Cheaper Macs to increase market share?
16% is a decent market share. Apple could reduce the profit margin of its products, increase its market share and probably make more money by doing so. However, this does not interest them.
Also remember that the more common macOS is, the more it becomes a target for malware.
Apple has long been interested in market share. Apple is no longer just a “premium only” company. iPhone SE, iPad 10.2, Watch SE, Homepod Mini all prove it.
Not only do people who buy entry-level Apple products end up upgrading to the Pro line, but they also get hooked on buying Apple subscriptions, which is Apple’s main growth engine these days.
Having a more common operating system and being more targeted by malware is a good problem to have.
And in other words, the more mainstream macOS, the better the software support for Pro users will be, because developers will actually be optimizing for Apple Silicon.
Steve Jobs was interviewed about this many years ago and was accused of selling expensive and overpriced machines. His response was basically “Well, we actually try to price them very affordably. We don’t want to make expensive machines, we just want to make the best machines. And we won’t compromise on that just to try to focus only on the price.”
Steve Jobs said they didn’t know how to make a cheap computer that wasn’t junk. They do now. It’s called Apple Silicon.
Cheaper MacBooks would only cannibalize the current market. You might get new MacOS virgin sales, but longtime Mac users will buy the cheap MacBooks instead of more expensive models.
It will cannibalize him a bit, yes. It’s inevitable. But it should be overall positive. I would never buy a Macbook SE over a 16″ Macbook Pro. But I would buy the Macbook SE as a gift to my family members who don’t own a Mac yet but already own an iPhone and iPad.
Even a $500 MacBook won’t dramatically change macOS’ market share. Wintel came to market first and they own it.
No. In the US, the iPhone now makes up 52% of the phone market, but Macs only make up about 15%. This means that many more people have an iPhone + Windows than an iPhone + Mac. People want to buy from the Apple ecosystem, but Macs have always been too expensive at the entry-level price point. Apple has a big opportunity to sell Macs to existing iPhone users with something like a Macbook SE.
The question is also whether they really want to increase market share.
Yes, they do. Apple wants market share now. They clearly show it with affordable iPhones, iPads, Watches, Homepod Mini. Apple’s strategy has shifted from capturing the high-end market to capturing the low-end to the high-end.
Produce excellent value products using Apple Silicon, manufacturing scale and older designs. Capture market share. Get people to subscribe to services. Sell to low-end customers when they increase their income.
And remember, an iPhone + Mac client is a much stronger ecosystem hook than just a standalone iPhone client. Each additional Apple device a customer owns will root them even further in the ecosystem.