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NPD: Apple on track for five percent Mac sales drop this quarter

updated 01:36 am EDT, Wed August 21, 2013

Total Mac percentage of Apple revenue to drop to 11 percent next year

A new report from industry analyst NPD has predicted that Mac sales will see a small year-over-year decline in sales again, mostly (and somewhat ironically) due to the industry-wise cannibalization of traditional PCs by the iPad. While still likely to beat the industry average rate of decline, Apple had until last quarter been able to continue growing Mac demand thanks to a greater emphasis on notebook sales. Apple missed expectations for Mac sales last quarter, but may have a chance to reverse its fortunes in its fiscal first quarter this winter.

While the company and the media's focus on new products tend to center around the iPhone and iPad lines, Apple's Macs are likely to see some updates in the fall -- though probably too late to avoid the predicted calendar Q3 drop in overall Mac sales. The company is likely to offer refreshed, Haswell processor-sporting MacBook Pros that will feature greatly increased battery life -- along with a redesigned Mac Pro that has a lot of pent-up demand, and possibly a slightly improved iMac model. This alongside expected high sales of the forthcoming OS X Mavericks (10.9) should provide a shot in the arm, though whether it is enough to combat the industry-wide malaise in PC sales is yet to be seen.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has told clients that Apple saw flat growth in its Mac business in July, but noted that while international sales of Macs were up, the domestic sales were down 12 percent in the previous quarter. The two trends almost cancelled each other out, but Apple reported selling 200,000 fewer Macs (for a total of 380,000) in calendar Q2 than it had the year before (4 million). Current estimates from Munster for the third quarter show Apple selling 4.65 million Macs by September 30 -- a notable rise from the previous quarter, but well short of the 4.9 million it sold in calendar Q3 a year ago.

On top of the bad news for the Mac in the near-term, Munster believes the Mac will only account for 11 percent of Apple's revenues in 2014, and only nine percent by 2015. The company's dedicated music player line, the iPod, is expected to fare even worse: Munster believes that North American sales of the iPod will be down 20 percent or more year-over-year as consumers increasingly rely on the iPhone or iPad to serve the functions the iPod used to handle. New, longer-range Bluetooth 4.0 headsets that are forthcoming to market may further erode iPod sales.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 08-15-02

    Dear Santa Tim...

    Rosetta for Mavericks
    iCloud privacy
    17" Macbook Pro with retina grade cooling
    4k display
    New Pro Tower
    At this point unfortunately only the last of those may be available, and precluded by the other limitations...?

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    If I were a betting man I'd say you're going to (eventually) get everything on your list except the first item. PPC is gone and it is not coming back. Apple has never ever been about looking backwards, and its not about to start now. Time to move on.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    I'd discount the possibility of a 17" MacBook Pro.

    Nobody bought them.

    Which is to say, fewer and fewer people bought them, and a retina 15" has killed 90% of the remaining sliver of interest.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 11-28-08

    This marks the utter collapse of Apple as a viable computer company. With rapidly shrinking market share on both the iPhone and iPad, Apple is basically on its deathbed. iPod sales will likely be down 50% and just about ready to go to the Zune graveyard. The once mighty Apple is on its last legs. Shareholders might as well sell their shares now and buy Netflix. Netflix's share price will soon be higher than Apple share price.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Satire, right?

    Apple's iPhone sales are growing, and its share in the US actually grew.

    Apple's worldwide smartphone market share is shrinking because the others are eating up the dumb phone market even faster than Apple is.

  1. Kramerica

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-22-13

    Here's my take on the 17 MacBookPro. First off, they did sell, the problem is that sales decline before a new product roll out and the owners may not replace them as often. Now, obviously they haven't replaced them with a Retina version. Will they? If enough people submit feedback to Apple, hopefully through their feedback web site, or people constantly asking for them, then maybe they will. The biggest problem is obviously the panel. The 15inch panel is VERY expensive compared to a non-retina model. So, to have a 17inch, they would probably difficult unless maybe with the new IGZO technology. But it might be cost prohibitive. Obviously, they can get fairly heavy in order to have good battery life. Maybe they'll come out with another 17inch model at some point in time, but I think demand has to be there. The market shifts from smaller to larger back to smaller, and there is no telling what people are going to want years from now. The other aspect is they have to be able to produce and sell enough to recoup the engineering that's involved, the mfg costs, etc. to make it a viable product to offer. But Apple never said they will never make them, they just indicated that the older models were going to be discontinued.

    The 15inch, IMO, is pretty darn close to the perfect laptop. Obviously, I think it should be user expandable with memory and it should go up to 32GB, but then again a lot of people don't actually use that much memory. I've loaded and ran perfectly about 10 regular apps and on with 8G of RAM and never ran out. But for the higher end user, I think 32G might be nice, but with memory compression with OS X, it might not be needed.

