Apple's iPad may extend company's PC profit pole position

Apple only accounts for 7 percent of the PC industry's revenue, but lands 35 percent of the sector's profit. Why? It's all about the software, according to Deutsche Bank.

Apple only accounts for 7 percent of the PC industry's revenue, but lands 35 percent of the sector's profit. Why? It's all about the software, according to Deutsche Bank.

Chris Whitmore, an analyst with Deutsche Bank, broke down the revenue and operating profit share for all the top PC vendors in a research note. For those keeping score at home, Whitmore reckons that the following graph will skew even more in Apple's favor with the launch of the iPad.

How did Apple arrive at this lofty profit position? It controls the hardware and the software, explains Whitmore. Instead of passing the software profit margins along to Microsoft---like HP, Dell, Acer and others do---Apple keeps the spoils.

[Complete ZDNet coverage: Apple iPad]

Whitmore said in a research note:

Apple has very high value share with only 7% revenue share but ~35% profit share which we attribute to the strength of the Mac/MacBook lineup, vertical integration of hardware and software (it captures margin most PC vendors pass along to Microsoft) and its strength at the high-end of the market.

And the punch line:

With its pending release of the iPad, we expect Apple to capture even greater profit share in the PC market as it applies its software-centric model to another large sub-segment of the market.

Other odds and ends:

  • Apple, Dell and HP account for 70 percent of the PC industry's operating profit with 40 percent revenue share.
  • Acer has 13 percent unit market share and only about 6 percent of the operating profit.
  • Apple had 3 percent of PC industry revenue in 2005 and will have 8 percent by 2011, according to Deutsche Bank estimates. Dell's revenue share will go from 21 percent in 2005 to and estimated 14 percent in 2010.

The upshot is that some PC makers will have to make a decision about whether they want to play in the industry. Whitmore noted that Toshiba and Sony are the most likely candidates to exit the PC market.

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All