Windows PC sales stagnate as Apple makes gains
The Windows-based PC market may be relatively stagnant, but Apple is poised to make significant gains during the second half of 2011.
According to Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore, the traditional PC market does not have any "meaningful new offerings" due this year.
In contrast, Apple is actively promoting new hardware and software, such as OS X Lion and Thunderbolt-equipped MacBook Airs, making Cupertino "particularly well positioned for more share gains."
Nevertheless, Whitmore expects the PC market to grow some 4% this year, as corporate PC demand remains healthy.
However, consumer demand for Windows-based machines - particularly in developed markets - has been rather disappointing.
"Our recent checks with the PC supply chain suggest overall orders have softened modestly in the past several weeks due to weaker European and U.S. consumer (notebook) demand and more conservative back-to-school expectations from OEMs," Whitmore explained in an e-mail obtained by AppleInsider.
The Deutsche Bank analyst also noted that Apple's projected gains will be made at the expense of PC manufacturers attempting to follow Intel-based "Ultrabook" specifications for thin-and-light notebooks.
To be sure, Ultrabooks probably won't begin ramping up until 2012, as the industry tries to figure out how to compete with the price of Apple's MacBook Air.
Finally, Whitmore noted that the iPad is currently the "gold standard" of tablets - and will continue to dominate the space for the foreseeable future as competitors struggle to claim market share.