Mac Sales Drop…..PC Sales Rise…..Fanbois Crap Their Jeans

It seems that the party is over for Apple in terms of gaining market share on their PC competitors. It looks like the PC empire has finally decided to strike back and according to eWeek, the February numbers pretty much speak for themselves:

U.S. retail Windows PC unit shipments rose 22 percent in February, despite the weak economy. By comparison, Mac unit sales fell nearly 17 percent. Apple’s stronger category, notebooks, could no longer defy gravity. Windows laptop unit sales jumped 36 percent year over year, while Mac notebooks declined 7.5 percent.

The author of this article does suggest a good reason why this might be the case:

The obvious answer is upfront pricing. Consumers and small businesses pay more to join the Mac club because the entry-level prices are higher. Perhaps Apple sells computers for more than most consumers or small businesses are willing to spend right now. Apple’s iMac starts at $1,199 and MacBook at $999. In February, the average selling price for Macs was $1,500, down from $1,628 a year earlier but up from $1,482 in November. By comparison Windows PC selling prices continue in a downward direction from $668 to $555, February to February, and $572 from November.

True, the price is higher up front for something from the Apple universe. But fanbois many would argue that you get much more for your mone in terms of hardware and software up front as well. But given the times that we live in, that may not be enough to sway people to the Mac. A companion article written by the same author has some additional reasons:

I see three factors benefiting Microsoft and its OEM partners. In order from least to most important:

  • Some cost-conscious would-be Mac switchers are choosing cheaper Windows PCs.
  • Netbook sales are rising, giving additional uplift to Windows laptop sales.
  • “Windows. Life Without Walls” marketing is doing what it’s supposed to.

I’ll buy into the first two points, but I’m skeptical about the third. Maybe the cute little kids do make some sort of difference in terms of making PCs/Microsoft look better. But from talking to my customers, the cute kids aren’t making Vista any more appealing to them.

But then again, numbers don’t lie…. much.

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