Apple's Macs rack up more than 1/4 of back-to-school PC sales in 2014

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited September 2014
The Mac's share of the lucrative back-to-school shopping season continued its upward trajectory this year, as data released on Wednesday indicates that some 26.8 percent of the personal computers sold in the U.S. between Independence Day and Labor Day bore Apple's logo.




Mac sales were up 14 percent year-over-year, compared to a 3 percent decline for Windows-based computers. Apple's MacBook line was particularly strong, according to market research firm NPD, up 16 percent over the year-ago period.

Google's Chrome OS also pushed ahead, adding 1.2 percentage points to finish with 4.5 percent of the market, a 32 percent year-over-year increase for the nascent web-centric platform.

Much of the non-Apple volume consisted of ultra-low-cost machines, the data suggests. Many Chromebooks --?laptops running Chrome OS - come in at less than $300, and sales of sub-$300 Windows-based computers were up 37 percent with an average selling price of $242.

"After a slow start, aggressive pricing and robust selection drove significant volumes towards the end of the Back-to-School season, making it a very strong year," NPD executive Stephen Baker said in a release. "Due to the success of the aggressive Windows notebook pricing during Back-to-School we could see a much more aggressive pricing strategy this holiday season as the seemingly stable PC volume environment emboldens the PC OEMs and the OS and chip suppliers to make a grab for market share while the industry remains relatively steady."

Apple does not compete in the ultra-low-cost segment, making its ability to gobble up share even more impressive. The $899 11-inch MacBook Air is the company's least-costly offering, and the Mac's average selling price comes in well over $1,000.

Still, there are options for consumers looking for more affordable Macs. For instance, AppleInsider's own Mac Price Guide offers readers a number of coupons and discount incentives from Apple Authorized Resellers that knock down the price of more costly Macs by several hundred dollars, while also offering entry-level options in the sub $800 range.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    Funny to watch NPD always never address revenue share or profitability. Always, always laser focus on unit market share. Pretty comical
  • Reply 2 of 24
    Is my maths off but I can't see 24.2ppt rising to 26.8ppt to be 14%
  • Reply 3 of 24
    When the 12 inch macbook air comes out and replaces the 11 inch and 13 inch, if they can price it at $1K or less, it will dominate school sales.
  • Reply 4 of 24
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by schlack View Post



    When the 12 inch macbook air comes out and replaces the 11 inch and 13 inch, if they can price it at $1K or less, it will dominate school sales.

    If Apple discontinues the MacBook Air 11" and replaces it with a 12" model, they should keep pricing similar. For education, MacBook Air 11" laptops in a 5-pack bundle sell for $829 each (without the 3-year AppleCare), and that is before additional price breaks based on volume. It is very possible for large order pricing to be below the $800 mark. Considering what you get (especially in the area of software) and how long Macs seem to last compared to cheap alternatives, I find that pricing to be very good. I think it would be a big mistake for Apple to raise the cost of their entry level laptop by anything more than a very modest increase.

  • Reply 5 of 24

    "Due to the success of the aggressive Windows notebook pricing during Back-to-School we could see a much more aggressive pricing strategy this holiday season..."

     

    Does anyone else see the self-destructive irony here?  That should have read:

     

    Notebook makers find "success" selling profitless undifferentiated notebooks, look for more "success" this holiday season.

  • Reply 6 of 24
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,709member
    Is my maths off but I can't see 24.2ppt rising to 26.8ppt to be 14%

    I see it around 10%. Hmm maybe the scale goes to 103%?
  • Reply 7 of 24
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    Education is something that needs to be reinvented for the modern world, for our current technology, not the wristwatch.

  • Reply 8 of 24
    The most interesting thing is Chrome OS-based devices on a much faster rise in the market over the last two years.
  • Reply 9 of 24
    solipsismx wrote: »
    The most interesting thing is Chrome OS-based devices on a much faster rise in the market over the last two years.

    There was a huge slowdown compare to last year. chromebooks are doomed.
  • Reply 10 of 24
    vtwo wrote: »
    There was a huge slowdown compare to last year. chromebooks are doomed.

    So the iPad is doomed because their unit sales slowed?
  • Reply 11 of 24
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    So the iPad is doomed because their unit sales slowed?



    if you believe the blogosphere lately, the iPhone 6 Plus will cannibalize iPad sales, so maybe. Personally, I doubt it.

