Linked by Kroc Camen on Wed 17th Dec 2008 13:50 UTC, submitted by judgen
Apple Apple, which has outpaced the overall personal computer market this year despite its strategy of eschewing discounts, showed its first signs of weakness in November. NPD analyst Steve Baker blamed a 35% drop in sales of desktop Macs, noting growth in Apple's laptops still outpaced rivals [22%]. The decline marks a sharp reversal for Apple, which has enjoyed robust demand this year for its Macs, even as spending on Windows-based PCs slowed along with sales of other electronics like flat-panel TVs. Note by Kroc: With apologies to OSNews reader judgen for changing the news source provided from SmartHouse to WSJ.
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Desktops due for an update
by PowerMacX on Wed 17th Dec 2008 14:49 UTC
PowerMacX
Member since:
2005-11-06

Considering that Apple notebooks have just been updated while desktops remained stale, it's not that surprising.

The Mac Pro, for instance, hasn't been updated since January, while the Mac mini hasn't seen an update since August... 2007.
The most recent desktop update was the iMac, and that was eight months ago.

Reply Score: 5

duh, economy
by TechGeek on Wed 17th Dec 2008 14:54 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

Not surprising considering our economy is in the toilet.

Reply Score: 4

RE: duh, economy
by Tuishimi on Wed 17th Dec 2008 16:12 UTC in reply to "duh, economy"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

And a giant hand is about to flush it...

Reply Score: 4

RE: duh, economy
by macUser on Wed 17th Dec 2008 18:15 UTC in reply to "duh, economy"
macUser Member since:
2006-12-15

Not surprising considering our economy is in the toilet.


Apple exists outside of the economy, remember? Just more signs that the company is doomed! Doomed!

Reply Score: 5

RE: duh, economy
by SlackerJack on Wed 17th Dec 2008 18:44 UTC in reply to "duh, economy"
SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

I didn't see anything blaming on the economy crash, it seems when people are rich they are willing to pay a premium for Mac's. Anyone with any sense wouldn't pay such high prices for Mac's, I guess this economy crash will teach them a less.

Reply Score: 3

RE: duh, economy
by PortResi on Wed 17th Dec 2008 20:56 UTC in reply to "duh, economy"
PortResi Member since:
2008-10-06

Not surprising considering our economy is in the toilet.


I think the economy is past the point of the toilet bowl. It's somewhere between outlet line and the main sewer.

In any case, I work on an iMac at work and a Mini at home. These little wonders get all my work done.

I find it funny PC die hards will criticize Apple when this economic sewer sludge may take down Dell, Acer and any of the remaining PC makers that use Win.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: duh, economy
by ari-free on Thu 18th Dec 2008 07:38 UTC in reply to "RE: duh, economy"
ari-free Member since:
2007-01-22

oh the economy will only get worse. Probably their best bet is to focus on PC's for business instead of high end consumers...and that's just to break even.

Reply Score: 2

Laptops over desktops
by Adurbe on Wed 17th Dec 2008 16:24 UTC
Adurbe
Member since:
2005-07-06

Desktops,

iMac - people are going for macbooks instead
Mini - not updated since forever
Mac Pro - Mainly a buisness machine, lets be honest not may buisness are exapanding atm

More and more people are buying laptops over desktops for home use as they are powerful enough for their needs but also moveable in their newly wireless homes

It seems general mac inerest is up but the home consumer is shifting towards laptops

Reply Score: 3

Comment by strim
by strim on Wed 17th Dec 2008 16:46 UTC
strim
Member since:
2008-07-01

[semi-troll]They should have stayed PPC.[/semi-troll]

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by strim
by darknexus on Wed 17th Dec 2008 17:25 UTC in reply to "Comment by strim"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

