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.