Apple Macs may only account for five per cent of the worldwide PC market, but they generate a staggering 45 per cent of all profit, a study has found.
It had long been suspected that Apple's higher margins meant it was far healthier than its rivals. However, the extent to which its more efficient supply chain and premium prices affected its share of profit in the global PC market was unclear.
According to the research by Asymco, Apple's share of the profit is more than three times that of Dell, and five times higher than market leader HP.
Indeed, Apple makes almost one and a half times the total profit of the top five PC makers combined.
Horace Dediu of Asymco put the disparity down to a combination of Apple's more efficient supply chain and smaller range of products, as well as the much tighter margins of the PC market.
"The real problem for the PC vendors is not that they have such low margins," said Dediu. "They've had low margins for decades.
"It's that the volumes which "made up for" low margins are disappearing.
Dediu pointed out that the latest round of shipment figures from IDC and Gartner both showed that Apple had also seen a fall in Mac sales.
"Apple is not immune to a gradual erosion of Mac volumes, but they have positioned themselves for growth with devices and content commerce and services.
"They have essentially "escaped" PCs and indeed caused the need to escape in the first place."