Horace Dediu of Asymco (via The Loop) says the PC market is contracting. That’s no huge surprise for anyone who has watched the market for the last few years. What’s interesting is that Horace says Apple make more profit from their Mac computer than the other top 5 PC makers combined.
Dediu’s report says that market data for the last quarter shows what may be the steepest decline in the computer market in two decades.
Dediu takes a look at how the market fares when considering economic value. By combining shipping estimates from Gartner with financial reports from the companies themselves, he estimates the companies margins.
Here is his view of the market for the fourth quarter 2012 (Click to view larger):
Apple’s margins for the Mac were derived using gross margin of 26% and adding an estimate of the SG&A and R&D “overhead” of 7.1% of sales, a figure which applies to the entire company. This yielded an operating margin of 18.9%.
“If this estimate is considered then the operating profits from PC operations imply that Apple generates more profit than all the top 5 PC vendors combined,” says Dediu.
Dediu points out that the real problem for PC vendors isn’t been their low margins, they’ve had low margins for decades, but they made up for that by sales volume. The problem is, that volume is disappearing. Apple is just as subject to the erosion of the computer marketplace, but they have insulated themselves by positioning for growth via mobile devices, content commerce, and services.
Dediu’s article ends with the comment that all the PC makers can do is depend on Microsoft getting their strategy right, but I’m not sure they should hold their breath on that one. They might turn blue. And we all know what happened to Big Blue. (IBM)