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Mac growth running out of steam as 'switcher' motivation diminishes - report

post #1 of 112
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The Mac could become a victim of Apple's own success, according to one analyst, who points to the company's superior design aesthetic, along with the popularity of the iPhone and iPad, as reasons for stagnation in Mac sales growth.



Mac shipments are still declining more slowly than the overall PC market. But they are still declining ? a fact that analyst Charlie Wolf of Needham & Co. believes may be attributable to the Mac's "wow factor" gradually fading.

As a result, the Mac lineup may no longer be attracting many new "switcher" customers from Microsoft's Windows platform, Wolf said in his latest "Digital Lifestyle" report, provided to AppleInsider this week.

Overall shipments of PCs shrank 11.3 percent in the second quarter of this year. Meanwhile, the popularity of Apple's iPad has helped turn it into the world's largest PC manufacturer when iPads are included.

But the Mac has shrunk to just 20 percent of Apple's total PC shipments, when including the iPad.

Wolf points out that Mac sales have been outgrowing PC sales since around 2005, when Apple's iPod ruled the MP3 player market. The "halo effect" from the iPod ? and, later, the iPhone and iPad ? got consumers interested in Apple's other products, and buyers of the iPod and iPhone sometimes went on to become buyers of the Mac.

Wolf estimates that more than 40 million Windows users have switched to the Mac since 2005, a figure twice the size of the Mac installed base at the beginning of that period. Surveys conducted by Needham & Co. found that about 15 percent of iPhone- or iPad-owning Windows users actually go on to purchase a Mac, while 20 percent would consider switching.

The effect may have been greater in the past, Wolf said, when the quality gap between the Windows experience and the Mac OS experience was greater. PC designs, though, have become "satisfactory for the 'jobs to be done'," and the PC market is struggling as a result.

But at the same time, Apple's hardware and software advantages on the Mac platform may not appear quite as overwhelming as they did years ago, Wolf believes. He suggested that could lead some potential switchers to either stick with their current devices or to simply upgrade within the Windows ecosystem.

The report points to "both the ultimate desktop and notebook computers," Apple's iMac and MacBook Air, as initially engendering that "wow factor." In the time since those devices' introductions, though, Apple has been gradually improving their functionality and honing their designs, but with little in the way of massive upgrades:

"[T]he incremental improvements seem to have added little to the luster of the original models. While we believe the superiority of Macs over PCs continues, the shipment data suggest that Windows users' motivation to switch may have diminished.

Apple?s challenge as we see it is to continue to introduce compelling new versions of iMacs and MacBooks. But that?s a tall order given that the company has already introduced what in our view are virtually the 'perfect' machines for the PC market."



The report also acknowledges that Apple continues to generate the lion's share of profit in the PC market. Apple's Mac lineup generates more profits than the top five PC makers in the world combined, according to a recent analysis. The company also continues to dominate in a number of segments, with its MacBook Air line taking 56 percent of its market section and the iMac continuing to set the pace for all-in-one desktop PC design.
post #2 of 112
Blah, blah, blah...

Aha! I see it's jump on the bandwagon and dump on Apple day again. Stock down 2.5% as of this moment...all of course based on nothing. Ha!

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post #3 of 112

lol. Sure this isn't a Scoopertino story?

post #4 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

lol. Sure this isn't a Scoopertino story?

More like a "pooper scooper" story. 1biggrin.gif

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post #5 of 112
I just switched from a G4 Power Mac to a Mac Mini. Switching still happens, just depends on how it is defined.
post #6 of 112
Well the screw up iMac launch followed by a slow year of Mac refreshes so far will account for the sales slump.

The new lineup should be very strong, expecting a nice uptick in sales from October through December.
iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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post #7 of 112
So basically he's saying computers are so good now and last so long people don't feel the need to upgrade as often. To which I would reply: no shit.
post #8 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Mac shipments are still declining more slowly than the overall PC market. But they are still declining ? a fact that analyst Charlie Wolf of Needham & Co. believes may be attributable to the Mac's "wow factor" gradually fading.

You're sure this is the factor? Not that Macs last longer than PeeCee's? Ah, ok, Switchers. Well, I for one like my niche, I like my niche very much.

edit: 'pipped' by walletinspector - you just made my point. Darn, what took you so long?
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
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I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
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post #9 of 112

no games.... no fun...

post #10 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by walletinspector View Post

I just switched from a G4 Power Mac to a Mac Mini. Switching still happens, just depends on how it is defined.

Last time I upgraded, I moved from Mac Pro to iMac and I didn't feel I got a lesser computer for having done so. My iMac is my all-time favorite Apple computer, right next to my Quadra 840AV. I'm really interested in the new Mac Pro, but I doubt I need that much power again.

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post #11 of 112

pretty chart and analysis pulled out of a dark place.

