updated 09:40 pm EDT, Thu October 2, 2008
Apple holiday sales
A report by market research company ChangeWave suggests that Apple could be facing hard times for computer sales through the holidays. The company performance for the past quarter has been good, with 23 percent of survey respondents who purchased a computer in the past 90 saying they bought a Mac notebook, and 17 percent a desktop. The report expects Apple to meet its projected numbers for sales between July 1 and September 30th.
The basis for future concern involves the consumer electronics segment as a whole, with consumers spooked by the dire economic situation. Out of the surveyed group that anticipated buying a computer in the next 90 days, only 29 percent claimed it would be an Apple notebook, and 26 percent a Mac desktop. Those percentages represent a 5 and 4 point drop since August, the weakest numbers ChangeWave has seen this year for the company and the biggest drop in 2.5 years.
Apple isn't the only company facing potential hardship this holiday season, the survey that asked people if they expected to spend more or less money on consumer electronics over the next three months showed bad news for everybody. Only 14 percent answered that they would spend more, a huge drop compared to previous years with 26 percent in 2007 and 33 percent in 2006. 40 percent said they will spend less money, compared to 31 percent in 2007 and 28 percent in 2006.
The extent that consumers will be adopting more frugal spending habits on electronics for the holidays represents the weakest 90 day outlook of any ChangeWave survey. Many electronics companies have had their stock status and sales expectations reduced by research firms, leading to a battering of stock prices in the recent weeks. Apple stock reached a 52 week low this week following the downgrades.
Apple's saving grace might be the iPhone; a survey of consumers that expect to buy a smartphone in the next 3 months showed that 34 percent expect it to be Apple's device. That demand is the highest in the smartphone industry, according to ChangeWave.