That might have eliminated the hackintoshes, but there really aren't enough of them to make a dent in Apple's sales... at least not yet. I wish they had stayed PPC as well, but unfortunately the PPC chip really wasn't going in the direction they needed it to go--no updates to the G4 chip, and no G5s for laptops. Given that they'd already had, at least according to those who claim to be insiders, an X86 port of OS X, it was the most convenient and, in some ways, the best decision they could have made. Even if they hadn't had an X86 port of OS X, NextStep was running on x86, so some of the groundwork had already been laid.
The trouble with the desktop line-up from Apple is that they really don't have anything for the mid-range, except the iMac. Many already have a monitor, and don't want to pay for another one, and some want just a bit more than the iMac can provide--a second internal hard drive, for instance. the Mini is great, and really in a perfect price range, but given that its future is uncertain I'd be waiting before I bought one. The MacPros are business workstations. They're not priced all that outrageously in that category, but that's way more than a home user needs, or will pay for. They really just need a mid-range tower, for approx. $600-$700. Make the specs similar to the Mini, but unlike the Mini it won't be a royal pain to upgrade. Yes, I've done Mini upgrades before, they're doable but not for the casual screwturner. I think many would welcome such an addition to the line-up... well, obviously except for Apple or they would have done it already.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by strim
by bryanv on Wed 17th Dec 2008 17:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by strim"
bryanv Member since:
2005-08-26

I agonized for months that there was no midrange mac without the iMac's all-in-one configuration.

I had a 22" widescreen LCD, I had keyboards and mice that I liked. I had a G4 iBook (so I don't need a new laptop just yet... it's long in the tooth but still has a couple years of life in it).

I really wanted a lower-priced Mac Pro. A Mid-tower.

I waffeled back n' forth between the mini and the iMac for a long time until I talked with someone I know who has an iMac.


I sold all my old stuff (the PC, the peripherals, the display...) on craigslist and got about 300 - 400 bucks out of it by the time I was done (more than one PC a couple CRTs, etc).


I now have a 24" iMac, and I don't regret that purchase at -all-. If i need additional storage, I'll either upgrade the internal disc, or more likely -- just plug in some external drives on the FireWire port. Hardly a deal breaker, and I can hide those devices under the desk where the tower would have been. I love my iMac. It's a GREAT computer. The form-factor is amazing. People that come over to my house can't believe the monitor is the computer. It's awesome.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by strim
by darknexus on Wed 17th Dec 2008 18:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by strim"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

The iMac will fit some situations and not others. What about those who have a 30-inch lcd, and don't want a smaller size? Or just the opposite, what if they don't want a bigger screen? For the iMac, to get the more powerful system, you need to buy one with a large screen. In addition, some people just like to have options. What if they want a faster DVD drive, or a bigger hard drive without buying a new iMac? iMacs, like Minis, are not exactly easy to service. Many people are just put off knowing those minor upgrades simply aren't going to be available to them in the future without paying Apple or someone else who knows what they're doing to service them, especially those who know how to work on computers even if only a little.

Reply Score: 2

trade shows
by poundsmack on Wed 17th Dec 2008 18:35 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

for those who participate and put on trade shows they don't do it to make money, they do it to show face. most companies loose money attending or putting on trade shows but they do it as a sign to their customers that they are going strong. most companies would pull out of trade shows if it wasn't for teh fact that their competition is usualy at them and it makes the company that pulled out look bad.

as for those who host (my company hosts for example, though obviously not Mac world), they loose money but investors see that the company shows up and puts on a show (usualy, though shifting trends made this not be that big an impact for apple's stock).

I do think that trade shows are a dying bread and that webcasts will replace them almost all otgether in the near future. webcasts are more economical as well as more convenient. Since i already bought my mac world ticket i will be attending, but i have the feeling thattumble weeds may very well be blowing by some of the booth isles...

Reply Score: 2

Thing you have to explain
by alcibiades on Wed 17th Dec 2008 19:39 UTC
alcibiades
Member since:
2005-10-12

Mac sales were down 1 per cent November compared to 2007, while Windows PCs were up 7 per cent year-over-year. ... desktops pushed out in November dropped 20 per cent ... Windows boxes falling 15 per cent and Mac desktop sales down a whopping 38 per cent year-over-year.

...Apple notebook sales were up 22 per cent in November, while Windows PCs rose 15 per cent, according to NPD numbers.


