Desktops

Report: Apple's Desktop Sales Down, but Notebooks up

Although Apple's computer sales over the past few quarters have been stellar, new research shows that the company's desktop sales numbers took a sharp downturn during the month of November--however, the company's notebooks sales have continued to rise.

According to a new report from market research firm NPD Group, industry desktop sales as a whole in November were down 20 percent from the previous month, representing a decline of 15 percent for Windows-based PCs and a 38 percent decline for Macs. At the same time, Apple's notebooks outpaced the competition with a 22 percent increase, compared to a 15 percent increase for Windows-based PCs (overall notebook sales for the month were up 16.6 percent). Apple's October introduction of new MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks models probably contributed to Apple's laptop rise.

While the numbers clearly show a decrease in sales, Stephen Baker, vice president of Industry Analysis at NPD, said that because Apple doesn't offer a lot of Black Friday promotions, the company was disproportionately affected by the dates of the biggest shopping period of the year in 2008. Last year, Apple enjoyed November sales one week after Black Friday. However, in 2008, Black Friday fell at the end of the month, giving Apple only two days of sales. This year, those sales will be counted for December.

In terms of units, Apple's sold 15.8 percent of the desktop computers purchased in November, down from 17.4 percent in October 2008 and 20.6 percent in November 2007. The company's notebook sales accounted for 14.8 percent of laptop purchases, down from 20.9 percent in October, but up from its 14.1 percent number in November 2007. Overall, Apple's sold 15 percent of all computers in November, down from 20 percent in October and 16 percent in November 2007.

Although all companies are feeling the effects of the current economic downturn, Baker feels that Apple should be "appropriately concerned" about its sales numbers and make smart decisions with its product line and pricing. "The iMac is getting old and is need of a refresh," he said. "They also need to rethink the pricing in this economy. The silver lining is that MacBooks still outgrew the market by almost 50 percent."

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