[Discuss] Why Macbook much more popular than Mac desktop?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by iSayuSay, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. iSayuSay macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

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    Feb 6, 2011
    #1
    Out of curiosity. I'd like to discuss about this fact. You see as Apple gaining more and more popularity, Apple desktop family (MacMini, iMac and MacPro) just getting more and more deserted.

    For a convincing proof, I also post some graphs here:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As you see, Mac desktop family is the blue section and MacBooks are green section. Year after year the desktop sales barely increased. But in total portion (look at second graph) Mac desktop has been gaining less and less popularity each year.

    Another obvious proof is that you can visit forums.macrumors.com ... See how many views and posts on Mac desktop section vs MacBooks section.

    I own the new Macbook Air (cheapest one) and new iMac too (the hi-end one). And really, I wouldn't buy the Air if I didn't have too because sometimes I just have to bring my job outside. If not ... wow my iMac able to do anything I throw at it without hiccup. In short I enjoy my iMac much more than the Air. I really hope I don't need the Air.

    I mean, their desktop deserve more than that. With Macbook you have to be careful about Magsafe, battery life and cycle count. Macbook has more risks and prone to damage because exposed to different surface and environment. And also Macbook tend to get hotter due to cramped space and ventilation. You don't get those problems with the desktop obviously.

    The price? Yes, I admit a basic MacPro cost $2500 without display. It's surely too expensive for common user, but the iMac and MacMini is an excellent bargain and offer much better performance for the money. (I know .. a PC tower too can do much bette than equivalent notebook)

    So ... why do you think Macbook gaining more and more popularity than their desktop? I think despite being immobile, desktop give much more benefits than MacBooks :( ... Care to share your opinion?
     
  2. OliverOSX93 macrumors regular

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    Accrington
    #2
    Not to sound snide but it's a little difficult to have a conversation when your grammar needs work. (you forgot a few words)

    This trend is viable with all computers. How many people still have a family (monitored) computer these days? Everyone is buying their children laptops before they are even out of nappies.
     
  3. iSayuSay thread starter macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

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    #3
    Sorry for my bad english :)
     
  4. OliverOSX93 macrumors regular

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    Accrington
    #4
    It's not too bad. At least your speaking English on an English forum. I know people on my street who live here (England) and refuse to speak English because they can get their documents (benefits, bank documents, etc) in Arabic and (I think) Swahili.


    Laptops are on the rise for the simple fact that you can use them on your bed/sofa
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #5
    Most people have only one computer. It's mainly us, geeks, who need/want more than one computer. When you have only one computer, the most obvious choice is a laptop because it's portable. There are always moments when portability is really needed, it's fairly rare that someone has only a desktop (although tablets and smartphones can be enough for on the go use).

    A decade ago, laptops were also much more expensive. Lets take for example the first gen iBook and the iMac at that time. iBook cost $1599 whereas the cheapest iMac was $999, and still faster than the iBook. Back then, laptops were nowhere near as portable as they are today so the idea of a portable computer was a bit moot. Factor in the battery life (what battery life? :D) and a laptop becomes fairly compromised machine.

    Nowadays, laptops are as cheap or even cheaper than desktop (although desktops offer more power). They have become extremely portable too, 13" MBP weighing only 5.6lb. Battery life is getting close to 10-hour mark so you can really use the laptop for whole day with a single charge.

    Laptops are also more than powerful enough for most consumers. One thing that has boosted laptop sales recently is the possibility of an external monitor. This gets you the best of both worlds: screen estate and portability.
     
  6. cube macrumors G5

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    #6
    Because Apple does not make reasonable desktops.
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #7
    The mac mini and iMac are very popular but many people prefer the mobility.

    Many students need a mobile computer and so laptops in general (not just apple's) are popular over desktops.
     
  8. iSayuSay thread starter macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

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    Feb 6, 2011
    #8
    Hmm .. reasonable?

