Two great news reports concerning Apple Computer’s profitability and popularity.
The Guardian has reported that for the first time in 20 years, Apple’s quarterly profits and revenues ($6 billion and $24.7 billion respectively) were greater than Microsoft’s ($5.2 billion and $16.4 billion, respectively). The reason for this is the decline in popularity of laptop and desktop computers, since Microsoft gets half of its profits from Windows licenses, as well as Bing recording a loss of $726 million. However, Windows 8 will be coming in September. That should have support for tablets, so time will tell if Apple can maintain its lead.
Research firm Canalys considers Apple Computer the fourth-largest largest PC maker in the first quarter, if you count tablets as PCs. Canalys does this, unlike analyst firms Gartner and IDC, because “that current [tablet] usage resembles that of a PC, rather than a media player or e-book reader.” Apple sold 8.45 million PCs for a 9.5% market share, an increase of 187.9% in the first quarter. Hewlett-Packard is the largest PC maker with 14.7 million shipped PCs (declining by 5.8% from last year) for a 16.6% market share, Acer is second with 11.4 million PCs shipped (declining by 6.5% from last year) and a 12.8% market share, and Dell is third with 10 million PCs sold (increasing by 2.8% from last year).
IDC and Gartner agreed that the iPad was partly responsible for the slowdown in PC shipments. “With the launch of the iPad 2 in February, more consumers either switched to buying an alternative device, or simply held back from buying PCs. We’re investigating whether this trend is likely to have a long-term effect on the PC market,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, in a statement earlier this month.