back to article Apple's holiday Mac sales flatline

There's a good chance little Suzie won't get the Mac desktop she wanted for Christmas, according to industry bean-counter NPD. The firm's US sales statistics for November show Windows PCs retook ground against Macs in the lead-up to the holidays. Mac sales were down 1 per cent November compared to 2007, while Windows PCs were …


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  1. J
    Jobs Horns


    I wonder why the contrast between desktop and laptop behaviour... Why would Apple do so much better in the laptop market, compared to desktop?

  2. spegru

    sales cycle

    what's the betting that this is in part due to M$FT recovering from the Vista debacle.

    That and the popularity of netbooks with XP

    On the other hand what does NPD say about Linux sales? Not alot I'm guessing.

  3. d
    Black Helicopters

    People Please!

    Oh my god...I am flabergasted by the sheer number of computer illiterates still out there.

    People, Apple is just a marketing company and that's all.

    I am truly amazed that people buy these obsolete buggy iGarbage from apple...Hats off to their marketing department for conning and brainwashing so many idiots out there...But, I bought an HP iPaq for a couple of hundred dollars - it came with a phone, full featured GPS with voice directions, and oh yea a full Windows Mobile OS long before Crapple's iPhone ever existed.

    And why would anyone pay over $3000 for a crippled, obsolete-out-of the box Apple Mac OS X computer? I bought an HP pavillion laptop, fully loaded, with DVD/Blue Ray, Super Hi-res wide screen, 2 Gig RAM, HD Tuner, built-in web cam etc. etc. etc. for under $1000

    And Apple Mac OS X is based on FreeBSD, an open-source Unix look-alike, available FREE for the PC back in 1992, with a artsy-fartsy GUI. Whoopy Doo..

    It is too expensive, too buggy, and the only software available is a bunch of dinky puzzles written by 14 year olds. No engineering or scientific applications available for "Mac OS X"...

    Apple has a long history of fraud, racism and corruption...Steve Jobs and Nancy Heinen (and her shyster subordinates) are both knowing criminal participants in the stock options scam, and were caught trying to cover it up.

    They were caught red-handed in early 2006 when a former employee who was cheated out of all of his stock after being wrongfully dismissed, filed a lawsuit against Apple Con-puter.

    In short, dont waste your time and money on apple...

    PS: If Apple was supposed to be "invulnerable" to viruses, why are there so many security fixes being passed around? Even with all of Apple's virus and spyware vulnerabilities...which i'Tard would target a virus against an con-puter "OS" used by 2% of people out there?

  4. KenBW2

    Who the hell

    buys a £1000 computer for a christmas present?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    disposable income crunch

    That would sort of prove that Apple products are purchased with disposable income. You know, the kind of money that the kiddies get to go to the mall and buy the latest shoes or lipsticks.

    When push comes to shove a lot of things in life are more important than the latest IPhony.

    Could also postulate that people bought Apple products with money that really wasn't theirs in the first place (access to cheap credit), and now that there is not as much free money people are making a different decision about price/value.

    Or it may also mean that with the money crunch people aren't blindly going out to upgrade their iPod this year, as their old one will hold them over for a little longer.

    Maybe this means that Apple needs its own specific economic bailout.

  6. Richard Cartledge
    Gates Halo

    A load of codswallop

    You can't compare monthly or annual year on year sales like this for computers, cars etc... due to the skewing that new models causes. It only really works for houses, holidays, livestock etc...

  7. Mad Hacker

    I'm waiting...

    My wife needs a new 17 laptop. What's the only laptop Apple didn't update? So we are waiting on that.

    I plan on getting a new 8 core desktop once they employ the new Intel i7 chips, so waiting on that.

    And my kids could really use some new minis which are rumored to be due in January so waiting on those.

    So yeah, I guess Apple buyers are waiting.

  8. Charlie van Becelaere

    As for me

    I'm waiting until I can get one of those new PC with Mojave on it. I hear it's way better than Vista.

