This can be attributed to many aspects of the current computer market. First, Windows based PCs are made by so many different competitors that prices are extremely low. One manufacturer can't afford to break ranks and charge a higher price than the others. PCs like this have become more of a commodity in the market place and while prices are low the very nature of this arrangement makes them flawed when compared to Apple.
Apple keeps, and always has kept, a close eye on it's software and hardware technology. Back in the early days of PCs they refused to open up their platforms to many outside developers while IBM type PCs did. Software and hardware developers flocked to the Windows based PCs because they were easily allowed to make software for it. Apple on the other hand makes their own hardware and software in house. The MacOS X system is developed and produced by Apple. As opposed to a company like HP or Dell that puts together the hardware and then buys the software from Microsoft Apple does it all.
This, combined with lower overall market share, has kept Apple computers from being the main targets of viruses, worms and other malware. Since windows based PCs represent a wider swath of the market and their systems are more open they are more easily attacked. Apple has developed a well earned reputation for reliability and resistance to viruses based on this that they have turned into one of their biggest selling points.
Yes, you're going to pay more for an Apple computer than a Windows based PC. The Apple iMac series starts at $1199 while you can get a comparable PC for around $500. This helps explains why Apple gets such a huge chunk of computer sales revenue. There is just a lot more money there and combined with growing popularity this means Apple's slice of the pie is getting bigger.
But it's like anything else in life; you get what you pay for. Yes, a Lexus costs more than a Hyundai and for good reason. Personally speaking I'd rather put a little more money in up front for a quality product than have to pay later for fixing my computer, upgrading the operating system and protecting myself from viruses.
Now with the explosion in iPod and iPhone sales Apple is getting a record number of new customers. They are finally realizing that Apple products are the best when it comes to combining technology, style and performance.
So here's to Apple. I hope Bill Gates and Steve Balmer choke on this one a little bit!
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