iPad: The new halo for the Mac?

iPad: The new halo for the Mac?

Summary: Some industry watchers keep questioning whether the Mac has benefited from a "halo effect" from the iPhone. In spite of the naysayers, I suggest that yes, Mac sales bounced from iPhone sales, and history will repeat itself with the iPad.


Some industry watchers keep questioning whether the Mac has benefited from a "halo effect" from the iPhone. In spite of the naysayers, I suggest that yes, Mac sales bounced from iPhone sales, and history will repeat itself with the iPad.

In a BNET article from earlier in the month, Eric Sherman said there is no global iPhone Halo since the Mac share is flat worldwide. He based his figures on various geographic and market segment data from Gartner.

If anything, the progress on the commercial end seems to be trending down slightly, while consumer purchases as a share of all PC units bought globally have been flat. Taking the U.S. separately, as Gartner did, may show a stronger market, but only domestically. Apple would appear to have significant room for sales improvement elsewhere in the world.

That fact counters the assumption that the iPhone has delivered a strong halo effect for other Apple products globally, though there does seem to be some tie between increasing handset sales and increased purchases of Macs

Sherman discounts data of Web browser usage and even Apple's own quarterly reports that might offer a different picture. The question is whether there's evidence of more Macs and Mac shipments.

I can understand the reluctance to use Web browser stats to determine market share, but certainly, this data can show trends over time. W3Schools.com offers quarterly records going back to 2002. I plugged them into a spreadsheet. The results are clear below:

It's easy to see an uptick following the introduction of the iPhone. Yes, it's browser stats, but certainly an increase in the browser use must be from more Macs.

Late last week, Andy Zaky on Bullish Cross predicted that 2010 will be a banner year for Apple.

After taking a look at patterns in consumer behavior for Apple’s various operating segments, I’m looking for Apple to do roughly $63.459 billion in revenue in 2010 driven largely by staggering iPhone, Mac, iPad and iPod sales. That’s an explosive 47.91 percent rise in revenue from the $42.905 billion recorded in 2009. Not bad for a mega-cap tech company that currently holds the second largest market cap among U.S. publicly traded companies.

In a post filled with charts and stats, Zaky includes a chart showing Mac quarterly sales since 2007. Mac sales jumped following the introduction of the iPhone. Here are the Q1 units shipments:

2007 - 1,606 2008 - 2,319 2009 - 2,524 2010 - 3,362

In his calculations for 2010, Zaky says that Mac sales may be diminished by the iPad.

Also, one must consider that Macintosh sales will be somewhat affected by iPad cannibalization. Sure it will probably be pretty negligible, but the concern does exist. Thus, we take 15 percent of 3,100,000 units to get us to a rough first call estimate of 3,565,000 units. As we get data in Q4, those estimates will obviously change. Who knows though? I’ve seen scenarios where my first call doesn’t change in any meaningful way, and are pretty in-line with final results as consumer behavior tends to be more predictable than many really believe it to be. While the past doesn’t really predict the future, sometimes behavior can – history does often times repeat itself.

I see the iPad influence differently. The iPad will function as another halo for the Mac in the Windows market. Just as we saw with the iPhone, the iPad will drive Mac sales.

Topics: iPhone, Apple, Enterprise Software, Hardware, iPad, Mobility

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  • Real life example of this

    I have to concur. Just last Friday I was speaking with a colleague of mine who was asking me about the "whole iPad thing". He's a tried and true PC guy but admits the iPad is cool. The only thing holding him back was the lack of support for Flash as all he really wanted it for was to manage his facebook account and play Farmville (flash based online). When I informed him of the many games and apps available on the iPad, including a native rendition of Farmville, he was sold. To date, not an unlikely story, but what follows is what shocked me a little.

    After accepting my arguments and deciding to go ahead with the iPad purchase, he proceeded to tell me how he would purchase an iPad and a MacBook, and he'll be happy. Confused, I told him, the MacBook wasn't a requirement for owning an iPad, I told him iTunes on windows will work fine with it, but his response was the following.

    "I've got money to spend, if I'm going to buy an iPad, I'm going to get a MacBook as well".

