Back-to-school Mac, iPad sales strong as non-Apple tablets struggle

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Back-to-school sales have been particularly strong for Apple this year, with both the Mac and iPad proving popular, while non-Apple tablets have failed to gain traction with education buyers.

Analyst Maynard Um with UBS Investment Research recently conducted checks in the retail channel, and found that overall demand for back-to-school PC sales has been "encouraging." Specifically highlighted as one of the big winners in education purchases was Apple.

In addition to strong Mac sales, Apple's iPad has also been a popular choice for students and faculty. Apple's market domination means that sales of rival devices are struggling, Um said.

"Non-iPad tablet sales appear to continue to lag based on our checks," he wrote in a note to investors on Tuesday. "Perhaps as evidence of this, a number of vendors have reduced price -- HP Touchpad & Viewsonic G-Tablet dropped by $100, Acer Iconia Tab A500 by $50 at Best Buy & Wal-Mart, & the Vizio 8 inch tablet by $50 at Wal-Mart."

Among non-iPad tablets, the most popular options appear to be the Asus Transformer and Toshiba Thrive, which have been actively promoted in circular advertisements. But even for those devices it isn't close, as Um said the iPad is still dominating in sales, based on his checks.

Apple's Mac lineup has also apparently been a strong performer in back-to-school sales. The company kicked off its annual education promotion in June, and this year offers customers a $100 App Store gift card with the purchase of a new Mac.

"Demand for Apple's Mac computers remains robust as the brand continues to be the most popular among consumers and students heading back to school," Um said, "which is consistent with historical trends of Apple outpacing the overall PC industry growth."

Right in the midst of the back-to-school buying season, Apple also launched a refreshed lineup of its popular thin-and-light MacBook Airs. The new 11- and 13-inch models include Intel's latest Sandy Bridge processors, the new high-speed Thunderbolt port, and backlit keyboards.

Other winners in the PC industry, Um found, have been Dell and Lenovo, which are among the most preferred brands for consumers. Singled out as the least preferred options were Acer and Compal Electronics.

"While consumer desktop demand generally appears to still be weak, consumers seem to have returned to purchase notebooks for students heading back to school," Um wrote. "We believe this could serve as a modest bump for the PC industry as expectations for demand on the consumer side are currently very low."


  • Reply 1 of 7
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member
    If you want your parents to get you a MacBook Air or Pro, just tell them "It can run Mac OS *and* Windows."

    Boom. Two computers in one. Sure sale.
  • Reply 2 of 7
    Even though in comparison to an actual Mac, an iPad is seemingly useless educationally for anyone over the age of 10, I've found that when paired with a keyboard, it's a great note-taking device. Why? It can't multitask. Since you're forced to stay on one screen, you are not distracted by the likes of Facebook or Skype. Also, Pages is great because you can take a picture of a presentation slide or handout and put it right in your notes. Other than that, I have yet to find a productive use for it, but it's great at gaming!
  • Reply 3 of 7
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

    If you want your parents to get you a MacBook Air or Pro, just tell them "It can run Mac OS *and* Windows."

    Boom. Two computers in one. Sure sale.

    for some folks a computer is a requirement, isn't it?

    might get too complex for some folks - but there are three different ways to run windows on you Mac - native boot to a separate partition, or access separate partition while booted to Mac, or use a Virtual Machine - which itself has three options - Parallels, VMware, and VirtualBox.
  • Reply 4 of 7
    newbeenewbee Posts: 2,055member
    Originally Posted by GuzmanEva58716752 View Post

    I am an idiot spammer that got deleted

    Your shameless huckstering is wearing thin .... very thin.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    From my person experience in school I'm often in rooms where every single person has a Mac. Its like alternate reality where apple has the dominant share of the market. I also see a lot of iPads (saw two on campus just earlier today) and its not even school time. In other words apple on e again stands to win on back to school season, at least with college goers.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    In my weird reality (such as meetings I?ve recently attended) there are now some die-hard Windows (or "Open Source") boosters and Apple-detractors who, I cannot help but notice, are sitting with their MacBooks and iPhones! They believe Apple is evil (taking all anti-Apple ?news? without any question) while Microsoft and/or Google are all sugar and light... and yet no other company but Apple delivers the machins they seek, so... they buy them anyway!
  • Reply 7 of 7
    gctwnlgctwnl Posts: 278member
    Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

    If you want your parents to get you a MacBook Air or Pro, just tell them "It can run Mac OS *and* Windows."

    Boom. Two computers in one. Sure sale.

    Better even, my in-laws wanted to buy a MacBook (for work at home and email/etc. on vacation). I suggested as alternative a Mac mini for home and iPad for home (coffee table) and vacation. They tried my iPad for a week and were sold.

    Boom. Two devices sold by Apple instead of one.

    The mini/iPad combo is a really attractive one if you already have a good screen available.
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