Mac sales in mild decline

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Alan Browne, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. Alan Browne

    Your Name Guest

    For specific purposes they are used by various people, but not for
    general office work.

    Most upper management barely know how to use a computer - that's what
    secretaries are for and why upper managemtn can get away with only a
    tablet (which is still far more than they need or know how to use).
    Your Name, Apr 24, 2014
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  2. Alan Browne

    Alan Baker Guest


    Shipping on the Mac Pros is showing 3-5 weeks.

    Does that sound like interest in it has "evaporated"?
    Alan Baker, Apr 24, 2014
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  3. Alan Browne

    JF Mezei Guest

    You can't draw conclusions are they are all built to order. It can
    range form them being very busy, to them being so un-busy that they got
    2 weeks off and the few orders will start to get built when they come back.

    It could also mean that one large customer placed a big order recently,
    this is this displacing the "normal" orders with greater delays, but
    once that large order has been fulfilled, the assembly plant will be
    below capacity and delivery times much shorter.

    This is the type of info that Apple will not release and all there can
    be is idle speculation.
    JF Mezei, Apr 24, 2014
  4. Alan Browne

    Alan Baker Guest

    You can make some reasonable assumptions.

    If interest had "evaporated", then you would expect supply to catch up
    with demand.

    Which it hasn't.
    That is speculation.

    Apply Occam's Razor.
    Alan Baker, Apr 24, 2014
  5. Alan Browne

    JF Mezei Guest

    It could also be a case of Apple having mis-estimated which variants
    would be more popular, and they are short of parts on the more popular
    variant while they have plenrty of parts for the variants fewer people
    choose. So delivery delays would vary considerably between variants.
    (one would have to test this theory by trying to place orders for
    different variants).

    From Apple's point of view, the new MacPro is a low volume niche
    product. Especially with Tim Cook at the top, I would expect Apple to
    have streamlined the production and supply chain to "JIT" to reduce
    inventory/costs. But miscalculating demand will result in delays, but
    those delays don't necessarily mean that the whole product line is more
    popular than anticipated.

    I am not taking sides here. Just stating various possibilities.
    JF Mezei, Apr 24, 2014
  6. The analysts have to contort the news in order to justify a
    pre-determined mindset. Take the HDTV sales spike that happened a few
    years back in the USA, which has now tapered down dramatically. TV
    companies are trying all kinds of crap in order to attract the customer
    - "smart" TVs which spy on you for extra revenue, 3D which wasn't even
    cool in the 50s, you name it, and they are ultimately blaming the
    economic downturn for the lack of sales. They just can't admit to
    themselves that most everybody who bought a TV has one that will suit
    their needs until it breaks down.

    Unless you are a gamer, or a specialized user, any computer made in the
    last decade is more than good enough. People will buy a new one to
    replace the old one, and even the doom and gloom scare stories about
    the "death" of XP hasn't really spurred any replacement purchasing as
    far as I can tell.
    Oregonian Haruspex, Apr 25, 2014
  7. Alan Browne

    Alan Baker Guest

    Occam's Razor.
    You're wildly speculating.

    What we know:

    The Mac Pro was given rave reviews and declared to be price competitive
    with similarly powered PC workstations (even build-your-own).

    18 weeks after its introduction--far and away enough time to sort out
    any issues of which variants are popular--it's still experiencing
    shipping times of 3 to 5 weeks.

    Clearly, interest in it has not "evaporated".
    Alan Baker, Apr 25, 2014
  8. Alan Browne

    Your Name Guest

    It doesn't say above where Alan Browne got that know-nothing garbage
    report from (probably the usual "Apple is doomed" moronic blogger
    "journalists"), but this is pretty much the complete opposite from
    MacWorld UK ...

    Apple defies PC downturn again, boosts Mac sales
    Apple on Wednesday said it sold 4.1 million Macs in the
    March quarter, growing sales during a period when the
    personal computer industry overall continued to contract.

    The Cupertino, Calif. company sold 5% more Macs in the
    quarter than the same stretch the year before, with
    revenue from its oldest line accounting for 12% of the
    company's total sales of $45.6 billion.

