Apple Mac sales slow in November, Microsoft Windows rises

NPD Group Inc, which monitors retail sales, has found that sales of Apple Macs in the United States have remained pretty much the same as they were last November, falling by just 1 percent, while sales of Microsoft Windows PCs have risen 7 percent.

The research found that sales of desktop computers as a whole have dropped 20 percent, with Windows desktop sales falling by 15 percent and Macs falling 38 percent. Meanwhile, notebook sales have risen. Sales of Apple Macbooks rose by 22 percent in November, while sales of Windows notebooks rose by just 15 percent.

However, the rise of Windows overall may be just down to cost. In an article posted on the Wall Street Journal today, Apple Macbooks are set to deliver a 20% profit margin, compared to just 6% for competing, often Windows based, notebooks. While this is for notebooks, an area which Apple appears to be doing better than Microsoft in, the same is likely to apply to desktop computers.

Speaking to Reuters, NPD analyst Steve Barker said, "for notebooks, there is a little extra value to consumers (to buy Apple). For desktops I'm not so sure. To me the real story is the iMacs need a refresh."

Steve Jobs said in October that Apple has no plans to cut prices on the Macs, because "we're not tremendously worried" that the current economic downturn will drive consumers to cheaper computers. When reporting Apples earnings in October, Jobs said "We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk."

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Jobs said,
We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk.

Isn't the iPod Touch a computer? And thats $229, (the Mac Mini is only $599) - you're not meant to call your own computers "junk".

plastikaa said,
Isn't the iPod Touch a computer? And thats $229, (the Mac Mini is only $599) - you're not meant to call your own computers "junk".

The Touch is an iPod, a handheld/portable device. While it certainly has some computer-like properties, it isn't classified as a computer as such. "Computer" has become a catch-all term with the advent of more powerful and functional handhelds - hell I can control my entire Mac from my iPhone and print, edit documents, surf the web, as if I was sitting in front of it.

But Apple's handhelds are still not computers, and are certainly not part of Apple's computer division.

And the Mini isn't $500 It's $599 before taxes. One dollar less $600. And depending on where you live, it's even more.

But you never know . . . Apple *might* make a $500 "computer" in the future that isn't "junk." And maybe the term "computer" will technically encompass a much more broad range of products.

warwagon said,
Thats because people don't want to spend $2,000 on a notebook


But they're perfectly willing to do so when the economy is fine.

I doubt many people will be buying a Mercedes or Maserati under these economic conditions. Yet both brands have survived several recessions and have made their money during more prosperous times.

But regardless, those who can afford it, will spend. And there will always be a certain demographic that can afford it. Always.

LTD said,
But they're perfectly willing to do so when the economy is fine.

I doubt many people will be buying a Mercedes or Maserati under these economic conditions. Yet both brands have survived several recessions and have made their money during more prosperous times.

But regardless, those who can afford it, will spend. And there will always be a certain demographic that can afford it. Always.

The problem I see with some people is, they cannot afford it but think they need it to fit in with everyone else around them. Heck, I used to do the same thing. See a new gadget a friend bought and had to go out and get me something like it. Now i think about if I need it, will I use it fully, and if i can afford it. If it doesnt meet those criteria, then its pretty much wasting money. I cannot count how many times I talked myself out of buying something. I will keep my 3rd gen iPod instead of buying a touch. :-)

If Apple is going to continue to succeed, I genuinely believe Steve Jobs needs to re-affirm his business know-how by announcing a system to help keep Apple in the game at MacWorld in January. Rumors of an all new Mac Mini might just be the saving grace.

Look.. I own an iMac and it's a lovely machine and all. But Windows 7 is right on track to be a major improvement over Vista.. and if the aggressive pricing & generous specs continue in the PC market, Apple is going to find a lot of people jumping ship to go back to Windows next year. I certainly won't hesitate. I've enjoyed my Mac experience so far but I'm under no illusions regarding how much it cost compared with what you could get for the same money from the PC vendors. Vista was the straw that broke the camels back for me, but Microsoft know they blew it and won't make the same mistake again.

