals. Get the OEMs to build hardware that holds its own against the Macs - even if it isn't cheap - and that is one less reason for consumers to turn away. Stop subsidising the cost of the hardware (and wrecking the OS) with pre-installed rubbish and that will be another.

    I'm looking at getting a 13 inch notebook some time soon. I will need to use Windows on it, but even given all the offerings from the PC manufacturers the aluminium MacBook is still a likely purchase option.

  • User profile image
    bureX

    I don't agree... People ARE ready to open their wallets for a fruit logo on their machine, even in this economy...

    I, for one, am not. I recently purchased an HP DV5z laptop with much better specs, more ports and a freakishly good design that costs less than the cheapest MacBook.

    Microsoft needs to get WM 6.5 out as soon as possible, or rely on the Pre to do some of the work for them if they want people to loose the "Apple = Premium" way of thinking, since the iPhone is giving Apple a major marketing boost these days...

  • User profile image
    BitFlipper

    tfraser said:
    It is difficult to put a quantitative dollar value on the fit and finish of the Mac lineup. Where I think Steve Ballmer is wrong is that he's inferring there is no value in it, when sales statistics might indicate that there is.

    Whenever someone makes the decision to purchase a Mac instead of a PC, there is something that tells them that the extra cost can be justified. I'm sure that the "quality" factor - perceived or real - is responsible for this in a lot of cases.

    Sure, his comments that making this price justification will be harder given the current economic conditions are valid, but that is more a denial of the problem than a long-term competitive approach. Global recessions shouldn't be what you base your perspective of competitor strength on. Once there is less financial stress I see no reason for Macs to not continue selling well.

    I think the best solution for Microsoft and the Windows OEMs is to just hit back at Apple with products that are true rivals. Get the OEMs to build hardware that holds its own against the Macs - even if it isn't cheap - and that is one less reason for consumers to turn away. Stop subsidising the cost of the hardware (and wrecking the OS) with pre-installed rubbish and that will be another.

    I'm looking at getting a 13 inch notebook some time soon. I will need to use Windows on it, but even given all the offerings from the PC manufacturers the aluminium MacBook is still a likely purchase option.
    Where I think Steve Ballmer is wrong is that he's inferring there is no value in it, when sales statistics might indicate that there is.

    What statistics?  Macs are sold at a tiny fraction of what Windows PCs are sold at, especially if you look at worldwide marketshare.  That seems to indicate that for the vast majority of people, there is no value in it.  And remember, those people/businesses are free to buy whatever they want.

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    People aren't willing to pay $500 for an "ultimate" OS either, at least with Apple you get a concrete piece of well designed hardware

  • User profile image
    bureX

    blowdart said:
    People aren't willing to pay $500 for an "ultimate" OS either, at least with Apple you get a concrete piece of well designed hardware
    Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM - 180$ (Newegg)

    The only thing I can say for Macs is that they have a good looking chassis, and a nice OS... But everything else is essentially an overpriced PC with medium-tier characteristics. (and a shiny apple logo, but even the HP logo on my lid is illuminated, and I did not pay an extra $500 for it)

  • User profile image
    Maddus Mattus

    bureX said:
    blowdart said:
    *snip*
    Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM - 180$ (Newegg)

    The only thing I can say for Macs is that they have a good looking chassis, and a nice OS... But everything else is essentially an overpriced PC with medium-tier characteristics. (and a shiny apple logo, but even the HP logo on my lid is illuminated, and I did not pay an extra $500 for it)
    If people are willing to pay extra for Ferrari, Lamborgini, etc,..

    why not for Apple?

  • User profile image
    tfraser

    BitFlipper said:
    tfraser said:
    *snip*
    Where I think Steve Ballmer is wrong is that he's inferring there is no value in it, when sales statistics might indicate that there is.

    What statistics?  Macs are sold at a tiny fraction of what Windows PCs are sold at, especially if you look at worldwide marketshare.  That seems to indicate that for the vast majority of people, there is no value in it.  And remember, those people/businesses are free to buy whatever they want.
    While Macs are sold in much lower volumes, relative to the rest of the PC market their sales have been growing at a much faster rate for a number of years. Steve Jobs pushes these figures whenever he does a keynote for the Mac and I'm sure that the raw data can be found in the quarterly results releases that Apple files.

