Amazon’s Christmas bestsellers: Apple MacBooks and a bunch of cheap netbooks

Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune, “Look what Santa left under’s tree this Christmas morning:”

7 Acer netbooks
7 Apple MacBooks
4 Asus netbooks
2 Samsung netbooks
2 MSI netbooks
1 OLPC (One laptop per child) XO laptop
1 Lenova Ideapad laptop
1 Toshiba Satellite laptop

Elmer-Dewitt asks, “Can you spot the ringer on Amazon’s 2008 Christmas-day list of 25 bestselling notebook computers?”

“You guessed it. It’s those seven premium-priced Apple MacBooks in a shopping cart dominated by stripped-down netbooks, heavily discounted Windows notebooks and a 2-for-1 ‘$100’ laptop,” Elmer-Dewitt reports. “Except for the MacBooks and one $599 Toshiba, every computer on that list sells for less than $500.”

Full article here.


  1. Let’s see: on Amazon’s ‘laptop bestseller list,’ a MacBook is at #7 and a MacBook Pro is at #10. *All* the rest are netbooks of different varieties. No Dell’s or Visa in site. Merry Christmas and Happy Retirement Mr Gates and Mr Dell…

  2. I think we are glossing over the fact that even though MacBooks are at 7 and 10… the rest of the list is dominated by netbooks. This says something about the growing popularity of this form factor as much as it does about the desire for Apple products.

  3. It means little – Amazon is not where most people buy computers.
    Now if they would put some real numbers behind those top 10 results. Such as how many of each.
    Selling 100,000 Apple laptops is impressive. Selling 5 is not.

  4. Anim8me2:

    Actually, no. What it tells us is that recession is so deep that people are buying the cheapest possible computers. Remember, Netbooks are just fancy names for computers with processing speed of two years ago and ultra-low price. If in addition to these netbooks, there were full-size laptops on offer (same specs or even lower) for the same price, it would be these laptops and not netbooks on this list.

  5. The truth is, however, that for most things many people do on a computer a Net appliance with word processing and iTunes is about all they need. Why pay more? Apple will eventually enter this space. I know if there was a Net Book made by Apple my household would buy 3.

  6. I did a simple math on net profit, the result may not be very accurate, but should be close.

    Profit Margin (ttm):
    Apple: 14.8%, PC:4.57% (HP:6.7%, Dell:4.41%, Acer 2.6%(annual ’07))

    Average notebook price:
    Apple: around $1500, PC: around $700

    Net profit for each notebook:
    Apple: $222*, PC: $31.99
    *almost 7x more

    I think Apple is the winner.

  7. It’s nice being Apple and making as much profit on ONE MacBook than TEN of the so-called “netbooks.” When you have a desirable product that no one else can produce (a laptop that officially runs Mac OS X), you can make money whether the economy is good or bad. As a consumer, I want to pay as little as possible for my next Mac, but as an investor, I like where Apple is headed.

  8. Net books are for real. I think it won’t be long before Apple owns the high end of the consumer market, if they don’t already. I think it’s only enterprise who buy fully loaded up laptops from Dull and Hp.

    Then where does Apple go for growth.

    Got to be net books, and there will be a high end and low end to this niche, and Apple will own the high end.

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