    "Macs continue to be very consistent, with a very
    consistent market," said Carolina Milanesi, chief of
    research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, in an interview
    after Apple's earnings call concluded.

    The consistency Milanesi spoke of was Apple's ability
    to regularly beat the industry average for personal
    computer sales growth. In the March quarter, global
    shipments of PCs decreased by 4%, according to
    researcher IDC. Rival Gartner pegged the contraction
    at about 2%.

    "It's a good business for them," said Van Baker, an
    analyst with Gartner. "But remember, Apple chooses to
    compete only at the high end of the market, so it's
    kind of self-regulating."

    By that he meant that the Mac, unlike the bulk of
    personal computers, is not as susceptible to the whims
    of price wars, or the waning and waxing of economies.
    And because it was not really forced to compete on
    price, Apple did not have to pare margins to the bone
    to sell systems, as have most other OEMs (original
    equipment manufacturers).

    "Plus, the Mac helps them sell other products and
    sustains their image in the market because they can
    put the latest technology in their machines," Baker

    The ASP, or average selling price, of the Mac line
    actually increased 2% quarter-over-quarter, climbing
    from $1,322 to $1,344. Even so, the March 2014
    quarter's ASP was down nearly 3% year-over-year.

    When graphed over a long period -- from 2008 on -- the
    Mac's ASP looks quite stable, showing that Apple has
    been able both to sustain modest growth while not
    retreating from its premium brand philosophy.

    The 4.1 million Macs sold last quarter were a March
    quarter record for the company. If Gartner and IDC
    were accurate in their estimates of personal
    computers shipped worldwide, Macs accounted for
    between 5.3% and 5.6% of the total.

    The two research firms have predicted that the
    long-term contraction of the PC industry -- eight
    quarters, or two years, so far -- will continue into
    the foreseeable future. For instance, IDC forecast
    last month that total shipments will shrink by 6%
    this year, and volumes will remain under the
    300-million mark through 2018.

    The Mac's sales contraction, on the other hand, ran
    for only four quarters. The March quarter was the
    second consecutive on the plus side of the growth

    Microsoft, whose Windows operating system powers
    most non-Mac personal computers, will report its
    March quarter earnings Thursday after the market
    closes. Microsoft's numbers, and the commentary by
    its executives, including new CEO Satya Nadella,
    should provide additional insight on the health of
    the overall PC business.

    The Mac's ASP has remained remarkably stable over
    the last 6+ years, a tribute to Apple's focus on
    the high-end of the PC market.

    Your Name, Apr 25, 2014
  9. That's what he does best.
    Michelle Steiner, Apr 25, 2014
  10. Alan Browne

    JF Mezei Guest

    As a point of comparison:
    Windows OEM revenue grew 4%, driven by strong 19% growth in Windows OEM
    Pro revenue.

    So this would mean that the basic windows shrunk in sales, but Windows
    Pro grew enough to compensate and result on 4% growth. During conference
    call, MS enphasises how business is still with Windows. Seems to be
    there may have been loss of market share in personal computing.

    The new guy Satya Nadella: Mobile and clould based future.

    But the overall tone of the conference call, once you remove the "cloud"
    buzzword, is that Microsoft is doing like Adobe, moving from software
    licence sales to software rental.

    While they brag about growth of Office 365 (easy to grow when you start
    from 0), they didm't provide percentage of customers who choose to buy
    licence instead of rent software.

    They do admit that software rental will increase cost of using the
    software (aka: increase revenues for MS).

    End of Windows XP said to have helped growth in this quarter.

    MS offers "Windows for free" for sub 9" devices. Realises they need to
    get some market share to attract developpers.

    Overall though, I see MS still very focused on Office, with no bragging
    on how MS is working on great new innovative products. No mention of
    new products, no mention of new Windows version. They did mention launch
    of Office for iPad (which apparently includes automatic subscription to
    Office 365).

    Overall, listening to the MS teleconference, despite having a new CEO,
    it makes me appreciate the energy that Apple has and the drive to give
    us the impression Apple has got plenty up its sleeve being developped.