This is clipped and abbreviated from the other thread. The thing you have to explain is why Mac desktops are falling faster than Windows desktops. In fact, why, year on year, are they falling at all, when Windows desktop sales rose?

It probably is to to do with the recession, in that Apple is a luxury brand, and if you are obliged to save money and just need a computer, that is not where you go. It could be partly that Apple is geographically not well placed outside the US. Some must be down to insisting on having the Mini as their entry level standalone. Its overpriced and underperformant, and there is no way you'll sell the all in ones to people who are squeezed for cash and have a perfectly good 19 inch flat screen they see no reason to replace. When two or three hundred is simply not there, and that is the case more and more, they will just buy a cheap Dell or a generic PC, and Apple has no entry there. Doesn't want to, its not their position, of course. But when the market moves left like now, they are wrong footed. The people who would have bought their stuff a year ago now cannot.

Another reason may be that Apple's business is more replacement and repeat sales than other vendors, and their purchases are moving from desktops to laptops. The Mac laptops are expensive enough that you have to consider them alternatives rather than supplements to desktops. So their laptops maybe are cannibalizing their desktops more than is happening in the Windows market, where the netbook is growing the overall market and is not cannibalizing desktops.

Those who bought AAPL at the top have now lost half their investment, and probably will lose at least another half of what's left before it becomes a buy. This is going to get worse before it gets better, not just for Apple, but probably more so for Apple.

The fundamental problem is its demographic. It is targetted at a segment whose high disposable income was very fragile, and is going to evaporate. Reason being what you might call the white collar intermediary section of the economy is toast. Real estate, media, finance sector. And the claims on that evaporating disposable income are soaring. Real wealth will still spend. Temporary high disposable income not backed by real wealth will evaporate, and take iPod, iPhone and Mac sales with it.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Thing you have to explain
by Phloptical on Thu 18th Dec 2008 02:25 UTC in reply to "Thing you have to explain"
Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

There will always be businesses that need to upgrade, hence the constant sales of "windows desktops"....even in a near-depressionary economy such as this. What I totally agree with you is the lack of disposable income of the majority of the white collar populous that's still employed. Most of these over-priced Macs were purchased on credit, and that source of income has all but dried up.

Apple's products are 'cool', but in this day and age 'cool' doesn't pay the bills, keep food on the table, or see the mortgage paid. As far as business PCs go, if Apple wants to break into that scene, they better be prepared to start lopping off profit margin, or come up with a lower priced Mac Pro that can become upgradeable. Especially now when you have companies like Dell who are willing to slit their throats on pricing to get their feet in the door.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Thing you have to explain
by ari-free on Thu 18th Dec 2008 07:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Thing you have to explain"
ari-free Member since:
2007-01-22

Apple's entire approach has to be changed if they want to get into business! Maybe the iphone can be part of that strategy since it's used by a lot of business people but the Mac? I dunno...

Reply Score: 2

Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

I know of some Mac users who put Macs in the businesses they own or consult for. I mean in non-media creation/publishing stuff, just plain old office computers (e.g., law firms).

Exception to the rule, though. Easier for most businesses to just switch existing computers to Linux if they don't like Windows.

Reply Score: 2

Two words: too expensive
by SirYes on Wed 17th Dec 2008 21:44 UTC
SirYes
Member since:
2007-03-12

Recently I faced the dillema of puchasing a new notebook for my wife. Our previous machine became almost five years old and I really was considering a new aluminium MacBook.

However, MacBooks in Poland are priced highest in the entire world at the moment (taking USD to local currency ratio and VAT into account). For 2/3 of the Apple's price I have bought an ASUS N50VN-FP031C-1, with bigger RAM (4GB DDR2 800MHz), fast processor (Core2 Duo T5800 @ 2.0GHz w/2MB cache), bigger HDD (320GB), better video card (NVIDIA GF 9650 w/1GB dedicated RAM), SplashTop, regular HDMI/VGA connectors and slick design. Ubuntu just flies on this machine, I can tell you, and even Vista (spare us, Dear Lord) has satisfactory performance.