Chicane-UK said,
Apple is going to find a lot of people jumping ship to go back to Windows next year.

Apple's core market knows better. We switched for a reason.

Whether Apple can attract non-mac users in this economic climate is a different story. Mac users who have chosen OS X up until now will stick with it and simply hold off on Mac purchases for a while. Windows is still Windows. I hope you don't honestly think that for those of us who have already chosen OS X there will be some compelling reason to go back to Windows! LOL, please!!

LTD said,
Windows is still Windows.

What.. the industry leading operating system?

Microsoft do frequently make mistakes - but they sure as hell work hard at putting them right. Vista was a disappointment for me but Microsoft simply won't screw up in the same way with Windows 7. I genuinely think it'll be an excellent product.. and only the Apple diehards will ignore it.

The iMac just doesn't cut it from a performance point of view any more and the Mac Pro is flat out too expensive and extravagant for a home user. I'll go wherever the best value for money is frankly.

I'm not sure how you can compare Windows 7 to OS X like this... Windows 7 looks nice, and it'll most likely be both higher performing and a good minor update to Windows Vista in terms of features. So what...? I didn't go Mac because of only Vista... I went for Mac to have a more solid foundation in the OS, leading to things like a OS with a feature set competitive with Vista's, but with the performance and lack of requirements of XP, not needing to run antivirus tools, not have a Windows Registry that get crapped on regularly, integrated development tools for professionals (I'm interested in photography and programming -- OS X is miles ahead of even what's announced for W7 there), and so on.

And with a company that has the guts to tell "OK, so our next OS won't have much new features, because we're going to spend time on making it more streamlined and faster". Something to compare to OpenCL to delegate CPU work to the GPU isn't even on Microsoft's public roadmap yet.

It's not the different operating systems that made me switch, it's the different philosophies.

I'm sure Windows 7 will be a major improvement over Vista, but it'll still be based on Vista, the UI, the complete Windows heritage with everything that implies, and I don't like it anymore, I'm fed up of it.

Chicane-UK said,
What.. the industry leading operating system?

Do you know WHY it "leads"?

A great deal of it has to do with licensing. With a capital "L." In fact, the most lucrative licensing scheme of our time.

And "industry leading" has very little to do with market share, in that market share is just one aspect, and does not necessarily have anything to do with quality. "Industry leading" is in fact a vague and nebulous phrase. In what way is something "industry leading"? Units sold? Level of technology? Design?

And there are a lot of "Apple diehards." I'll reserve my judgment about the success of Windows 7, because it is unreleased. I'll also reserve my judgment about Apple's level of success in the new year because we haven't seen how Apple (in the OS X era) handles a recession.

Chicane-UK said,
What.. the industry leading operating system?

Yes, so? This is of importance if you depend on it leading the industry for what you use your OS for, but not otherwise. Personally I'm amazed by much software there is for Macs these days, for its market share. So for me this is not an issue. Maybe if you need something particular, especially gaming, and then, by all means, go Windows 7.

Chicane-UK said,
What.. the industry leading operating system?

Microsoft do frequently make mistakes - but they sure as hell work hard at putting them right. Vista was a disappointment for me but Microsoft simply won't screw up in the same way with Windows 7. I genuinely think it'll be an excellent product.. and only the Apple diehards will ignore it.

The iMac just doesn't cut it from a performance point of view any more and the Mac Pro is flat out too expensive and extravagant for a home user. I'll go wherever the best value for money is frankly.

Ok, I am not an Apple fan by far as I dont care for Macs...but I wanna comment anyway....

Microsoft has already screwed up, worse tho, than they did with Vista. Ever heard of a lovely (input sarcasm) OS called Windows ME? I had it loaded for less than a week before reinstalling Win98se. ME was a complete joke and nothing worked on it for very long, if at all. MS screwed up several years later with releasing Vista with little driver support and before it was ready. It seems that MS releases a good reviewed/rated OS every other year. Wonder what Windows 8 will be like........

techbeck said,

Ok, I am not an Apple fan by far as I dont care for Macs...but I wanna comment anyway....

