PC sales are dropping quarter after quarter and this is nothing new to anyone, proof that we are even living in a ?ps-PC? world and that computers are items increasingly dedicated to specific tasks. According to analyst Horace Dediu, the fourth quarter of 2012 was one of the worst in the industry in the past two decades, reinforcing this idea. But, as always, Apple is doing well in one of the points that matters most to a company: profit.
Combining Gartner sales estimates with data released by the manufacturers themselves, Dediu compiled the graphs below showing that, just like in the smartphone market, Apple is not the company that sells the most units, but the one that makes the most profits.
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As explained by him, the calculation is not 100% accurate and involves some inferences, as in the case of the profit margin of the Macs, the analyst made some calculations taking public data from the company and reached an operating margin of 18.9%. Based on that, Dediu concluded that Apple alone makes more than Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer and ASUS combined!
Unlike Apple, PC makers have always worked with lower profit margins and that has never been a problem for them. Only now, with sales volume decreasing, low margins are no longer sustaining the business as before. Obviously Apple is not immune to this decrease in volume on the contrary, since the iPads themselves are cannibalizing sales of Macs, but it is undeniable that the company is the main exponent of the ?post-PC world?. That is, even in a market that is going through bad times, Ma is doing well.
What can these companies do to reverse this situation? Ah, if I knew the answer But it is clear, once again, that it is charging you for a new urgent revolution, coming from Apple, more than exaggerated. If you have a ?comfortable? company with today's scenario, Ma. Of course, this is the reason for her to settle down and let others take her place, but it shows that those who desperately need to reinvent themselves are the HPs and Dells of life.
To top it off, it appears that Microsoft is not helping its longtime partners much. Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, from ZDNet, stated that many OEMs (original equipment manufacturer that is, HPs and Dells) are dissatisfied with what Microsoft did with Windows 8 and the way the company handled the negative response to the operating system. He further said that an OEM confided in him that Microsoft is "destroying" the PC industry, while another accused Windows 8 of "delivering" millions of customers to Apple.
This is what happens when you depend exclusively on something (Windows), manufactured by another company, to sell your products. It is not surprising that Apple's vertical strategy (it is responsible for its hardware, software, ecosystem, etc.) has been criticized in the past and is the envy of many companies today.