    I do agree that most people can't justify the added expense, but this isn't what I was claiming. What I said was that the impressive sales data for the Mac indicates to me that a lot of people (not all or the majority, just a lot) do see the value in the "better" fit and finish, which is what Steve Ballmer seems to be contesting.

  • User profile image
    Lizard​Rumsfeld

    tfraser said:
    BitFlipper said:
    *snip*
    While Macs are sold in much lower volumes, relative to the rest of the PC market their sales have been growing at a much faster rate for a number of years. Steve Jobs pushes these figures whenever he does a keynote for the Mac and I'm sure that the raw data can be found in the quarterly results releases that Apple files.

    I do agree that most people can't justify the added expense, but this isn't what I was claiming. What I said was that the impressive sales data for the Mac indicates to me that a lot of people (not all or the majority, just a lot) do see the value in the "better" fit and finish, which is what Steve Ballmer seems to be contesting.

    While personally the Mac doesn't offer what I need at this point to justify the price (I want some level of expandability, and while I appreciate its design I can get most of what I want in a notebook that's a little heavier with better features for far less), it's simply ignorant and insulting to many Mac purchasers that they paid $500 more for the "Apple logo". 

    Sure, some might be shallow enough to get a Mac to fit in with the Starbucks crowd, but there are those like my father who was a PC user all his computing life until he bought my Macbook (bought it, 2 months later got a job that relied heavily on office, so moving back to a PC was a no-brainer - Mac office can't compare), and just loves it.  Its the fit and finish of everything that appeals to him, and not just with software made by Apple - the platform as a whole encourages developers who take the user experience very, very seriously, even if the end product may not be as feature-complete as Wintel offerings.

    It's distressing that Ballmer still doesn't seem to "get it".  It's not only an ignorant statement to his competitors, he's insulting his own customer base as well - MS sells a lot of copies of Mac office relative to the platform.  I hate it when Apple perpetuates the bullshit comparisons, Ballmer should avoid them himself.

  • User profile image
    bureX

    Maddus Mattus said:
    bureX said:
    *snip*
    If people are willing to pay extra for Ferrari, Lamborgini, etc,..

    why not for Apple?
    You're comparing Apples to oranges... I don't think a Ferrari or a Lamborgini can serve as an equivalent to any Apple product.
    I agree that some people are willing to pay for the "extra", but what *is* the extra in a Mac? The build quality is above standard, sure, but the design, the accompanying OS, the "Think Different" philosophy does not appeal to everybody, so is it really worth the extra green from the perspective of an average user?

  • User profile image
    BitFlipper

    tfraser said:
    BitFlipper said:
    *snip*
    While Macs are sold in much lower volumes, relative to the rest of the PC market their sales have been growing at a much faster rate for a number of years. Steve Jobs pushes these figures whenever he does a keynote for the Mac and I'm sure that the raw data can be found in the quarterly results releases that Apple files.

    I do agree that most people can't justify the added expense, but this isn't what I was claiming. What I said was that the impressive sales data for the Mac indicates to me that a lot of people (not all or the majority, just a lot) do see the value in the "better" fit and finish, which is what Steve Ballmer seems to be contesting.

    What I said was that the impressive sales data for the Mac

    Once again, I don't understand what you are talking about.  There is nothing impressive about the sales data for Macs.  Their marketshare is a tiny fraction of Windows PC sales.  How you can think it is impressive is beyond me.  Maybe you are so used to Apple's small marketshare that you believe a 1 or 2 percent increase in sales is "impressive".  Impressive compared to what?

  • User profile image
    tfraser

    BitFlipper said:
    tfraser said:
    *snip*

    What I said was that the impressive sales data for the Mac

    Once again, I don't understand what you are talking about.  There is nothing impressive about the sales data for Macs.  Their marketshare is a tiny fraction of Windows PC sales.  How you can think it is impressive is beyond me.  Maybe you are so used to Apple's small marketshare that you believe a 1 or 2 percent increase in sales is "impressive".  Impressive compared to what?