Microsoft has already screwed up, worse tho, than they did with Vista. Ever heard of a lovely (input sarcasm) OS called Windows ME? I had it loaded for less than a week before reinstalling Win98se. ME was a complete joke and nothing worked on it for very long, if at all. MS screwed up several years later with releasing Vista with little driver support and before it was ready. It seems that MS releases a good reviewed/rated OS every other year. Wonder what Windows 8 will be like........

Here . . . borrow my flamesuit.

Whenever "Windows ME" is used in the same breath as "Vista" or "Windows 7", flames usually follow.

It's like the tech version of Godwin's Law.

Jugalator said,
but with the performance and lack of requirements of XP, not needing to run antivirus tools, not have a Windows Registry that get crapped on regularly

Ok, I dont care how little Macs get nailed...we always load antivirus on our Macs at work and I tell people at work who own personal Macs to protect their systems. And the people I work with listen to me and install antivirus or asked me to install it for them. Its being smart because the time is coming for Macs especially with every article written has a blurb or two about how Macs dont get viruses and malware like Windows. This is like teasing the hackers to attack Macs and I am willing to bet a lot of people will be caught with their pants down. PCs didnt always get hacked/viruses either but look what happened to them...because of their popularity...

LTD said,
Here . . . borrow my flamesuit.

Whenever "Windows ME" is used in the same breath as "Vista" or "Windows 7", flames usually follow.

It's like the tech version of Godwin's Law. ;)

FLAME ON!

I dont care really, I dont respond to flamers.

Ugh. Seriously, LTD - this blind fanboyism just makes me uncomfortable. I knew you were bad but just not THAT bad. I love my iMac (and my Powermac G5) but believe there are equal and better systems out there.

Have Apple done ANYTHING that you've disagreed with? No company is perfect IMHO and whilst I think they're more 'cuddly' than Microsoft, they still do some outrageous and facelessly corporate crap.

Chicane-UK said,
Have Apple done ANYTHING that you've disagreed with?

Not a whole lot, TBH. But:

- The pricing on their Cinema Displays. I was never really convinced by their quality anyway.
- The Mighty Mouse. Nice idea, but poorly executed.
- Front Row. Still not that useful even if you've got a large display. But better with AppleTV
- The Finder. So much room for development. Let's have tabs and a Pathfinder-like shelf, please.
- That "hockey puck" one-button mouse.
- The noise of the G4 tower model
- Pulling out of MacWorld. Perhaps there will be other ways Jobs will deliver live keynotes, but for now, it's a shame that Apple is breaking this exciting tradition.
- Jobs not trotting out a likely successor sooner. We need to get accustomed to whoever it will be. Last minute intros will likely make the stock tank.

That's about it.

Chicane-UK said,
Ugh. Seriously, LTD - this blind fanboyism just makes me uncomfortable. I knew you were bad but just not THAT bad. I love my iMac (and my Powermac G5) but believe there are equal and better systems out there.

Have Apple done ANYTHING that you've disagreed with? No company is perfect IMHO and whilst I think they're more 'cuddly' than Microsoft, they still do some outrageous and facelessly corporate crap.

People are entitled to their opinions and views on things. There are a TON of MS fanboys out here that things MS can do no wrong as well. Its all good and let LTD speak, he isnt being rude or anything and offers some good points and info.

Well, they haven't updated the iMac, the mini and the Mac Pro in a while... things are gonna change soon, I'm not worrying about that.

it just blows because it happens during the holidays. They should have come up with a new mini in the course of november, it would have changed a god damn lot in that.

PsykX said,
Well, they haven't updated the iMac, the mini and the Mac Pro in a while... things are gonna change soon, I'm not worrying about that.

it just blows because it happens during the holidays. They should have come up with a new mini in the course of november, it would have changed a god damn lot in that.

A slow November and December (only in terms of Mac sales) won't break Apple. The real fallout will happen once Apple brings the updated machines to market, given the current economic climate. Then we'll see how Apple will fare.

