Current Analysis: PC unit sales up 173% in Vista’s debut week

“After five weeks of sluggish PC sales, retailers received a big boost during the first week of Vista’s launch, according to a report released Thursday by Current Analysis,” Dawn Kawamoto reports for CNET News.

Kawamoto reports, “PC unit sales soared 173 percent at U.S. retail stores during the week ended February 3, compared with PC sales in the previous week, according to the report. Current Analysis also noted that during Vista’s debut week PC unit sales rose 67 percent compared with the same period a year ago. Computers loaded with Microsoft’s new operating system, Vista, made their debut during a midnight celebration January 29, but initial reports found interest paled in comparison with launches of previous versions of Windows.”

“The report also found that demand was higher for PCs with the more expensive version of the new operating system,” Kawamoto reports.

Kawamoto reports, “Notebooks loaded with Vista Home Premium accounted for 76 percent of all notebook PC sales, while Vista Home Basic represented only 16 percent, according to the report. It also noted that Vista Home Premium notebooks carried an average sales price of $863, while the Home Basic notebook version had an average sales price of $616.

Kawamoto reports, “‘Microsoft is pleased with the initial response to Windows Vista,’ a company representative said in an e-mail.”

MacDailyNews Take: We have to wonder what was happening at the Apple Stores. Once the early adopters fall out of the way and the vast majority see some of these scathing Vista reviews, will Microsoft and the box assemblers remain pleased with the response?

Kawamoto continues, “Desktops also experienced a bigger demand for premium versions of Vista, but the gap was not as wide. Vista Home Premium desktops accounted for 59 percent of all desktop PC sales, while Home Basic desktops garnered 33 percent. The report is based on unit sales from five major retailers: Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, Staples and Radio Shack.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We expected nothing less.* There’s nothing more reliable than the lemmings mindlessly following each other over the cliff.

*We actually expected much more. Microsoft and the Windows PC box assemblers should be concerned. Comparing PC sales to the week before the launch of a new OS to the first week’s sales is supposed to signify what, exactly, the raging success that is Windows Vista? Puleeze.

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  1. As posted by niker on the ArsTechnica discussion over this news item:

    “Ok, I’ll try to explain why people are saying those numbers can be misleading (please note, I’m not saying that the numbers are wrong, just that using only that kind of percentage can’t tell a lot about the real performance of computer sales).

    Take this example with very low numbers:

    2006 (I’m assuming that the same number of pcs has been sold since there is not real Vista launch):
    week corresponding to the 2007’s 2 weeks before Vista launch: 100 pcs sold
    week corresponding to the 2007’s week before Vista launch: 100 pcs sold
    week corresponding to the 2007’s week after Vista launch: 100 pcs sold
    TOTAL: 300 pcs sold

    2 weeks before Vista launch: 72 pcs sold (people start waiting for Vista)
    week before Vista launch: 61 pcs sold (people is waiting for Vista)
    week after Vista launch: 167 pcs sold
    TOTAL: 300 pcs sold

    Now, comparison between week before Vista launched and the week after is around 173%. And comparison with the same period last year is +67%. But considering a 3 week span, there was in both cases 300 pcs sold.

    I understand this is just an example and Vista is for sure in some way driving a growth in pcs sales.

    But those numbers just can’t prove it.”

    These numbers are meaningless without knowing the actual volume, as Niker’s example clearly shows.

  2. Units sold in the last weeks of January are, I imagine, low in general–post Christmas/sales, and pre-paycheque. I know that the shop I worked in was dead during mid-late Jan. Of course sales picked up at the end, and into early February–people got paid!

  3. I’ve had 4 people so far ask me about buying a new machine with Vista on it. In all 4 cases it’s turning into an act of desparation because their XP machines have turned into worthless pieces of junk. Not the ‘oh, I’ve been wanting this for so long (Wow)’ but the ‘please God will this keep my kid from screwing up the machine.’

  4. @NewType

    Spot on. These numbers are meaningless.

    Remember that Zune jumped to number 2 in the first week of sales, but quickly fell back to number 5.

    The numbers that really count are the financial results at the end of this quarter. And I suspect they are going to be pretty awful.

    In the meantime, expect to see headlines such as:

    “PC retailers report disappointing sales in the wake of Vista problems”
    “Vista sales stall following scathing press reports”
    “Microsoft ‘happy’ with Vista sales to date”
    “Retail stores report increased interest in Apple Mac as consumers resist high priced Vista”
    “Corporate users report little interest in Vista deployment”
    “More senior managers depart Redmond”

    Whatever happens in the short term, the underlying malaise at Microsoft cannot fail to have an impact. If Vista is a pig, then no amount of lipstick will disguise that fact.

    The PC market is not sentimental. The PC is a tool for home or business and if users dont like it, sales will stall.

    And this time there is an alternative – the Mac.

    Perhaps Apple will have to appoint some further new manufacturers…

  5. If Windows-using customers were better-informed computer users, instead of “lemmings,” that number should have been much higher. Why? Because they should have stopped buying PCs with Windows XP to wait for the ones with Windows Vista coming in one week. The fact that the number was only 173% comparing the week before Vista and after Vista shows the lack of interest and excitement from consumers in general.

    Actually, perhaps Windows-using customers are better informed than I imagine, and a significant number of them wanted a new computer with Windows XP instead of Vista.

  6. correction: The Mac has been an alternative for many years. But this time the Mac is PERCEIVED as a viable alternative by the market at large. Many more consumers will weigh up the alternatives and choose Mac this time.

  7. I think you could call these people the early adopters and those who just wanted to replace their machines. It does actually blow apart the myth that you don’t need to buy a whole new PC just to upgrade the OS. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />(Cheesy grin)

  8. My heart goes out to all the vista owner..

    I have helped a lot people with their crappy Windows,

    I won’t be available to help out this time.

    I am using Mac ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

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