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Apple\'s Intel transition could slow Mac sales

updated 07:20 am EDT, Wed June 22, 2005

Mac sales could slow

Apple's move to the Intel architecture , according to a columnist. The announcement earlier this month could reduce the surging momentum generated by the iPod and the associated "halo effect," which has been largely been seen as the reason for increasing Mac sales in recent quarters. "While Apple has seen an uptick in Macintosh sales in recent quarters, that momentum may be slowed by the recent announcement that it is switching the processor at the heart of its computers from the PowerPC line produced by IBM/Freescale to chips made by Intel. Although Apple offered valid reasons for the switch, it could lead customers to delay computer purchases or choose rival systems based on Microsoft's Windows operating system. Even with a recent drop, Apple shares -- at 29 times earnings estimates for the current year -- still are trading at a premium to its PC rivals. This implies big growth expectations for the company and particularly its computer business."

by MacNN Staff





  1. dtrots007

    Joined: Dec 1969


    My Take

    I too was shocked and my feelings running wild when the Intel announcement came. I understand why Apple is making the switch and also perplexed by the ideas the announcement is spawning. I am also in need to upgrade my 15" flat panel iMac 800 MHZ.

    I put my feelings aside and started to look at the facts. I am waiting until after the next MacWorld and I will purchase a new G5 iMac. Here are the facts I used to make my decision:

    - The Intel switch is going to take about 2 years. I will have the processor used before the switch. It will be the people who are buying the new Intel Mac's that will suffer waiting for the lazy developers to upgrade. They will also be the ones using the Rosetta feature to go backward to my processor.

    - After the switch it will take months and months of upgrades, waiting for developers and possibly even Apple to get the bugs out. I remember when this flat panel Mac came out and ran to buy it and a few months later the 17" came out.

    - Once the dust settles and the new models upgrade and improve it will be 3 to 4 years. That's how old my Mac is now I am waiting to replace. This thing is a slow dog and I can't wait to hand it down to my daughters for a new G5 20" iMac.

    - The bottom line is, while everyone is going through the change and waiting, I will be enjoying the speed and reliabilty of my new G5 iMac doing what it has always done for me. Once the dust settles and everything is Intel compatible I'll be ready to switch from my newest slow dog.

    PS. I use XP at work. I even went so far as to look at a HP at Best Buy after the announcement. They really have some great features with the built in media card slots, iPod dock built into the top and the light scribe DVD burners. Everyday I was torturing myself with the Intel announcement, looking at PC's for the time in over 12 years. Then I bought the new Foo Fighters CD at Tower records. I put it in my PC at work and couldn't import it due to the new copy right protection. Brought it home to my Mac and everything went fine. I learned three lessons that day: 1. I will never buy a physical CD from a store again. I will always use the iTunes Store. 2. My Mac has always did what I expected. It's the OS I use the Mac for. It is superior. 3. Looked at everyhting I use on a daily basis on my Mac and most of it is an add on with XP. Apple has never nickeled and dimed my on the basic computer features I always needed.

  1. gadgetgav

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Powerful insight

    Wow... how do these people do it. Intel announcement may slow near-term sales, iPods can be used to steal corporate information. These people are geniuses. I wish I could get paid for such insight.

  1. chabig

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The fallacy...

    They claim that the transition to PowerPC cost market share, and that the transition to OS X cost market share--implying that Mac market share would be higher today if we were still running OS 9 on 680xx hardware. I don't agree.

    Apple's market share has been in a steady, slow decline for a long time though aggregate users have increased as the market has exploded. I don't believe that Mac market share would be higher today if we'd stayed with the old stuff. On the contrary, I think the switch to mainstream processors will precede an increase in overall Mac market share.

  1. guytoronto

    Joined: Dec 1969


    In other news...

    Water is wet, and the sky is blue. Of course this will slow Apple hardware sales! The only reason anoybody would buy a new system today is if they NEEDED a new system (business start-ups, budget upgrades, etc). Anybody in the market for a toy, will simply wait for the new zippy machines.

    I work in a Apple Authorized retail store, and have had customers say point-blank that they are going to wait until Intel machines are ready. I was going to sell my iBook and buy a mini, until I heard about Intel machines. Now I'm going to wait a year or two.

  1. PBG4 User

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re:In other news...

    My boss just picked up his first Mac (a 20" iMac) last week and couldn't be happier. This is his first Mac, and until a few months ago was in the 'I'll never buy a Mac' camp.

    What changed his mind was when I showed him how easy it was to edit video in iMovie / Final Cut Express compared to his 'crashes every 5 minutes' experience of video editing on his PC using Pinnacle software.

    The Intel news on 6/6 did delay his purchase decision by a couple of weeks but he finally went with it because he knew the iMac was the right tool for his needs.

  1. Voch

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Why does this transition have to happen as my AppleCare runs out on my TiBook? Decisions, decisions...

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: In other news

    The only reason anoybody would buy a new system today is if they NEEDED a new system (business start-ups, budget upgrades, etc). Anybody in the market for a toy, will simply wait for the new zippy machines.

    Um, even if Apple didn't announce Intel, the only reason anyone would buy a mac today would be if they needed one. The towers are nothing more than slightly faster versions then their 2 year-old siblings. The iMacs are exploding left and right. The iBooks are stuck with lousy graphics and all laptops are stuck with the 8 year-old G4 processor.

    As for slowing sales, they'll start to pick up again beginning of next year, as the Intel switch comes closer, and all those people out there who still require Classic support (because Apple has made platform switch after platform switch over the years, driving away developers tired of rewriting and rewriting their code, thus orphaning a slew of users of software to use old OS 9 and even 680x0 software to this day!) will realize they need to buy an existing powerPC based mac in order to protect their investments.

    Of course, its not like Apple helps the situation. You'd think they'd be able to put more conversions into Appleworks and Pages, but nope, not them, can't be bothered into writing converters for anything older than 2 years.

  1. cebritt

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The best time to buy...

    ...a new computer is when you need one. If a faster Mac would save you 30 minutes a day, it's time to upgrade.

    Now is the time to buy if you want to avoid the transition glitches in 2 years. I waited for PowerPC and bought a 6100 which was a very average Mac. Apple's current product line is the best they've ever had...

  1. Tdassel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sure it will hurt

    The current line up is not in good condition despite the Imac and the Mac Mini (could use more RAM ). The Pro line is not selling well already, because everybody was waiting for the promised 3Ghz model and the Powerbooks are well behind their Intel counterparts speedwise. Now that the laptop market has reached 50% of all sales, this situation hurts Apple even more and that is why they had to make the switch. IBM has no mobile CPU to offer, but that is what the consumer wants. So I guess that Powerbooks will be the first to start with Intel CPUs to get a competitive model into that growing market, but of course auntil then nobody will buy the already underpowered PowerBook of today, if they don't have to, same for the ibook. And the G5 Pro models ? Well, nobody is goping to rish to the store to get the last one, if they don't have to and the Pro consumer has the tendency to stick with the current equipment ( remember how long it took them to switch from OS 9 to X ? ). The ydon't change it every two years, so they will simply sit and wait until the Dual Core 3.6 Ghz Intel-Mac is available and reliant. So I guess that nobody who doesn't have to will buy either buy a PowerBook or G5 tower now. I wonder what the upcoming PowerPC products are, that Steve talked about during that Keynote. 2.5 Ghz Imacs ? 1.7 Ghz Mac mini ? I doubt that IBM will come up with big improvements for the 970, now that they know, that tehy are out of this business.



  1. GORDYmac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I'd still buy...

    If a Dual 3GHz G5 hits the channels, I'm buying.

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