Mac sales plummet by almost 17%, NPD reports

But price cuts aren't the answer, says retail analyst

Apple Inc.'s retail sales, which fell by more than 5% in January, plummeted nearly 17% in February compared with the same month in 2008 as the company's high prices continued to take a toll, research company The NPD Group Inc. said Tuesday.

"They had a pretty crummy month," said NPD analyst Stephen Baker. "Some have noted that they had some tough year-to-year comparisons, but this is a little more concerning than just comparisons."

During February, Apple sold 16.7% fewer Macs than in February 2008, while PC sales, which account for the bulk of the computer market, were up a dramatic 22% year over year.

As he did last month, Baker blamed Apple's higher prices for its continuing sales slide. "I am concerned about their pricing. The [US]$999 MacBook doesn't seem to have generated better numbers for Apple in the under-$1,500 part of the market. It hasn't really done what they were looking for it to do."

In October, when Apple launched its new all-aluminum "unibody" laptops, it also lowered the price of the older plastic-cased MacBook by $100 to $999.

"That means one of two things," said Baker. "Either the $999 price isn't cheap enough, or Apple buyers are simply deferring their purchases."

The drop in Apple's sales was largely the result of a turnaround in the fortunes of its MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks, which had until last month continued to post year-over-year gains. As recently as December 2008, Apple had sold over 20% more laptops than the year before. But in February, Apple's laptop sales fell by 7.5% compared with the year before, according to NPD's data. "This is the first time that we've seen some negative on the notebook side," said Baker.

Apple's desktop sales, meanwhile, remained in a slump, with that slice of its market showing a 36.4% year-over-year decrease, an even poorer showing than January's downturn of 31.3%.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mac salesNPD

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

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?