“Apple’s consumer hit, the iPod music player, has not budged sales of the company’s core Mac computer line, according to analyst IDC. The Mac has lost market share even as resellers talked up the ‘halo-effect’ of pull-through sales from the music player, it says. With iPod sales soaring and PC users crowding Apple retailers in search of the player, market research shows the Mac brand has slipped,” Simon Hayes writes for Australian IT.

MacDailyNews Take: No, market research most certainly does not show the Mac brand has slipped. Market share can go down while Mac sales increase. A very basic concept totally missed by Hayes, it seems.

“The news comes as Apple faces a groundswell of opposition from its channel over controversial price-matching policies that position its own online store to undercut its retailers. The channel is also concerned about the ever-present threat of Apple opening its own stores. According to IDC, Apple’s share of units shipped in Australia fell from 3.3 per cent in 2003 to 3.1 per cent in 2004. Its revenue share fell from 4.7 per cent to 4.4 per cent. IDC’s figures include forecast numbers for the fourth quarter of 2004. IDC estimated the total desktop and notebook market at three million units in 2004, up from 2.5 million in 2003. Apple corporate affairs manager Martha Raupp contests the IDC figures, however. ‘You’ve got to be kidding,’ she said. ‘We just reported the highest quarterly revenue and net income in Apple’s history.’ Worldwide sales and operations executive vice-president Tim Cook ‘called the results from Australia stunning,’ Ms Raupp said,” Hayes writes.

Hayes writes, “IDC analyst Michael Sager said Apple, focused on the home sector, had missed last year’s upswing in business upgrades. Total Recall Solutions [Apple Reseller] managing director Adam Connor said the mini was a tough financial proposition, however. ‘It’s difficult for us to enjoy selling cheap things,’ he said. ‘We have, however, had lots of interest from large customers who just want a cheap desktop.'” Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: In full Groucho voice: And you’ll soon have lots of interest from cheap customers who just want a tiny desktop.

An iTunes Music Store for Australia would also probably help things along, too. The headline for Hayes article, “Apple’s music boom not moving Macs,” is totally misleading. It’s not only too soon to measure whether iPod’s Halo Effect is shining down under, there’s no explanation of what exactly IDC is measuring. Any old Wintel box assembler could ship 100 Windows-based cash registers, and Apple could have sold 10 Macs to Windows iPod owners in one quarter and the next quarter, the Wintel box assembler ships 200 Windows-based cash registers while Apple increases Mac sales to Windows iPod owners to 15 Macs. The market share for Apple would go down, while the ‘iPod Halo Effect’ sales went up, but were never seen in the market share numbers. We need to revisit Apple Mac market share a few quarters or next year this time to see if we can see any meaningful information. The best measurement, it seems to us, are total Mac units sales per quarter and year over year. Market share really cannot measure the iPod Halo Effect. And we do know that Apple sold 1.05 million Macs in the just completed holiday quarter, compared with just over 800,000 in the previous quarter.

This article from Hayes is a rehash of something we’ve already covered last week: IDC VP Roger Kay sees no evidence of Apple ‘iPod Halo Effect’ based on ‘Apple’s desktop share’. Our “Take” to that article works for this one, too.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple execs now see ‘iPod Halo Effect’ clearly paying off with higher Macintosh sales – January 13, 2005