updated 03:25 pm EDT, Mon May 11, 2009
Apple to Ride Laptop Spike
Apple and other PC makers are likely to see a return to form thanks to revitalized notebook sales, a ChangeWave study said today. Analysts note that the number of people looking to buy notebooks within the next three months has bounced back from a low of 6 percent in February to 8 percent in April and that companies which have a strong focus on notebooks are most likely to benefit from that demand. Apple in particular should reap the benefits as it continues to have strong plans to buy notebooks, with 29 percent of notebook buyers still looking to purchase MacBooks.
Other companies which have a significant footprint in notebooks are also poised to do well, according to the research, with 23 percent of buyers looking for HP systems and Dell seeing a 3-point spike to 29 percent.
Even so, the study warns that Apple's success may depend heavily on how many of these purchases move towards budget models instead of higher-priced systems. The number of notebook buyers who said their next purchase would involve a netbook was up from 18 percent in February to 23 percent in April. As such, the company may still face difficult sales if the intended purchases translate to lost sales. Actual MacBook purchases since the previous study were down 2 percentage points to 18 percent.
Publicly, Apple has recently denied interest in netbooks as they exist due to perceived quality and performance issues but has said it has "ideas" for the market if demand continues to grow and it can improve on the concept.
Regardless of platform, the study points to a continued shift away from desktops that may also hint at an overall market decline, with demand for Apple desktops down 3 points to 23 percent and its actual sales down a similar amount to just 12 percent. At Dell and HP, desktop demand lowered by 1 percent (to 31 percent) and 3 percent (to 25 percent) respectively.