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Analyst: Mac sales dropped 6% in January

updated 07:55 pm EST, Wed February 18, 2009

Mac sales drop in Jan

Despite Apple's recent best-ever quarterly financial report, research-firm NDP Group claims that Mac sales dropped six percent in January. The analysts blamed the trend on a growing tendency for buyers to base purchasing decisions on price while the economic recession continues. "What we're seeing is that consumers are not buying based on value, they are buying based on price. Apple is selling value," Stephen Baker, NDP vice president of industry analysis, told Macworld.

In contrast, the report claims that sales of Windows PCs grew by 16 percent during the same period. "This is not good," said Baker. "They need to address the iMac. A big chunk of this is because iMac sales are dropping two to three times compared to Windows PCs."

The analysis considered Apple's lack of updates to its desktop line as a contributing factor. Although the MacBook line saw product refreshes with the new aluminum-unibody construction debuted in October and the 17-inch MacBook Pro in January, the iMac line has not seen an update since April of 2008. Apple's lowest-price computer, the Mac mini, has stagnated for well over a year.

The company has remained reluctant to delve into the market for low-price computers. Despite the growing popularity of netbooks, Steve Jobs dismissed rumors that his company was planning to build a similar product. "We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk, and our DNA will not let us ship that," he said.

Several reports claim that the company could be close to updating the iMac and Mac mini. A rumor suggests the imminent launch of a quad-core iMac based on the Core 2 Quad CPU, potentially paired with NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics components. Other rumors surrounding the Mac mini claim a switch to Intel's Atom processors and NVIDIA's Ion platform.

If the research firm's calculations are accurate, they would show a drastic turnaround from the company's last quarter which saw a nine percent increase in Mac sales and record revenues surpassing $10 billion.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. nhmlco

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +7

    Creative rationalization

    Another article says that HP saw a drop in revenue of 25 percent for desktop PCs, while notebook revenue was down 13 percent for the previous quarter.

    And a Gartner report claimed that PC shipment growth was the worst ever for the PC industry during the last quarter of 2008.

    So if Apple was in fact only down 6% in January (estimated) then Stephen Baker's price/value analysis isn't worth the electrons it's printed on.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    problem with this article

    my problem with this is that i tried buying an imac at bestbuy and they couldnt get one for me, from anywhere.

    they were not available during most of the month. most
    of the employees told me that hadnt had imacs since christmas. i even tried getting one at bestbuy.com and
    they told me they were not available.

    i think it will pan out

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    I Care About Quality Firs

    I'll bet the analyst is a PC user. I just spent a ton on this brand new Mac Pro and I got MORE than my money's worth. Thank you Apple and Steve Jobs for considering quality AND design first.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -2

    I Care About Quality Firs

    I'll bet the analyst is a PC user. I just spent a ton on this brand new Mac Pro and I got MORE than my money's worth. Thank you Apple and Steve Jobs for considering quality AND design first.

  1. JuanGuapo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    He's right, and wrong

    “What we’re seeing is that consumers are not buying based on value, they are buying based on price. Apple is selling value,”

    On this, Baker is absolutely correct. Apple is indeed selling value... You can buy a $500 PC that can type a letter every bit as good as a Mac, but what that PC can do is far outweighed by the out-of-box capabilities of a Macintosh.

    I agree w/ Jobs on this....Apple really doesn't know how to make a $500 computer. They're not boutique computers either--there is a Mac for every type of user right now (imac, mini, macbook, macbook pro, mac pro) and each one bleeds ever so slightly over the edge of the other; it bleeds just enough to make you wonder if you should/shouldn't get the next model up (bangs head against wall).

    All in all, I think the entire PC industry and consumer-base owes Jobs & Co. a huge thanks b/c if it weren't for Apple, PCs would still be running Windows 95 or earlier.... Competition is everything in this market.

    Typing this from my week-old 15" 2.53Ghz MBP, sitting in front of my 20" 2.6Ghz iMac, and listening to my 16GB iPhone.

  1. JuanGuapo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    He's right, and wrong

    “What we’re seeing is that consumers are not buying based on value, they are buying based on price. Apple is selling value,”

    On this, Baker is absolutely correct. Apple is indeed selling value... You can buy a $500 PC that can type a letter every bit as good as a Mac, but what that PC can do is far outweighed by the out-of-box capabilities of a Macintosh.

    I agree w/ Jobs on this....Apple really doesn't know how to make a $500 computer. They're not boutique computers either--there is a Mac for every type of user right now (imac, mini, macbook, macbook pro, mac pro) and each one bleeds ever so slightly over the edge of the other; it bleeds just enough to make you wonder if you should/shouldn't get the next model up (bangs head against wall).

    All in all, I think the entire PC industry and consumer-base owes Jobs & Co. a huge thanks b/c if it weren't for Apple, PCs would still be running Windows 95 or earlier.... Competition is everything in this market.

    Typing this from my week-old 15" 2.53Ghz MBP, sitting in front of my 20" 2.6Ghz iMac, and listening to my 16GB iPhone.

  1. dimmer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Wait

    Dropping 6% in January? Compared with what? December sales, where holiday buying was of course huge?

    Apple's sales will drop: the economy pretty much insists so. And Apple have historically had lower sales in Q4 (Jan - March) compared with other quarters. Seems like a non-story really.

  1. revco

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Dropping 6% in January...

    Dropping 6% in January? Compared with what?

  1. JEB

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    iLife....

    I could also see certain buyers having waited for iLife 09 's release . . . to be bundled with their Mac purchase . . . maybe not a huge percentage, but surely a factor. Heck, a lot of people are not shopping for anything these days . . . oh well!

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -4

    Re: He's right and wrong

    On this, Baker is absolutely correct. Apple is indeed selling value... You can buy a $500 PC that can type a letter every bit as good as a Mac, but what that PC can do is far outweighed by the out-of-box capabilities of a Macintosh.

    What, you mean you get more from a $1500 computer than a $500 computer? You're kidding, right?

    there is a Mac for every type of user right now

    Sure, but that's like saying "BMW has a car for every type of user".

    Apple has a computer for every type of user, you just need to be able to afford it.

    If you're a user looking for a computer that you can expand over the next couple of years, not much, but maybe going "eSATA is the future, I want to buy a computer that can deal with that", you need $2800 to get a MacPro.

    If you're the type of user who wants a 15" laptop, you need $2000.

    and each one bleeds ever so slightly over the edge of the other; it bleeds just enough to make you wonder if you should/shouldn't get the next model up

    How does the mini bleed into anything? How does the iMac bleed into the MacPro?

    And of course they bleed. Apple intentionally limits features to differentiate their computers. No large-screen consumer laptop. Take out that firewire from MacBook, because otherwise pros might actually buy it. Make sure you don't put a 17" screen with a MacBook internals.

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