NPD: Apple Market Share 66% for PCs over $1,000

The NPD Group has reported that Appleis market share at retail store fronts for the first quarter in the U.S. is 66 percent, but only for those PCs costing more than US$1,000. For all PCs, it is 14%.

"In notebooks theyire [Apple] growing two times the market," said Stephen Baker, NPDis vice president of industry analysis. "Windows notebooks are pretty much flat right now."

"iMacs are growing and the Windows desktop ainit. No matter how you look at it, Apple is outperforming Windows," he added in a chat with Joe Wilcox and Apple Watch.

The logical question to ask is whether customers care about the OS installed and if itis Vista. However, Mr. Baker doesnit think Vista is to blame. His observation has been that the "vast majority of consumers" donit care which OS is installed on PCs.

Mr. Wilcox characterized Appleis market share in the premium category as phenomenal. Of course, TMO notes that several additional factors have to be take into account. Retail stores comprise only a fraction of how PCs are sold in the U.S. Many corporate PCs are purchased direct via contract and Dell sells most of its computers to companies and individuals via mail order. When one looks at the total number of PCs sold in the U.S., Appleis market share remains, as reported previously, in the 6 to 8 percent range. However, that number continues to grow.

Even so, Apple has found a gold mine in the retail store buying experience and is riding the wave. "Apple has got better distribution than itis had in the last 15 years," Mr. Baker explained. "Theyire in the right spot right now. Thereis the iPod advantage. But the big thing is the stores."

Itis clear that in a battered economy, with individuals and corporations cutting back on discretionary, cheap, commodity PC purchases, Apple has the advantage. The companyis personal approach to customer sales, the iPod and iPhone halo effect and Appleis appeal to upscale customers by offering premium products have fueled their growth while the rest of the industry has fallen flat.