Keep in mind, Apple's overall health doe not depend solely on the Mac. They have other devices, and if they *do* release a Netbook-like device or some other device (midrange tower maybe?) then that has the the potential of bolstering revenue.

LTD said,

A slow November and December (only in terms of Mac sales) won't break Apple. The real fallout will happen once Apple brings the updated machines to market, given the current economic climate. Then we'll see how Apple will fare.

Keep in mind, Apple's overall health doe not depend solely on the Mac. They have other devices, and if they *do* release a Netbook-like device or some other device (midrange tower maybe?) then that has the the potential of bolstering revenue.

IMHO Apple should buy out Adobe and move their focus so that they're more of a balanced hardware and software company - you find that in downtimes people will make their hardware last a little longer but more willing to upgrade their software.

Chocolate Afghan said,

IMHO Apple should buy out Adobe and move their focus so that they're more of a balanced hardware and software company - you find that in downtimes people will make their hardware last a little longer but more willing to upgrade their software.

Might not be a bad idea. Adobe's been releasing slow bloatware lately. I have CS4, but there's a lot of cruft in there. I wouldn't mind seeing an Apple take on the UI design of those apps.

Important issues will be pricing, how Apple will handle Windows compatibility, and demand for those creative-professional oriented products in the current economic climate.

Haha, I really like the idea. Adobe buying Macromedia. Then Apple buying Adobe :|

But honestly, I think Apple, if they seriously invested time in this department, would release much better software. Or if they bought Adobe, they would fix a bunch of things.

Thing is, the UI of Adobe apps changes so many times these days, Apple would make new (radical) changes once more :P That would make some unhappy, but oh well!

Apple sales slow, ok...
I don't understand how Microsoft are rising, I mean, don't they already dominate? The Mac switchers aren't going to ever be won over again by Microsoft, that's for sure.
Another thing, why do Microsoft even need to advertise Windows, most people think of Windows as being "A Computer" these days...

The Mac switchers aren't going to ever be won over again by Microsoft, that's for sure.

Why do you say that? A lot of people (me included) switched from iPods, why can't they switch from Macs?

Sacha said,
Why do you say that? A lot of people (me included) switched from iPods, why can't they switch from Macs?

Because most of the time, they are people who've already switched from Windows. I don't know (m)any Mac users who would leave OS X behind.

All I can say about this matter, let's wait till WINDOWS 7 comes along. Apple is very nice and shiny of course. That's all your paying for, because you can do all that on Windows. If you want to have a sexy desktop/laptop people will generally go with apple if they can afford it. Otherwise Windows is just fine.

neoxphuse said,
All I can say about this matter, let's wait till WINDOWS 7 comes along. Apple is very nice and shiny of course. That's all your paying for, because you can do all that on Windows. If you want to have a sexy desktop/laptop people will generally go with apple if they can afford it. Otherwise Windows is just fine.

Windows and OS X are about as alike as night and day.

LTD said,
Windows and OS X are about as alike as night and day.

Think he was talking about the hardware since the made a comment that Apple is shiny. Dont think he was comparing OSX and Windows.

:)

LTD said,
Windows and OS X are about as alike as night and day.

Besides, no they aren't quite that different, as much as you might want to believe it.

Kirkburn said,
Besides, no they aren't quite that different, as much as you might want to believe it.

It depends on how you look at it. OS X is a bit like a high quality *nix distribution for the desktop. They're that different at least. Next it depends on how you define "different". Architecture-wise, the two operating systems have pretty much nothing in common. This shows up in Apple's preserved security in several areas where Microsoft has had to try sneak in UAC, etc. It's not "magic", it's just different designs.

Most people who say Windows and OSX are different probably use one all the time and have used the other for less than an hour.

Ive used both for a while and no they really arent that much different. What does Windows do than a Mac doesnt do? or what does a Mac do a Window machine doesnt do?

Sure some keyboard shortcuts are different and the UI is moved about a bit, but come-on seriously.

Both have some software you can use that functions poorly, and both have UI limitations. I often find myself looking for options on Windows that are one click on a Mac... but then on the Mac I look for options that are one click on Windows.

