A Thought About Market Share

I read an article this morning that reminded me of a subject I wanted to blog about but forgot to. It has to do with the age-old battle between Macintosh OS X and Windows – particularly Vista at this point.

Many, many people make comments about Apple trying to gain market share and how it is (or is not) eating away at Windows. As this morning’s article proves, sometimes they discuss how Apple needs to do X, Y, and Z in order to beat Windows and talk about a 3% market share for Apple.

I look at things a little differently than pure competition. Consider the cars on the road today. You see tons and tons of Fords, Chevys, Toyotas, and Hondas. You see fewer BMWs, Mercedes, and Bentleys. But that doesn’t mean that BMWs, Mercedes, and Bentleys aren’t as good or wouldn’t provide a better driving experience for *everyone*. It just means that they’re at the higher end of the market, so fewer people own them.

I apply that view to Macintosh computers versus Windows computers. I didn’t used to, as many who read this will recall, but I think it’s just fine if Apple wants to go on making its higher-end software. I don’t believe it’s necessary for Apple to beat Windows. I don’t think they’d regret it if they did, but I also don’t believe it’s a requisite of Apple’s success. Just look at the differences in stock performance over the last five or six years. Apple is up (over six fold) and Microsoft is basically flat (up about a dollar or two). Obviously their stock prices are not a reflection solely of their computer operating systems, but it does tell an interesting story.

So, I present those who make it a point to discuss or criticize Apple’s lack of market share with this thought: isn’t it ok if the pursuit of raw market share isn’t the point?

Hmm. Quality instead of quantity. What an interesting thought.

Here’s the article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/16/technology/16digi.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

One thought on “A Thought About Market Share”

  1. I agree with you on the matter of a highend product not necessarily having to “beat” it’s competition sales-wise. In fact, if that were their ultimate goal – I’m sure Macintosh could do better to move up on Windows – branding is a powerful tool. Perhaps, as you mention, a gradual steady rise in stock is a more likely goal.

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