Apple’s growth story is consistent and sustained

No matter the recent issues with Apple’s supply chain, the war in Ukraine, and COVID-19, when you zoom out, you’ll see a bigger picture of success for the company. 

It’s the picture of consistent growth.

Growth? But Mac sales are down, year on year — right? Yes, they are. But PC sales have fallen further, Apple is gaining market share and while the overall PC market has declined massively, the Mac has gone from strength to strength.

Just look at the data. IDC results for 2019-2022 show that across the last three years the Mac has seen a 60% increase in market share while the PC market grew 6%, as Jamf CEO Dean Hager has pointed out.

That’s why Macs now account for 10.8% of all global PC shipments and 17% in the US.

But this isn’t just happening to the Mac.

Growth (again)

When it comes to smartphones, Apple is experiencing steady increases in its industry share; it leads when it comes to wearables, and even the tablet industry (which consists of iPads, but also covers low budget, low power slates) delivers strong numbers.

While we may see some weakness in the current quarter (financial results will be out later today) and relative disappointment during any recession, the momentum favors Apple. It’s also generating larger share in emerging economies.

I don’t need to repeat myself with how these gains in consumer markets are also delivering benefits in enterprise IT. The tech professionals who read Computerworld are surely already experiencing that as multitudinous surveys show the ascent of Apple in the enterprise. This has almost become a given.

More growth in mobile

Look closely and you may recognize that, for a generation at least, the company seems set to continue this progress, particularly around mobile devices.

You can also discern the direction of travel in the MDM enterprise markets.

What I think I’m seeing is more movement toward mergers and acquisitions affecting those vendors that try to serve multiple operating systems, while integrated single vendor firms seem to be thriving a little more.

That’s not intended as a slam against the companies in that space that do support all operating systems — I see the good work you do — just to point out that the focus remains on Apple. That’s where the market is going, which means any Apple-focused MDM solution cannot be limited by the other platforms they support.

Slow and steady is better

Seventeenth-century French playwright, Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (better known as Moliere) put it this way: “The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.”

That makes sense in gardening, and certainly applies in Apple’s case.

The company which once hovered around 4% market share and was bought back from the brink of oblivion by a smart man with an iMac vision; a firm that switched successfully to Unix-based OS X, which it then put through an alchemical transfiguration to turn into dominance (or at least leadership) in mobile, is now growing in all its business sectors at a faster rate than the rest of the industry.

At least, that’s how it seems when you zoom out.

Short term struggles — the “one-step-forward, one-step-back” routine we all endure –— are normal. The trick is to stay focused on what you’ll do once temporal troubles take flight, the “stay hungry” approach some may recall from a former Apple CEO.

But as Apple’s trees head into bloom, and while many forces (competitors, regulators, and a handful of charlatans) aim to seize some of their crop, the big picture seems positive, despite short term problems.

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