With the advent of the MacBook on M-series processors, Apple’s computer market share began to grow rapidly, which soon could turn into a big problem for Microsoft, writes Gartner.
For 30 years, Microsoft dominated the market with its Windows operating system. After the industry transitioned to IBM standards, no one could compete with this product in the home user and corporate segment. For several reasons, Linux-based open systems could not compete with the OS and software vendors. But this is set to change.
Apple has already introduced the Mac series based on the M1 chipset in 2020, and last week saw the premiere of the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro based on the more energy-efficient and powerful Apple M2 chipset.
CNBC notes that Microsoft receives most of its income from Windows by selling licenses for its OS to Dell, HP, Lenovo and other PC manufacturers. This business accounts for up to 7.5% of Microsoft’s total annual profit and up to 11% of revenue.
According to Gartner expert Mikako Kitagawa, thanks to the M2, Apple will continue to win back share in the computer market. If in 2021, in terms of the number of operating systems used, Cupertino-based Apple accounted for 7.9% of computer shipments against 81.8% of computers with Bill Gates Windows, then in 2026, according to Gartner forecasts, the company’s share will increase to 10.7%, and the share of models with Windows will fall up to 80.5%. This figure seems insignificant, but soon the experts will recalculate market fluctuations, and the results are expected to be pro-Apple.
Apple’s computer business is given by the use of its own hardware developments instead of Intel processors. The company introduced the first MacBook Air on its own chipset last year, after which the updated iMac, Mac Mini and MacBook Pro models and the new Mac Studio appeared. New products are more economical and productive than previous versions of the same series on Intel processors.
At the same time, the company’s sales in the Mac niche grew by 23% in fiscal 2021 to more than $ 35 billion. In the “March” quarter, Mac sales grew by more than 14%, and growth was much higher than in any other Apple category. CEO Tim Cook said the incredible customer response to the M1 resulted in a 15% year-over-year increase in sales despite supply chain disruptions.
For Microsoft, the current situation is bad not so much in the loss of the number of customers but in the loss of control over pricing in the market, CNBC notes. That is, losing its share in the PC market, Microsoft will lose the ability to dictate its terms to customers.
There is another reason Microsoft should be worried about strengthening Apple’s position. Now the share of MacBook is growing mainly due to home users as corporate customers are still wholly owned by Microsoft. However, as CNBC claims, soon after users experience the benefits of MacBook at home, they will begin to switch to them in the office actively.
Until recently, businesses were relatively passive about the possibility of purchasing computers on the Apple M1 because they lacked the necessary software. As giants like Adobe and even Microsoft began to adapt their software to new conditions, corporate purchases of Apple products also began to grow.
At the same time, the latter has not yet used all the trump cards. According to Moor Insights and Strategy analysts, the appearance of inexpensive MacBook SE laptops priced at $800 or $900 is not ruled out. Now the cheapest MacBook Air on M2 costs $1199 onwards. The emergence of such an attractive model could indirectly but ‘very hard’ hit Microsoft’s software business related to operating systems.