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NPD: Apple's US Mac sales flat in Nov., iMac needs refresh

post #1 of 97
Thread Starter 
Sales of Windows PCs grew faster in the United States during the month of November than Macs, which were weighed down by sluggish demand for aging iMac models, according to NPD.

The market research firm, which tracks retail sales, released preliminary data for the second month of the December quarter on Monday, showing Apple's sales were relatively flat year-over-year while sales of systems running the Windows operating system from rival Microsoft corp rose 7 percent.

Overall, sales of desktop systems fell 20 percent; Windows desktops were down 15 percent while sales of Mac desktops slipped an eye-popping 38 percent.

Apple faired better in the notebook department, where a refreshed line of portables helped boost sales 22 percent year-over year during the month of November. Windows notebook sales rose 15 percent.

"For notebooks, there is a little extra value to consumers (to buy Apple)," NPD analyst Stephen Barker told Reuters. "For desktops I'm not so sure. To me the real story is the iMacs need a refresh."

Indeed, AppleInsider this summer cited reliable sources as saying Apple's goal was to round out the 2008 calendar year with slight revisions to the iMac line. The new models were expected to appear around November in an effort to boost sales ahead of the holiday shopping season.

For reasons still unclear, the Mac maker pulled back on the release in early November, issuing a statement to the press saying that its holiday product line was set and no new Mac models would be introduced until the following year.

It's believed that the iMac refresh is now likely to appear at Macworld alongside the first major overhaul to the company's Mac mini line of tiny desktops.
post #2 of 97
This sucks. Now we have to sit around and watch the stock tumble today, on this report

This, and follow up articles by others, will force Apple to make some announcements real soon. Maybe sneak something out before MacWorld.

Lets all get ready for an interesting next 3 weeks.

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post #3 of 97
The racoon iMac needs a makeover not a refresh. It looks too Dell-like - not Apple-worthy compared to previous models- IMHO.
post #4 of 97
Sorry but shouldn't these numbers be taken with a grain of salt considering this November only included two days of post-holiday sales (11/28 - 11/29) compared to last year's eight total (11/23 - 11/30)?

This seemingly bad news is remarkably similar to that in the game console market, where Sony's PS3, which has grown 60% year-over-year (that number sounds a bit better than it is because the PS3 didn't sell all that well in 2007, but growth is growth) saw a 19% plunge year-over-year likely due to the fewer shopping days. Meanwhile Microsoft's Xbox 360, which has been flat lining for a year now, saw 7.6% growth (nearly identical to the flat lining Windows PC market that jumped 7% year-over-year, as noted in the article). Nintendo's Wii saw 108% growth year-over-year, but while these are all consoles, that's sort of like comparing iPhone and iPod year-over-year growth - the Wii is a phenomenon.

Perhaps Mac desktop sales were also down 38% due to increased interest in laptops overall, which isn't really a negative when Mac laptop sales jumped 22%. Subtracting the former from the latter, that's a 16% decline in Mac desktop sales, which is again, nearly identical to what the PS3 saw (19% decline).
False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
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False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
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post #5 of 97
I know there's allot of people who like the glass displays but I'm sure Apple excluded plenty of people by not offering an option for those of us who can't use the reflective glass.

I'm holding out buying a new mac until I have an option.

post #6 of 97
So I'm a mini fan also, but I think people like towers. Also, a lot of retail chains in the US (BB) that carry Apple do not have any minis on display ever. When people see cheap PCs and don't care as much about PC v. Mac, they don't seem likely to pay the iMac premium. Don't get me wrong; it's not about the value of the iMac; it's about the absolute price. Additionally, the entire lineup in my opinion needs to be more aggressively refreshed. It's a rapidly changing industry, etc.
post #7 of 97
Well I am one of the ones who has been waiting since early November for the refresh before I plunk down my cold hard cash. No new iMac for me till Apple updates them.
post #8 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post


On the other hand, perhaps Mac desktops were down due to increased interest in laptops overall, which isn't really a negative.

Absolutely, it's no surprise that desktop sales are down. The era of the desktop is drawing to a close.
post #9 of 97
Or it could just be the economy; most people don't know a computer hasn't been refreshed.

