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MacBytes
Feb 20, 2009, 08:44 AM
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Link: Mac Sales Down for the First Time in Three Years (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20090220094428)
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Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
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Tallest Skil
Feb 20, 2009, 08:45 AM
This is due entirely to the lack of a new Mac Pro.

Oh... people buy the iMac and Mac Mini, too. :D

stevearm
Feb 20, 2009, 08:52 AM
All the potential adopters are getting brought over and there's not many left. The other 90+% are happy with MS and PCs.

angela44angela
Feb 20, 2009, 09:00 AM
Related piece that shows that over the past 2 quarters, Mac sales slowing:

Evidence of slowing Mac growth - 2 consecutive quarters of deceleration (http://switchtoamac.com/site/mac-growth-slowdown-2-consecutive-quarters-of-growth-deceleration.html)

andrew0122
Feb 20, 2009, 09:22 AM
I would have to say the downfall is due to a lack of new revisions. There are several things that need updating including Mac Mini, iMac, and Mac Pro. . .

MojoWill
Feb 20, 2009, 09:27 AM
and the fact apple care more about being "green" than they do in actually meeting consumer demand for products! I dont want a green mac i want one witha huge friggin lazer beam on it!!!!!!!! :p

Halethorpe
Feb 20, 2009, 09:28 AM
The way I read the original report is that sales growth is off, not sales. That's growth, as in sales are still growing.
Sounds like just more FUD to me.

Winni
Feb 20, 2009, 09:47 AM
The problem is that Apple is selling out-dated hardware in beautifully designed cases at high prices, while the PC industry is selling cutting-edge hardware it not so nicely designed cases at low prices. Guess what people are rather buying during a world-wide recession?

Apple should enter the OEM market and license OS X to others, that would solve the "problem" with low-end buyers and it would at the same time increase Apple's income significantly. The company never wanted to compete with the PC industry, but since they've moved to the Intel platform, they are in direct competition. People actually read specs, and there has always only been a limited amount of potential "switchers" who did not care that much about the price tag - and who could only "switch" because the Mac also allowed them to run Windows.

dejo
Feb 20, 2009, 09:57 AM
Related piece that shows that over the past 2 quarters, Mac sales slowing:

Evidence of slowing Mac growth - 2 consecutive quarters of deceleration (http://switchtoamac.com/site/mac-growth-slowdown-2-consecutive-quarters-of-growth-deceleration.html)
Mac sales are definitely affected by seasonal trends. That's why it's never good to put too much emphasis on consecutive quarters but instead to compare the same quarter year-to-year.

Shasterball
Feb 20, 2009, 10:08 AM
Ummm...I think the economy is the biggest factor here. Why buy a premium machine for $1300 when you can get a PC for $400?

IJ Reilly
Feb 20, 2009, 10:15 AM
Ummm...I think the economy is the biggest factor here. Why buy a premium machine for $1300 when you can get a PC for $400?

First part right, second part wrong. You should also look at the sales of Windows PCs.

macPlayer15
Feb 20, 2009, 10:16 AM
Ummm...I think the economy is the biggest factor here. Why buy a premium machine for $1300 when you can get a PC for $400?

I absolutely agree. I love macs, but instead of getting cheaper they are getting more expensive, i.e. new macbook aluminum now more expensive than old macbook, also macbook air for 2grand CAD is insane when u can get similar performance computer for 400$.
Prices are the single reason of slowing mac sales.

bigmc6000
Feb 20, 2009, 10:22 AM
I think what really matters is how well Apple is doing against it's competitors and I think to really present a valid argument you need to yank the netbook #'s. If Apple's sales went down by 6% I'd like to see the numbers for everyone sans the netbooks because if we're going to talk about netbooks as full functioning computers I think we should start counting the iPhone or iPod touch as somewhat of a netbook. I'm not saying give it 1:1 but if you want to look at "computers" sold I think a netbook is more like .75-.8 comparable units, iPhone is .65-.7 and Touch is .5-.55. You put those numbers in there and you're doing just fine. Of course to avoid all of that I'd say they just pull the netbook numbers all together and compare Apple(s) to apples...

