Windows PC retailers face tough holiday season, meanwhile Apple stores are packed as Mac sales surge

“It’s looking like it may be a slow holiday season for PC Plus, an independent retailer in Austin, Texas, that sells Toshiba and Acer computers,” Jim Finkle reports for Reuters. “Weakening U.S. consumer confidence presents a challenge to PC Plus, along with larger companies such as Dell Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. They’re struggling to pump up sales volume to compensate for sharp retail price declines.”

Finkle reports, “Besides struggling with falling prices and a weak economy, the two largest U.S. PC makers, Dell and HP, are fighting the iPod phenomenon. Demand for the market-leading digital music player has created a resurgence in sales of Apple’s Mac computers. In contrast to Austin’s PC Plus, Apple stores across the nation are often filled with shoppers. ‘People sort of walk in an Apple store to buy iPods and say ‘Hey, look at this other stuff,” says Matt Reise, assistant manager at Boston Mac dealer Computer Loft.”

“Apple may be poised to take a bigger bite out of Dell. Macs are posting their strongest growth in years, mostly driven by iPod sales. The company has two new models on store shelves — a tiny ‘nano’ version and one that plays video,” Finkle reports. “Apple computer shipments climbed an estimated 45 percent in the third quarter, based on units sold, beating the 17 percent industry average, according to research firm IDC. Dell shipments rose 12 percent, while HP’s were up 10 percent.”

Full article here.

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33 Comments

  1. Let’s not for get that, though the iPod is a great hook, iMacs and iBooks have truly captured the attention of the consumer market. They’re stylish and fun, and appeal to peoples’ sense of “cool and hip” — clearly something Windows boxes don’t do.

  2. They can blame the economy or whatever all they want, but to do that completely contradicts the fact that Mac and iPod sales are booming. If it was strictly the economy causing a slowdown, Apple would be suffering as well.

    What it boils down to is that people are tired of the same old lousy crap coming from M$, Dell and the other cheap PC peddlers. People are still spending plenty of money, they’re just spending it elsewhere (at the Apple Store).

  3. neil – that’d be amusing. it’d be even more amusing if they actually sold those antiques there. however, take this not as a bashing of the mac plus – i had one running for about six months straight (!) as a clock before it died back in august…

    mw is man – as in, man, i miss my goofy old mac plus =(

  4. After the new year, expect sales of most anything to be sharply down, right now people are treating themslelves and ignoring the growing debt, hurricane rebuilding and high costs of real estate with no matching rise in incomes.

    MDN Word: “dead” Like PC sales are going to be dead this holiday season and Mac sales will be good.

  5. “Only in America can a 12 percent increase in sales look like a loss” – MD

    If that is your understanding of the IT business than no surprise your computers suck.

    Michael Dell, the computer market is GROWING, to truly grow your company has to grow FASTER than the market. Since the market growth was 17% and Dell grew ONLY 12% it means your market presence shrunk year-to-year. To keep STAGNANT and afloat you should have grown 17% otherwise you are SINKING.

    Capish?!

  6. The iPod wont last! Apple only has 4% market share, they’re going to go bust! Nobody buys Macs anymore because there is no software for them. Everybody uses Windows computers! Look out for the “iPod Killers”! Macs are no good on a network! All computers get viruses!…..mmmkay, Why is Dell struggling? Where is all the iPod competiton? Why are sooooo many people still buying iPods each quarter?…Enjoy it people because there is lots more to come.
    Got to get me some Apple shares!!!!

  7. To SJR:
    “. . . people are tired of the same old lousy crap coming from M$, Dell and the other cheap PC peddlers.”

    Yeah, but Vista will be out ANY DAY NOW and the emBallmer swore it would be way cool! (actually, I think he used the word innovative two hundred and eleven times)

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  8. “If I were Dell I’d be worried about us too. I told you all in 1997 that we had them in our sights. If I recall, Michael mentioned something about how we should just close up shop; we were too far gone or some such. Hey, what can I say – times change.

    And look at Dell now. They’re essentially a company full of sellers. Sales people. That’s who they’re run by. And we all know what happens when the salesmen run the company.

    If I were Dell I’d just re-tool all the lines and start making urine cakes.”

  9. “Only in America can a 12 percent increase in sales look like a loss.”

    – Michael Dull

    “If I were Dell I’d just re-tool all the lines and start making urine cakes.”

    – Steve Jobs

    The fictional Dell just got bitchslapped something awful by the fictional Steve-o.

    Game. Set. Match.

  10. I agree with Sputnick, er, I mean ‘winmacguy’:

    The iPod “Halo effect” won’t last. Macs are overpriced. Apple is doomed! The new dual core, Intel cpu PowerBooks will fail in the market. Apple is doomed! SJ’s distortion field will fade. Apple is doomed!

    But then again, maybe not.

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