With the economy slowing down, people who need to watch what they spend will be going for low quality throw away machines more than they will a product like a mac.
post #10 of 97
From the earlier article, "People familiar with these plans have described the [iMac] refresh to consist of 'speed bumps' rather than major internal or external changes."

So no one is buying iMacs because of a few "speed bumps"?
post #11 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by jawporta View Post

I know there's allot of people who like the glass displays but I'm sure Apple excluded plenty of people by not offering an option for those of us who can't use the reflective glass.

I'm holding out buying a new mac until I have an option.


It's not only the glossy display. The thing is downright f'ugly- from its racoon face to its missmatched mouse and it's cheap plasticy back.
post #12 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

Absolutely, it's no surprise that desktop sales are down. The era of the desktop is drawing to a close.

Why- 'cause nobody will have a job?
post #13 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by baseveer View Post

Well I am one of the ones who has been waiting since early November for the refresh before I plunk down my cold hard cash. No new iMac for me till Apple updates them.

Ive been waiting 2 years for them to get rid of that thing. Then I'll buy.
post #14 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Four words: Get. A. Life. Troll.

Now that's intelligent.
Having a bad day?
You ever hear the expression "You spot it- you got it"?
post #15 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Now that's intelligent.
YOu spot it - you got it.

I don't want to derail this thread but all you seem to do is complain, rarely ever (if ever) offering up solutions. Then you take any negative comments from others and expand upon them, trying to stir up anger (again, with no suggestions on how to solve the problems, real or imagined, expressed). That constitutes as trolling as far as I understand it.

Trying to get back on topic...so you don't like the aluminum iMac's black accents. So what? What should Apple do instead?
False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
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False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
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post #16 of 97
I am ready to buy a new iMac to replace my "old" 2.8 GHz machine.
I want:
27-inch high resolution
quad processors
support for 8GB of RAM
post #17 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

I don't want to derail this thread but all you seem to do is complain, rarely ever (if ever) offering up solutions. Then you take any negative comments from others and expand upon them, trying to stir up anger (again, with no suggestions on how to solve the problems, real or imagined, expressed). That constitutes as trolling as far as I understand it.

Let me get this right: You just made 2 posts - none which adressed the thread and you complain about me?
1.) I did not complain but posted a comment of the need for an upgrade not a refresh.
2.) And then I agreed with someone who is also waiting to buy an iMac.
What have you brought to the table?
You have problems man.
post #18 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

It's not only the glossy display. The thing is downright f'ugly- from its racoon face to its missmatched mouse and it's cheap plasticy back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Four words: Get. A. Life. Troll.

Hold the fire cowboy(!) As a designer and a Mac user since '84... I agree with Techstud and the other guy. There was no reason whatsoever to change the "face" of the iMac... and especially not a dual-colored PC-esque f'ugly! That goes for the MacBooks und MBPs as well. All recyclable alu... maybe in shades of brushed gray or black... or even tinted alu colors..... but NOT this!

Like the guy said, "Just not Mac-like" at the moment.
Knowing what you are talking about would help you understand why you are so wrong. By "Realistic" - AI Forum Member
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Knowing what you are talking about would help you understand why you are so wrong. By "Realistic" - AI Forum Member
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post #19 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Let me get this right: You just made 2 posts - none which adressed the thread and you complain about me?
1.) I did not complain but posted a comment of the need for an upgrade not a refresh.
2.) aAnd then I agreed with someone who is also waiting to buy an iMac.
What have you brought to the table?
You have problems man.

I suggest you read my updated response (which you partially quoted) and then scroll up a bit further to oh, I don't know, the third comment in this thread.
False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
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False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
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post #20 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

I suggest you read my updated response (which you partially quoted) and then scroll up a bit further to oh, I don't know, the third comment in this thread.

OK- So you adressed the first part of the thread title ; I adressed the 2nd.
Move on. You're just can't seem to comprehend that some of us are holding back of something different than what's currently being offered. You should have factored that into your statistics. But you didn't. Too bad.
post #21 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Trying to get back on topic...so you don't like the aluminum iMac's black accents. So what? What should Apple do instead?

Like match the colors- hello?
Remove the border (eyeliner)??

