updated 03:00 pm EDT, Thu October 19, 2006
Gartner on Apple, Dell
Gartner research in a bold report has stated that Apple should license the Mac to Dell and concentrate on creating software while making use of Dell's production and distribution capabilities. The firm says increasing component costs and pressure to cut its prices mean that Apple's best decision for long-term success is to leave the hardware business, according to Gartner. "Apple should leverage its close relationship with Intel and team up with Intel's closest ally, Dell," the firm wrote. "We recognize that this move would surprise and even shock many. We are aware that Steve Jobs cancelled previous Mac licenses when he took over at Apple and that he guards the Apple brand zealously."
With the right partners, distribution channels, and more affordable pricing, Gartner claims computers running Apple's operating system could eventually account for 20 percent of the total PC market, according to a report from silicon.com. The analyst believes Apple cannot significantly bolster its growth due to increased pricing pressures, however, and predicts that Intel is unlikely to continue subsidizing Apple as it has in the past.
"Apple's margins for its Mac business, currently around 40 percent, are only sustainable because component makers such as Intel choose to prop up the business," according to Gartner, who writes that HP has forced Intel to offer it comparable pricing to Dell. "Intel has been forced to restructure and, in our opinion, cannot go on supporting Apple [or any other customer] indefinitely," the analyst wrote.
Apple yesterday disclosed its financial results for its September quarter, revealing "blowout" Mac sales with higher than expected iPod shipments and a whopping 32 percent gain in U.S. PC market share.