U.S. Mac sales down 1%

U.S. Mac sales down 1%

Summary: It appears that Apple may not be recession-proof after all.According to research firm NPD Group Inc.


[Chart]It appears that Apple may not be recession-proof after all.

According to research firm NPD Group Inc., November Macs sales in U.S. stores declined 1% from a year ago, while industry-wide PC sales rose 2%.

In a piece for the Wall Street Journal NPD analyst Steve Baker blamed a 35% drop in sales of desktop Macs, noting growth in Apple's laptops still outpaced rivals. Goldman Sachs analyst David Bailey threw fuel on the fire and cut his estimate for Apple's 2009 profit, noting that Apple faces "a tougher environment" in the first two quarters of next year, when he believes consumer demand will further deteriorate.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster still expects Apple to outpace the market over the next year noting that "What you're seeing in the numbers is price sensitivity with the consumer." The WSJ piece also notes the falling prices of Windows-based PCs, and the proliferation of low-priced computers (like netbooks) may be cutting into Apple's sales.

Topics: Apple, Enterprise Software, Hardware

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  • Well

    It seems obvious that a recession will lower the amount of disposable income many people have. If they must buy a computer, many will go for the cheaper option. It's certainly not surprising.
  • Tapped out upper end?

    Until we get to the tail end of the current recession
    which could be 12 months or more away, there's no way
    to tell if reduced spending is the only cause. One can
    argue that Apple products, while at the top of
    usability and design, are representative of the
    consumer driven culture we've created over the last
    10-15 years. In the future, slow economic growth is
    going to help ensure a company that provides what
    consumers want and need at the right price will have
    greater market share gains. As such, this is a good
    sign for Linux and Microsoft both. Flaming aside,
    these two O/S's do a very good job at providing solid
    design and innovation. While Linux is free, creating a
    very compelling case, Windows when combined with a
    range of hardware choices from low to high-end
    provides great value to the customer as well.
    Personally, I think M$ will do extremely well if they
    do the follow three things:

    Deliver an outstanding W7 that corrects all of the
    faults of Vista, which from my use over the past year
    should not be difficult to do.
    Likewise, deliver a highly compelling WM7 release with
    strong Zune integration with deeper collaboration on
    device design at no more than $250 for a consumer
    centric phone.
    Start advertising the hell out of their products.

    None of these goals should be hard for M$ to deliver
  • Gee...what a surprise!

    With the cheapest laptop USD$999.00...and the cheapest desktop USD$1,199.00...it's no wonder their sales have fallen.

    And don't anyone bother "remind" me about the Mac Mini. With a monitor, keyboard and mouse it's USD$1,296.00. Kind of useless without them. And NO...not everyone has a monitor, keyboard and mouse floating around their house to use with the bare box.
    • I do

      I have several. Let me know and I will send you a couple.
    • Read the article referenced for this blog

      The WSJ article says that growth of
      Apple notebooks outpaced PC notebook
      growth. The problem was in desktop
      Mac sales.

      Consumers buy far more notebooks,
      Mac or PC, than desktops, and Apple
      has a higher percentage of notebook
      buyers than its competitors. Mac
      desktops are more prevalent in business
      and schools - both of which are cutting
      back on expenditures at this time.
      • Oh the choices on the Desktop

        You could get a 2600 XT series ATI which was crap
        2600 Pro series of ATI which was still crap. But if you decide that you want to kick some serious butt, you can get an nVidia 8800GS which is only 2 Generations old and mediocre at best.

        Now, I know this is all the iMac, let's consider the alternatives in the Mac world. There is the Mac Pro which starts with a 2600 XT, (Where have I heard that before?) But then we top out at an 8800GT, better than the GS, but still not over the top.

        Lastly we have the Mac Mini, where we have decided that Intel should be allowed to develop a graphics chip set. One thing about the PC industry that Apple as been slow to adopt is abandoning the Intel Graphics cards.
  • RE: U.S. Mac sales down 1%

    I would love to have a 1% fall in computers with a huge profit margin, rather than a 2% rise in sales where you incur a loss with every sale!

    The good thing about PC prices is that to restore profit the hardware companies HAVE to cut Microsoft's profit from the picture. Yeah!
  • May be misleading

    As bad news this could be greatly misleading. Read this take on the data in Fortune's web site:

  • RE: U.S. Mac sales down 1%

    Well, DUH!
    When less people have less money and less people will buy anything.
    Apple is not recession proof and no honest industry is. Apple is just slow showing the signs of the recession but will feel it also.
    The key the word is "honest". Any company can fudge its books to make it's bottom line look good but eventually reality will catch up and be like the mortgage crisis.
  • 1 Percent... The sky is falling !!!

    Oh noes!
  • The product line up sucks.

    I am not surprised. I have tried to purchase a Macbook air
    for the last 6 weeks. Apple only offers me a 1.8 and I need
    the 1.6. Their comment wait till next year... So I switched
    my attention to a new Macbook or Macbook pro. But
    nobody can explain to me why I should buy one. Normally I
    buy a new laptop every 15 months. So I have a Macbook
    Pro 17" which has the very same processor as the current
    model, the same harddisk, and I upgraded the memory to
    4GB when I purchased it. 16 months later they offer me
    the very same machine, same price with one less USB and
    one less Firewire port, I am forced to buy a lousy screen
    that works as a mirror. I have the money to buy, Apple
    simply lacks the products. There is no reason to let a
    customer wait for two months on an pricey Macbook air.
    The bottom line is that instead of buying from Apple I am
    irritated and I will explore other options now. The same
    goes for the new cinema display, who on earth offers a
    new cinema display (also over here still not available) but
    does not deliver adapters to connect to other machines. I
    refuse to buy one cinema display for an air and one for a
    17" Macbook pro. Jobs obviously lost it or he believes in fairy tales. His product line up is not the best ever, it