PiperJaffrey: Vista sales in March quarter ‘could put downward pressure on Mac market share’

“The launch of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Vista operating system will have a negative effect on Apple’s share of the personal computer market over the next several months, according to checks performed by research and investment firm PiperJaffray,” Slash Lane reports for AppleInsider.

Lane reports, “In a research note released to clients on Wednesday, Sr. Analyst Gene Munster said that while a survey of 50 Best Buy retail stores around the country found that Vista sales have not met expectations, PC sales have still risen as a result of the software roll-out. ‘Of the 50 stores we surveyed, 80 percent of Best Buy stores indicated that they have sold less copies of Vista than they had expected,’ the analyst wrote. But at the same time, he said, 72 percent of the stores saw an increase in Windows PC sales since the software launched.”

Lane reports, “Munster, who attributes the surge to pent-up demand for PCs with Vista pre-installed, is forecasting for a spike in Windows PC sales during the March calendar quarter, which ‘could put downward pressure on Mac market share.’ More specifically, the analyst expects Mac market share to decline from 2.5 percent in December to 2.3 percent in March.

Lane reports, “Still, Munster said he remains confident that Apple in 2007 will gain share overall, helped from the industrywide shift toward portables where it currently excels. The analyst also sees potential for Apple to seize the opportunity presented by the launch of Vista to gain mind share with consumers. ‘Although many features of Vista are already available on Apple’s current operating system, 10.4 Tiger, Apple is preparing 10.5 Leopard for a Spring release,” Munster told clients. “With the release of Leopard, Mac market share will benefit from upward pressure from slight pent-up demand.'”

“The analyst said the release of Leopard will also mark a turning point for investors, who will shift their focus back on the Mac chapter of the Apple story. The launch of Tiger in April 2005 added $100m in revenue to the company’s June quarter, he said, with 2 million copies shipping in the first month of availability,” Lane reports. “Since Tiger’s release, which went on to sell 7 million copies in its first year on the market, the Mac OS X installed base has grown 25 percent from 16 million users to about 20 million users, Munster said. Similarly, he expects that 40 percent of Mac users to upgrade to Leopard in the first year of availability.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: No surprises here. Obviously, if Vista causes enough more PCs to be sold due to pent-up demand, Mac market share could drop even if Mac units sales rise. As always, what should be most important to developers, investors, reporters, and other interested parties is that Apple Mac OS X’s installed base continues to grow, now 20 million strong, and tends to be more affluent than PC users on average.

On June 3, 2005, Wizzard Software explained why they believe the Macintosh market is important as they prepared the release AT&T Natural Voices for Apple’s Mac OS X:

According to a statement released earlier this year, Apple Computer reported their 2005 first quarterly revenue and net income as the highest in the history of their company, with 74% revenue growth. Apple shipped 1,046,000 Macintosh units during this quarter, representing a 26% increase in CPU units over the year-ago quarter. According to US News and World Report, Macintosh owners buy 30% more software than their Windows counterparts. Further, Macintosh software comprises over 18% of all software sold, according to the Software and Information Industry Association.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Net Applications: Apple’s Mac market share continues rise, hits 6.22% in January 2007 – February 01, 2007
Gartner: Apple’s U.S. Mac shipments up 30.6% year over year – January 18, 2007
Net Applications: Apple’s Mac market share continues rise, now at 5.39%, up 31% year-over-year – December 01, 2006
Apple’s Mac market share surges, up 35-percent year-over-year as growth accelerates – November 01, 2006
Analyst: Apple has ‘real shot at dramatically expanding Macintosh market share’ – October 31, 2006
Analyst: Apple Mac gains market share, the reason why is significant – October 26, 2006
IDC: Apple Mac attained 5.8% of U.S. market share in Q3 06 – October 18, 2006
Gartner: Apple Mac grabbed 6.1% of U.S. market share in Q3 06 – October 18, 2006
Gartner: Apple Mac grabbed 4.6% U.S. market share in Q2 06 – July 19, 2006
IDC: Apple Mac attained 4.8% U.S. market share in Q2 06 – July 19, 2006

34 Comments

  1. Seriously, the only way I could care less would be if the entire coterie of Victoria’s Secret models were dancing naked in front of me.

    If Apple sells another 1.6 million CPUs this quarter and they take in another (profitable) $2 billion, why does it matter if WinDell sells a lot of soulless, unprofitable beige boxes to the undiscerning.

  2. Just switched both my neighbours last night, one bought a 17 inch iMac and the other a Powerbook.

    We’ll see how the numbers pan out….but from my personal perspective, I am seeing WAY more people contemplating Mac’s than ever before.

  3. Installed base numbers are interesting. I’m not sure where these numbers come from, but I do know that in 1997, Steve Jobs claimed the Mac install base was 25 million. 10 years on, in the midst of a resurgence, it’s lower?

    Calling Zune Tang…

  4. There’s pent-up demand. It doesn’t matter if Vista is a turd. People have been waiting for Vista to come out to replace their PCs. Mind you, after hearing the reviews, some of them may buy XP machines. And quite a few will buy Macs.

    But whatever the case, these people will finally buy their new computers, and the vast majority will (sadly) buy PCs. So yes, that could push Mac market share down.

  5. An interesting thing I heard on the Buzz-Out-Loud podcast. Someone was mentioning that the stores like Best Buy were emptying their inventory of computers before the rollout of Vista. Then, with Vista, they refilled their inventory of computers.

    From Microsoft’s point of view, a lot of copies of Vista were sold. In reality, it’s just channel filling.

    With all the (bad) press that Vista has been having lately, I think there will be (only) a few people that will try it. Most others will wait and see, or switch to the Mac.

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