Originally Posted by nht
Citation needed. If this is true why does the mini consistently sell more on Amazon than the iMac? 150 strikes me as low.
Apple split out the desktop and laptop numbers in 2012 in their SEC filing and it was 75% laptop, 25% desktop and every filing since, they say the numbers have moved more to portables and they stopped splitting them out. The desktop ASP was $1300, which points to a higher purchase price. Tim Cook reported that the ~2-2.5 month iMac delay in late 2012 caused a 700,000 unit shortfall:
That was when they sold 4.1m Macs vs 5.2m the previous year. This means they should have sold 4.8m Macs, at least 75% of those would be laptops and at least 700k iMacs. This leaves 1.2m - 0.7m = 0.5m to be split between Mac Pro and mini. But, that assumes that they didn't sell any iMacs, which wasn't the case and it assumes desktops still hold 25% but they've been noted to slip further. If you assume the iMac would be 3/2.5 x 700k = 840k, this leaves 360k between mini and Pro.
Computer ownership surveys have put the mini and Pro very close with the mini just out ahead. I would say the Pro is 50-150k and the mini is 150-250k, depending on when in the release schedule we're at. Right now, I'd expect the mini to be at a low level.
The higher sales on Amazon can be accounted for the fact that Amazon buyers would tend towards cheaper options where they can also buy a cheap display. Notice the model is the cheapest one and customers also bought $129 and $157 Asus displays, $109, $150, $170 and $240 Viewsonic, $128 Asus, $190 Dell displays. iMac buyers won't be any better off buying from Amazon and they have to rely on Amazon delivery. I'd buy a Mini from Amazon or even eBay, what's the worst that could happen? An iMac or laptop, I'd buy from Apple direct as I know I'm not going to get screwed on the display like I might with a 3rd party retailer.
The other thing to consider is revenue. Even if the mini is 250k units but selling at $599, that's $150m with 30% gross = $45m gross profit. A $999 iMac might manage to boost revenue as it pushes Mac buyers looking for a quad-i7 to a much higher price, it offers a lower entry price for PC buyers and it pushes mini bundle buyers towards giving Apple money for the display. Maybe a lot of mini buyers just won't buy a Mac but I doubt they'd lose many sales. If they come in with a $799 Macbook Air, that'll more than make up for any losses from the mini.
I don't want to see the mini go particularly but if it doesn't sell well enough, why keep offering it? The future is portable systems and desktops will continue to wind down until they're not worth selling. I'd quite like to see a 13" rMBP with a quad-i7 and Iris Pro around the $1499 mark. The CPU is only $120 more than the entry level $1299, that would be a better option for mini buyers than having to go to a $1999 MBP or $1699 iMac for a quad-i7 processor.