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Domestic Mac sales flat in April, viewed as slight positive for Apple

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
The latest data from the NPD Group shows that domestic sales of Mac computers were about even year over year in the month of April, which one analyst interprets as potentially a positive sign for Apple.

MacBook Air


Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray revealed the latest figures from NPD in a note to investors on Monday. He said the fact that Mac sales were flat year over year is a neutral to slight positive sign for Apple.

Munster's own forecast has called for total worldwide Mac sales for the June quarter to be down about 5 percent year over year.

But because the NPD group tracks domestic sales, and a greater percentage of Macs are being sold overseas, Munster noted that it's becoming increasingly difficult to draw conclusions from the NPD's monthly tracking data.

For example, in the month of March, NPD saw U.S. Mac sales down 8 percent, while Apple's official numbers revealed worldwide sales were up 7 percent for the month. The NPD data has been off by more than 10 percentage points from Apple's official worldwide numbers in three of the last five months.

NPD


In addition, Munster said Macs are becoming a "less meaningful piece of the Apple story," as the company's profits are now largely driven by the iPhone and iPad. He also expects that the iPad will continue to cannibalize Mac sales.

For the remainder of 2013, Munster sees Apple's main catalyst becoming a low-cost iPhone, which he sees being launched before the year is out. He also continues to hold out hopes that Apple will introduce a full-fledged television set.

As for its Mac lineup, Apple is expected to introduce new notebooks featuring Intel's latest Haswell processors at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference in a matter of weeks. Last week, AppleInsider noted that reseller supply of some MacBook Air models has been dwindling ahead of the anticipated product refreshes.

New MacBook models would boost Mac sales for Apple, but the effect of a product launch may not be felt until after the June quarter concludes. Well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has signaled that new MacBook Air and disc-drive-equipped MacBook Pro models will become available before the end of June, while new Retina MacBook Pros will reportedly arrive at a later date.
post #2 of 15
I'm sure Business Insider will spin this as "Mac sales flat as Windows 8 surges" headline.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #3 of 15

I'll bet Windows 8 based PCs dropped off a cliff.

post #4 of 15
"He also expects that the iPad will continue to cannibalize Mac sales."
I know a lot of people who've bought iPads. And none of them were about to buy a Mac. So here's some anecdotal evidence against the cannibalization hypothesis.
post #5 of 15
I don't think Macs are 'a less meaningful piece of the Apple story' at all. This statement is akin to those meaningless discussions about whether Apple is a hardware or a software company, when the truth is that for Apple the two are inextricably and symbiotically linked.

The flourishing iOS market encourages Mac sales, and vice-versa.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeaEarleGreyHot View Post

"He also expects that the iPad will continue to cannibalize Mac sales."
I know a lot of people who've bought iPads. And none of them were about to buy a Mac. So here's some anecdotal evidence against the cannibalization hypothesis.

well, maybe not cannabalism, but my ipad is providing some nourishment while I wait out for the new crop of MacBooks/MBAs.    My MBP was a 'gift' to my wife as her macbook became non portable (cracked case, no battery).   I'm living with an iPad2 and a bluetooth keyboard.   I'm hacking it well, and not coding during meetings;-)

 

Eventually, I sense a day when the iPad(5) will be my 'home' computer, and my laptop my 'everywhere else' (plus iPhone) system, and my Mini will evaporate as a useful platform once iCloud actually does something functional;-)

post #7 of 15

It just makes my blood boil when I read such bullshit and stupidity.

"Less meaningful part of Apple history" as "it doesn't matter than much and they don't care"? You f*cking moron.

 

Who here is going to tell to that piece of trash that if "macs don't matter", since Apple makes more from macs than the top PC OEMs combined from PCs and are the only ones innovating in the computer arena since 98, all that wintel and oem empire doesn't matter as well?

 

The Mac business was never as good and relevant. They own the PC industry. It won't go away, it will only get better.

post #8 of 15
Soon to be read headline: "Apple sold not a single Apple ][ in the past 20 years. Microsoft, meanwhile, has sold thousands of Windows Phones."
post #9 of 15
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post
Soon to be read headline: "Apple sold not a single Apple ][ in the past 20 years. Microsoft, meanwhile, has sold thousands of Windows Phones."

 

"The iPad must therefore be doomed."

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #10 of 15

Count me in as one of the domestic types that bought a computer in April. I have a weakness for craving beautiful things and could not resist purchasing my first iMac in 10 years.  

post #11 of 15

I am looking forward to buying a Mac Pro this year. My iMac is the late-2009 model with the Core 2 Duo chip and may not be able to run the next OSX iteration. I have also noticed how much slower it is in some tasks compared to my MBP and MacMini for obvious reasons (both are I7 models). I plan to get into video editing soon so rather than upgrade to the next iMac, I think a Mac Pro makes more sense.

