Mac sales slow, Windows PC sales grow, says NPD

Apple's US retail sales down 1 percent in November from '07; Windows PCs up 7 percent

Mac retail sales in the US last month fell 1 percent from a year ago, even as sales of Windows PCs climbed 7 percent, market research company NPD Group reported Tuesday.

The downturn is a turnabout for Apple, which through October had managed to maintain growth significantly above the PC industry average, and if followed by soft sales this month could push the company to cut prices, said Stephen Baker of NPD Group.

"Apple's not immune to the economy," said Baker. "Nor is it immune to having an aged product line. The iMac is long in the tooth."

Buyers last month apparently agreed with that view. According to NPD Group's data, which includes data from both brick-and-mortar retail as well as some of the larger online stores, such as Amazon.com, sales of Apple's desktops plunged 38 percent in November compared to the same month the year before. Sales of desktop PCs equipped with Windows also fell, but were down just 15 percent.

"Their average desktop price is more than twice the industry average desktop price," said Baker, pointing out the relatively high prices for Apple's iMacs, which start at US$1,199. "If you look at Apple's product line, and ask, 'Where is the hole?' -- anybody will answer 'iMac,'" Baker added.

Apple's current iMac line is little changed from what the company rolled out in August 2007 when it last refreshed its desktops.

The bright spot for Apple was its laptops, which posted sales gains of 22 percent over November 2007, easily outpacing the 15 percent growth of Windows-based laptops.

"You never don't want to grow sales, but the thing to point out is that the models that generate 80 percent of Apple's volume, notebooks, were still growing 50 percent faster than the rest of the notebook market," Baker said.

Apple's share of retail laptop sales in the US also dropped in November from the month before, slipping to 14.8 percent from October's 20.9 percent. NPD Group credited the mid-October debut of the newest MacBooks and MacBook Pros with that month's strong showing.

To some degree, Baker said, Apple was a victim of timing as well as its sales traditions. "Some of this was a result of the calendar," Baker said, noting that "Black Friday" -- typically the day that Apple jump-starts sales with a one-day promotion -- arrived on Nov. 28 this year. "It was the very last week of the month," Baker noted, "so there were very few holiday sales in the month for Apple."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags PC sales

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?