  9. Professor Quatermass
    Jobs Halo

    Here at the Rocket Group we use Macs

    Indeed, here at the Rocket Group we use nothing but Macintosh's. Sure the dip in sales reflects the lack of a refresh in the iMac line - and especially the poor Mac Mini?

    The 24-inch iMac is pretty much the perfect light professional computer, but the internals need a bit of an update - e.g., let's move on to LED backlighting and other refinements introduced in the notebook line.

  10. Ian Michael Gumby

    Saturation of the Mac market?

    As the Reg has pointed out, iPod sales are down. Everyone who wants an iPod has one. If they aren't broken, why replace one. So of course sales are down.

    Considering that the Mac has been outside of commercial/business sales for its core community how frequently does the kid's PC get updated?

    I think that you have to look not only qtr/qtr sales, but yr to yr and qtr to same period last year sales to get a better picture.

  11. jai


    are you just spamming every apple related article with the same garbage? didn't you post that same rant on the other article about the OS patches?

    doesn't el reg moderate these comments?

    anyway - on topic with the article - i recon it is far more likely that everyone is waiting to see what is announced at MWSF09 - i know i am.

    there's no point buying a desktop mac now when in all likelyhood it's going to be superceeded in 2 months time.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo


    Webster Phreaky, is that you?

  13. wsm


    for the rumored $500 mini at twice the specs. Well, at least it's supposed to be available after MacWorld. Since Steverino denied it, it must be true.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    @ d RE: People Please!

    I'm curious if you actually read the article or are you just another wintard troll who sees Apple in the title and can't help but vomit your mindless diatribe all over the screen?

    Now had you paid the slightest attention to the actual article you would have seen that the title is just a bit off the mark. Due to the fact that the numbers cited in it don't take into account a few items. Things like Apples October numbers being outstanding, a certain amount of skewing of the sales figures due to new models of laptop and desktop being put out. The numbers also don't take into account the fact that quite a few people at this time of year hold off on purchasing new Mac's due to new kit being announced and/or released at MacWorld.

    I suspect this simple explanation is going to be totally lost on you given the kneejerk wall of text you posted. However in the spirit of the holidays I thought I'd attempt to bring some common sense and a broader view to your obviously myopic state of mind.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    @d RE: People Please!

    Looks like a copy-paste from the comment you posted in one of yesterday's threads, which in turn is the same as a comment you put in multiple threads on Ars:

    At least try to be original in your Apple flames - learn from Webster, he's like a performance artist (well, except for the lack of an appreciative audience). Take your small minded, retarded, infantile flaming and grow it into something that people get really worked up over, instead of something that people laugh at! You'll still be a dick, but at least you'll excel at what you do.

  16. Chris iverson

    bring on the new macs

    Same as the old macs, I like looking at them but wont use OSX outside of virtualbox to test a few things.

  17. Player_16
    Thumb Up

    @ Iam Me

    You da MAN!!

    You saved me on excessive typing.

  18. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    Laptop behaviour

    "I wonder why the contrast between desktop and laptop behaviour... Why would Apple do so much better in the laptop market, compared to desktop?"

    The kind of people that buy Apples are all buying laptops now I think. Even if it just sits permanently in one place on their desk.

  19. Mad Hacker


    Yeah I'm biting the troll... but d says

    I bought an HP pavillion laptop, fully loaded, with DVD/Blue Ray, Super Hi-res wide screen, 2 Gig RAM, HD Tuner, built-in web cam etc. etc. etc. for under $1000

    Hmm with Windows Vista eh? Real picky aren't you? So in 6 months where do you go for tech support? No HP stores around where I live. Enjoy your reformat and reinstall!

    There are other decent OSes out there besides Mac OS X. Microsoft, however, doesn't make them.

    Lastly, el reg, it's been long enough since the last update (and I still can't size an article to the width of my screen) so how about a rating system on the posts, so trolling posts will be hidden by us users if you aren't interested in moderating off topic gibberish?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    under $500 Apples now

    iPhone and iPod Touch are computers cheaper than $500. My iPhone is good enough and handier than a laptop. It cost me $500 straight up does lots more now with major updates. I am very happy with the syncing, application integration, MobileMe, App store.

