However, Macs sales continued flat year-over-year in the March quarter and again retracted (although not nearly as much) in the June quarter. So dramatically have PCs fallen that Apple’s own stagnant growth looks veritably radiant in comparison to the clammy grey death-face of the general PC business.This begins to suggest that Apple’s Mac business is plateauing along with PCs in general. Actually, PCs plateaued much earlier; overall computer sales dropped 6.4 percent in 2012 and in 2013 began sharply retracting twice as fast: a 13.9 decrease in sales. So dramatically have PCs fallen that Apple’s own stagnant growth looks veritably radiant in comparison to the clammy grey death-face of the general PC business.Everyone knows why: it starts with i and ends with pad, although there’s a lot of desperate attempts to euphemize this trend under the softer language of “tablets,” as if $49 White Box tablets have subsumed the personal computing business just because vendors of all stripes are shipping them.Usage data paints a different picture: iPads are simply eating up PC sales while White Box tablets are doing their best impersonation of the 2008 netbook, reclined on a retail inventory shelf whispering to as-yet unconvinced buyers how super cheap they are and how they’re ready to do anything.
The remaining question is: how prepared is Apple to outmaneuver Microsoft’s Windows and Google’s Android at the same time, investing in two categories of computing at a faster pace and delivering more innovative work that either of its giant rivals, while also producing hardware that outclasses not just the collective sum of world’s PC makers, but also the global mobile industry.