    I think the price and performance is quite reasonable (MacPro seems crazy for most, but come on ... Apple use Xeon CPU and server RAM for it ... not exactly a consumer desktop unless you have some money to burn, or being paid and having job from it)

    Maybe you compare it to custom built tower? You can even upgrade your GPU with a cheapo $300 PC tower ... but hey ... you can also get a $600 Windows laptop which has equal spec as the basic MBP, right? (yeah .. not look as good or shiny as MBP though)
     
  9. cube macrumors G5

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    #9
    mini: minimization overkill
    iMac: built-in monitor
    Pro: component overkill
     
  10. rbrian macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

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    #10
    I sold my last desktop in 2004 if I recall correctly. I also sold the computer desk, the external speakers, all the extra paraphernalia, and ended up using my new laptop far more, on the sofa, in bed, at the kitchen table if I really needed a desk.

    It was the beginning of a radical downsizing, which has seen me sell my house for a small apartment, my car and motorcycle for a bicycle and a good pair of shoes, my bank balance from red to black.

    I could never go back to a desktop now - not least because I no longer have space for a dedicated desk. Ten years ago, desktops were far more powerful than laptops. Now, they're much of a muchness.
     
  11. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

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    #11
    As an average consumer (barely average :p) a laptop has more power than I will ever need.

    As pointed out, for the technologically sophisticated, which describes, I believe, the majority of the users of this site, a desktop is probably needed for the tasks in which they engage. Also, of course, people who make their living on a computer may need more speed or power than a laptop provides.

    But for "light users" like me ( surfing the net, email, word processing, various app usage, and the like) a laptop is more power than we will ever need. And it's portable.
     
  12. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

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    New Brunswick, Canada
    #12
    I think there would be a few reasons for this:

    1) A lot more students are buying macs nowadays and the desktops just don't suit their needs. They're big, take up a lot of space and can't be taken to class for notes and such.

    2) With laptop hardware getting better and better the average user doesn't need the kind of hardware in the desktop models so why not save the space and just have a laptop? I know several people who don't own a desktop computer anymore at all.

    It isn't just apple either. If you look at the sales numbers for any of the big name PC companies you'll see the same thing. There is a trend everywhere of people switching from desktop to laptop because of the convenience more than anything else.

    Personally I'm going the other way, ordered an iMac upgrade yesterday and will only be using my macbook for class in the fall. I need to do high end video editing though so a laptop just isn't really the kind of thing I need.
     
  13. RolandNights macrumors 6502a

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    California
    #13
    I shop around Best Buy often, and I'm sure what they carry in stock reflects purchasing trends of consumers. I'd say their the number of laptop models we have on display outnumber our desktops almost 4:1. (Side note: the rise of the tablet seems to have lead to their drop in netbook sales)

    Most commonly, people go directly to laptops. Portability is the first selling point. Many people take their laptops out of the confines of their own homes, but they do move the computer around all over the house. With things like wireless internet and wireless printing, they use their computers in bed, on the couch, at the dinner table, in the kitchen, or at a desk. College students also appreciate the portability because they can take a laptop to class AND it's easier to move from dorm to home to dorm to apartment, etc., etc.

    I'm assuming consumers buying iMacs value size, power, and don't need the portability. The question is, how many customers actually take advantage of that power? A large port of the computer-buyers won't. These users can easily say, "Whatever I can do on a desktop, I can do on a laptop AND it's portable." Need a bigger display? No problem, I'll connect it to another monitor or my TV. Unless I'm missing something, (and aside from hardware customizability), desktops need to offer something unique to this group if they're ever going to re-take the market.
     
  14. iSayuSay thread starter macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

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    #14
    Thanks for kind responses.

    Sure, laptop main benefit would be portability and use less energy than comparable desktop.

    But as recently .. among my friends who own a laptop, more than half of them hardly bring their laptop out anymore. They say it's too heavy and annoying to be carried around. In the end, they just keep their laptop around their room .. you know, like a desktop? :p

    And I think it's quite logical, although portable, laptops such MBP still quite prone to damage, you have to take care of them well when mobile, get a good thick laptop bag, or give it a protective layer or something.