  • Reply 12 of 24
    solipsismx wrote: »
    So the iPad is doomed because their unit sales slowed?

    lol, I made that comment because that is what you would have said if the Chrome numbers were Apple's numbers.
  • Reply 13 of 24
    canukstorm wrote: »

    if you believe the blogosphere lately, the iPhone 6 Plus will cannibalize iPad sales, so maybe. Personally, I doubt it.

    I fully expect the new iPhones to cannibalize a fair amount of iPad, but that's a good position to be in. Plus, it appears people update their iPhones more frequently than their iPad (I certainly fall into that category) so this could be a net win for Apple for those that really don't need both.

    vtwo wrote: »
    lol, I made that comment because that is what you would have said if the Chrome numbers were Apple's numbers.

    That makes no sense. Perhaps you should focus on what you would say instead of trying to pretend you know what others would say.
  • Reply 14 of 24
    Chromebooks are "in" over the buggy BSOD machines as a rebound effect, in my personal opinion.

    Most every kid I come across either uses a MacBook or wants his parents to get one. Why?

    Mostly because Apple's laptops are relatively rugged, even in school, and have fewer problems.

    For more capable students, what other machine lets you run Mac, Windows, Linux native if you want it or in emulation?
  • Reply 15 of 24
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,352member
    I am staggered that many still want a PC in this day and age! Poor kids with a PC must feel really uncomfortable and out of touch surrounded by glowing Apple logos these days.
  • Reply 16 of 24
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,352member
    canukstorm wrote: »

    if you believe the blogosphere lately, the iPhone 6 Plus will cannibalize iPad sales, so maybe. Personally, I doubt it.

    All new Apple products do is make you want more Apple products in my experience! :D
  • Reply 17 of 24
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,352member
    vtwo wrote: »
    There was a huge slowdown compare to last year. chromebooks are doomed.

    Or perhaps the translation of the initial apparent sales success ... the shelves and stock rooms are full of them ...
  • Reply 18 of 24
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    I fully expect the new iPhones to cannibalize a fair amount of iPad, but that's a good position to be in. Plus, it appears people update their iPhones more frequently than their iPad (I certainly fall into that category) so this could be a net win for Apple for those that really don't need both.

    That makes no sense. Perhaps you should focus on what you would say instead of trying to pretend you know what others would say.



    On the one hand, it's a good position to be in due to the amount of revenue the iPhone brings it plus the fact that it has quite a bit higher margins than the iPad.  OTOH, with the iPhone making up approximately 55% of Apple's revenue, that's almost like putting your eggs in one basket.  That can be risky.

  • Reply 19 of 24
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    The most interesting thing is Chrome OS-based devices on a much faster rise in the market over the last two years.



    I have a Chromebook and it is fantastic for the price. iTunes aside, which I hardly use anymore, it a fine replacement for a MacBook (considering the price, that is, at $100 after rebate...)

     

    I'm sure Apple could "afford" ship a cheap and good laptop under $500, but it would upset their product applecart, so to speak, when it comes to pricing. Apple product universe all seems to be around a product pricing tree. It's very structured. For instance, there is the iPad mini which is $199 or $299 depending on where you buy it. It's almost a laptop replacement (if you have a keyboard). Prices go up from there to the stratospheric MacBook Pro 15" Retina (as far as portables go).

     

    If Apple was to come out with a $500 laptop, it would upset their product pricing universe that I don't think they are interested in upsetting.

     

    Hopefully, the Chromebooks put a lot more pressure on Apple. They have been getting pressure, so we've read, on their tablet share which caused them to lower their iPad mini prices to $199 for a limited time (we picked one up - the price was right, finally).

     

    Chromebooks are perfect for most students. If you only think it is a web browser, then you haven't used one or used one enough. Once it becomes your only computer (our MacBook sustained damage and we could not afford another one), you realize how capable it really is. After awhile, we've gotten used to not using iTunes and iTunes match would certainly replace that.

     

    MacBooks are awesome. Daughter just picked up the 13" Air and it's a great machine. But most students could easily live without it.

     

    Good to see MacBook Air prices come down $100 recently. Would not be surprised if it was pricing pressure from Windows laptops (yuck) and Chromebooks (cool).

     

    If you need a cheap laptop, we've been constantly disappointed with Windows. Chromebook is the way to go. Or MacBook if you can afford it!

  • Reply 20 of 24
    The Plus will cannibalize Mini sales, but I think the Air will be fine.

    Of course, a 5.5" iPod Touch would cannibalize the Mini even more, which is why, sadly, I don't think we'll get one in that size.

    I value my personal info so I would never own a Chromebook. And the trackpads on Windows PC's are always a disappointing disaster, so I won't get one of those either.
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