Apple doesn’t play in 37% of the notebook market


The new Mac notebooks may have landed, but exactly where did they land from a price perspective? I had hoped my logical argument for a small and relatively lower-powered $800 Apple notebook would have surfaced but it looks too early for that. I suspect it will happen, only later, simply because of the sheer growth opportunity of the one-year old netbook market. Aside from the happy ending, I did call for a “Pro-like” MacBook with an NVIDIA GPU, so I take some solace in that.In any case, Apple now offers the plastic MacBook for $999, while the new one starts at $1,299. Take a look at the graph above, which I made from data courtesy of Keith Bachman’s numbers reported at Between The Lines. Nearly 37% of the 2007 notebook market was priced under Apple’s current pricing as shown by the market percentage of notebooks sold under the listed price points. I’ve grouped the price points in increments of $500 due to space constraints, but Bachman’s numbers show that until now, Apple was missing out on 37.8% of the market. Given today’s economic climate, I’d expect that a far greater number of notebooks under $999 will be sold. Add in the fact that an average priced $450 netbook can do 90% of what consumers want well enough and I see increased pressure for today’s event to be more of a transition step for Apple, not a final destination. It’s no secret that it no longer takes a high-powered CPU to offer a positive Mac experience, but perhaps Apple is waiting for two things:1. The netbook market itself. Apple generally doesn’t create new markets, they optimize existing markets.2. Intel recently started to ship dual core Intel Atoms. Although I haven’t seen any performance reviews, might they offer enough oomph for Apple to jump into the lower-priced market?It’s all a wait-and-see from my perspective and you can’t argue with success. Even as a “premium” brand of notebook, Apple’s market share continues to rise, but I question how long that trend will last at these price points. As a consumer, I like the power in the smaller MacBook package, but at 4.5-pounds it’s still heavier than I’d like to tote. That MacBook Air is only three-pounds, but I prefer the option to swap a second battery in pinch rather than search for an AC adapter. Enough of my thoughts: who’s buying a new MacBook or MacBook Pro?


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