    My $800 LG Phenom WinCE 1/2 VGA color stylus touch screen I bought in "97 had IE but it never synced well more than once and IE never worked at all. Twelve years later Win Mobile is still way behind in actual browsing.

  21. Scott Bartlett

    What's with the article headline

    More to the point, what's with the article headline?! After reading the article itself, It's rather misleading to lead with "Apple sales have flatlined" when said article then goes on to say how well Apple's laptop sales (and laptop sales in general) have risen well. Duh! Did anyone sub-edit this stuff?! From scanning the headline you'd think Apple was about to start pushing up the daisies.

    As it happens, personally speaking I don't know anyone buying desktops (Mac or PC) for home use any more (not even for gaming - they've all switched to consoles for an easy life). Everyone I know has been busy buying laptops, be they Dell's or MacBooks or whatever.

    Methinks the Author was having a wee bit of a bash and is headline grabbing a little. Not that a bit of bashing isn't a bad thing now and again - which is why we all love El Reg of course - but only when they're accurate. Editor, please take note!



  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ J

    "I wonder why the contrast between desktop and laptop behaviour... Why would Apple do so much better in the laptop market, compared to desktop?"

    Generically for a while now pc desktop sales ahve been dropping and laptops selling more, the price difference between a ok laptop and a ok apple laptop isn't much compared to the price difference between a ok desktop and a ok apple desktop (as you can buy standard desktops without a screen but the majority of the apple desktop range is (with reguards to the good spec machines) an incorperated screen!)

    @Mad Hacker

    "Hmm with Windows Vista eh? Real picky aren't you? So in 6 months where do you go for tech support? No HP stores around where I live. Enjoy your reformat and reinstall!" <--- the store you got it from maybe? i could mention pc world (avoid the flames here) as some stores can actually help you out (i know i used to work for them behind the tech desk, not any more now, the reason it sucks a bit in the stores is people who know a bit leave cause the pay and conditions were a bit shitty), or you can phone hp, or a fair few other indepentent stores.

    Same with a apple pc, you take it back to the store, phone apple or go to a certified apple techie, only different for a linux based machine cause in theory stores don't have to give you software support unless you pay for it.

  23. Adrian
    Gates Halo


    "the numbers could also be somewhat of a reflection of Mac owners doing their homework and waiting rather than a resurgence of Windows love"

    just means the worlds drug supply has dried up and reality has kicked in. Only doped up hippies go after the shiney box...


    Having been to an expo last week when all the presenters used Macbook Pros (and generally slagged of WIndows at the start of the presentations) - ALL, without fail, had problems including needing to reboot, problems setting screen resolutions for projectors, not enough power to run presentations or high-end software (Photoshop) etc.

    They really did a great job promoting Mac's there !!!! My little Asus AspireOne can run anything but then I did install XP on it and add an extra 1Gb RAM and it still cost a fraction of those new shiney aluminium MacBooks !!!

  24. P. Lee

    re: Why are new Mac users buying laptops?

    Two words: multitouch trackpad.

    It is pure genius. Ok maybe not conceptually a huge leap forward but the implementation makes a laptop actually usable without an external mouse.

    I'm a linux user but I've just been playing with a macbook and an msi wind subnotebook running ubuntu for a couple of days. I know, they are two worlds apart in cost, but after the mac I am continually annoyed by the wind, to the point I want to hurl it across the room.

    People (including myself) have accused Apple of being all style and no substance, but *most* home consumers are amply provided for by Mac software - they don't need scientific or engineering software; word processing, spreadsheet, email and browser are pretty much all that's needed. Beyond that, the Mac GUI (especially with a trackpad or non-mac mouse) actually does make using the computer a joy to use. Overpriced/underpowered compared to "standard" hardware it may be, but that really doesn't matter to most users. I'm still using P4's with linux for desktops myself and they are more than adequate.

