Weblog:   Apple and Developers
Subject:   why the emphasis on market share?
Date:   2003-06-30 09:57:42
From:   punkish
this really confuses me. First, who calculates the market share? Second, how do they do it? Do they include computers sold by only the large US retailers? Or, are all the computer manufactures in the world, including the grey-market manufactures and home-hobby kit builders included?

Apple not selling enough computers is not necessarily the reason for low market share. The denominator increasing at a faster rate than the numerator is... Apple Computer is the only one that sells Apple computers. The Windows OS is installed on every x86 computer manufactured by HP, Dell, Gateway as well as sun, moon and stars, and ma and pa, and bill and larry's computer shop.

What matters is that Apple is selling an increasing absolute number of computers. Every Apple computer is an opportunity for a new license for a software. Apple is doing its job. Apple is making a profit (the economic downturn notwithstanding), and Apple is successfully innovating, be it from within, or from absorbing ideas from the outside.

I purchased Apple shares at about $14 and change a couple of years ago... they are now at $19+ because enough shareholders thought the stock's sum of future earnings stream are worth more than it is selling for.

I fail to understand the over-emphasis on market share as an argument to proclaim Apple is going nowhere.

Yes, treading on developers, small or large, toes is a delicate balance. Make the OS too poor and you kill yourself even though the developers have a larger set of problems to address with new applications. Make the OS richer by increasing and improving its capabilities, and you sell more machines and OS copies, but you can possibly end up swallowing a developer's bread and butter. I am sure Apple has done wrong, but a lot less than many other vendors (even non-OS manufacturing software vendors always play this game with their consulting partners). On its part, Apple gives away a rather fine set of developer's tools for free (Visual Studio on Win is close to a $1000 or even more).

Oh well, I am glad someone else is the CEO not me. Even though he makes a lot more in a day than I ever will in many lifetimes, his headaches are a lot more as well.

Back to my Macintosh.