back to article Vista woes fuel Mac sales surge - analyst

The 3G iPhone may be getting all the attention this week, but let's not forget Apple's other product line, the Mac family, which is enjoying new-found success thanks to... Microsoft. According to US investment house BMO Capital Markets, cited by AppleInsider, Apple will have shipped up to 2.5m Macs between April and June …


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  1. Gildas

    Price is right?

    "but Apple has the balance between price, performance and features about right"

    Oh yeah?

    Dell Inspiron 1525, 15.4" screen 2.1GHz chip, 3GB memory, 250GB HD: £520.

    MacBook, 13" screen, 2.4GHz chip, 2GB memory, 160GB HD, err..£830!

    I think a lot more folk would buy Macs if their (UK) price stucture didn't take the preverbial! As it is I'm happy with my Dell and I have enough left over for a Acer Aspire One.

  2. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)


    Mr Sapiens,

    15in laptops are ten-a-penny thanks to vendors stocking up earlier in the year and not selling as many as they hoped to.

    There are far fewer 13in laptops sitting around in warehouses at the moment, and a price check in Dell's 13in laptops will reveal a price far closer to the MacBook's.

    15in way cheaper than 13in? Crazy but true. The only exception is... ahem... Apple's 15in MacBook Pro, which really should be cheaper.

    "It is the doom of men that they forget..."

  3. Ted


    Incorrect. You made an unfair price comparison since you choose a higher end MacBook. A 2.1Ghz MacBook is £699, and perhaps £28 more for 3GB of ram. Plus you forgot to mention you get a lot more "value" for your money with the MacBook so when you really cost it all out, the MacBook is quite similar in price.

    Keep in mind, Apple constantly "calibrates" their pricing to match all top tier competitors, so when you actually run the numbers, a Mac is the way to go most every time. Plus you get OSX, iLife, etc and the ability to run the older OS's such as Windows and Linux on the same machine.

  4. Patrick


    I have got sick of windows and have got myself a secondhand imac 17" intel core duo 1.83ghz, for £270 from ebay with full retail version of leopard and thats from a mac trader. as it had a bit of damage to the case. its faster to boot, more stable, and i have ilife 06 which does what i need, only let down is games.

    come on apple get more games.

  5. Gildas


    Now be fair. If you take a base MacBook and up the memory from 1GB to even 2GB and up the HD from the standard 120GB to 250GB the price comes out at £849!

  6. Patrick

    Cheaper outside the loop

    Or pay for base Model mac book, then goto ebuyer and get a 320gb sata for £59.26 and another 1gb for £14. but as they use 2*512mb it would cost £28

    So thats only £87.26 with free shipping over 5 days ( comes after three ) total £786.26

  7. James Prior


    Got meself an iMac about 4 months ago now and opted for the 24" powered by the 2.8 Core 2 Duo Extreme (the top model at the time).

    To be honest it wasn't much more expensive than a similar spec Dell XPS or other brand "power PC". It helped that I didn't buy any extra ram from Apple (about £200) but spent £30 at Crucial and now have 4Gb.

    Would I go back? Well I've got MS setup via Boot Camp for any unforseen programs that I must have that I can't get on OS X but I'm much happier with it compared to XP or Vista. OS X is definately much faster. I'm not a "Fan Boy" as I am still happy to use Windows at work but the Mac is far superior.

  8. Nick Pettefar


    "Oh yeah?

    Dell Inspiron 1525, 15.4" screen 2.1GHz chip, 3GB memory, 250GB HD: £520.

    MacBook, 13" screen, 2.4GHz chip, 2GB memory, 160GB HD, err..£830!"

    Unfortunately, after spending your £520, you end up with a cheap and nasty Dell laptop that's too large to carry around easily and too small to use as a desktop and runs Vista! Update, scan, update, scan, update, scan, repeat ad nauseum...

  9. Chris Coles

    Lesson number one in business - In the end, the customer can walk away.

    Microsoft created an operating system that was redesigned; I reckon around about the 1986/87 period to seek out information on behalf of a great many organisations, not all of them benign or commercial. I suspect that, at its height, it has been a great success for some of those "organisations" but which had the downside of making it wide open to hackers too. In trying to keep collecting information while trying to keep out hackers, they created the worst of all worlds, a system that they had to keep running while at the same time, were trying to fend off criticism by trying to show they were committed to making the system hacker proof.

