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Is “Apple Shock” reconstructing the tech industry?


We’ve seen it happening for the last few years, but DigiTimes now has a name for it: Apple Shock. The rumor site reports that Apple’s rise back to prominence in the last few years has caused the entire PC industry to reconstruct itself. Everything has been changing: design of products, packaging materials and design, supply chain structure, branding, materials used to build products, market scale, etc.

The site’s research team believes Apple Shock has had three major effects on the PC market:

  • Shipments of Apple laptops and tablets have surpassed all other brand vendors in 2011.
  • The iPad has “bitten off” demand for netbooks and lower-end PCs and accelerated the laptop industry’s transformation. For the first time, laptop sales will drop of .3 percent in 2011.
  • The Wintel (Windows + Intel) dominance may be weakening. Because sales aren’t up to snuff, manufacturers are aggressively trying to transform their products to fight Apple. 
For consumers, this is a good thing. The laptop market has been stagnating for some years now, but pressure from the iPad and solid Mac sales is driving manufacturers to add new services and improve the quality and design of PCs, while driving down costs because newer Apple products have been coming out at cheaper prices. The new Ultrabook market is Intel’s expensive attempt to play catchup to Apple. Its success is far from certain. 

The chart at the top of this post shows tablet and PC sales through October 2011. As you can see, while Samsung and Asus have made some headway, sales of the iPad are four times stronger than Samsung’s tablet sales and have driven Apple’s growth. From what we understand, sales of the MacBook Air have been strong as well.