    Yes, their market share is small compared to Windows OEMs but I never referred to absolute values like this. I am talking about relative sales growth, where the Mac has consistently outpaced the industry average since late 2004.

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    tfraser said:
    BitFlipper said:
    *snip*
    Yes, their market share is small compared to Windows OEMs but I never referred to absolute values like this. I am talking about relative sales growth, where the Mac has consistently outpaced the industry average since late 2004.
    Actually, their sales growth has been in reverse since late last year, while for the past month or so, PC sales have increased. For March, PCs rose 22% while Macs fell 16%

    The figures for laptops were even more frightening. Macbook sales fell 7% while PC laptop sales jumped a massive 36%. Since the entire laptop line has only just been upgraded, then this is very bad news.

    So what is Apple going to do about it? The problem could be that they're facing a lot of competition from the Netbook machines (though I've never been a hundred percent sure on this), so they will build an iPhone/iPod Touch with a much bigger screen, running iPhone OS rather than the full MacOSX system, and that will be their Netbook.

  • User profile image
    BitFlipper

    tfraser said:
    BitFlipper said:
    *snip*
    Yes, their market share is small compared to Windows OEMs but I never referred to absolute values like this. I am talking about relative sales growth, where the Mac has consistently outpaced the industry average since late 2004.

    Well, the rest of the world refers to absolute  marketshare.  The only reason you would not do that is to prop Apple's sales figures up as being "impressive". Mac sales are only "impressive" if you choose to put blinders on and ignore everything else. When you have almost nothing, growing to just slightly more than almost nothing really isn't any big accomplishment.  Nobody else thinks that is impressive other than people that live on sites like www.MacsAreTehBestest.com.

    And as Ray7 just pointed out, their sales growth has been declining recently.

  • User profile image
    tfraser

    BitFlipper said:
    tfraser said:
    *snip*

    Well, the rest of the world refers to absolute  marketshare.  The only reason you would not do that is to prop Apple's sales figures up as being "impressive". Mac sales are only "impressive" if you choose to put blinders on and ignore everything else. When you have almost nothing, growing to just slightly more than almost nothing really isn't any big accomplishment.  Nobody else thinks that is impressive other than people that live on sites like www.MacsAreTehBestest.com.

    And as Ray7 just pointed out, their sales growth has been declining recently.

    You have used the fact to support your view. That's fine. But it doesn't mean that the fact no longer supports mine as well.

    Pointless argument is pointless.

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    Ray7 said:
    tfraser said:
    *snip*
    Actually, their sales growth has been in reverse since late last year, while for the past month or so, PC sales have increased. For March, PCs rose 22% while Macs fell 16%

    The figures for laptops were even more frightening. Macbook sales fell 7% while PC laptop sales jumped a massive 36%. Since the entire laptop line has only just been upgraded, then this is very bad news.

    So what is Apple going to do about it? The problem could be that they're facing a lot of competition from the Netbook machines (though I've never been a hundred percent sure on this), so they will build an iPhone/iPod Touch with a much bigger screen, running iPhone OS rather than the full MacOSX system, and that will be their Netbook.

    Except netbooks are also a threat to Windows dominance. There's been an interesting opinion piece on thank netbooks for improving Win7. It is interesting  that for the first time ever a new MS OS hasn't upped the hardware requirements from the previous incarnation.

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    blowdart said:
    Ray7 said:
    *snip*
    Except netbooks are also a threat to Windows dominance. There's been an interesting opinion piece on thank netbooks for improving Win7. It is interesting  that for the first time ever a new MS OS hasn't upped the hardware requirements from the previous incarnation.
    Well that's MS all over though isn't it? They don't make a move until they feel threatened. Apple is not that different either. I'm pretty sure that they would have held off on Copy/Paste and few other goodies for another iteration or two, if they weren't so worried about the Palm Pre.

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