    I mean, you see how lazy people can be today :D as ultra portable and mini computer begin to rise up on the market (i.e MBA, iPad or even iPod touch and iPhone) .. people tend to ask for something even lighter than laptop such as MBP, and MBP considered too heavy and less "portable" today.

    From that standpoint, still I don't get why desktop sales keep dropping off, as regular laptop such as MBP begin to be "less portable" than it used to, I think people should return to desktop as their main computer, and get another ultra light computer for mobile needs, no?

    Well the data I included on first post obviously count MBA as laptop sales, but at least in my environment, MBP still gain more popularity and almost no one care about iMac or MacMini. Maybe it's just me .. but I think they deserve better :(
     
  15. Young Spade macrumors 68020

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    #15
    I don't think you quite understand which direction the market is going right now. We're going to a more mobile age. Gone are the days where people sat at home and use desktop computers for work leisure or any other type of activity.

    I don't quite understand what you're trying to ask us. People don't use desktops anymore because there are large, bulky, and you can't transport them anywhere. People love going to coffee shops, hanging out with friends, and just doing whatever they want wherever they want.

    But I mean, it really depends on how well read You you are, where you are, and what type of work you do.
     
  16. therussell182 macrumors newbie

    therussell182

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    #16
    The answer is simple: The MacBook line has portability and major power with the physical tie down of a power cord.
     
  17. davidinva macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    I had desktops for years (MacPlus on up) and the last is a G4 (sitting under my desk still). When I got my MacBook, I hooked it up to my external monitor and keyboard and it works very well as a "desktop" and I can take it with me when needed. Convenience is the answer for me. (The G4 needs to go to a computer recycling place.)
     
  18. rbrian macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

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    #18
    I hardly take mine out either, but I use it on my lap, on the table, in bed. Can't do that with a desktop. Portability isn't just about going outside, it's about getting away from the desk. I don't even have a desk any more!
     
  19. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #19
    I agree here. MP is too pricy. I have no need for a display so no go on the imac and the mini is relatively underpowered for the price
     
  20. blackranger3d macrumors newbie

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    Jul 5, 2011
    #20
    Combination of

    - ability to be mobile
    - drastic increase in power over the last few years means that a very large portion of the market will be able to be served by its power.
    - Price
    - desktop foot print
     
  21. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

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    #21
    It's important to note that the second graph is very misguided, because it would only effectively show the trend assuming total sales were flat. However, you can see from the first chart that as total sales increase, laptop sales are increasing more than desktops, but desktops are also increasing. They're growing at a slower rate because laptops work well for an increasingly high number of uses, but iMacs in particular have still been selling well.

    jW
     
  22. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

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    #22
    Well as HH said it's basically portability

    But is also, thin and light, which is directly proportional to the direction Apple is going, thin and light.(wait until you see the new 15 & 17" MBP's coming soon).IMHO, I believe the 11" i7 /256 SSD may be the best thin and light Laptop ever made, I find it absolutely perfect,very fast.Too small, get the 13".
    MBA's rock, and they are the future:cool:
     
  23. JonasDK macrumors member

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    Denmark
    #23
    This. The ability to take it with you everywhere combined with the fact that the macbook-family covers most people's needs. And even if you should find yourself using your laptop as a desktop most of the time, you still at least have the opportunity to take it with you a lot easier if you want.

    I went with the iMac though :)
     
  24. Young Spade macrumors 68020

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    #24
    Recently thought about buying an iMac consent of the baseline MacBook Pro just buying and notebook or something to take with me to class.

    While playing games in boot camp, I would love the ability to have a discrete graphics card but I felt that in the end, I would end up regretting not having the portability.

    I would love to be able to pick up an iMac for free or something though :)
     
  25. Sequin macrumors regular

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    Mar 21, 2010
    #25
    I agree with this. If I am going to spend that much on a desktop, then I'll build my own. However, I can't exactly build my own laptop because it's based more on portability and design versus specs. I ended up splurging on a Macbook Pro because I was tired of owning a laptop that couldn't hold any sort of battery life and weighed a ton.
     

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