Apple's Beats brand in April unveiled the Powerbeats Pro, a redesigned wire-free version of its popular fitness-oriented Powerbeats earbuds.
Microsoft Says Windows PC Makers Seeing 'Continued Growth' in Premium Market Led by Apple
In a subsequent conference call, Microsoft's chief financial officer Amy Hood said its "partner ecosystem continued to see growth and share gains in the Windows premium device category," according to Business Insider. The comment has been interpreted by some as Microsoft stepping up its game against the Mac.
Microsoft reportedly defines "premium devices" as computers that are in the $900-plus price range, which equates to the higher end of the market traditionally led by Apple products such as the MacBook Pro. By its own definition, this includes Microsoft's latest Surface Book and Surface Studio desktop.
Last month, Microsoft said "more people are switching from Macs to Surface than ever before" following "the disappointment of the new MacBook Pro." The company has not released actual sales numbers to back that claim, however, while Microsoft's latest results include licensing to all Windows PC vendors.
While research firm Gartner says the worldwide PC market continues to decline, Mac sales grew by 2.4% in the fourth quarter. Lenovo, HP, and Dell, the top three vendors, saw an estimated 5.4%, 4.3%, and 1.6% growth respectively during the quarter as well, while Asus, Acer, and others faced declines, according to Gartner.