updated 01:22 pm EST, Fri January 4, 2013
Windows notebooks see tougher hit
For a period between November 18th and December 22nd, MacBook sales came in 6 percent lower year-over-year, according to new NPD Group data. It's not clear why MacBook sales suffered, although there are several potential reasons. The major driver may be that Apple released only one updated MacBook in late 2012, the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro; every other MacBook was updated earlier in the year. In late 2011, the entire MacBook Pro lineup was refreshed.
Cost could be another issue. The average selling price of MacBooks went up almost $100 year-over-year during the holidays, possibly because Apple put most of its marketing and development effort into the Retina models, which are also far more expensive than their non-Retina counterparts.
Windows notebooks took a worse hit in NPD figures, sliding 11 percent versus 2011. Average selling price increased $2 to $420, and only 4.5 percent of systems were touchscreen computers equipped with Windows 8. Those models had an ASP of $700. The deepest impact is said to have been felt on sales of sub-$500 PCs, which dropped 16 percent. That market could be skewing towards tablets, namely the Apple iPad, Google Nexus, and Amazon Kindle Fire.
Overall consumer electronics sales dipped 3.7 percent during the 2012 holidays, getting worse in the last three weeks, which were under by 11 percent. NPD blames a "weak product cycle," although items like tablets, soundbars, cellular accessories, headphones with mics, and interchangeable-lens cameras reportedly did well.