"Building for the future?! They should be running around reacting to the present!" -John Moltz
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"Building for the future?! They should be running around reacting to the present!" -John Moltz
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post #12 of 112
Apple doesn't need to upgrade their lines as fast as a PC company, but they are waiting too long between upgrades on the Mac line. The iMac is a classic example - why wait as long as they do before upgrading when a new chip is out.

Apple has also fallen behind their previous pace when it comes to consumer software. iWork and iLife are two critical products that can be used to get potential customers to switch. When was the last time that iWork was updated - not counting the cloud?

Now FileMaker is dropping Bento - a reasonably decent consumer database. What do you think the odds are that Apple will bring Bento in-house and use it to boost the desirability of iWork?

The irritating thing is that Apple has the money to maintain a strong development staff for consumer apps - and that is where some money should be spent. Especially since you can tie consumers to three Apple platforms if you keep those suites fresh.
Ken
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post #13 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


Last time I upgraded, I moved from Mac Pro to iMac and I didn't feel I got a lesser computer for having done so. My iMac is my all-time favorite Apple computer, right next to my Quadra 840AV. I'm really interested in the new Mac Pro, but I doubt I need that much power again.

 

Ditto for me (plus I couldn't wait almost a year for the new Mac Pro).  While I certainly could have made use of the new Pro's horsepower, the Core i7 iMac w/ Fusion drive is no slouch.

 
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post #14 of 112

Oh, it's official then? APPLE IS DOOMED

post #15 of 112
Maybe its time to lower prices :-)
post #16 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by dillio View Post

They really need another campaign, like they had during Vista, to point out the problems with Windows 8 and 8.1. I wonder why Apple marketing has been silent on this.

Word of mouth and "halo effect" sales are the most effective form of selling. I'm not concerned...especially with anything Wolf cries.

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post #17 of 112
Apple doesn't care if you switch from Windows to Mac or from Windows to iOS.
Either way, Microsoft is losing users and Apple is gaining.

I think Mavericks and iOS 7 is going to do a lot to further distinguish Apple's dual-platform strategy vs. Microsoft's "no compromises" one platform strategy.
post #18 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenaustus View Post

Apple doesn't need to upgrade their lines as fast as a PC company, but they are waiting too long between upgrades on the Mac line. The iMac is a classic example - why wait as long as they do before upgrading when a new chip is out.

Apple has also fallen behind their previous pace when it comes to consumer software. iWork and iLife are two critical products that can be used to get potential customers to switch. When was the last time that iWork was updated - not counting the cloud?

Now FileMaker is dropping Bento - a reasonably decent consumer database. What do you think the odds are that Apple will bring Bento in-house and use it to boost the desirability of iWork?

The irritating thing is that Apple has the money to maintain a strong development staff for consumer apps - and that is where some money should be spent. Especially since you can tie consumers to three Apple platforms if you keep those suites fresh.

iMac is maybe 25% of apple's computer sales. this is why the MBA and MBP get more attention.

post #19 of 112
Maybe it is time to advertise Macs
post #20 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenaustus View Post

When was the last time that iWork was updated - not counting the cloud?

 

It's obvious they're focusing all of their effort on the iOS and cloud versions.

 
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post #21 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Blah, blah, blah...

Aha! I see it's jump on the bandwagon and dump on Apple day again. Stock down 2.5% as of this moment...all of course based on nothing. Ha!

 

Stocks dropped 2.7% coz of the emotional constipation Apple investors suffer from fueled by the market :) No big deal !

post #22 of 112
This is a little like saying Ford, circa 1910, is in trouble because they aren't selling as many horse-drawn carriages. Now, I don't think the laptop will completely go away . . . of course, neither have horse-drawn carriages.

To pretend the tablet or iOS doesn't exist is folly.
Edited by Ulfhednar - 8/27/13 at 10:55am
post #23 of 112
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

It's obvious they're focusing all of their effort on the iOS and cloud versions.

 

Also desktop, which is receiving an update between September 21 and December 21.

post #24 of 112
Even though new ones were just around the corner I had to upgrade and old iMac and an old Mini with new 21.5" iMacs. Ugh! What a delight they are.
PC users will not upgrade to Win8 unless they absolutely have to and then they might as well go Apple. I see it happen in my real estate office all the time.
post #25 of 112
So Apple's iPhones and iPads are eating into Mac profits? So what? If a product from another competitor would do that, they would be saying the exact same thing. So the fact that at least it's Apple's other products doing it doesn't make these a$$hat analysts stop for a moment to think "Gee, at least the money is still staying with Apple"?

Unfrickenbelievable.
post #26 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by xZu View Post

no games.... no fun...