Miker2k
Feb 20, 2009, 10:23 AM
I absolutely agree. I love macs, but instead of getting cheaper they are getting more expensive, i.e. new macbook aluminum now more expensive than old macbook, also macbook air for 2grand CAD is insane when u can get similar performance computer for 400$.
Prices are the single reason of slowing mac sales.


Add to that the slowing global economy and even those people willing to shell out the extra dollars for a Mac are thinking twice.

Lancetx
Feb 20, 2009, 10:25 AM
Price has virtually nothing to do with it. The fact that the iMac hasn't been refreshed in 10 months has almost everything to do with it. The day that the iMac is refreshed is the day that Apple sees a big spike in sales. If price was the main issue, then iPhone, iPod and MacBook sales would be in the tank too, but they aren't.

MBLAST.EXE
Feb 20, 2009, 10:31 AM
Apple sales are down because Apple hasn't done ANYTHING noteworthy in there computer department. A redisnged Macbook/Macbook Pro isn't going to drive sales. A new iMac and Mac Mini however will.

Saladinos
Feb 20, 2009, 10:32 AM
The fact that Mac sales are down is, by itself, useless. In fact, it's expected in this climate.

It would be news, however, if Windows (or linux) share was going up at the expense of the Mac. You need to look at how the industry is doing, and how Apple is doing. I expect Macs will still be outperforming the industry, meaning that Mac market share is still growing (or Apple customers are less concerned about the recession and are still buying).

I expect that people are holding off and trying to get another few years out of their existing computers, hence the slowing sales. But that's true for the entire industry, and Macs are well known to age better than Windows counterparts, indicating that it would be the better buy. It would be difficult to figure that in to an ad campaign though.

macPlayer15
Feb 20, 2009, 10:45 AM
The average computer user doesn't know how a refreshed mac should be. They don't understand gigahertz etc. They just see a mac laptop that looks nice, comes with a bunch of good software, but is 2000$, vs one that looks ugly and is 400$. In tough economic times the AVERAGE user tends to go with the cheaper system. Of course, others who like technology or understand what's in the system want the refresh but those aren't the majority.

bigmc6000
Feb 20, 2009, 10:48 AM
The average computer user doesn't know how a refreshed mac should be. They don't understand gigahertz etc. They just see a mac laptop that looks nice, comes with a bunch of good software, but is 2000$, vs one that looks ugly and is 400$. In tough economic times the AVERAGE user tends to go with the cheaper system. Of course, others who like technology or understand what's in the system want the refresh but those aren't the majority.

Apple has never really been after the average user who just wants something cheap. The people who are hurt the most by this recession have been the people who don't have that much money and are, let's just be honest with ourselves here, not in Apple's prime demographic. That's why when you yank the netbook numbers I'd postulate that Mac marketshare is still growing.

macPlayer15
Feb 20, 2009, 10:51 AM
Apple has never really been after the average user who just wants something cheap. The people who are hurt the most by this recession have been the people who don't have that much money and are, let's just be honest with ourselves here, not in Apple's prime demographic. That's why when you yank the netbook numbers I'd postulate that Mac marketshare is still growing.

I agree that those people have not been apples main demographic, but that is why apple hasn't been as successful. I feel like they are slowly trying to appeal to the mainstream market, as they have done with ipod and iphone (whose prices have dropped causing more sales). If they want to do well, they should lower their price, not by a huge margin, but just slightly to make it at least somewhat competitive.

Scepticalscribe
Feb 20, 2009, 11:37 AM
Some of you may recall Bill Clinton's campaign slogan "It's the economy, stupid", which I suspect may be the main reason for the decline in sales. Yes, Apple may not be as cutting edge as formerly, but that is still secondary to the effects of the economic slow-down.

I'm not sure I buy the argument about the demographic; by the time this recesion is over, I imagine most sections of society will hurt quite a bit. Also, bigmc6000 has a point; the real test is how Apple is faring against its competitors, in a market that is a lot tougher than it was a year ago.

Cheers

PhilaScott
Feb 20, 2009, 12:41 PM
First part right, second part wrong. You should also look at the sales of Windows PCs.

Exactly... in the words of a former President (whose wife is now Secretary of State): "It's the economy, stupid!"

