In China One in Five Consumers Want a Mac as Their Next PC

Published on November 11, 2011
by John Paczkowski

China accounted for 16 percent of Apple’s fourth-quarter sales, or about $4.5 billion, making it the company’s second-largest market after the U.S.. So it should come as no surprise to hear that Apple products are particularly well regarded in the country. But to find that positive sentiment for the Mac has elevated it above all comers there is a bit of an eye-opener.

According to Morgan Stanley’s new China PC Survey, 21 percent of consumers considering the purchase of a new PC would like it to be a Mac. That’s more than said the same of Lenovo, Asus, Acer, Sony, Samsung, Hewlett-Packard and Dell. It’s also significantly more than the Mac’s current market share in the country, which hovers around about 5 percent.

So great news for Apple, right? Sure, were it not for one caveat. Most Macs are well beyond the $600 average price Chinese consumers typically pay for a PC. And few survey respondents said they were willing to meet those prices.

“Apple’s share gains in the near term are likely limited to the 7% of respondents who are willing to pay over $1,100 for a PC,” said Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty. “In the long term, as Chinese consumers become more affluent, we believe Apple could see further share gains as it is the most desirable brand.”

And that does seem to be the trend here. Already the company’s growing retail presence in the region, along with a fast-developing brand preference for its products among higher-income consumers, is generating blockbuster sales and profits. As Apple CEO Tim Cook said earlier this year, “In my lifetime I’ve never seen a country with as many people rising into the middle class aspiring to buy products that Apple makes. It’s an area of enormous opportunity.”

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