    On top of this, Mac users are unlikely to be hardcore performance/gamers, so it makes more sense to spend a bit more and to be able to take your desktop with you.

    Its horses for courses, if you want features, use linux; for a pretty and easy to use laptop for common functions (at least in a home environment), Macs are very good; if you want high-end games, use windows and upgradable hardware.

  25. sleepy

    how about a breakdown by OS?

    NPD data reflects trading patterns in retail outlets that primarily sell PC's. They have no data from Apple. This year those who don't want Vista can buy a much cheaper straight replacement XP machine. Last year they couldn't. Apples ASP is not much changed from last year, Windows PC ASP is sharply down.

    Whose gross margins are holding up better?


    apple do not make a proper computer

    At the top level they make media powerhouses that come at a cost in a fancy package. At the low level they are good for email, surfing and watching youtube/DVDs.

    A proper computer this does not make.

    Anyone who buys a mac and doesn't do heavy image/audio/video editing should just go out and buy an SCC or similar.

    The people that do buy a mac 'coz it's a mac' under the pretence that it is more secure, stable or flexible should have a full frontal lobotomy as they are disillusioned. If they chose a computer for looks alone then skip the lobotomy and shot them.

    There's a reason MS own the mainstream and business computer market, whether you like to admit it or not.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Ok, calling Mac users doped up hippies is one thing, but then you yourself compare an Aspire One to an alu MacBook?

    Who's the real drug addict here..?

    Someone call the men in white coats for Adrian, please.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Not again

    Was sold the "Mac is wonderful" crap. I have 2, mini and MBP. Total waste. Nothing better, nothing gained. Still break down, still crash and still get crap updates that screw things up - not worth paying more for. My XP machine has crashed less than both the Mac's.

    Total hype. Would not buy one again.

  29. N
    Thumb Down


    I see that you can actually copy & paste, what looks like another users views from a different subject.

    How remarkably clever.

  30. N

    It never ceases to surprise me

    That Christmas has become a dumping ground for what can easily become 'out of date' (whatever thats really supposed to mean) as newer technologies are brought to market in the earlier part of the following new year. For example the first MMX compatible processors, or was it Make Money at Xmas?

    It never cease to amaze or amuse me that people who would usually suck air at high speed through gaps in their teeth at the thought of parting with a few quid any other time of year, shell out considerable amounts of cash on new PCs with a bumper pack of add on bollox or Macs at Christmas, knowing that those 24*7*365 support centres are going to be packed full of operators right on the edge of their seats to answer the call for help on Boxing day - not.

    Im sure Apples desktop sales are suppressed due to a long overdue replacement mini at the entry end with a huge gap to the wallet emptying Mac Pro if you dont fancy an all in one iMac.

    A new mac mini is just over the horizon on Jan 5th so mini sales are bound to be weak.

    But no ones forcing you to buy Apple, its still a free country but only just...

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    As the article said netbooks are hot and Apple don't do one, well not at any sort of affordable price.

  32. storng.bare.durid
    Thumb Down

    Little Suzie...

    Who on earth buys their kid a mac desktop?


    Seeing as the only decent desktops Apple produce are the Mac Pros which are a tad overpriced for the hardware they offer... and the rest iJUNK.

    Seriously, I believe a mac laptop is the better Apple buy if Mac OS X is being contemplated as OS of choice. While I would buy (and have bought) an apple laptop, I would probably never buy an apple Desktop ever as a DIY one is cheaper. Or even something like a Dell, if you have to buy a pre-built system. And if you know where to look, you can still mac-ify it. And let's face it, the low end Apple ones are a crock of shite.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    apple desktops

    I bought my son a mac mini a couple of years ago, great for just going online, doing homework, etc., sort of like a desktop version of a netbook.

    Also very small footprint and importantly for a bedroom device it's very quiet, agree it's well due a revamp though. Nice to see Dell and other seeing there's a market for this type of device as well

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