    Ergo, we became, as users, attached to an unending stream of updates... start up, update, turn off, start machine, update... while all the time the information gathering capabilities made our PC slower and slower. Add to that we cannot see any of what is being collected. Have no idea of who is reading what or where. That once the "cat" was out of the bag, and the hackers themselves were then employed by commercial organisations to allow the commercial world the same information gathering capabilities as the "organisations" and the whole thing has arrived at a point so far away from a normal commercial product sold for the advantage of the customer that the customer has at last realised the continuing stupidity of all of this.

    I first got an understanding of the unseen capabilities when my desktop turned completely Japanese one day. And on another day, someone ran a sound WAV file that was someone walking with hard shoes on a wood floor walking across the room, opening the door and closing it behind them, clunk! Whoever it was, was a real show off, but left me absolutely certain that there is no way we can keep anyone out of our machines.

    Microsoft has destroyed its market. Or, should I say instead, the "organisations" requests for information gathering capabilities were, inevitably, sooner or later, going to override any commercial sense of what a product should provide a customer. We in turn have come to realise we can all walk a way.

    I do hope, for all our sakes that Apple has had the good sense not to follow the siren calls from those "organisations" but then again, we may never know the truth anyway. We have to rely on the commercial sense of Steve Jobs. So as a final point, may I hereby ask Steve Jobs to make a public statement that there are no similar "subsystems" in OSX designed to gather similar "information".

  10. Daniel Cassidy

    13" vs. 15" laptops

    13" laptops are more expensive than 15" laptops because they're much more portable, and the screen has to be a higher DPI to get a decent pixel resolution.

    Mine's a 14" Thinkpad and I wouldn't dream of switching to anything bigger.

  11. Dimas

    Old macbook Black CD 2.0


    Another thing is the about time that you'll continue using your macbook, of course the old ibooks were much more solid than today's macbook; but regarding price x performance my old macbook black from 06 still up and running very well and i have opensolaris and linux besides Mac os X on my partitions, and for 110usd i've installed an 250gb disk :)

    It's light, trustable, compact, and has a better keyboard that i've never seen before, and today everybody is selling laptops with "built-in camera" and "macbook keyboard" such like a "new stuff", i am not a fan-boy, but i have to admit, for my personal life, sorry... macs and time machine :)

    For work, opensolaris with zfs (as a file server at home too). AND you can use the CD for full virtualization on Solaris/Opensolaris.

    So, i don't see another companion for my day-by-day tasks :)


    Don't forget to use Virtual Box to use LEGACY systems :) it's free and very nice :)


  12. Anonymous Coward

    @James Prior

    "t helped that I didn't buy any extra ram from Apple (about £200) but spent £30 at Crucial and now have 4Gb."

    Doesn't that sort of prove the point that Apple take the piss a bit with pricing? 85% of that Apple RAM was markup, FCOL!!

    Apple are also far more expensive than a budget PC. Which, lets face it, is all most users need. Except gamers, and they'd not touch a Mac with a barge pole. Even my 5 year old Celeron's going along nicely with a friend from uni. Does everything they need.

    Also, to PC Haterz: If the only problem with the PC is Vista, and the great thing about the Mac (now its x86) is OSX, you've gotta ask yourself if OSX is worth the markup in hardware cost over Vista. Or, more to the point, over XP. Or Linux (similar- if not better- functionality, can look better, simple if you never need to do anything clever, more software than the Mac and free. And slightly better games support).

    In fact, *mental maths*, XP costs what, £60 as an OEM copy? Vista about £100?

    Well OSX Leopard is £85. Not a horrendous difference, you might think. But then factor in the massive mark-up on the hardware (which you're legally required to run OSX on). Hardware you'll probably never need.

    Macs really shouldn't have a leg to stand on commercially, they're clearly only bought by people after the image of a Mac user.

    However, to clarify my icon, I'd like to say to Microsoft: BURN, DUDE! Your godawful software has made people go to your ridiculous "UNIX-in-a-pretty-skirt" competitors.

  13. Jeff Dickey

    They've got my money, too - they earned it

    I am the pleased-beyond-words owner of a 24" iMac 3.06 Core 2 Duo system for approximately the last six weeks. I have been a professional software developer for nearly 30 years, on everything from microocontrollers to mainframes. I have been developing for Windows from early in the 1.0 prerelease timeframe up until Windows Server 2008. I also have over ten years in Linux; the system to my immediate right is an Acer notebook with Ubuntu, which was my daily muse for over 18 months. I've powered it up exactly nine times in the last six weeks - each of those to transfer files to the Mac.

