Why Apple's Mac ASPs Are Likely To Climb - At Lenovo's And Dell's Expense

by: Michael Eisenberg

Why was I not surprised to see this comment from Apple's quarterly earnings conference call yesterday?:

Demand for our Mac Books and Mac Book Pros continued to be very strong. Sales of Mac Notebooks grew 79% year over year during the quarter and accounted for 59% of total Macs sold. We began and ended the quarter with between three and four weeks of Mac channel inventory.

I have consistently moaned about my Lenovo X60S since I received it 9 months ago. Well, after a few more crashes, an ever looser WiFi toggle switch and a few other issues, I finally made the move. 3 weeks ago I ordered a MacBook Pro. Today I received it from IT after I went through a tutorial yesterday.

It is very slick and fast. But here is the most interesting part that also relates to yesterday's earnings call: Since I moved over from Windows and basically live in a Windows IT environment, we loaded Parallels and Windows onto the Mac. Because of that, we turbo charged it with extra memory at, of course, additional cost. So as more users like me move from our ThinkPads to Macs but can't fully cut the Windows umbilical cord yet, this drives the ASP (average sales price) of the MacBook up. It obviously helps Mac sales growth numbers, but does not necessarily impact Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) as much as it impacts PC notebook makers like Lenovo and Dell.

It also helps prove an adage that I once heard in the name of Scott Cook, founder of Intuit. Cook is reported to have said "great brands are earned and not made." Apple has certainly earned its brand by making great products. But the reverse seems to be true as well: "Great brands can be ruined by poor products." So goodbye Lenovo, this is the last post I will type on your keyboard with my beloved red trackpoint -- and hello slick Mac.

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