Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has a history of introducing successful products to the market, consistently recording rapid adoption despite the fact that its products are often sold at a substantial premium to competitors’ devices. Apple already has a substantial share in the high end of the PC market with its Mac line of products, and the iPad now allows the company to tap the lower price range. Apple’s competitors in these product segments include Dell (NASDAQ:DELL), HP (NYSE:HPQ) and Acer in the PC market, and Research in Motion (RIMM), Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) and Samsung in the tablet market.
Although surging tablet sales are eating into sales of more expensive PCs and netbooks, Apple’s own position in the PC market actually remains unharmed. The reason for this is the company’s ability to spark interest in new product launches like the MacBook Air.
Apple Taking Share from Competitors
Market research firms are now predicting smaller growth in the overall PC market in the years ahead than previously anticipated. One report revised 2011 PC growth rate expectations from 15.9% to 10.5% for 2011, as the iPad and other tablets continue to cannibalize PC sales.  However, we expect Apple to offset this trend with notable market share gains in both notebooks and desktops. Apple’s share in the notebook market has increased from around 3.5% in 2005 to 4.8% in 2010, and we anticipate further gains beyond 6% by the end of our forecast period.
Apple is known for its consistent innovation in the PC market and steady string of successful product launches. The MacBook Air, released in October 2010, is one such example.  According to a report, Apple shipped over 1 million MacBook Airs during the fourth quarter of 2010,  out of a total of 2.9 million Mac notebooks that it sold during the quarter.
Strategy Working for Apple
Apple has had success growing its market share in the high-end of the PC market, and with the launch of the iPad, has also managed to elbow its way into the low-end market as well.
Although tablets are believed to have cannibalized a good chunk of PC sales, Apple’s Mac sales have actually maintained a solid growth pace. Rather than cannibalizing Apple’s own product sales, the iPad appears to be creating a halo effect and lifting sales for the company’s other products (see our article Apple iPad Not Hurting Mac Sales).
- AppleInsider Citing Gartner as Source, March 2011
- Apple press release, Apple Reinvents Notebooks With New MacBook Air, October 2010
- AppleInsider citing Concord Securities as the source, March 2011
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