- Experts assume that the tech giant will regain further market share in the computer market with Apple’s M2 – and that Microsoft will face new challenges.
- Apple held 7.9% of global PC shipments by operating system in 2021, while Windows controlled 81.8%. Gartner expects Apple’s share to increase to 10.7% in 2026, while Windows’ share will slip to 80.5%.
Last week, iPhone maker Apple unveiled the latest iteration of its in-house chips – M2 – which will debut in the tech giant’s new MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro. Dubbed the next generation of Apple’s own chip designed specifically for the Mac, the new chip will feature 25% more transistors and 50% more bandwidth than the M1. The Apple Silicon has been a game changer so farand for many it marks the end of an era and the beginning of a new one – for Apple and Microsoft’s Windows.
First of all, Microsoft has traditionally dominated the operating system niche for decades. Apple computers grew in popularity over the years, but market share remained largely unchanged—until Apple Silicon came along. Today, with M1, M1 Ultra and most recently M2, Windows’ market share could shrink significantly.
Since Apple’s homegrown M1 processors began powering its Macs in late 2020, the company’s computing business has picked up momentum. Canalys’ January report shows that Mac shipments in 2021 grew almost twice as fast as the global PC market as a whole. To be precise, annual growth for Mac was 28.3% versus 14.6% for the global PC market.
It’s not — even in the first quarter of this year, Mac shipments grew 8%, while the top two PC brands saw their own shipments fall double-digit. Counterpoint’s research report noted that “Apple continued its success with the M1 MacBook series and saw 8% YoY shipment growth in 1W22, increasing its market share by 100 basis points YoY.”
How will Apple’s M2 continue to increase its market share?
Based on Apple’s statement: “The M2 will be built with it Second generation 5 nanometer technologyboosting the M1’s industry-leading performance-per-watt even further with an 18% faster CPU, 35% more powerful GPU, and 40% faster Neural Engine.” In addition to providing 50% more memory bandwidth compared to the M1, it also features up to 24 GB fast unified memory.
The latest Apple Silicon will be featured in the all-new MacBook Air and the updated 13-inch MacBook Pro, according to the tech giant. Among the most significant upgrades since Apple Silicon’s existence is that its devices have longer battery life than their older Intel-based counterparts and plenty of processing power.
With all that in mind, Gartner Tech Analyst Mikako Kitagawa said CNBC that Apple could continue to gain market share with the M2 architecture. He said in 2021 Apple held 7.9% of worldwide PC deliveries by OS, while Windows controlled 81.8%, according to Gartner estimates. The company now expects Apple’s share to rise to 10.7% in 2026, while Windows’ share will slip to 80.5%.
According to Kitagawa, an updated guidance is likely to make Apple’s performance look stronger over the next few weeks — and that’s not good news for Microsoft. From the looks of it, Apple’s sales have skyrocketed, with its Mac business growing 23% in fiscal 2021 to over $35 billion in revenue. Through the March quarter, Mac sales grew more than 14%, a faster increase than any of Apple’s other hardware categories.
Even Apple CEO Tim Cook told analysts in April that “the incredible customer response to our M1-powered Macs helped sales grow 15% year over year despite supply constraints.”
Regarding Microsoft, Morgan Stanley analysts, led by Keith Weiss, wrote in a note this week that the bulk of Windows revenue comes from licenses sold to Dell, HP, Lenovo and other device makers. That’s 7.5% of Microsoft’s total revenue and almost 11% of gross profit.
Although companies were initially slow to adopt Apple’s M1 computers over concerns that key applications would not be compatible, Adobe, Microsoft and other developers have gradually released native versions of their software for the devices, Kitagawa said. Therefore, he now expects that the acceptance among companies will also increase.