December 10th 2008
By Mike Flaminio
From the misleading headline department (guilty as charged) comes this Guardian write up entitled--"Acer leads netbook market while Apple loses market share." Yes, that's technically correct, but it's certainly only part of the story.
Although Apple doesn't sell a product that falls into the "netbook" product segment, they are moving millions of 3G iPhones and iPod touches, which are very capable ultra-portable computers.
Thereupon, The Guardian's write up riffs on DisplaySearch data for the third quarter of this year, a period in which Apple sold 6.8-million iPhones and an unknown number, likely millions, of iPod touches. Would Apple have lost share if these portables had been included? Hmm, there's some USDA Prime food for thought.
Source: DisplaySearch data compiled by DigiTimes
Further, Acer and the other netbook vendors are adding market share, but what are they getting back for their efforts and are they eating their own young? Well, we don't know their margins, but profits on netbooks are believed to be at or near zero.
"Apple [is] competing to sell portable computers that cost $1,000-$2,000, and they're not playing in the $250-$500 market, where margins are razor thin," adds the Guardian at the end of their write up. "Apple makes so much profit on a MacBook Pro, it could afford to give buyers an Asus netbook or Acer Aspire One free."
When you add it all up--rapidly rising sales of high margin products in an economic environment that forces their competitors to sell cheap with little profit--it seems rather apparent Apple's on the right track...
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