Similar amount of power is available not in MacBook, but MacBook Pro, for twice the price I have paid. And even though I was thinking over and over for almost a month (!) I decided not to buy MacBook this time. It seems I was not alone.

If one buys a higher-class Mercedes, Audi or Chrysler instead of regular Ford or Citroen, one can expect many improvements - not only in looks and comfort, but under the hood as well (more horse power, to name one). This is not the case with Apple and given my example I suspect their margins are high, up to two times higher than ASUS makes. For me this is no surprise less people bought new Macs before Christmas 2008.

Edited 2008-12-17 21:55 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE: Two words: too expensive
by Johann Chua on Thu 18th Dec 2008 10:23 UTC in reply to "Two words: too expensive"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

Yeah, Mac users should quit with the car analogies. Macs don't even have that much of a premium over regular PCs anymore, when you match the specs. With luxury and sports cars, limited production and handcrafting may justify the premium. With Macs it's OS X, and to a lesser extent the build-quality.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Two words: too expensive
by darknexus on Thu 18th Dec 2008 12:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Two words: too expensive"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Last I checked, it wasn't the Mac users coming up with the car analogies, it was the OSX86 community doing that as an attempt to explain why a post-sale restriction could not be applied to OS X.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Two words: too expensive
by Johann Chua on Thu 18th Dec 2008 18:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Two words: too expensive"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

In my neck of the woods Mac users keep comparing Apple to BMW. You mileage may vary.

I used a Mac Classic in high school before using Windows (3.x). Getting a Mac for home use was out of the question at the time, given local pricing. Really handy to have one for Chinese typesetting, though, since the school didn't print enough Chinese documents to justify the same setup as local Chinese newspapers.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Two words: too expensive
by ssa2204 on Thu 18th Dec 2008 12:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Two words: too expensive"
ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

Yeah, Mac users should quit with the car analogies. Macs don't even have that much of a premium over regular PCs anymore, when you match the specs. With luxury and sports cars, limited production and handcrafting may justify the premium. With Macs it's OS X, and to a lesser extent the build-quality.


Macs have quite a large profit margin to them, one reason why Apple controls so tightly the re-sale market for them. It is also why Apple may never gain a truly significant market share opposite Microsoft Windows, for in order to do so they will have to give up their obsessive control. I am not certain how it is now, but a few years back I was told that to be able to sell Apple products (i.e authorized reseller) you had to meet a quota that was quite strict, as opposed to companies like HP where you simply have to just register. I don't think I need to explain why they do this, but suffice to say I think it can be said that talk of Apple ever being a true competitor in the business market is purely wishful thinking. They have their niche, and they are quite comfortable with it, and their consumers are happy for it.

Anyways, when you do compare the sum of components to a similar HP, you can easily see the huge premium you get for that Apple logo. Unfortunately for Apple, they should expect to tighten their belts quite a bit for the next several years as business will certainly be quite lean for them.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Two words: too expensive
by Johann Chua on Thu 18th Dec 2008 18:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Two words: too expensive"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

One of the local Mac resellers, Ynzal Marketing, lost its authorized status due to a big mess involving a refurbished iBook. It still sells third-party accessories and refurbished Macs, but it's not an authorized service center anymore.

The irony is that Ynzal was considered one of the best Mac service centers in the Philippines, whereas Apple Center/Power Mac Center gets tons of complaints about lousy after-sales service, yet Apple doesn't seem to mind.

Reply Score: 2

In a word: Netbooks.
by bornagainenguin on Sat 20th Dec 2008 06:34 UTC
bornagainenguin
Member since:
2005-08-07

Apple has simply chosen to sit out the fastest growing segment of the home computing market and people wonder at falling sales?

I'm still pleased as can be with my little ASUS EeePC 901--it does pretty much everything I need and I've been using it as a replacement for my old Inspiron 5100, for the last few months and finding it works pretty well for me. Of course if I could do it all over again I'd have probably waited and gotten an Inspiron Mini or a MSI Wind so I could run OSX86 on it...

If Apple wants to recapture their former sales growth they need to give the customer what they want, which in this case is a netbook.

--bornagainpenguin

Reply Score: 2