Mac sales dropped during the first quarter of 2013, according to a recent report, but Apple’s still selling enough to make a fortune. In fact, Aysmco’s Horace Dediu reports that during the fourth quarter of 2012, the Mac business made more profit than the top five PC makers combined.
That’s more than Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, and Asus — put together. Apple captured 45% of PC operating profit during Q4 2012, according to Asymco, while Dell, its closest competitor, captured just 13%. HP saw 7%, Acer and Lenovo saw 6%, and Acer saw just 1%. The other 21% of profits went to “other” manufacturers.
Apple may not actually sell more units that these other companies, but it captures so much profit because its margins on Macs are so big. As you can see from the graph below, the Cupertino company makes more than $240 on average for every Mac shipped, while its competitors don’t make anything close to that.
In fact, not one of them makes more than $100 per unit.
“The real problem for the PC vendors is not that they have such low margins–they’ve had low margins for decades. It’s that the volumes which “made up for” low margins are disappearing,” Dediu writes. “Apple is not immune to a gradual erosion of Mac volumes, but they have positioned themselves for growth with devices and content commerce and services. They have essentially “escaped” PCs and indeed caused the need to escape in the first place.”