Black back =/= white mouse nor = white keyed keyboard.
This has been discussed over and over already.
post #22 of 97
I can see where it needs an update. It'd be great if it included i7 processors in the new iMac.
post #23 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Like match the colors- hello?
Remove the border (eyeliner)??

Black back =/= white mouse nor = white keyed keyboard.
This has been discussed over and over already.

Thank you.

While I prefer the black-rimmed display (less noticeable than a silver or white border when watching videos), might be nice if it weren't so reflective. I could see them ditching the black back considering the new 24" LED Cinema Displays use aluminum rather than black polycarbonate. A black-keyed aluminum keyboard would better match as well.
False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
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False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
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post #24 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Like match the colors- hello?
Remove the border (eyeliner)??

Black back =/= white mouse nor = white keyed keyboard.
This has been discussed over and over already.

It'd be great if they did that


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post #25 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Thank you.

While I prefer the black-rimmed display (less noticeable than a silver border when watching videos), might be nice if it weren't so reflective. I could see them ditching the black back considering the new 24" LED Cinema Displays use aluminum rather than black polycarbonate.

Welcome.
post #26 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by jawporta View Post

I know there's allot of people who like the glass displays but I'm sure Apple excluded plenty of people by not offering an option for those of us who can't use the reflective glass.

I'm holding out buying a new mac until I have an option.


So I guess you never used a computer before LCD's? How did you survive with those reflective glass CRT monitors? Or did you boycott those and stick with the reliable typewriter? I guess you avoided all televisions too since they all had reflective glass CRT tubes.

Considering Apple has sold more Macs than ever before, I don't think they have excluded that many people.
post #27 of 97
Yeah, okay, sales of Windows PCs rose 7%. Here's the bigger question: how many of those PCs had Vista installed and how many were XP? If a lot had XP, then all it means is that Acer and Asus sold a lot of netbooks. Which is to say that netbook sales are rising, which we already know.
post #28 of 97
I am still slaving away on an imac G4 700 mhz. I am updating my ipod over a usb 1.1 connection. I have the money saved and the wife convinced we need a new one. Now it is worth waiting for a couple weeks just to get a little extra speed. And I am going for the top of the line imac this time. Since I will be using it for six years, every little bit will help. God, I can't wait to sync my ipod over usb 2.0!
post #29 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post

I am ready to buy a new iMac to replace my "old" 2.8 GHz machine.
I want:
27-inch high resolution
quad processors
support for 8GB of RAM

What are you waiting for? Buy a Mac Pro with 30" display and you have what you are looking for.
post #30 of 97
Millions of men headed out the door in November with their wives yelling after them "Don't forget to get a turkey!"

And lo and behold they came home with 8 to 20 lb Vista machines.

Mystery solved.
post #31 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Like match the colors- hello?
Remove the border (eyeliner)??

Black back =/= white mouse nor = white keyed keyboard.
This has been discussed over and over already.

Yeah I hate the Apple keyboards and mice. Not a big fan of the black border or the gloss either, but I would like to update my iMac Core solo when the new models come out. I don't use it for anything more than reading the mail/news at my kitchen counter so it is not a big deal.

I'm thinking that the glass and the black border are going to be with us for awhile just because Steve likes it. They will likely introduce some space age non-reflective surface for the display at some point which delivers the rich colors yet no glare. But the third party keyboard and mouse business should still be solid going forward.

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post #32 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

The racoon iMac needs a makeover not a refresh. It looks too Dell-like - not Apple-worthy compared to previous models- IMHO.

Totally disagree. I love the look of the iMac. I never really liked the glossy white plastic look. Just a tad too dainty for me. Very lovely and all that, but just a bit too hairdresser, if you know what I mean. Not that I didn't love my white iMac - but I prefer this iteration. And I'm not sure it looks too Dell like. I think it may be the other way around.
post #33 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

So I guess you never used a computer before LCD's? How did you survive with those reflective glass CRT monitors? Or did you boycott those and stick with the reliable typewriter? I guess you avoided all televisions too since they all had reflective glass CRT tubes.

Considering Apple has sold more Macs than ever before, I don't think they have excluded that many people.