    Also, Apple hasn't made any announcements other than the MacBookAir and there is a lot of anticipation for the new models which creates pent up demand and decrease in sales. Is this due to cannibalization from the iPad? Probably just a little.

  1. Kramerica

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-22-13

    To bobolicious,

    Rosetta is a dead horse. It's been beaten to death. RIP.
    iCloud Privacy? Huh? They only give data to the Feds when they get a court order, so if you aren't doing anything to warrant the Feds getting a court order for your specific data, i wouldn't worry. Only the paranoid worry about it.
    17inch MBPR? I don't know. Maybe, but probably not. Read my other post on that.
    4K Display? I'm sure they'll have that and a replacement for the existing Thunderbolt Display with possibly Thunderbolt 2?, Thinner?
    New Pro Tower? NO. The MacPro isn't a tower, it's a cylinder and there are third party PCI slot chassis with and without RAID drives available to choose from.

    other than that, I suspect that faster SSD storage in ALL current Macs will be on tap, so it will probably go to 800Mbps just like the MBA did. I can see Thunderbolt 2 coming on the MacPro system, OBVIOUSLY, but maybe we'll see it on others, but if not, that won't be too big of a deal. Eventually we will see it. I can also see MAYBE new IGZO screen technology coming out on various products, but not sure which ones. 802.11ac is a given, Haswell i5, i7 chips all around. I really would like to see a Pro version of the MacMini which has higher rated i5 and i7 chips, but more storage, RAM, ports, etc. to fill the gap between the MacMini and the MacPro. I think some of us would like something other than the iMac for that middle level computer.

  1. The Vicar

    Junior Member

    Joined: 07-01-09

    @Kramerica:

    "The only give data to the Feds when they get a court order"

    Probably not actually true. If you actually read the stuff coming out about PRISM and the NSA, they basically demanded permanent data feeds from all the big companies. If Apple had demanded a court order, then the NSA would probably use one of the compliant secret courts to get a blanket one, because they didn't expect for the program to be exposed and have to justify it.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Well, at least iMessage is (supposedly) end-to-end-encrypted...

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 08-15-02

    ...well some (I would expect higher end vertical market buyers of powerful computers) work on projects that last more than a year or two, or have value lasting more than a year or two as digital client assets, involve highly technical software that takes a lot to both create & learn, or files that are difficult or impossible to bring in to newer software versions, have huge liability for errors, statute of limitations that requires access to historical files for more than a decade, have highly paid technical staff that are costly to train, and may not benefit from the consumer churn of forced migration for the sake of a hardware upgrade...

    ...and I'm not talking about macnn daily blog columnist staff here...

    I understand XP is currently policy supported in virtualization to 2020 in W7 'pro', and if the trend continue this may be extended further...

    If I go to (one) US government technical software site much is still only available in XP - it's public money at stake, and if Apple wants high end vertical market hardware sales or governments to invest public funds in application development I suspect access to consistent, supported or at least virtualized environments would help the fund commitments that ultimately might drive subsequent hardware sales...

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 08-15-02

    17"? well I have bought many, and am writing from an i7 dual currently...

    Unfortunately the i7 quad went back - turns out actually using all that power and driving a 27" monitor had my fans running between 4000 & 5000rpm, which compared to a desktop doing the same things was barely up a snick, and inaudible... And so I don't care so much about a retina display, but a desktop replacement option that can use the horsepower for the vertical market demands that presumably align with the term 'pro'...

    The 15" retina greatly improved the power : fans ratio, but went back because the new OS forced orphaning, migration or reinvention of every major workflow stream and related files, and the screen was a size downgrade for technical work on the road...

    So hardware sales are definitely down for this 'pro', not for lack of demand, but because Apple hardware & software design decisions need to better serve my professional vertical market needs...

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Bob: I'm not criticising your workflow, but the fact of the matter is that tying your flow to proprietary formats is always going to mess you up later. I speak as someone who was forced to go from Pagemaker to Xpress to InDesign (and is now looking at Quark again!). It's unavoidable.

    GIVEN THAT FACT, and the fact that the industry is always in a state of flux, you have to take a longer view with your core data and keep at least some of it in formats that are (and one can never be 100 certain, but one CAN be vigilant) not as likely to disappear. For all the ribbing MS gets around here, Word format is still the standard and AppleWorks (as an example) has been kaput for a decade.

    Don't wait until you're up the creek to migrate data. Stay involved, expect change, and you don't get caught short as often. People have a tendency to find what works and stick with it, and in most areas of life that's a good idea; not with technology. Despite personal tech being nearly 40 years old, it's still a young industry in flux, like the way technology was in the industrial era.

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