Not that I agree with it but the future is pretty clear.

http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/07/24/ea-making-more-money-through-apples-ios-app-store-than-its-own-origin-service

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“What would I do? I’d shut Apple down and give the money back to the shareholders”

Michael Dell - 1997

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post #27 of 112

This is a typical investor opportunity trick. Say something bad about a company that's about to bring out new products which have the potential in driving the stock up, advice your cronies to invest when the stock tanks, reap the benefits when the new products hit the shelves.

bb
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post #28 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikilok View Post

 

Stocks dropped 2.7% coz of the emotional constipation Apple investors suffer from fueled by the market :) No big deal !

macro market behavior today.   does not have anything to do with Apple.

"Building for the future?! They should be running around reacting to the present!" -John Moltz
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"Building for the future?! They should be running around reacting to the present!" -John Moltz
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post #29 of 112
Where's the chart or statistic for people who have switched from Windows to iPad? I ask because I have at least six friends who, after buying iPads, tossed their Windows laptops in the computer recycling bin.
post #30 of 112

Apple outdoing themselves and superseding their own creations (in quality and desirability) is not a problem. 

 

It's a typical "Apple problem." Something Apple's competitors would love to have. 

post #31 of 112
It's just a lop sided article when it could have been quite interesting.

"Mac has shrunk to 20% of apple" - you don't get much more misleading than that.

I would like to know how the revised air with the extra extra battery life is doing and how other haswell pcs compare. I'm loving my 11" air, the battery makes a hell of a difference and with mavericks battery saving tricks around the corner it will be really interesting to see how it increases the performance further.

Pcs have had it - Microsoft really messed up with their desktop/tablet one size fits all windows 8. Now pcs are also tablets and notebooks all rolled into one....it's messy innovation that's not working or delivering.

I've got a pc too (which I use under the tele for games with steam)...,and although windows 8.1 is better....it's just not all there. I've got the preview - took 2 weeks for them to sort out the wireless - couldn't connect my keyboard. Clever chaps.

Apple has been saying for years that it is a post pc era, but like everyone has said here already - too many factors around mac launches both last year and this to really know how the mac is performing. My guess is if its showing as slightly declining the truth in the bigger picture will show it's still growing despite a changing market.

What is switch and how you accurately measure that is something id love them to explain.
post #32 of 112
These guys can't assume that every PC sale lost is converted to a Mac sale. If PC sales are declining faster than Mac sales, it means either people are not upgrading as often, or they are replacing their PCs with something else *cough* iPad *cough*.

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #33 of 112

I can completely see a good chunk of those who would have switched to a Mac, switching to an iPad instead. This phenomenon has already been underway to whatever degree since 2010. 

post #34 of 112
Stupid argument. Mac sales are down because all PC sales are down. This is the post-PC era. People buy iPads now instead.
post #35 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by walletinspector View Post

I just switched from a G4 Power Mac to a Mac Mini. Switching still happens, just depends on how it is defined.

That's not how it's defined.

 

I imagine most "switchers" are moving to mobile devices.

post #36 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Also desktop, which is receiving an update between September 21 and December 21.

 

Interesting.  I wonder if they'll be mostly web based (with the missing features implemented natively)?  If the iCloud version is truly that good (at least, in the latest OS X version of Webkit), then it wouldn't make sense to maintain both native and web-based versions.

 
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post #37 of 112
I believe when the new MacPro is released we will see a surge of purchases by content creators. It'll be like a tank showing up at a pen-knife fight. The small devices -- from the MacBooks to the iPod Touches have increased the incidence of creative projects, but the emergence of the MacPro will increase the vitality of creative projects. No matter how small and powerful computers become, the human mind is still faster and desires more. The MacPro will rush into that unrecognized (except by Apple visionaries) gaping hole.
post #38 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Also desktop, which is receiving an update between September 21 and December 21.

 

Tallest, what knowledge do you have that this is the case?  Just curious as to why you said that.

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post #39 of 112
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

Interesting.  I wonder if they'll be mostly web based (with the missing features implemented natively)?  If the iCloud version is truly that good (at least, in the latest OS X version of Webkit), then it wouldn't make sense to maintain both native and web-based versions.

 

The only thing I care about is that all three versions get EFFING FEATURE PARITY. It's nonsense that they've never been 1:1 on iOS and OS X. Now adding a third "version" into the mix is totally unApple. I don't want to see effing file errors when moving between "iWork" and "iWork".

 

Originally Posted by Mike Eggleston View Post

Tallest, what knowledge do you have that this is the case?  Just curious as to why you said that.


They said iWork's getting an update this fall, and that's fall. About as specific as Apple ever is, really. 1tongue.gif When they say "a June release", they generally mean June 30.

post #40 of 112

Walt and Tim already addressed this topic at All Things D:

http://allthingsd.com/20130123/apple-ceo-dont-fear-cannibalization-embrace-it/

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