How low are sales of iMacs?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by skaertus, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. macrumors 68030


    Feb 23, 2009
    I just don't get it.

    Apple announced a brand new iMac in an event held on October 23.

    Since then, it stopped selling the old iMac on its online store. The new 21.5" iMac will be available in November (we're on November 4, and it still not yet available) and the 27" iMac will only be available in December.

    Why didn't Apple just held another event on December to announce the new iMac so it would be immediately available after the announcement? Are sales of iMacs so low that Apple can handle staying so long without selling these machines?

    Does that make any sense from a business perspective? Am I losing something?
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 17, 2007
    They probably don't want a boat load of two week grace period returns and mass complaints from those over the two week limit resulting in a class action lawsuit.
  3. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I agree that fastlanephil's suggestion is a viable explanation. As Apple sells well over a million Macs per month, and Macs aren't even the largest share of Apple's business, I think they'll manage to stay in business. iMacs represent a very tiny fraction of Apple's revenue and profits.
  4. macrumors 68040


    Apr 18, 2011
    Yes but this "very tiny fraction of Apple's revenue" Macs as a whole was it's own business it'd be a fortune 500 company in it's own right. So it's still a lot.
  5. macrumors 68040

    Jul 28, 2007
    To put things in further perspective. 70% of Apple's revenue comes from iPhone/iPad (50% iPhone/20% iPad).

    The desktop revenue is about 3-5%? At most for apple.
  6. macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2008
    It certainly has seemed to me that the iMac in particular and desktops in general are a low priority for Apple. And I think that reflects a market that is clearly demanding more and more portability. It would not really surprise me if we see no more new iMacs released. Unless you're a gamer a Mac mini and good monitor seems a better value. If you're a hard core gamer a Windows box is almost certainly a better option than an iMac. And I think the suggestion that announcing the new iMacs will largely eliminate the need to accept returned current generation iMacs is accurate.
  7. macrumors regular

    Dec 22, 2008
    Yet without mac, iOS would never have come this far
  8. macrumors 68000


    Feb 11, 2009
    I think they believe it won´t hurt the sale so much. If you are looking to buy a new desktop mac then you just have to wait. So they know a lof of cash is waiting for them once they open for orders.

    And its better people know they are coming and save their money instead of being compulsive in the christmas shopping spirit and buy a crappy windows pc instead. No one who can wait and wants an iMac will do that now.
  9. macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2011
    Consider this...they made their (premature) announcement just a few days before Microsoft Windows 8, thus freezing any iMac jumpers from going to Microsoft. We still don't have our iMacs and Microsoft didn't get our money (yet). I truly believe if Windows 8 wasn't on the horizon we wouldn't have heard anything about iMacs until they were ready. Cook has even said the supply will be very low as soon as they hit the streets (suggesting they weren't ready for prime time yet).
  10. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 17, 2012
    I assumed no iMacs were being sold because every store has run out and not being replenished until the new generation ones arrive.

    I think that is pretty dull business method haha. The people who do not know about Apple and are keen to get into are going to rock up at an Apple store ready to make the switch and be told they have to wait until December. Going to throw a lot of people off being told they have to wait when Apple is meant to have the best service/quality etc. I think announcing it to compete with Windows 8 launch didn't make too much difference especially when Windows is really working hard to compete in terms of stability and ease of use these days.

    I am not planning to switch to Windows but I am not a fan of Apple right now with my iPhone 5 wireless problem sending my data up to 4GB usage over night and leaving me with an $800 data bill which Vodafone will not ackknowledge it is Apple's mistake. Also not a fan of having a huge waiting time just for a thinner iMac and spec bump.
  11. thread starter macrumors 68030


    Feb 23, 2009
    Here are the Q4 results reported by Apple on Oct 25, as published in the MacRumors website:



    The iPhone and the iPad correspond to 72% of revenue. Macs correspond to 15%, and that includes laptops and desktops.

    According to the Q4 Unaudited Summary Data found at Apple's website (, total revenue was US$ 35.9 billion, as follows:

    Mac laptops: US$ 5.36 billion (3.95 million units)
    Mac desktops: US$ 1.25 billion (968,000 units)
    iPhone: US$ 17.12 billion (26.91 million units)
    iPad: US$ 7.51 billion (14.03 million units)
    iPod: US$ 820 million (5.34 million units)
    Other music-related products/services: US$ 2.29 billion
    Peripherals and other hardware: US$ 706 million
    Software, service and other sales: US$ 892 million

    So, Mac desktops were 3.47% of Apple's revenue during Q4 2012, way down what they represented one year ago (in Q4 2011, Apple desktops sold 1.27 million units, representing US$ 1.68 billion in revenue, or 5.94% of Apple's total then; there's clearly a declining trend here).

