FORTUNE -- Everybody who follows the computer industry knows that Apple's (AAPL) Mac trails far behind its Microsoft (MSFT) Windows-based competitors -- Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Dell (DELL), Lenovo and the like -- in terms of worldwide PC shipments.
But who knew what the market looked like in terms of economic value?
Leave it to Asymco Horace Dediu to boil it down to a pie chart (above) and a simple ratio: Apple sells 5% of the world's PCs and takes home 45% of the profit.
"The real problem for the PC vendors," he writes in an article posted Tuesday, "is not that they have such low margins -- they've had low margins for decades. It's that the volumes which 'made up for' low margins are disappearing. Apple is not immune to a gradual erosion of Mac volumes, but they have positioned themselves for growth with devices and content commerce and services. They have essentially 'escaped' PCs and indeed caused the need to escape in the first place.
"The problem is what could the others do? It seems all they can do is depend on Microsoft getting their strategy right.
Link: Escaping PCs.
Global PC sales may be in free fall, but most analysts expect the Mac's to be up a bit
FORTUNE -- For a company like Apple (AAPL) that is supposed to be a growth stock, the flattening bar graph at right might seem like a disappointment -- unless you consider the alternative, represented by the chart at left.
According to IDC's grim report Thursday, PC sales were down worldwide by 14% year MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 13, 2013 12:21 PM ET
Lenovo is the single PC manufacturer that is doing well. And even that company's worldwide sales are flat.
FORTUNE -- Let's say the definition of "PC" is the same one we applied five years ago, before tablets. By that definition, the market seems to be collapsing.
Shipments of PCs in the first quarter fell by 13.9% from the same quarter in 2012. The forecast decline had been 7.7%, according to International Data MOREDan Mitchell, contributor - Apr 11, 2013 2:44 PM ET
Changes in mobile technology and touchscreens are scrambling the old definition of the personal computer.
FORTUNE -- The question "What is a PC?" has been bemusing analysts and industry observers since long before the introduction of the iPad -- but especially since. The answer is not so simple. In some ways, it's a question of mere rhetoric. But when it comes to analyzing markets and companies, it becomes a lot more MOREDan Mitchell, contributor - Feb 27, 2013 7:26 AM ET
The two leaders tower over Lenovo, HP and Sony, but stand in the shadow of "Others"
FORTUNE -- IDC has issued a Q4 report on shipments of what they call "smart connected devices," a category that includes desktop PCs, notebook PCs, tablets and smartphones.
Total shipments last quarter came to 367.7 million units, IDC estimates, with most of the growth in tablets (up 78.4% over 2011) and smartphones (up 46.1%), while desktop and MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Feb 22, 2013 11:06 AM ET
Why Apple is happy to cannibalize its own PC business
FORTUNE -- At the end of a post analyzing the factors that led to a 22% drop (16%, by weekly stats) in Mac sales last quarter -- the biggest decline in 10 years -- SplatF's Dan Frommer offers the chart above. It's a graph showing what a decade of Apple's (AAPL) computer sales would look like if -- as Steve Jobs MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 30, 2013 9:08 AM ET
The analysts' forecasts range from 4.45 million to 6.5 million. Median estimate: 5.2 million
FORTUNE (Vientiane, Laos) -- At first glance, the chart at right looks pretty dismal. It suggests that Wall Street expects Christmas quarter sales of the Mac to grow less year over year than any year in memory, and that our sample of independent analysts -- generally more bullish than the professionals -- expect year over year unit MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 12, 2013 6:27 PM ET
The tech giant faces difficulties ahead as the chip market changes. Here's what the company's next leader must do.
By Kevin Kelleher, contributor
FORTUNE -- Anyone care to run an $54 billion-a-year tech giant? Anyone have any good ideas how to get it growing again? Intel is looking for a new CEO to take the reins at the Silicon Valley icon next May, when Paul Otellini steps down from the job.
Since Otellini became MOREDec 5, 2012 7:27 AM ET
A survey suggests that Windows PCs, not 10-inch iPads, will be its primary victim
FORTUNE -- The day after the iPad mini was unveiled, Cowen's Matthew Hoffman wrote that he expected Apple's (AAPL) latest tablet to be "largely cannibalistic" -- eating directly into the sales of Apple's 10-inch iPad -- and he trimmed his iPad sales estimates accordingly.
But to be certain, he ordered a survey of 1,225 Americans to gauge their MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 15, 2012 7:25 AM ET
Sales up 45%. Earnings up 59.5%. Cash up $40 billion. Analysts were disappointed.
FORTUNE -- Apple (AAPL) released its Form 10-K annual report Wednesday. To the key numbers summarized below we'll add one more: Since the end of the company's 2012 fiscal year in September, its shares have fallen $71.78 (10.8%).
From the 10-K:
Employees: 72,800 full-time equivalent, up from 60,400 in 2011
Retail employees: 42,400 full-time equivalent, up from 36,000
Building space: 17.3 million MORE
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