    I briefly dabbled with the Mac in the 1984-1987 time frame, and later got a PowerTower Pro 225 (a 64-bit data path system, I might add) when those were new and shiny. It finally gave up the ghost two years ago; MacOS 8.1 had its fair share of problems, but got the job done nicely; Windows, in comparison, has finally reached across-the-board parity (with 8.1) in this user's and developer's opinion.

    What I like about the new system is that it does what Macs have by and large always done: given me what I need in order to accomplish something, and then not yank me out of my concentration zone while I'm doing it. In the early 2000s, I was doing IT support for a (large) mixed Windows/Mac shop in the northwestern US. We had hard data going back over four years that showed, on average, a 74% average productivity improvement by Mac users as compared to Windows usees. We spent an incredible amount of money on the Windows side to try to close that gap, but couldn't. Finally, this company's IT division adjusted chargebacks to reflect the difference in actual support costs and business value. New Mac orders tripled in the first six months of that policy, and tripled again in the next six months. The Windows support people worked like slaves, with massive overtime and heroic effort that often came to naught. This company's Mac support people had not billed a SINGLE hour of overtime - ever - and had user-satisfaction ratings consistently above 90%.

    Why am I still excited every time I sit down in front of this Mac, much more so than I have ever been six weeks into a new Windows PC? As my former support colleague used to say, "the difference between a Windows PC and a Mac is.... a Windows [person] tells you everything he had to do to get his work done. A Mac user shows you all the great work she got done. Simple as that."

    When I was young and geeky, I enjoyed fiddling with every last bit of software on the system, tweaking that extra 1% of 1% of 1% of "performance" out of it. Now that I've grown up enough to appreciate life away from the keyboard (I'm closer to 50 than 40), I like being able to use a computer the same way I was taught that guys do their shopping:

    * Figure out what you want,

    * Accomplish the mission,

    * Get out and on to the next thing, without any casualties.

    I HAD to continually tweak Windows to do anything beyond the basics. I had to regularly tweak Linux so that it could live well in a Windows-dominated world. Other than installing software (a breeze by comparison) and tweaking a (very few) UI preferences, I haven't NEEDED to get greasy with the Mac in order to do anything I've yet set out to. Add to that a startup and shutdown time each well under 15 seconds, and it's clear that Apple appreciates my time. Does Windows?

  14. Chris Coles

    More on why we walk away

    Earlier this year my old PC was hacked into so strongly that it completely collapsed with an unrecoverable system. I bought a new hard disc and re-installed my legitimate copy of XP Pro with my legitimate copy of Office XP Pro only to find that the system has automatically upgraded me to SP3 which interestingly removes all access to the upgrade system and now my office documents, while they still look OK on screen, but when I print, or convert to PDF and print, they now have a weird variation in the text when printed, making them unusable.

    I am sure that some smart arse has come up with this as a great idea to force us to upgrade to new software. (Or the system has assumed I am no longer legitimate).

    But this is like taking your old car in for a service and someone in the garage has decided that you cannot have your old car back in working order, or, that when you get in to drive, it wanders all over the road and if you go back they just scrug and walk away.

    Imagine having an old, vintage car; and the dealer has decided that you can never drive it again. This attitude is exactly the same.

    Ultimate market power corrupts in the same way as any other monopoly. Absolute power corrupts absolutely and this is an excellent example. But as I said in my earlier comment, we can and will walk away from such indifference. In my case, as soon as I can afford to. With regard to Apple the price is acceptable because the ongoing service from Apple has a clear track record of creating product that is a satisfying experience for the customer.

    Competition, free markets; are all about choice. Treat otherwise loyal customers with indifference and sooner or later, all of them will simply walk away.

    I most certainly will, I am sure many many others are about to follow.

    In turn I expect Apple to treat me with respect when I am older and own older software, just like an old car owner who cannot afford to buy a new car, I expect them to continue to treat me with the respect I am due as a loyal customer to their product.

    Without that respect, we will always walk away.

  15. Maligned Truth

    No Brainer, Dell nagware, Macs are complete!

    In many cost comparisons, published or that you can do, fully loaded Macs (no filled with Pop-ups and nag-ware!) are compared to almost "bare bones" Dells.

    When fully loaded, my comparisons of Dells I "built" on the Dell sales site, cost $1050 MORE (AFTER all 'REBATES'), than does a comparable competent and fully loaded standard MacIntosh!

    Then, toss in the award winning tech service of MacIntosh, and we have a NO BRAINER!

    But, enjoy both the FREEDOM (of Liberty, of Speech) and the freedom (free as in beer!) and turn older Dells into monster systems with GNU/Linux and BSD!

    Then, It is ALL FREE, and free!

