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."