The long decline of the Mac desktop?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Alan Browne, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    The trend continues whereby Mac desktop sales are no longer growing.

    In the 3 months ended 30 June 2012, Mac desktops were down 13% (units)
    over the prior year, same period. (For the 9 months ending the same
    day, Mac desktop sales were up 9%)

    Laptops were up 8% however showing that the power of laptops have now
    made them the first choice of people getting their first Mac or updating
    their system. Portables are up 13% over the 9 month period.

    Macs accounted for $4.933B in sales in the quarter - a 3% drop from last
    year's quarter.

    And that accounts for 14% of Apple's business in the quarter down from
    nearly 18% a year ago.

    Further, at this time last year, Mac's were a $20B+/year business and
    now it is on trend to be less than $20B / year. Apple explain this away
    as 'general weakness in the market'. The next quarters will tell.

    Nearly $20B is nothing to sniff at to be sure but it appears that the
    Mac Summer is cooling.

    (For comparison, hp's 6 months ending April was $18.325B or
    $9.162B/quarter for notebooks, desktops and workstations).

    Of course other segments (iphone and ipad) continue their spectacular
    growth (while iPod continues to plunge). iPad unit sales were up 84%
    for the quarter and 108% for the 9 months. iPhone 28 and 78%
    respectively while iPod has slowed 10 and 17% resp.
    Alan Browne, Aug 18, 2012
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  2. Alan Browne

    TaliesinSoft Guest

    The CDC 6400 was the third computer I worked with, being preceded by a
    Bendis G20 and an ANFSQ-7. I was a member of the CDC group iin Palo
    Alto and which were mplementing a COBOL compiler for the CDC 6400.
    TaliesinSoft, Aug 18, 2012
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  3. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    That would be nice. I'd like a nice simple IDE without a monster
    framework to write Pascal, C and assembler and maybe Ada. Stuff I used
    to do on a VAX and hp mini.

    However for photography large screens are preferable to small so that
    detail can be seen and there is ample room for all the toolbars and
    palettes and such. I guess it's the same for video, engineering (CAE,
    simulations, monitoring, etc), medicine (although that's beginning to
    have a huge iPad footprint as well for its portability).

    The iPad size is not an endpoint.
    Alan Browne, Aug 18, 2012
  4. Alan Browne

    Tim Streater Guest

    Third for me, being preceded by an Elliott 803B and an IBM 7094. Then I
    went to CERN where your job might be run on a 6400 or a 6600.
    Tim Streater, Aug 18, 2012
  5. Alan Browne

    JF Mezei Guest

    In the case of Apple, sales have declined because apple added Autosave
    and removed SaveAs in Lion.

    :) :) :) :) :) :)
    JF Mezei, Aug 18, 2012
  6. Alan Browne

    Ant Guest

    Sad. I still prefer desktops over portable devices for their speeds,
    powers, customizations (limited with Macs though), etc.

    "The ambitious one makes friends with the elephant, then tramples upon
    the ant." --Indian
    /\___/\ Ant(Dude) @ (Personal Web Site)
    / /\ /\ \ Ant's Quality Foraged Links:
    | |o o| |
    \ _ / If crediting, then use Ant nickname and AQFL URL/link.
    ( ) If e-mailing, then axe ANT from its address if needed.
    Ant is currently not listening to any songs on this computer.
    Ant, Aug 18, 2012
  7. one reason, maybe the major reason, for the decline in desktop Mac sales in
    the third quarter was that in 2011, a new iMac was released in early May,
    about 1/3 into the quarter, but in 2012, many people (such as myself) were
    holding off on buying a new iMac in the third quarter until the 2012 models
    were released.

    I prefer a desktop to portable Macintosh for essentially the same reasons
    you do; there's more for the money in exchange for a lack of portability
    (which is a lack that doesn't bother me at all).
    Michelle Steiner, Aug 18, 2012
  8. Alan Browne

    JF Mezei Guest

    One aspect: People tend to keep desktops longer since they don't get
    droppped, stolen and they batteries don't expire after a few years.

    So once you have a dekstop with sufficient power, you don't needto
    upgrade it as often. If you have enough CPU to run 1080P h.264 videos,
    and those videos are still the current tech, then your CPU is still able
    to do what you need it to do.

    It is perhaps wrong to declare the end of the desktop simply by noticing
    sales are dropping. It may simply mean that people are not replacing
    their existing ones as often but still using their desktops plenty.
    JF Mezei, Aug 18, 2012
  9. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    I knew you would write something like that as I wrote the post though I
    thought you'd be a little less specific.
    Alan Browne, Aug 18, 2012
  10. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    Well the du/dt is pretty small but consistent with the slowdown for Mac
    desktops over the past couple quarters.

    1. Mac desktops are really good machines. There's no urgency to
    upgrade. Mine is 4.5 years old and serves me very well and is keeping
    my "new Mac" lust pretty low. That will end one day. For example a
    hex|oct-core i7 at 3 GHz with 1666 or 2000 MHz memory would be more than
    I could resist... ;-)

    2. Apple identified "general weakness in the market" as a reason (didn't
    slow the laptops as much though) and also noted that they haven't done
    any major upgrades to the line in a while. Could be that people are
    holding off for a really big improvement. (Above).