Many CRTs have had glare reduction coatings, long before LCDs became prevalent. I have seen several Apple Studio Displays and some of the Sonys and others - you can see an effect when they get a bit of water on the screen, and coatings eventually can get worn off from people who need to touch the screen as they work for reasons I will never quite understand. Laptop screens were historically dimmer than CRTs and spent more time facing windows, lights and sky than a static CRT and benefitted more.
post #34 of 97
I think other factors are affecting Apple...
There quality control has gone down for one... Too many problems nowadays.
Just like the PCs, Macs are no better! And you pay a premium for Apple products too.
I have had my fair share of problems with my iMacs/iPhones.

Hopefully 2009 will be a better year for the Apple maker
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post #35 of 97
I have friends that really want a Mac for Xmas, but will end up with a PC. It's all about price theese days, can't afford a Mac that cost three times a PC... Sorry Jobs, that's how it is.
post #36 of 97
The problem Apple is facing is that even though they are producing superior products, with a slowing economy and race towards the bottom by PC manufacturers, their premium pricing scheme is not going to hold up. The iMacs start at $1200; a low end Dell or HP with monitor starts at $400 to $500. Even the Mac mini isn't that cheap, and the consumer still needs to get a monitor. Premium pricing is fine when the dow is reaching new highs and people are using their home equity as a credit card. But the only thing the average consumer is looking at now is price, and if Apple refuses to budge on that sales will slide.
post #37 of 97
Also, I think Apple needs to come out with a mid size Mac.
They got the Mac mini, iMac and then Mac Pro. They need to come out with a Mac that fits between the all-in-one design and the Mac Pro.
For example.. The top line iMac in USA cost 2199$ and the Mac Pro cost 2799 without LCD.
If Apple came out with a machine at 1999$ without LCD, they could sell more Mac's and more LCDs...
People who don't want all-in-ones have to start at 2799$ and that is a basic machine.
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post #38 of 97
Quote:
Overall, sales of desktop systems fell 20 percent; Windows desktops were down 15 percent while sales of Mac desktops slipped an eye-popping 38 percent.

Apple faired better in the notebook department, where a refreshed line of portables helped boost sales 22 percent year-over year during the month of November. Windows notebook sales rose 15 percent.

"For notebooks, there is a little extra value to consumers (to buy Apple)," NPD analyst Stephen Barker told Reuters. "For desktops I'm not so sure. To me the real story is the iMacs need a refresh."


Apple cannot market outdated and overpriced consumer computers to knowledgeable buyers in a recession market. Quad-core Windows desktops have been available for the last 2 years and selling $300 cheaper than dual-core iMacs. And the next wave has arrived with brand new Core i7 quad-core desktop computers, 20% to 30% more powerful than quad-core Penryns.

iMacs have neither quad-core Penryns or quad-core Core i7 desktop processors because Apple doesn't want to use desktop processors in its consumer desktop computers. And Apple doesn't want to build business desktop computers because it wouldn't be able to overcharge businesses by $300 to $500 for every office computer.

Did you ever wonder why Apple is still in business? It is becoming increasingly difficult to recommend Apple computers to knowledgeable buyers because there are no business desktop computers and consumer desktop iMacs are outdated and overpriced by at least $300.

post #39 of 97
Apple's quality control is no worse now than its ever been. Their have always been some degree of problems with some model of Apple computer. That is nothing recent or new. Problems are apart of designing electronic devices.

From a sales and profit perspective, 2008 was Apple's best year ever. 2009 is expected to be worse as we will be deep into a recession.


Quote:
Originally Posted by italiankid View Post

I think other factors are affecting Apple...
There quality control has gone down for one... Too many problems nowadays.
Just like the PCs, Macs are no better! And you pay a premium for Apple products too.
I have had my fair share of problems with my iMacs/iPhones.

Hopefully 2009 will be a better year for the Apple maker
post #40 of 97
Personally, I'm fine with the current design, I have one at work and I dig it. That being said, I don't like having a mismatched dual monitor - right now, nothing looks good next to it, including an Apple cinema display. If they want a redesign, make it look like the new 24" display from the front, that way you can have two side-by-side and have a continuos workspace (instead of what I have now - an iMac and a random Samsung display).

As for buying one, I'm waiting too, but its not just for a refresh, but because I don't want to pony up for a new iMac and find out the computer I really want, a a mini-tower, shows up.
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