Apple’s new laptops, featuring the iPhone maker’s next-generation chips, pose new challenges to Microsoft’s lucrative Windows business.
The Apple computer business has gained momentum since the company began selling M1-powered Mac computers in late 2020.
Earlier this month, the company introduced the M2 chip, which is debuting on the 13-inch MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.
The new chip includes 25% more transistors and 50% more bandwidth than the M1. In 2021 , the company accounted for 7.9% of worldwide PC shipments, depending on operating system. While Windows dominated 81.8%.
Apple’s share is expected to rise to 10.7% in 2026 with Windows’ share declining to 80.5%.
And Mac computers sales rose because of new devices that use the company’s chips as an alternative to processors from Intel.
It was the first device to get a processor from Apple’s MacBook Air released last year, followed by updated models of the iMac, Mac mini and MacBook Pro, and a new model for power users called the Mac Studio.
Newer devices have longer battery life than their older Intel-based counterparts as well as a great deal of processing power.
Mac business grew 23% in fiscal year 2021. Sales rose to more than $35 billion.
And in the March quarter, Mac sales rose more than 14%, a faster increase than any other Apple device category.
“The impressive customer response to the M1 Mac has helped drive revenue growth of 15% annually despite supply constraints,” Tim Cook said in April.
Apple’s latest chips pose a new challenge to Microsoft
This is not good news for Microsoft. Most of Windows ‘ revenue comes from the licenses it sells to Dell, HP, Lenovo and other hardware manufacturers. It represents 7.5% of Microsoft’s total revenue and about 11% of total revenue.
As Microsoft loses market share, it loses its ability to control prices in the market. Most of the revenue from Windows licenses to hardware makers comes from commercial customers.
Apple is making progress among consumers, and there is a positive correlation between consumer use and what happens at work. Once corporate leaders who make technology buying decisions start using a different set of products in their home environments, they are more likely to embrace that environment in their professional settings.
Companies have been slow to adopt computers with the M1 chip due to concerns that key applications will not be compatible. But Adobe, Microsoft and other developers have gradually made original copies of their software available to devices.
Corporate adoption is now expected to grow. However, Apple has other initiatives that must be pursued during its journey to provide cheaper computers.
The company may be planning to launch a MacBook SE that could cost $800 or $900, compared to a starting price of $1,200 for the MacBook Air with an M2 chip.
This may be similar to what the company did with the iPhone SE, a low-cost iPhone that lacks some of the new improvements to the company’s smartphones.
And if Apple released the MacBook SE, that would cause problems for Windows and pull the rug out from under it.