""We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk."

So does this mean the new Mac Minis that he'll apparently be unveiling are, by his own admission, pieces of junk?

FrozenEclipse said,
""We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk."

So does this mean the new Mac Minis that he'll apparently be unveiling are, by his own admission, pieces of junk?

Not unless you already know what the pricing will be on those Minis.

has found that sales of Apple Macs in the United States have remained pretty much the same as they were last November, falling by just 1 percent

Are these the NP words here? 1% translates to A LOT of sales and I doubt Apple sees it as "pretty much the same as last year."

Steve Jobs said in October that Apple has no plans to cut prices on the Macs, because "we're not tremendously worried" that the current economic downturn will drive consumers to cheaper computers.

Yeah, because people will want to stay hip and trendy in the middle of an economic meltdown, excellent job Steve...

SouthWest said,
Steve Jobs said in October that Apple has no plans to cut prices on the Macs, because "we're not tremendously worried" that the current economic downturn will drive consumers to cheaper computers.

Yeah, because people will want to stay hip and trendy in the middle of an economic meltdown, excellent job Steve...

No, they'll just put it off.

I've hit hard times before, and I can tell you that when money is tight - I don't buy the $1000 or the $500 computer, I don't buy a computer at all - make my existing one last a little longer.

Latest macbook :

-nvidia video problem (present since 2007).
-Overheat problem.

and for the latest model:
-matte option discarded.
-no really new features, just a minor update. between 8600m and 9600m there are little difference.
-no low-profile models.
-no firewire400 (where many if not all firewire devices are compatible with fw400), you can use a adapter but this s*ck *ss!.
-new video connector, again you can use a adapter.
-no blu-ray, even Acer have some models with blu-ray.

Magallanes said,
Latest macbook :

-nvidia video problem (present since 2007).
-Overheat problem.

and for the latest model:
-matte option discarded.
-no really new features, just a minor update.
-no low-profile models.


Yet they're selling extremely well. What's your point?

The issue was with the aging iMac line, not notebooks.

Kirkburn said,
People are sheep?


And the ones that don't know of anything beyond Windows (most people)?

What are they?

LTD said,
And the ones that don't know of anything beyond Windows (most people)?

What are they?


People? You're the one telling us those issues with macbooks mean nothing because people are still buying them, which implies people either don't care or are following the crowd.

Comparing a Macbook and Windows is a little silly, as this is a specific piece of hardware. If you could buy OS X standalone for other PCs, then we can talk. Or, you can compare a Macbook to a Dell XPS.

(fwiw, people who unquestionly use Windows are also sheep, but we're not the ones using that excuse)

Overheating? please - stop lying.

Just because you think that the GPU or the CPU is hot - Apple has guidelines which they have set in their SMC for their fans to operate etc. I've got a MacBook and iMac, both of them work perfectly.

Yeah, let's go ahead and disregard the improved specs and battery life, these don't matter for... laptops... at all. "no really new features?"

Especially put against the battery life caused by Vista, it's most certainly a "feature".

The white MacBook with its updated price is more of a low profile laptop model than Apple has ever had before, and the other MacBooks fare much better against the new Pro's now... Sure, even their cheapest MacBook isn't as cheap as the budget segment of PC laptops, but then again, those laptops are shipping with Vista Home Basic and crapware... It's a lot about what you pay for...

Well considering the Mini and Mac Pro haven't been updated in ages and more people are moving to laptops then the decline in desktop sales should have sorta been expected. Apple will be updating their desktops early next year so why would you buy now when the new core i7 processors are coming out soon. Anybody would be foolish to buy a Mac Pro right now with the new chips right around the corner and everyone who needs one knows this. The laptops were just recently refreshed and the core i7 mobile chips won't be out for a while so they faired much better then desktops.

Wow, gotta love the arrogance of Jobs...

What Apple doesnt get is that not everyone needs or wants a $1000+ computer. Some people only use a computer to check email, type documents, or surf the net. You dont need a $1000+ machine to do this and people will choose a $400 PC. Just because a PC costs under $1000, doesnt make it crap. Jobs is pretty much saying that all companies, Dell, Gateway, HP....selling computers for $500 or around $500 is junk. More negative talk from Apple if you ask me.