  16. Adam Foxton
    Jobs Horns

    @Maligned Truth

    "But, enjoy both the FREEDOM (of Liberty, of Speech) and the freedom (free as in beer!) and turn older Dells into monster systems with GNU/Linux and BSD!"

    If I'm reading that correctly, you're saying that Macs are freer than (presumably Windows) PCs?

    To that, I must say "Absolute Baldercrap". And feel free to quote me on that.

    MS has always encouraged developers to use their OS and has NEVER tied themselves down to "approved" hardware (outside of being x86 only and occasionally only having default driver support for certain bits of hardware and not others). As the AC said above, the TCO of a Mac is higher as you've got to buy the OS and then pay a premium on the "approved" hardware.

    Macs are in NO way freer than Windows PCs except in that they're "free of M$". Which they're not entirely free of thanks to the masses of software that's available for Windows- due to MS's decades of allowing independant developers to _develop_ without their official stamp of approval.

    For a good approximation of Freedom, use 2000/XP. It's cheap, quicker than Vista, has masses of software available for it and you can use any hardware you like with it (though it'll run rather slowly on older systems- and by older I mean almost a decade old.).

    Or use Linux, which is the other extreme- it's free to its own detriment.

    And on the whole virus thing, "The price you pay for Freedom is eternal vigilance." Or run an AV program + Firewall (as you should be on a Mac anyway). There are free ones, people!

    To anyone who actually read through that minor rant, could you please point out to me in what way Macs are freer than Windows PCs?

  17. mike Banks
    Jobs Halo

    Mac is better

    In the office I have a Dell. It's horrible. It's slow, it's buggy it's just not nice to use to get things done.

    I come home to a 24" iMac and do my stuff. Much nicer.

  18. N

    Mac sales up, no surprises were fed up buying crap...

    Good for them, Macs are miles better than PCs, Im fed up with unreliable half finished slop in the form of windows operating systems that dont do what they are supposed to, susceptible to scumware & viruses & waiting for eternity every time you make a PC do something a little bit different.

    I open my Macbook its instantly ready & I do my work without interruption by some idiotic thought bubble to tell me theres 125 updates to install because I havnt connected to the Internet for the last 10 minutes & if I really do need windows I run it under VMWare where it runs quickly & stable

    I will never even think of buying another PC again & Vista? its bollox.

  19. bygjohn
    Jobs Halo

    @ Adam Foxton

    "To anyone who actually read through that minor rant, could you please point out to me in what way Macs are freer than Windows PCs?"

    Well, for a start MacOS is an open source BSD under the hood and comes complete with X11, so most Linux/*nix software can be ported much more easily than it can be to Windows.

    As a result, since I bought my MacBook earlier this year I've installed mostly open source/free software. What makes it "freer" is that I have all that open source software available, plus a range of commercial software to choose from: best of both worlds.

    As for MacOS being tied to Apple hardware, well as others have pointed out it's a) not actually as expensive as the nay-sayers would have it and b) it's actually very nice hardware! Nicely built and very well thought-out.

    Last Saturday I fired up my XP Vaio for the first time in a couple of months and it spent a couple of hours updating inself and its security software and its virus defs and scanning itself etc etc. Meanwhile I was actually *using* the Mac...

    My advice if you want something cheaper but still well thought-out and free of Windows hassles is to get an eee. I have a 701 and it's wonderful.

    All you have to lose are your chains, my friend.

  20. MarkJ


    Given that retail stores have the audacity to sells Macs alongside boxshifter PCs this trend is hardly surprising.

    Take the cheapest Macbook and the fastest Vista laptop you can find in a store and click on an icon. Usually the Mac will do something straight away whilst you will have to wait for the MS crippleware to stop doing whatever it was doing, acknowledge your request, do a bit more of what it was doing and then actually do something you want it to do.

    To the non-tech savvy, the Mac will seem faster. Compatability issues aside, who wants to pay more for a slower PC?

  21. Anonymous Coward

    It could be that MS are about to get a kicking

    For many years, MS has enjoyed an almost total monopoly in the OS and office productivity markets. In the early days this wasn't such a terrible thing. Their products were reasonably well made, not too expensive (compared to the cost of the hardware) and they helped to kickstart a previously fragmented PC market.

    Trouble is, they abused that monopoly for years and squeezed the market until it bled. Nowadays there are viable alternatives and MS have lost their way. They never were all that good at innovating and now they have run out of compelling reasons why you need to pay them for newer versions of Office or the latest bloated operating system.

    So it's a kind of natural reaction. The more you take the piss, the harder people will look for a way out. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens over the next few years.

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