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

Soon to be read headline: "Apple sold not a single Apple ][ in the past 20 years. Microsoft, meanwhile, has sold thousands of Windows Phones."

You forgot:

"Analysts calling for Apple to update aging Apple ][ design".
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #13 of 15

I find it kind of funny from my personal POV. I'll explain why...

 

While too late for the April figures, in early May I finally saved my pennies and bought a 15" MBP. But, that's not what makes it so funny. What does is the following

--

 

My wife recently lost her old-but-usable HP laptop in a coffee-related incident. When we went out to get her a replacement, she emphatically told me "I don't want you to interfere this time - this is my decision" (I'm a sysadmin, she's decidedly not a geek of any sort, I maintain all the household computer gear, but okay... let her have her way.)

 

She wanted another Windows-based laptop. So, we go to the mall to two different big-name computer stores (my first suggestion of Newegg was summarily ignored.)

 

Nothing but Windows 8 machinery as far as the eye can see at the first store... At first she says "ooh, pretty!", but five minutes after trying one, she finds herself thoroughly disgusted with Windows 8. Hates it to the core of her very being. She asks the sales-critter if there are any Windows 7 laptops to be had. The answer was "I'm sorry, but no one sells Windows 7 laptops anymore" (my semi-subtle *cough*bullsh!t*cough* response only got me a dirty look from both her and the sales-critter, and I was gently reminded by the missus --again-- that I was not to interfere.) She smiles at the sales-critter and says "I'll try the other stores. Thank you."

 

We go to store #2, same results. This time, I bust in and suggest that maybe we could buy a laptop and put Windows 7 on it. The sales critter in this case responded with the biggest line of - well, he said "no, it wouldn't be compatible. You have to buy Windows 8." I nearly bit my tongue in half while keeping "you lying sack of..."  from escaping. My wife's response: "But Windows 8 sucks! I want Windows 7." The sales-critter responds with a rather arrogant discussion of how even a toddler could figure out how to use Windows 8, how it was oh-so-wonderful to use, how she really should try harder to like it, and... 

 

...my wife exploded. You just don't tell a 6' 2" Army veteran that a toddler can out-do her on a computer - she focused on nothing else he said. She called the sales-critter a few names I'd rather not reprint here, and stormed out of the store, nearly shouting that she was on her way to the Apple Store, and how she could install Windows 7 on a "Mac Laptop", etc. I just smiled at the sales-critter, said "damn - that was a ton of money on the table, dude", then I followed the path the missus took.

 

She cools down, then finally gives in and asks me to help directly. I gently walked her to the Apple store, and explain that yes, you can put Windows 7 on one if you want to. We find a free sales lady, and the two started looking at MBPs. This time I hang back and just watch - no need for me to answer any tech questions. My missus then says something about ithe MBP being too pricey for just surfing the web and doing facebook/email/etc, but she wanted something powerful enough to run Dragon (speech-to-text thingy she uses). The sales lady then said "well why not try out an iPad with the Pages app and Text-To-Speech - I can show you how it works if you'd like, then we can go from there." She shows the missus how it works, explains that a wireless keyboard can be used for typing, and how the thing is uber-portable. The missus plays with it for a bit and falls in love with the thing. An hour later, we walk to the car with a 32gb Wifi iPad, a bluetooth keyboard, and a nice case to hold the thing. 

 

It's been almost a month, and she's never looked back - she uses the iPad for everything now. 

 

--

 

So - how does this relate to sales numbers? Well, it's anecdotal sure, but it illustrates exactly why Munster is kind of right... Most folks don't need a laptop for what they do (let alone a fire-breather like the MBP which I crammed to the rafters with RAM and disk). A tablet works for a huge chunk of use cases in the consumer realm - perhaps not the majority, but certainly enough to make a very noticeable dent in the sales of desktops and laptops.

 

To top it off, the sheer ease with which my missus took to the iPad illustrates why most folks emphatically do not want to waste a ton of time learning a whole new OS paradigm on their desk/laptop just to hit facebook, read email, or play an occasional game.

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifij775 View Post

I'll bet Windows 8 based PCs dropped off a cliff.

 

They likely did, but thanks to the way Microsoft sells every Windows license as a "Windows $latest" no matter what OS version the license is eventually used for, it's easy to hide disappointing sales numbers. 

 

This is why MSFT can claim they shipped 100 million "Windows 8 licenses", even though only ~50% were actual Windows 8 activations, and the majority of that percentage is likely still sitting in-channel at Dell, HP, Samsung, et al.

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifij775 View Post

I'll bet Windows 8 based PCs dropped off a cliff.

 

Most did, except Lenovo, which reported record sales and earnings last night...

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