Apple Loses Ground In Computer Sales

Posted: Jul 16 2009, 10:00am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 11 2010, 3:22pm CDT , in Apple


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As a general rule, this Spring has been really good to Apple. They've continued to post record profits, despite the fact that the rest of the country is currently busy being mired in a deep recession. But today we've gotten some news that things might not be quite as peachy-keen as they seem over in Cupertino. Since the winter, Apple has dropped from 4th place, to 5th place in overall domestic computer sales.

Mac sales have been down for a while. This spring Apple shipped 12.4% fewer Macs than they did last year. That's a substantial drop, and I wonder just how much of it can be blamed on the economy. Apple and Dell were the only two of the top five computer manufacturers to lose market share this year. I think the most likely explanation is that Macs saw less sales due to cuts in consumer spending, and Dell dropped because Acer (who has grown 51% this year) gobbled up their market share.

Acer's success, at least, is easy to understand. Netbooks are the fastest growing segment of the PC market. They're expected to make up a quarter of all computer's sold by the year's end. Just cutting prices on the MacBook Pro isn't going to be enough for Apple to continue to grow their Mac business. It's looking more and more like Cupertino needs to respond with a netbook of their own.

All that said I doubt anyone at Apple is too perturbed over this decline in Mac sales. With 40 million iPod touches and iPhones sold, Apple is now more of a phone/mobile gadget manufacturer than a computer manufacturer. Apple's future lies with the iPhone and other trendy, portable devices. I'm sure that they'll never stop selling Macs, but the days when computers were the core of their business have passed.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/5" rel="author">Robert Evans</a>
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