Update: Oops.. some above my post just pointed that out!! Great minds..

madmaxmedia
Feb 20, 2009, 12:45 PM
Here's another story with sales data from MPD:

http://www.macworld.com/article/138895/2009/02/macsales.html

Apple’s year-over-year Mac sales fell 6 percent for the month of January, according to a market research firm that tracks monthly computer sales. Apple’s drop came as monthly sales for Windows PC grew by 16 percent over January 2008, NPD Group reported.

So if you take this data at face value:

1. Mac sales (not sales growth) dropped 6% in January 2009 vs January 2008.
2. Windows PC sales grew 16% over the same time period.

They attribute this to lack of updates and weakness of product mix of desktops, as Mac notebooks are doing fine:

“This is not good,” Stephen Baker, NPD’s vice president of industry analysis, told Macworld. “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.”

In its report on monthly sales trends for January, NPD blamed Apple’s decline on the company’s offerings aimed at bargain shoppers looking for low-cost systems.

IJ Reilly
Feb 20, 2009, 01:30 PM
And also,

Interestingly, NPD’s report suggests that the upper end of the computer market seems stable. People looking to buy computers priced at $1,500 and higher are less concerned with price than shoppers targeting the lower-end of the market.

Anyway, we heard exactly the same thing I believe it was in October, but it turned out that for the quarter, Apple's shipments were up YoY and Windows PCs were flat.

macFanDave
Feb 20, 2009, 02:57 PM
Why buy a premium machine for $1300 when you can get a PC for $400?

Because once you have done things so easily and smoothly on a Mac, the costs of using a cheap PC mount.

First, you go to the psychiatrist because you are convinced you are nuts for leaving the Mac OS for Windows. Then, there are the anti-depressants you need to buy after realizing how much extra time you are wasting doing things badly in Windows. Next, you need electro-shock therapy when you realize that you are now under the dominion of Steve Ballmer. Finally the gun and ammo you need to blow your head off costs money, too.

Macs are actually the cheaper option.

bbyrdhouse
Feb 20, 2009, 03:45 PM
The economy probably has some to do with it but I suspect that the current product line has more to do with it.

There is currently nothing out there for Mac that has that "oooh gotta get it" feeling.

I am currently in the market for a new iMac but the current one does not interest me all that much. I am more than happy to wait things out a bit and pick one up this summer when all the product lines will have been updated.

The MacMini is one area where Apple could really pad their bottom line. For the life of me I can not comprehend them allowing this great product to become as stagnant as it has.

Bottom line ....

- Refreshed or new iMac +
- Refreshed or new Mini =

Sales growth ....

Throw in an updated or new MacPro line and this conversation never took place.

MagnusVonMagnum
Feb 21, 2009, 12:34 AM
All the potential adopters are getting brought over and there's not many left. The other 90+% are happy with MS and PCs.

Maybe it's more like the other 90% want PC-like hardware options (e.g. a mid-range expandable mini-tower) that Apple just doesn't want to supply. Not everyone wants a laptop inside a monitor case (yuck!) or a workstation that costs $3000, after all (in the desktop arena) or wants notebooks that START at $999 when you can buy a PC laptop for $399. Before you say how crappy that laptop is, you have to figure that $999 laptop isn't exactly a gaming giant (at least the new uni-body ones CAN play some games finally) nor is OS X a gaming platform currently. So exactly what do you need high-end hardware for if you're just going to run Microsoft word and Firefox? That is where Apple is screwing up, IMO. They need *COMPETITIVE* hardware and their current lineup is anything but. Maybe Psystar will win their countersuit and Apple's monopoly on OS X hardware will finally end which will FORCE them to be competitive for a change.

xparaparafreakx
Feb 21, 2009, 02:51 AM
This is due entirely to the lack of a new Mac Pro.

Oh... people buy the iMac and Mac Mini, too. :D

That rights. I want one of those three but been waiting like crazy.

Sales of Macs go right back up after i7 Mac Pros, Quad iMacs and E8600 Mac Mini's.

SactoGuy18
Feb 21, 2009, 06:13 AM
Sales of Macs go right back up after i7 Mac Pros, Quad iMacs and E8600 Mac Mini's.