I hate the saying "you get what you pay for"

I bought a cheap car back in 2000. Friends of mine always buy expensive 30k+ cars. My car lasted 8 years with no major issues and the only reason why I got rid of it was because of the AC compressor. My friends cars had TONS of issues.

Creative makes great MP3 players more features than the iPod and for cheaper. So does Sandisk. Great players, great sound quality and works just as good as an iPod.

You can buy a $30+ Belkin USB cable or you can get one for 1/2 the price from Cables2Go that works just as well.

I could go on and on...

techbeck said,
Wow, gotta love the arrogance of Jobs...

What Apple doesnt get is that not everyone needs or wants a $1000+ computer. Some people only use a computer to check email, type documents, or surf the net. You dont need a $1000+ machine to do this and people will choose a $400 PC. Just because a PC costs under $1000, doesnt make it crap. Jobs is pretty much saying that all companies, Dell, Gateway, HP....selling computers for $500 or around $500 is junk. More negative talk from Apple if you ask me.

I hate the saying "you get what you pay for"

I bought a cheap car back in 2000. Friends of mine always buy expensive 30k+ cars. My car lasted 8 years with no major issues and the only reason why I got rid of it was because of the AC compressor. My friends cars had TONS of issues.

Creative makes great MP3 players more features than the iPod and for cheaper. So does Sandisk. Great players, great sound quality and works just as good as an iPod.

You can buy a $30+ Belkin USB cable or you can get one for 1/2 the price from Cables2Go that works just as well.

I could go on and on...

I don' t know what planet your on - but down where I am - the iPod is the cheapest player on the market when it comes to hard disk players (I have 100gb of music and thus need it). Add to the fact that the other vendors can't be stuffed supporting Mac OS X - which rules out their hardware to begin with.

Zune is a prime example of that.

Jobs said "We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk."
Of course he doesn't. Here's how: Get rid of the Apple Tax. We all know that special logo doesn't come cheap.

"To me the real story is the iMacs need a refresh."
Wow, even I know that the iMac line was just refreshed. Research before commenting, Mr.Barker. It helps with that credibility thing.

It's quite amusing to see the author assume that the change in sales is due to the economy when really, it could just be that more people are wanting Windows computers than Apple ones. Did bias get in the way of considering that? Different profit margins doesn't explain a change in sales especially since Apple has always had a higher profit margin than it's competitors.

Apple's pricing is finally biting them in the behind - hey, the economy is in a massive slowdown, but let's release that $1300 MB anyway!

But none of that would be that bad, but for the fact that computer components are getting cheaper and cheaper all the time, while Apple still skimps and charges a premium, even though the actual HW isn't as good as a similarly priced PC. Ahh, the joys of running OSX legally.

Good to see MS bouncing back after all the negative campaigns against them and the whole Vista fiasco. Negative campaigning against someone works for a while...but eventually people will see the light and choose for themselves instead of letting the TV tell them what to buy.

That comment didn't make much sense for me. Why is it good to see MS bounce back with a product that has been a fiasco? I mean, why do you think they deserve it? I'd understand this one more post-Windows 7 and if it's good.

Admodieus said,
It's because of the recession, I believe. PCs are cheaper

No, not only because of the recession. Just MS bouncing back and improving their sales.

Admodieus said,
It's because of the recession, I believe. PCs are cheaper

We bought a fairly inexpensive laptop for our oldest son. He wanted an Apple, and we considered an iMac for his room, but the Apple line didn't compete well enough on price, especially since we went for a laptop.

techbeck said,
No, not only because of the recession. Just MS bouncing back and improving their sales.

This has nothing to do with MS. It's about the price of the hardware. Maybe it will encourage Apple to stop gouging people on overpriced Mac desktops and accessories.

That displayport thing still bothers me too.

MMaster23 said,
Microsoft has nothing to do with it .. it's all about the partners..

So Microsoft Never wins right little Fanboy ?