Apple's new MacBook strategy starts high and will get higher

The Mac line just reached three new records without anybody noticing.

I’ve been meaning to write about one line in the Apple last results that caught my eye, then got repeated by Tim Cook on the new Mac lines unveiling. Apple sold 9 billion dollars in Macs. An absolute record:

The pandemic surely played a hand in increasing all PC sales, but Macs have been the absolute winners. The back-to-school of the third calendar quarter also helped, but the holiday season with more schools going back to online classes and business staying remote for longer, will probably make for another spectacular current holiday quarter of $8-10 billion in Mac sales.

Record #2: 6.5 million Macs sold in calendar Q3. Averaged from four different reports coming at: 5.5, 6.9, 6 and 7.9 million that account for several types of tracking.

For the first time ever, Apple surpassed 9% in market share in (traditional) personal computers. That $9 billion figure that Apple shared would mean an estimated 6.5 million Macs sold, another record.

And if it that wasn’t enough, the new M1 chip has surely surpassed even the most skeptical. It’s faster and it’s less power-hungry, but mostly: it’s modular and it looks less expensive. That’s the most important part.

Mac could adopt the iPhone strategy

Apple does one thing in iPhones and Apple Watches that may be coming for Macs now: it keeps selling prior year models at a discount. With the new M- line of chips, the same strategy could arrive to the Mac line, specially to the MacBook line, which outsell desktop Macs 4-to-1 approximately.

I’m using my faulty crystal ball, of course, but imagine a 2022 Apple laptop line up of: MacBook with M3 for $999, and the then two-year old MacBook with M1 for $849 (say $799 for schools?). Going lower means more buyers, and Apple computers can last for 5-7 years instead of iPhones mere average lifespan of 2-3 years.

The new logic boards are very, very simplified and the chipsets could very be well be made modular. A deep redesign will eventually come in 2021 or 2022. That would make for an Apple that’s looking more eager than before to jump into lower selling points with upcoming $99 AirPods, $199 Apple Watches, $329 iPads and $399 iPhones that mostly outmatch anything on the market. They aren’t as fancy as the newer, bigger, stuff, but it’s just the right option for many people.

Of course, Apple could keep selling Macs the way it has been doing for four decades, but a new era could bring new methods.