I almost agree but the new Mac Pros will use the Gainestown version Xeons, not the Core i7 CPU (after all, the current Mac Pros use the Xeon CPU). The new iMacs will switch to the Core 2 Quad Q9xxxS CPU's with the 65 W thermal design power (TDP) unless Intel surprises us with a Core i7 with the 65 W TDP earlier than expected.

awulf
Feb 23, 2009, 06:07 AM
I just made myself an i7 PC with quality parts for $1600AUD and installed 10.5.6 on it using my legit retail dvd, and it all works well and is fast.

I was considering the Mac Pro, but starting at $3,999AUD, its WAY too expensive for me. The Mac Mini is a joke these days and has no room for expansion. My previous computer was a Power Mac G4, which were reasonably priced back in their day, and has lasted me 7 years (with various upgrades). And since Apple isn't selling a mid entry tower anymore, they lost a sale from me.

Rodimus Prime
Feb 23, 2009, 07:00 AM
I think apple is getting hit by a double whammy right now.

First the economy is going to effect sells and the other is market saturation. I think apple is approaching it saturation point.

At that point sells are going to level off mostly to replacement sells and not growth sells. Getting hit by both of those at the same point is going to put a dent in ones profits.

IJ Reilly
Feb 23, 2009, 10:10 AM
Saturation point? Please tell me you are joking. The average PC lasts about four years. This means that every year, around 25% of the Windows PC market is a potential Windows to Mac switcher, even assuming no growth in the market at all.

BongoBanger
Feb 23, 2009, 05:41 PM
Saturation point? Please tell me you are joking. The average PC lasts about four years. This means that every year, around 25% of the Windows PC market is a potential Windows to Mac switcher, even assuming no growth in the market at all.

And less than 1% of the PC using population elects to.

Rodimus Prime
Feb 23, 2009, 06:59 PM
Saturation point? Please tell me you are joking. The average PC lasts about four years. This means that every year, around 25% of the Windows PC market is a potential Windows to Mac switcher, even assuming no growth in the market at all.

goes both ways.

But even with those numbers I do not see apple market share growing much more. They are reaching their limits in that area.

Apple is clearly not set up to get much more out of it. They have a VERY limited line up and ways to set up there computers. It starting to hit more and more limits in their growth.

So now they mostly be replacing a computer every 4 years. Still good money at the size they are at just limits how much growth.

Mix that with the down turn it hurts.

IJ Reilly
Feb 23, 2009, 11:40 PM
There's nothing quite like a completly fact free theory.

Mac In School
Feb 24, 2009, 02:14 AM
1. Obviously Mac sales are down while the economy is down. Apple is a premium brand. I'd venture a guess as to say that the Lexus-to-Toyota ratio is probably down as well.

2. The refresh isn't the problem. It only attracts us Mac nerds. iMacs are still as cool as they were on day 1. Those that are waiting for specs boosts are also a minority. Not on this board, obviously (I hope), but in the market place. People who watch specs are either Apple nerds, gaming geeks, or just general computer nerds. None of those people are in Apple's target market.

Apple goes after those that want a better way to manage and share their photos, music, and pictures. Joe Six Pack, that walks into an Apple store after a bad stint with Vista isn't looking at specs or how fancy the design is. He's telling a sales dude "I hear these things are supposed to be better. Tell me why".

That same Joe that was "switching" 6 months ago can't afford to do so now because of the economy. Apple's best bet is to do ride this thing out until the economy rebounds. The LAST thing they want to do is drop their prices to compete with Winblows machines, and be stuck in that rut when the economy recovers, when they were doing so well doing it their way a few months ago.

Those that compare Mac specs to PC specs simply don't get it. It's not about how many Jiggawatts you have. It's about the overall computing experience. What Mac software are you having trouble running on the current lineup? My MBP runs FCP like a dream, Logic is no problem, Aperture is smooth as silk, and CS4 runs better than Adobe products have ever run on my Macs.

IJ Reilly
Feb 24, 2009, 10:20 AM
I agree with virtually everything you've written, except that I believe that the lack of a product refresh in at least one part of Apple's lineup is probably hurting sales, and that's in the MacPro line. People who buy these computers are "spec geeks," at least to some extent. A great many of them are likely waiting for the next revision before buying, and now that the recession is in full swing, some will defer purchases even after the revisions are released.

