July 4th 2002
By Mike Flaminio
IDG reports that Apple's US market share has increased to 3.48% for Q1 2002, as noted by MacCentral. This represents a year-over-year increase of 0.25% and 0.4% on the previous quarter.
Apple is currently the # 6 computer maker in the US and # 9 worldwide, according to the report. Significantly, MacCentral quotes IDC's Roger Kay, who attributes much of Apple's growth to the release of the LCD iMac G4. However, as Apple's recent Q3 warning demonstrates, iMacs have shifted from undersupply in the Q1 to possibly 15 weeks' inventory in the distribution channel.
As IGM reported recently, major US Mac distributor Ingram Micro said that demand was "stable" and not falling. But Apple's ramping up of iMac production from late February has clear been at variance with market demand since around late March. The usual 'dads-and-grads' kick in the consumer market in April-May didn't happen this year, which accounts for some of the backlog. However, upcoming MWNY in July also accounts for some buyers holding off their purchases.
The MacCentral report also canvasses the impact of the Apple Retail Stores. Apple claims 40% of visitors to the stores are Windows users.
Analysis: Our take is that while the 'Switchers' campaign might be effective - as will the Apple Retail Stores - it will take several quarters before we see any real evidence of their impact. We certainly won't see Windows switchers and new customers jumping immediately: but we should know by Xmas whether the campaign - and Apple Retail - truly work to any significant extent. To make analysis more difficult, the rate of recovery of the global economy will also weigh heavily on the pace of recovery of consumer and enterprise spending. The bottom line is you can have the best products and marketing in the world - but there's got to be sufficient business and consumer confidence for people to actually go and buy these things.