    Seems, those with disposable income tend to buy into, not only, the iPad, but the whole Apple ecosystem.

  • No Mac for me

    The iPad is great, I'll buy one (not 1st gen, however) but my iPad purchase would not translate into a Mac buy.

    One overpriced device is enough.
    • Overpriced? They don't offer low end configs

      @tricktytom: Apple does not offer low end configs with Athlon processors or single core intel chips nor do they offer boxes that you can build up yourself. If you compare Apples with apples, a base mac pro comes out cheaper than a similarly configured Dell workstation. Keep in mind that the Mac Pro is a workstation and it uses Xeon processors instead of desktop processor and ECC ram so trying to compare it to a consumer desktop box with a Core 2 duo is hardly a fair comparison. Another thing to consider is that macs hold their value really well whereas PCs are a dime a dozen so good luck reselling your used PC for any price. Mac software also tends to not be a bloated as windows software so your mac purchase will last you for several years down the road.<br><br>Lack of customization is another argument I often hear from PC users but it is actually easier to customize a mac than a PC. Google "Candybar" (dock and icon replacement), "Geektool" (scripts on the desktop), "Ravissant" (login customization). If you just want to replace individual icons with a custom one, you can just "paste" it onto the drive/folder/app in the info window and "cut" to revert to the original.

      You don't need any of that software and you can just hack the files yourself but those tools offer a safe backup to restore from.
      • RE: iPad: The new halo for the Mac?

        Well said. Mac products when compared spec for spec with the competition are about the same price as say, Dell products, or HP.
        People will all too often compare the starting at price, of a Dell 15" Latitude laptop with a MacBook Pro, where instead they should be comparing Dell's higher line, Precision workstation laptops.
      • I don't own a Mac, but I have been saying...

        @aristotle_z... the same thing for a while now that when you compare the specs the cost is close to a wash, yes they don't make entry level stuff, and to be honest I have never been happy with the entry level stuff, I always seem to run into a wall, which is why I always go into a higher line.

        Grant it this isn't true for all consumers. Some consumers don't need the hardware capabilities of a MBP or MP or even an iMac. Some are probably happy enough with the off the shelf Walmart $300 special, which they will bring into me in a year, and say what's wrong with it. To which I will say, nothing, other than it is a $300 walmart special, that has no warranty, here is what it will cost to fix it.
  • The iPhone provides the halo to the iPad

    Look at the sales - moving more than a million a month and it's still restricted in the number of countries it's sold in.

    Might because a lot of iPhone/touch owners already know how to use it. And it is far, far easier to use than a full blown computer for many consumers.

    As far as the halo for Macs go, walk by an Apple Store and glance in. You'll see people around the iPad, but they also stroll around the iMacs, iPhones, etc. Apple has a nice spot for kids to play on an iMac while Mom & Dad make a decision on what to get.

    The iPad, like the iPhone & touch are drawing consumers into the Apple community. That's huge in any industry.
  • RE: iPad: The new halo for the Mac?

    Sure there will be continued halo effect! I've yet to see an Apple store that wasn't swarming with people. And we know over half of the consumers walking into those stores are new to the Apple world. The more consumer visit their stores the better chance they have of selling more computers/ laptops (Halo). Seriously what's there to dispute? <br><br>As I've said before, I think the introduction of the iPad will forced Apple to do what they do best, innovate their Mac line (if they haven't already started). Apple do not allow their products to get cannibalized unless it's planed (iPod classic < iPod Touch).
  • RE: iPad: The new halo for the Mac?

    I also wonder about the other way around. When I lived in Japan, I converted 5 people to a Mac. True, people with high disposable incomes, and their PCs were on their last legs. Some people ended up buying multiple Macs. I moved back to the U.S. and got the original iPhone about 3 days after it came out (but I've been using Macs since 1989). When the iPhone came out in Japan, it was the 3G and everyone of them bought the iPhone. To appreciate that, Japan has an unbelievable assortment of handsets available from all makers. When I lived there I had two handsets.
  • RE: iPad: The new halo for the Mac?

    I've gone the other way; when the iPad grows up it'll be a real computer rather than neat gadget. I bought a new MacBook Pro recently because I liked the look of the new series - nothing to do with i*