Apple is going to take a hit in this recession, no question. But some are going to latch onto every shred of evidence that Apple isn't "recession-proof" (as if anyone ever believed it was) as "proof" of their pet theories. The recession is just another opportunity to press the idea that Apple needs to completely change their product and marketing strategy. Most of these theories have been touted for years, and have always been proven wrong.

Mac In School
Feb 24, 2009, 11:51 AM
I agree with virtually everything you've written, except that I believe that the lack of a product refresh in at least one part of Apple's lineup is probably hurting sales, and that's in the MacPro line. People who buy these computers are "spec geeks," at least to some extent. A great many of them are likely waiting for the next revision before buying, and now that the recession is in full swing, some will defer purchases even after the revisions are released.

I wouldn't argue with that. I'm just saying that those MacPro-wanting "spec geeks" make up an extremely small percentage of Apple's target market. Releasing a new Pro and Mini would indeed spur some computer sales. Just not enough to make a sizable dent in these numbers.

Of course, I'm just guessing here, as we all are. I could be way off base. I wonder what their iMac to Mac Pro sales ratio is, when both lines are fresh. Judging by how they're promoted, I'd guess it's an enormous swing. At our local store, they completely removed Minis and Pros from the tables during the Christmas season to make room for the iPod table.

IJ Reilly
Feb 24, 2009, 12:17 PM
Since Apple doesn't break down their unit sales except by laptop and desktop categories, it's difficult to know. But I certainly agree with you that the bias in the discussions here lean heavily towards geek issues that really don't concern the vast majority of computer buyers. Making matter worse, geek types tend to see their priorities as being more important than anybody else's, which is why we these discussions tend to be swallowed up by endless debates about the merits of mid-tower Macs, Blu-ray support, processors, Hackintosh, gaming performance, and other arcane issues that interest a relative few.

MagnusVonMagnum
Feb 24, 2009, 11:33 PM
People who watch specs are either Apple nerds, gaming geeks, or just general computer nerds. None of those people are in Apple's target market.

That same Joe that was "switching" 6 months ago can't afford to do so now because of the economy. Apple's best bet is to do ride this thing out until the economy rebounds. The LAST thing they want to do is drop their prices to compete with Winblows machines, and be stuck in that rut when the economy recovers, when they were doing so well doing it their way a few months ago.

Those that compare Mac specs to PC specs simply don't get it. It's not about how many Jiggawatts you have. It's about the overall computing experience.


They don't get it? It sounds more to me like you don't get it. They are the same hardware and computer users are computers users regardless of the platform. So you are saying I should get ripped off by Apple because I prefer the Mac Operating System??? Yeah, that's a terrific line of thinking you have there. You call Windows machines "Winblows" but it's the Mac hardware that sucks for the dollar. So I can have a good OS or good hardware for the money, but not both? Yeah, that sounds really great. And it's gigawatts, not jiggawatts, but I suppose using the term here makes about as much sense as rest of your post does.

NT1440
Feb 24, 2009, 11:36 PM
And it's gigawatts, not jiggawatts, but I suppose using the term here makes about as much sense as rest of your post does.

I beleive that was meant to be a joke related to Christopher Loyde's hilarious pronounciation in Back To The Future......:rolleyes:

dejo
Feb 26, 2009, 07:59 PM
1. Obviously Mac sales are down while the economy is down. Apple is a premium brand. I'd venture a guess as to say that the Lexus-to-Toyota ratio is probably down as well.
Premium brands aren't hit harder when the economy is down. As least not if you look at Apple vs. Dell: Net profit in Dell's fiscal fourth quarter ended January 30 fell 48 percent... (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Dell-revenue-rb-14484394.html)

MagnusVonMagnum
Feb 26, 2009, 11:12 PM
I beleive that was meant to be a joke related to Christopher Loyde's hilarious pronounciation in Back To The Future......:rolleyes:

It was a funny scene, but Christopher Lloyd did pronounce it correctly in the movie (i.e. it was the emphasis that made it amusing and the fact back in 1985, the "giga" prefix was not well known. Today with gigabytes it's every day vocabulary).