    Still, were are talking billion dollars here. Even 3% of Apple's revenue is a huge amount of money.
  12. macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2009
    Reno, NV
    When you're talking about BILLIONS, even small percentages like 3-5% mean big numbers.
  13. thread starter macrumors 68030


    Feb 23, 2009
    That's my point!
  14. macrumors 68040

    Jul 28, 2007
    Wow. I was right when I said 3-5% of desktop revenue.

    Hate to say it. But Apple ignores Mac desktops the most,along with declining iPod revenue.

    iPod revenues used to be like iPhone up until about 2006-2007 also. Now it's down to 4%? We saw apple go over 2 years without updating their flagship iPod (the iPod touch).

    The Mac desktops get pushed aside in terms of priorities with releases.

    There is no way the public would stand if iPhones weren't updated until the 18/19 month cycle. And computing changes as quickly as mobile OS chips.
  15. thread starter macrumors 68030


    Feb 23, 2009
    Right on target!

    Apple is still updating iPods and Macs, although the focus is clearly iPhones and iPads. If you look at the number of units sold, iPhones and iPads are even more impressive. That's how Apple intends to remain relevant in the future. But, anyway, it should not have announced a new iMac without having it available for shipping right away, or a few days after...


    This is the only reason I could think of. But then I thought again and, well, Windows 8 is an operating system clearly designed towards tablets, touch-screen laptops and other mobile devices. The iMac has a few competitors in the Windows world, but I guess none of them got a real push with the release of Windows 8. Apple could have waited a bit to update the iMac.
  16. macrumors 6502a

    smoking monkey

    Mar 5, 2008
    I honestly believe that they would have loved for the iMac to be out in July or even September/early oct, but this new iMac is a massive new redesign. A lot of the machine is new. A totally new way of cooling it, a new case, a new screen, no internal SDrive.

    I think the problems they encountered with the screen lamination along with all this new design pushed them past their hoped release date.

    If they really didn't care about the market then I think they would have released an updated machine in the 2011 body.
  17. macrumors 68040


    Aug 6, 2007
    They simply got wind of the discontent and made a judgement call on how to proceed. I'm sure no one at Apple was pleased with the screen lamination issues delay.
  18. macrumors 68000


    Feb 11, 2009
    If you think a bit further than sales percentages you should understand that the IMac is importortant to Apple. All in one is taking over for tower pc's. 2012 is the year were AIO sells more than regular desktops. Apple is the leader of that market. In addition it's the machine most Mac people buy in addition to mobile laptops to work on. Millions buy it. Just the fact that iPhones etc sells a lot doesn't mean apple doesn't understand that if they stop making the computers it will kill sales all across their product lineup. Like me I have bought 4 iPhones since my last iMac, no wonder it sells a lot. But I would probably be more hesitant to apple products if I could not have a workstation with OSX.
    The fact that apple makes a huge state of the art update to the iMac now proves its still an important product to them.

    Most likely the Mac Pro as well is an important product to apple. not financially but to keep developers staying in the apple Eco system. I only suspect that apple feels that the desktops have reached a peak and its not necessary to update them as often as before. But they will keep doing it still - until most people don't see any point for them to exists anymore
  19. macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2012
    I think the refurbs they are selling are new 2011 iMacs. They raised the prices $60 on each model and are clearing out inventory. I bought one for $1189 last week. Same model (specs identical) going for $1249.
  20. thread starter macrumors 68030


    Feb 23, 2009
    Tower PCs will always exist as a niche market, at least for gamers. And low-end tower PCs may also continue to exist, as they are much cheaper than all-in-ones. But all-in-ones may well replace the mainstream tower PCs.

    However, if you look at the figures, desktop Macs sales dropped from 1.27 million units in Q4 2011 to only 968,000 units in Q4 2012. Not even a million units sold during the whole quarter.

    There are several reasons that may explain this steep decline. One of them is that iMacs were outdated machines and didn't get an update in over a year, therefore having less appeal than they had a year ago. But, in addition to that, there is the indeniable truth that the desktops are being replaced by laptops and other mobile solutions. The iMac is increasingly becoming less popular. It's not irrelevant, of course, but it may become one day.

    Look at the Mac Pro, for instance: as sales dropped, Apple started to update it less frequently. Although the Mac Pro remains an important platform for several useres, Apple doesn't seem to care so much about it.

    It's still an important product.

    But if you look back, this is the first redesign of the iMac in more than three years. Prior to that, the longest the iMac took to be redesigned was 26 months, and the average time was about 1 year and a half.

    It's still important, but not as it used to be, huh?

    It should be. I'm not sure, though, as Apple is not updating the specs as it used to do.

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