updated 05:25 pm EST, Wed November 25, 2009
iMac, Windows 7 timing help Apple sales
Mac desktops represented nearly half of all desktops sold at US retail shops in October, the NPD Group said in a new study. About 47.7 percent of desktop revenue was from iMacs, Mac minis or Mac Pros, an increase from 45 percent in April and a sharp surge from just 33 percent in October 2008. Mac notebooks also saw a sequential gain from 30 percent in April to 34 percent last month, though this was a drop from 38 percent a year earlier.
Apple's newfound if relative parity in desktops is attributed both to its own timing as well as that of Microsoft. The release of the new iMacs on October 20th is likely to have given Apple a boost to its numbers, NPD industry analysis VP Stephen Baker noted. At the same time, Microsoft's own launch of Windows 7 just two days later triggered its own increase as customers waiting for the OS upgrade purchased their systems. Apple's higher notebook performance last year was helped by the launch of then-new unibody MacBooks and MacBook Pros.
Baker pointed out that Apple sales jumps aren't usually sustainable, as demand eventually cools, and that demand may have appeared higher as the economic crash in 2008 kept many from buying. However, he noted that Windows PC vendors' sales are often disconnected from new releases and that Microsoft likely saw an artificial slump from those who would have bought a PC earlier in the month without the new OS as an option.
The results are regardless a minor win for Apple as its average selling prices are still more than twice as high as for Windows-based computers. The average cost of a Mac desktop in October was $1,338, or 2.7 times the $491 for a typical Windows tower. A Mac notebook on average cost $1,410 versus $519 for common Windows pricing. Both sides saw average prices fall compared to a year ago, though this can be attributed to the economy pushing both Apple and Windows PC builders to offer better value at lower prices. [via BetaNews]