ChangeWave survey shows great news for Apple Mac, ominous news for Dell

Back in June, a ChangeWave consumer survey saw an Apple “halo effect” on the way for Mac computer sales, due in part to all of the advance publicity and hype surrounding the release of the iPhone. At that time it appeared as though there was a transformational shift taking place in the consumer PC marketplace.

According to ChangeWave’s latest consumer PC survey – conducted August 1-8, 2007 – the enormous impact of that transformational shift is now clear, and the news is great for Apple and ominous for Dell.

The survey of 3,665 ChangeWave Alliance members began by asking those who bought a computer in the past 90 days which manufacturer they had bought it from. The survey then asked those planning to buy a computer in the next 90 days which manufacturer they’d be buying from.

In an ongoing alteration of the consumer PC landscape, Apple laptop sales have surged to a new all-time high over the past 90 days – up from 12% in June to 17% currently – an unprecedented 5-point move. Apple desktop sales (7%; down 1-pt) have been solid but unspectacular during that same time period.

Going forward, planned Apple Mac purchases over the next 90 days reveal more of the same ahead for Apple. A total of 28% of respondents who plan to purchase a laptop say they’ll get a Mac – mirroring the brisk momentum originally seen back in June. Another 23% say they’ll buy an Apple desktop – up 1 point from the previous survey.

“These results are great news for Apple, and they serve as powerful evidence that the ‘halo effect’ is indeed translating into real world Mac computer sales for Steve Jobs and company,” said Tobin Smith, founder of ChangeWave Research and editor of ChangeWave Investing, in the press release.

If the news for Apple can be described as great, then the news for Dell would certainly be described as ominous. After a surprising uptick for the box maker in ChangeWave’s June survey, Dell’s market share is once again taking a huge hit.

Only 30% of purchasers say they bought a Dell desktop in the past 90 days. This represents a 7-pt drop for Dell since June – down to the second-lowest percentage it’s recorded for desktops in a ChangeWave survey. Similarly, Dell laptop purchases (24%) have fallen 4-pts to a new all time low.

What about Dell’s outlook for the next 90 days? That too appears troubled. The survey results show planned desktop purchases (31%) falling 5-pts to a new all-time low. The only potential bright spot for Dell is in its planned laptop purchases (29%), which have inched up 1-pt since June – although they too are near a record low.

It is important to note that most of Dell’s revenue comes from corporate PC sales. The next ChangeWave corporate IT purchasing survey–currently in the field–will shed light on whether Dell is gaining or losing in the all-important corporate marketplace.

Another prominent PC maker worthy of mention here is Hewlett-Packard, whose desktop share appears quite stable among consumers. A total of 26% who purchased a desktop over the last 90 days say they bought an H-P – up 1-pt from June. After peaking in ChangeWave’s June survey, however, H-P laptop purchases (25%; down 2-pts) have edged back slightly.

In a positive sign for H-P going forward, the findings show a big 5-pt jump in planned H-P desktop purchases for the next 90 days (28%). In a more mixed result, H-P laptop purchases going forward (25%; down 3-pts) have pulled back somewhat from their previous all-time highs.

Overall these are positive consumer results for Hewlett-Packard. H-P desktop sales are up going forward, and while laptops have come back slightly off their June highs – most likely due, in part, to increasing competition from Apple – they nonetheless appear relatively healthy.

Perhaps the most impressive finding for Apple in this survey is its outstanding customer satisfaction rating. A whopping 86% of those who bought an Apple computer over past 90 days report being “Very Satisfied” with their purchase, by far the highest of any manufacturer.

On the flipside, Dell is dead last among PC makers when it comes to customer satisfaction. In fact, only 44% of those who bought a Dell over the past 90 days report being “Very Satisfied” with their purchase, down 9-pts since June.

Once again – more great news for Apple; more ominous news for Dell.

Further information on the ChangeWave consumer PC survey will be released Tuesday, August 21, 2007 at

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


  1. Be interesting to add in the ‘satisfied’ as well as the ‘very satisfied’ to get an overall positive vs negative. Probably the 44% very satisfied with Dells previously had a Dell so the bar was low.

  2. They can’t be serious. I’m rockin’ Microsoft Windows Vista on my Dell right now. Am I a satisfied customer? You bet.

    Vista is like a Mac only better. Five years of Microsoft’s heart and soul were poured into this baby and it shows. You have windows, fonts, transparency and some really cool effects, so it’s like a Mac, but it plays games. I can even upgrade the graphics card and it has an ‘Intel Inside’ sticker. My Zune works great with it too.

    From where I sit, Dell is in fantastic shape and it’s only getting better.

    Your potential. Our passion.™

  3. My brother… a longtime PC drone… er, user… finally pulled the plug on Windows and bought a Mac mini last week.

    Bro: “I love the interface. Last night I was surprised at how intuitive it is. I found myself able to do things quicker than I can on a PC!”

    This is a guy who has worked as a developer and tester for the past dozen or so more years.

    I can’t wait to see what hey says after a few weeks.

  4. Ha ha ha. It’s Zune Tang. Whee. Hooray for fsckin’ Zune Tang and his unique brand of sarcasm. Yuk yuk yuk. Why, it never gets old, no matter how many fsckin’ times he does it.

    (Oh, and if you can’t tell that I’m being sarcastic, how can you claim to know the difference betwen ZT and a common troll?)

  5. Keep in mind that the numbers for the next 90 days tend to be exaggerations. So the important finding is the change in the numbers for planned purchases over time. Whereas for past purchases, the actual numbers are what is important.

    My reading is that these numbers seem to indicate a current 8-9% market share. That would be a huge gain.

  6. I love my Dell too. Maxxed out with the latest releases of Spy Bot Search and Destroy and Norton Internet Security, it’s rock solid. If the antivirus or anti-spyware systems fail, a simple reboot pulls it all back online. Software preinstalled by Dell lets me know what great upgrade options are available for my security software, and it continually reports back to Dell what’s on my system so they can keep my covered every step of the way.

    Your potential. Our passion.™

  7. I wonder how much of the customer satisfaction number is due to the OS (MacOS X vs. Windows) and how much is the actual hardware?

    Personally, I would guess that the biggest single factor is MacOS X, particularly when you are talking short term (90 day) evaluation periods in which any decent hardware ought to perform well and not malfunction.

  8. @Zune Tang: “Five years of Microsoft’s heart and soul were poured into this baby and it shows.”

    It sure does. Vista may go down in history as being an even bigger POS than Windows ME. Now there’s an achievement to be proud of!

  9. Zune Tang is a straight-up shill who gets paid to hang out here and say what he says and do what he does (annoy the hell out of intelligent Mac people who are doing nothing more than minding their own business).

    The question is: Paid by whom? Hmmmm… ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”cool hmm” style=”border:0;” />

    How many Mac folks would hang out at MS, Dell, HP, Gateway, etc., fanboy forums on a daily basis and take all that heat FOR FREE???

    Don’t give this clown the time of day; maybe he’ll just go away.


  10. For over 12 years I am a pc and microsoft user, I was always thinking to make a switch, I was never satisfied with my pc expririence. Now is the time for me, I just wait for the new OS to be released to go a buy a new iMac.

    What I need for my life?, to press the power button and work.
    not to press the power botton wait for 5 min to boot and then looking for drivers and then again boot.

    I want ease of use, speed, power, compatibility, superior multimedia, lower support costs and value…

    Macintosh is the computer of choice for creative individuals who want to spend time changing the world, not fixing security holes, fighting viruses or reinstalling programs.

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