The Mac is back

By : |April 26, 1999 0

Apple’s back, all right!
The once down and out company is now hitting one home run after another. Whether
its the iMac which has redefined personal computing (at least as far as looks go) once and
for all or the new bunch of PowerBooks and G3 desktops, Apple USA is moving from strength
to strength. Ever since wunderkid Steve Jobs popped back things have once again been a
magical, mystery tour for the Cupertino brats.

Money in the bank – six profitable quarters
With six consecutive profitable quarters Apple’s nightmare days seem to be a
thing of the past. Profits are up with gross margins shooting up to 26.3 percent and in a
quarter when Compaq has been having problems; Apple has grown at twice the industry rate
to capture an eighth of US retail and mail order desktop sales. International sales have
rocketed to account for half of Apple’s revenues in the last quarter.

The worm in the Apple
Unfortunately, Apple India doesn’t seem to be enjoying the same streak of good
fortune that Apple has in the rest of the world. The very same iMac (choose your fruity
color) that was the top selling personal computer worldwide failed to make the same impact
in our country. It’s odd that Apple today is going great guns with products that are
priced below historical levels – Macs used to cost significantly more than PCs. The iMac
is only 20% costlier than a $1000 PC abroad. Sadly, Apple India is still selling iMacs at
the rather high price point of Rs 70,000. You can easily get hold of a multimedia PC for
half that amount.



An apple a day to keep the doctor away?
Apple needs to get its act together and aggressively price its products. It blew
the great opportunity of capitalizing on the iMac’s success. However the company could
still price the iMac at an aggressive Rs 40,000 and make a major dent in the Indian
market. This requires determination on the company’s part to build a strong presence,
something that it has not bothered to do all along. Apple has to strike now and steal
market share even if it has to sell Macs at break even so that it can reap the profits
tomorrow. The iMac is looking a little old and unless the company moves now, it could be
too late.

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