    The Mac Pro got hardly more than a makeover in its most recent version -
    though Apple seem to imply that an updated Mac Pro (really updates) is
    in the pipe.

    3. It's still a $20B/yr business. Magnificent in its own right.

    Don't top post.
    Alan Browne, Aug 18, 2012
  11. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    Who said "end"?
    Alan Browne, Aug 18, 2012
  12. Alan Browne

    Your Name Guest

    Those figures are incredibly misleading, as they always are when taken out
    of context. Many people are awaiting the new iMac release before buying,
    while new laptops were released during that timeframe so were being
    snapped up.

    In reality, Mac computer sales have been and still are growing, just not
    as massively fast as the iPad / iPhone figures - in fact Apple is one of
    the few companies growing their sales during the "economic problems". The
    "halo" effect is meaning more people are switching to Macs when it comes
    time to upgrade their computers (which is currently less often then it
    used to be).
    Your Name, Aug 18, 2012
  13. Alan Browne

    Davoud Guest

    Alan Browne: post the most inane, meaningless drivel imaginable.
    Davoud, Aug 19, 2012
  14. Is this part of a general trend in the industry where desktops are a
    smaller percentage of units sold and laptops a higher one?

    If so, it isn't surprising that Apple would see the same trend, right?
    Doug Anderson, Aug 19, 2012
  15. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    Normally so.

    But Apple were bucking that trend over the last many quarters - this has
    been attributed to the halo effect from their success with iDevices.
    That halo effect may be dimming now though with lesser impact on portables.

    As I said in my prior post even Apple attribute the slight decline to
    'general weakness in the market'. I think it's just that they've gotten
    all the 'halo' they'll get and now desktops will decline generally for
    Alan Browne, Aug 19, 2012
  16. Alan Browne

    Paul Sture Guest

    Desktops are more upgradeable / expandable than laptops as well.

    FWIW I managed to prolong the useful life of my iBook by several years
    because I was already using it in a desktop role. It was my music centre
    so was plugged into other non-portable devices.

    When the internal disk failed I simply started booting from an external
    Firewire disk with no loss of functionality. In fact this was an
    upgrade because I went from a 20 GB system disk to a 70 GB system disk.

    When the battery reached end of life, I didn't care since I was no longer
    using the system as a portable device.

    When the keyboard started getting flaky I simply plugged in an external
    one. I was already using a mouse rather than the trackpad.

    I never got around to using an external display on that system, but that
    would have represented an upgrade too.
    Paul Sture, Aug 19, 2012
  17. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    It's all there in the 10-Q reports. I'll go out on a limb here and
    suggest that even you can understand them.
    Alan Browne, Aug 19, 2012
  18. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    I've been watching these figures over the last several quarters.
    "Waiting for the next" goes 1 or maybe 2 quarters. Mac sales have
    slowed abruptly over the passed 2 quarters and there's little chance
    that this quarter will see an improvement - we'll see the figures in

    I have no doubt that if they really pump up the desktop line there will
    be a spike, but I think that will be transient for 1 or 2 quarters and
    then go back down. The long term trend for Mac desktops is slowing - as
    it is for desktop PC's elsewhere. IOW the iDevice halo effect has run
    its course where desktop is concerned.

    It's also possible that the diminishing performance delta between
    desktops and laptops has more people opting for the best of both worlds
    (includes portability). The explosion in serial interfaced devices has
    helped in the conversion. Not everyone really needs a large screen desktop.

    Another effect that can't be ignored is that even if Mac sales remain
    close to $20B/yr, they continue to be of lesser overall importance to
    Apple's bottom line. I don't know how Macs fare on margin but I suspect
    they are less lucrative than iDevices.

    With all that, despite $20B/yr being a very nice business in and of
    itself, Apple may focus more where the best returns occur.
    Alan Browne, Aug 19, 2012
  19. Not really; the next iMac won't be released for sale until late September
    or early October at the earliest, so won't have much, if any, influence on
    this quarter.
    The delta is still significant. Here's a comparison between the $1199
    models of the iMac and MacBook Pro:

    Feature iMac MB Pro
    display 21.5" 13"

    CPU 2.5GHz 2.5 GHz
    quad core dual core
    6MB cache 3MB cache

    Storage 500GB 500GB
    7200 RPM 5400 RPM

    Graphics Radeon HD Intel HD
    6750M 4000

    The MB Pro does have faster RAM, Thunderbolt, and a better iSight camera.
    But it is a two-month old model, whereas the iMac is a 15-month old model,
    due for an update very soon.
    Michelle Steiner, Aug 19, 2012
  20. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    For someone who values portability, those differences are of marginal
    importance. For s/he who needs the quad core and portability, there is
    the 15" MBP. Yes, it's more expensive but also has a larger, higher
    resolution display as well as an i7 processor in lieu of the i5 of the
    low end iMac.

    The numbers speak for themselves. Portable sales in the last quarter
    for Mac were 3646000 v 1287000 - nearly 3:1.
    Alan Browne, Aug 19, 2012
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