Merrill Lynch: ‘iPod success eventually to spill over into Mac purchases’

“Merrill Lynch increased its 2004 unit growth forecast to 13% from 11%, the same as in 2003, based on a decent consumer showing and an improving corporate market,” reports.

“Apple Computer saw unit share dip below 2% for the first time–down to 1.7% in the fourth quarter. Merrill Lynch said, ‘We expect iPod success eventually to spill over into Mac purchases,'” reports.

Full article here.


  1. Don’t forget.

    You have to keep replacing or upgrading the PC’s. While, Macs continue to work.

    That is why Apple’s market share is so low. If Apple made a disposable product which needed to be replaced or updated every year, then it’s market share would be significantly higher.

  2. The lack of understanding of Apple products is in no small measure due to lack of marketing…ask why it is that Dell uses full page ads in newspapera with lots of content, and Apple not only does not use this medium but prefers high priced tv advertising because it is classy, i.e. is image advertising. As for substance, forget it. This is why the general public do not appreciate the superiority of the operating system, features such as .Mac and on and on and on. Why not, for once, put some detail in the newspaper, spell out the advantages. Put some comparative articles there, such as recent ones that independently describe superior security, worm freedom day when you buy a Mac. But do we really want to deprive the sheep of their worms? I can see the theme now: No worms in your Apple!

  3. Jimbo if you read my post VERY carefully you will note that I did not offer an opinion about price, but rather an opinion about other’s opinions about price. I am trying to avoid the same old arguement. If you imagine that pc’s and macs are priced closely, that is fine. I think the fact that imac sales were down 25% in fourth quarter is a refection of what others feel about price.

    With that, I think my original point about iPod vs. Mac sales stands. One is not going to lead to much improvement in the other. Imagine what you like, but I don’t know of any facts that can make me conclude otherwise. And, of course, we can always wait and see.

  4. I just worry that Apple’s not doing enough to combat the perception that Macs are “weird” and don’t work with everything.

    I had a “phone rage” experience last night. I was trying to register with my health insurance company’s online service, but was having problems. I tried using IE, but still couldn’t register. I called their help line. The woman walked me through this and that, and finally asked “are you using Internet Explorer”? I said “Yes, I’m using Internet Explorer,” and before I could stop myself, added “for Mac.”

    I knew what I’d done, but it was too late. It was like a switch had been flipped in that woman’s head. “Oh, we don’t support Mac.” I couldn’t get a thing out of her. I tried explaining to her that a browser was a browser, but nothing was penetrating the skull. She suggested that I use a friend’s computer. How’s that for service, huh?

    After I nearly broke my receiver in half hanging up the phone, I dug out my PC laptop, plugged it into my DSL, and tried to register again. I got the same error! Well, no @#$%ing DUH! It was just a simple JavaScript form! It had nothing to do with whether I was using a Mac or a PC.

    “Oh, we don’t support Mac.”

    If I had lied, and pretended to be using a PC, 99-100% of her help would have applied to me.

    This can’t help the switching campaign, this perception that, if you buy a Mac, you can look forward to being left high-and-dry by every help desk in the nation. Apple really should address this. They should have a campaign to get sites to (officially) support the Macintosh. Show these idiots what good customers we are, how much we make in a year. Maybe then they wouldn’t program their help desk drones to turn their brains off when they hear “Mac”.

  5. I see your point Joe. We do agree that it is in the perception. You may be right. Folks buy iPods because the media screams that they are good. The media is not too vocal about Macs not getting all these viruses, so sleepy ol’ Joe U.S. Citizen continues on his merry way, buying what the sheep buy.

    <RANT>Not to pick on us US folks much but geez, all these bubbas driving around in pickups proclaiming theirs to be the best, with a picture of Calvin peeing on the other guy’s logo. Hell no, I look around and know which pickup is best for me. But I’m gonna buy what everyone else is buying when it comes to PCs. </RANT>

  6. Oops! Sorry Joe Mc, I was not attempting to slam you when I said “Joe US Citizen”. I was merely using Joe like everyone else. Hope you didn’t take that wrong!!!

  7. James Evans – Well the PC got relegated to my son’s room so for playing Finding Nemo etc and for my wife to do college stuff that is not Mac compatible. The 2nd mac is old and slow, but kept as a backup machine. It’s not like they’re networked or anything.

    I do do some freelance stuff from home, so they’re not just sad geek toys (though they are that to an extent!)

  8. The average person probably uses their computer to surf the web, write email, print out photos, write a letter and maybe play a game or two.
    Their under $1,000 including monitor PC running Windows XP suits them fine. They have no reason to switch. I got a mac and windows computers, both do the job, both work fine – one cost about a $1,000 less than the other.
    All the people whining & grumbling on Mac news sites about how Windows sucks seem to have them working in a different environment (perhaps work or school with lots of users) than the home user. Maybe with more users Windows has lots of problems, but my windoze pc and all the neighbors and friends and relatives with a newer computer running XP have nary a problem and see no reason to buy a Porsche-priced computer when a Ford-priced one will do.
    That is the problem that Apple has to beat.

  9. vernosaurus, you can buy a mac that surfs the web, writes emails, prints out photos and plays a game or two for less than $1,000.

    Does windows really work “just fine”? Ever heard of MyDoom-f or go or whatever’s out now?

    Better check around more because I know several people personally who are fed up with windows and want to buy a mac next time around.

    Also just look at David Coursey’s recent column, “When Windows won’t work, it’s time for a Mac.” 3 windows machines down, with nothing left to do but reinstall windows, all the patches, and all your apps again. Pain, pain, pain.

  10. Vernosaurus, you’re right.

    We may wish it weren’t so, but it is. Personally I feel that it would be really great if Mac got to ten percent of market (maybe fifteen percent of userbase). Stable, profitable (it already is), but also pretty much immune. Fifty percent ain’t going to happen: fifteen just might….eventually.

  11. It may be in Apple’s interest to stay where it is. MacOsX is great. XP is acceptable for 80% of people. To cut into the difference Apple must innovate and improve. To maintain the margin MS must not alienate. Each must react. It is possibly zero sum. For Apple to really gain MS must fall apart. This will happen via either the killer Apple app, but much more likely bilion dollar worm/virus failure. Statistically both are unlikely. Better to be in the (profitable) margins – but waiting to pounce on a total f*** up. Anyway – that’s my slightly drunken take on it. Would anyone on this site be happy if Apple achieved dominance. I suspect it would make many feel a little too mainstream.

  12. LOL Jimbo if my skin weren’t thick I wouldn’t be here. When I buy a new pickup every four years I let the ford chevy and dodge dealers offer for my business. Calvin is pissing on THEM.

    vernosauraus nails reality rather closely I think. My experience with windows is kind of like that, good enough, and my take on prices is like he said as well. This site and others have yards of headlines and comment about how windows doesn’t work and is fraught with danger, and there ARE plenty of people ready to throw their pc out the window. However the cheap wintel boxes seem to be operable, and good enough, for millions of people. Rehashing each person’s anecdotal experience with windows crap and apple polish, and vice versa, does not obviate the overwhelming numbers. Nor does blaming the whole thing on fud, in my opinion. There are many here who disagree with that.

    I think apple has chosen not to get cheap and compete on price or speed. This is a fine approach that will keep margins up but not make for many new users.

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