    MS appears more like a service company with little innovative energy.
    JF Mezei, Apr 25, 2014
  11. I'll believe that there's a huge interest in them when I start seeing
    them. I see only new iMacs and laptops showing up on desks. If the
    wait times are due to high shipping volume then I'd like to know where
    they're all going.

    Many of the rave reviews have been tempered by hands-on reviews. While
    there is a lot of pricy hardware in the new Mac, it's not exactly used
    in a good way. Thunderbolt has a huge performance penalty compared to
    modern PCI cards. The Xeon CPU is designed to be used two at a time so
    one doesn't perform by itself. The amazingly fast dual GPU has
    undocumented and incomplete drivers so apps can't take advantage of it.
    In real application use, the new Trash Can Mac using Thunderbolt drives
    is comparable to a top-of-the-line iMac with an SSD, or even slower than
    the old dual Xeon Mac Pro with an internal RAID.
    Kevin McMurtrie, Apr 25, 2014
  12. Alan Browne

    Alan Baker Guest

    What are the people sitting at those desks doing for a living?
    I'd like to see one of these hands-on reviews you say "tempered" the raves...

    ....and something to backup your performance claims.
    Alan Baker, Apr 25, 2014
  13. Alan Browne

    Your Name Guest


    That's the ONLY reason for the silly rental / cloud systems. They can't
    actually think of any even vaguely useful new features that people
    really want to buy the new version for, so instead they force you to
    pay monthly / annually. Nothing but pure selfish greed. :-(
    Your Name, Apr 25, 2014
  14. Alan Browne

    JF Mezei Guest

    Well, Apple's performance claims would be based on only internal SSD
    drives being used.

    Real life would depend on how fast your interface to storage is. Since
    you can't have embedded fibrechannel or other cards, it all depends on
    the performance of the iterface between thunderbolt and your storage array.
    JF Mezei, Apr 25, 2014
  15. Alan Browne

    John Albert Guest

    There are indeed rumors of a lower-priced iMac that may be
    released soon.

    The last Mini was the "late 2012" (I have one). Folks had
    been expecting some kind of update for the Mini since around
    October last year, but it never came.

    My guess (only a guess) is that Apple may have been working
    on a Haswell version of the Mini, but decided that it wasn't
    a "big enough" leap forward to justify putting it into
    production, with the Broadwell chip on the immediate
    horizon. But it looks like Broadwell has been delayed a
    little -- hence, an updated "Broadwell Mini" is delayed, as

    Then again, Apple might have decided the Mini has "run its
    course", and perhaps the late 2012 version will be the last
    John Albert, Apr 25, 2014
  16. Alan Browne

    John Albert Guest

    I have several Macs, and I don't have an Apple or iTunes

    I have never purchased anything from iTunes, and never will.
    There is no chance that that will change.

    I've been a Mac user since 1987 -- and an Apple // user
    before that...
    John Albert, Apr 25, 2014
  17. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    Correct. But, they used to break it down to desktop and laptop. They
    don't anymore.
    As I said, "rumours".
    Alan Browne, Apr 25, 2014
  18. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    Various market analysts, reporters, etc. point to tablets and mobile
    phones as helping people put off buying new desktops and even laptops.
    Alan Browne, Apr 25, 2014
  19. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    I took the data from the Apple earnings report. I think Apple 'know'
    what they're saying.

    It's their numbers. The only thing I did to the data was use a simple
    filter (4 quarter average) to smooth out the peeks and valleys.

    The data in the "Quarterly" column is from Apple. The blue curve is
    from "Average prev 4 Q".

    Very telling is that the peaks are lower and the valleys are deeper as
    time goes on. It's not a crash - just a mild decline. It may reverse.
    Alan Browne, Apr 25, 2014
  20. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    Supply constraints may be elsewhere (eg: intel or graphics processors)
    which could be choking output.

    During the much ballyhooed iMac delivery constraint, people were seeing
    "Available to ship: 8 weeks" (or similar) - only to get shipment
    confirmation a week or so later and their Mac a couple days after that.
    That is, the site may be setting low expectations.

    (if you add options like high end processors and graphics to the new Mac
    Pro then the delivery time goes up even more - so perhaps a constraint
    on those optional processors arriving at Apple's assembly facility).
    Alan Browne, Apr 25, 2014
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