Apple, the Networking Giant

With all the hoopla around Ipod, and miniPOD, most have overlooked that Apple is fast becoming the king of local and wireless networking. According to research by tech tracker In-Stat/MDR, Apple grabbed 20.2% of the global market for network interface cards (NIC) and wireless access points offering the 802.11g flavor of Wi-Fi. Its premium pricing on products like Airport Extreme has made it number one in revenues. According to the research data, Apple pulled in around $148.3 million 802.11g-related sales, far ahead of Cisco/Linksys combo’s revenues of $32 million. In total (unit) sales, Apple is number two to Cisco/Linksys.

So what does that tell us: Apple may have a thin slice of the PC market, but knows how to monetize that market quite well. Now if HP tried to upsell, well you know the reaction. However, there is another point – by making the user experience simple and easier (and cooler) Apple is able to command a premium for a commodity product. Problem is that Cisco and others will never truly get the user experience part right, ever.


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