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X86 Exodus? Apple's M1 Chip Lures PC Users to Arm-Powered Macs

Apple
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Apple executives said Wednesday that roughly 50% of the Mac and iPad sales in the second quarter of 2021 were to people who'd never owned those devices before. Much of that growth has been attributed to the M1 system-on-a-chip, the release of which led the Mac to enjoy the best financial quarter in its decades-long history.

Apple CFO Luca Maestri revealed the stat during an earnings call, 9to5Mac reported, and was followed by Apple CEO Tim Cook announcing that 66% of Mac and iPad sales in China were to new customers during that same time period. Both figures show that Apple's products have started to appeal to new customers.

It's not hard to guess why that would be the case for the Mac. Apple released new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini models featuring its custom silicon in November 2020. Those models were all well-reviewed and—to some enthusiasts' surprise—actually flipped the price-to-performance ratio in Apple's favor.

The M1 chip outperforms much of its x86 competition in various benchmarks even though it's more power-efficient and, in the MacBook Air's case, might be throttled if it starts to get too hot. But in many types of workloads, that combination of performance and power efficiency is essentially unrivaled in notebooks equipped with x86 processors.

The MacBook Air and MacBook Pro also feature high-resolution displays and longer-than-expected battery life. They don't beat every notebook in every benchmark—especially when it comes to gaming—but we noted in our review of the MacBook Pro that it was "putting every other laptop on notice." And, well, people noticed.

Even more people might consider a Mac or iPad now that the M1 is available in the latest iMac and iPad Pro models. Apple's planning to bring the rest of the Mac line into the fold by the end of 2022 as well. Those devices are expected to offer better I/O, support for additional memory, and other power user features.

Here's the bad news: Maestri and Cook said the global chip shortage is likely to affect the supply of its Macs and iPads in the second half of 2021. Cook said that “We expect to be supply-gated, not demand-gated,” when it comes to sales of those products later this year. That's a testament to these products' newfound popularity.

Intel can have Justin Long. Apple has the satisfaction of watching its longest-running product line surge in popularity—even among people who've never purchased it before—practically the moment it switched from x86 processors to custom silicon. And that's all with the first chip it designed for something other than mobile devices.

  • hotaru.hino
    ...was followed by Apple CEO Tim Cook announcing that 66% of Mac and iPad sales in China were to new customers during that same time period.

    Title feels kinda misleading given that.
    Reply
  • rgd1101
    for the overprice pc/phone/pad? no thanks.
    Reply
  • excalibur1814
    Total sold? 74 laptops and 47,000 ipads. /s

    Clickbait title is clickbait.
    Reply
  • JarredWaltonGPU
    hotaru.hino said:
    Title feels kinda misleading given that.
    "...roughly half of the Mac and iPad sales in the second quarter of 2021 were to people who'd never owned those devices."

    It can be spun plenty of ways, but half of the new devices going to people that haven't owned an equivalent Apple product before is a big deal. Imagine Dell saying, "50% of people buying our new products have never owned a Dell before." That's a ton of new users, and considering Apple is selling a lot of M1 devices to existing Apple users, it's an even bigger deal.

    excalibur1814 said:
    Total sold? 74 laptops and 47,000 ipads. /s

    What's the split between laptops and iPads? I doubt it's as skewed as you sarcastically suggested. Maybe not 50-50, but 33-67 is reasonable, and almost certainly better than 25-75.
    Reply
  • crimsonfilms
    rgd1101 said:
    for the overprice pc/phone/pad? no thanks.

    For personal computers, Macs are really not over-priced on its first cycle (when they are introduced). They do become overprice since their product cycle is slower compared to PCs. However, Macs resale value is much higher than comparable PCs.

    For iPhones and iPad, I have no idea.
    Reply
  • Mandark
    Some of us like to buy tablets and phones that actually work and are not pieces of junk. And that also can be software upgradable for many years to come and not useless junk in two years
    Reply
  • hotaru.hino
    JarredWaltonGPU said:
    "...roughly half of the Mac and iPad sales in the second quarter of 2021 were to people who'd never owned those devices."

    It can be spun plenty of ways, but half of the new devices going to people that haven't owned an equivalent Apple product before is a big deal. Imagine Dell saying, "50% of people buying our new products have never owned a Dell before." That's a ton of new users, and considering Apple is selling a lot of M1 devices to existing Apple users, it's an even bigger deal.
    It seemed misleading to me in that one thing was being said, then said another, but I guess I was looking too hard into this.

    On a side note, I do believe the iPad figure. The Android tablet market is kinda of lacking and your options is either cheap tablets that are only good for reading Wikipedia or high-end, doesn't really make sense for everyone tablets. There's a significant gap in the ~$300 market, and while I believe Samsung has a tablet in there, it's not as compelling overall as Apple's.
    Reply
  • The Art Vandelay
    Different audiences, different application, different budgets, different different goals, different thought process then x86 Windoze diehards. They are about as much competition as Sun Microsystems was to Amiga.
    Reply
  • TCA_ChinChin
    As Apple improves their ecosystem even further with refinements to their own in house silicon, I expect these kind of sales will continue for as long as they have a similar or at least mostly similar update/refresh cadence as their x86 counterparts. So far, the M1 seems to be ahead of whatever options Apple had to work with had they continued to use 3rd party CPUs.
    Reply
  • Yuka
    Heh, no.

    Apple is just good at making noise and sell devices for a (mentally) captive audience. Anyone that truly uses a normal X86-bsed PC to its full potential will never move to Apple until they fix their Stockholm Syndrome tactics.

    Cheers!
    Reply