Apple’s iMac on the road to irrelevance; unit sales peaked a year ago

“Sales of Apple’s iMac, the computer often credited with saving the company, have peaked and by the end of 2014 will account for approximately 2% of the firm’s revenues, analysts now predict,” Gregg Keizer reports for Computerworld.

“Apple’s return to computer industry significance is often traced to the original iMac, the first system introduced by then-interim CEO Steve Jobs after his return to the firm he had co-founded two decades earlier,” Keizer reports. “But even with that pedigree, the iMac has long been outpaced by Apple’s laptops. In the last four quarters, for example, Apple’s laptops outsold desktops by nearly three to one, with a similar revenue disparity.”

Keizer reports, “Clearly, the lack of available iMacs in the fourth quarter, traditionally the best for desktop sales, has eliminated the usual “pop” from the holidays and a recent refresh. And things are not going to get better. Brian White [Topeka Capital Markets analyst] estimates for 2013 peg desktop sales at under a million for two of the coming year’s four quarters, down 20% and 2% for the first and second quarters, respectively. For fiscal year 2013, which runs from Oct 1., 2012, to Sept. 30, 2013, White figures that Apple’s desktop sales will be 14% lower than in the previous year… Apple’s desktop line-up will essentially flatten at an average of under one million per quarter for the next two years.”

Apple's all-new iMac (8th gen)
Apple’s all-new iMac (8th gen)


Advertisement: Apple’s New iMac starts at $1,294 with Free Mac Products after rebate & FREE Shipping!

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hardly shocking, personal computing has been going portable/mobile for quite some time now. Still, with stellar reviews and stunning good looks, Apple’s all-new iMac has a chance to surprise analysts.

Related articles:
Fortune reviews Apple’s new iMac: ‘One of the best desktops the company has ever shipped’ – December 4, 2012
CNET reviews Apple’s new iMac: Serious, fast, an easy recommendation; Editors’ Choice – November 30, 2012
Apple announces new iMac available on Friday, November 30 – November 27, 2012
Apple’s new Fusion Drive technology also works on older Macs – October 31, 2012
Apple’s new patented Fusion Drive is more advanced than you might think – October 24, 2012
The Verge hands on Apple’s new iMac: Extremely thin, stunning – October 23, 2012
Apple unveils jaw-dropping all-new iMac – October 23, 2012


  1. Keizer talks about the peak as iMac’s proportion of Apple’s profits as though that means anything. The iMac line still sells very well and is highly profitable, it’s just that some other Apple products sell better and make more profit for the company. Other desktop computer manufacturers are seeing falling sales and watching their profits vanish. Apple’s iMacs and laptops are increasing sales.

    Desktop computers are no longer occupy the centre ground of computing, just as iPods are no longer the prime music player for most people, but Apple still makes a significant profit from both iPods and iMacs. It’s just that it makes an even bigger profit from iPhones and iPads.

    Why should anyone be worried that a profitable sector is still making a great profit ? Meanwhile an emerging sector that Apple dominates is making even more money than desktop computers ever did for any company.

  2. My iMac is the center of my digital hub- it is the most indispensable product I own. My iPhone has become a necessity, and I’m about to buy my first iPad, but no way ever will I see an iMac as outdated technology. I need the screen- size, and I need the truck.

  3. The only thing irrelevant is this story. Find another desktop computer with the same look and power? The only other one you will find is the 27″ iMac coming in January. Nothing even comes close. All the copycats pale in comparison. All the reviews tell the same story. I think Apple might surprise with sales numbers as production picks up.

    1. I tend to not agree….. The thin to large design has been around for decades with Bangs & Olufsen leading the way. There are some really hot looking 27″ PC’s out there and sure poopoohing on Windows 8 is fun but the touch experience will gain popularity in 2013.

      P.S. you can’t see the back or sides of most desktops. 🙂 including my 27″ TBD is great and you can’t see the sides or back.

        1. Exactly… and it’s not just “gorilla arms”. Some think that orienting a monitor at an angle or horizontally, rather than the typical vertical orientation, will alleviate the problem. It won’t. Regardless of how one orients a screen, the impact on shoulders and necks will still be dramatic.

          There have been several desktop Windows PCs released the past few years and they’ve gone nowhere.

          Simple ergonomics is going to keep touch from ever being the fundamental UI for desktops. I’m sure there will be some elements of touch added to OS X over time to “assist” certain activities. Touch will become a fundamental UI when voice does. Think the computer interface of Star Trek.

          Until then…

    1. Shhh — not too loud. There are some people on this site that are totally infatuated with the current Apple leadership. Cook can do no wrong. All the delays in getting the iMac to market, missing holiday season, that was all just part of his “operational genius”.

      as for the article: ridiculous. The iMac is profitable and class-leading. A significant number of people still want to host their own data on their own system, instead of tying their mobile devices into somebody elses’ “clouds”. Those are smart people, and Apple is wise to respond to their needs.

      1. Shhh – not too loud. There is a post over at MacRumors stating that early orders of 27″ iMacs are beginning to ship and be on hand before, “GASP”, Christmas!…. Aahhhh, the Humanity, the Humanity…

        1. @ NowNow:

          Or instead of reading rumours, you could just go straight to the source. The Apple Store declares the 27″ iMac will be “available to ship” in january. it is only the 21.5″ design that will ship in the next 7-10 days according to Apple.

          Are you insinuating that Apple was always planning to offer the more capable iMac immediately AFTER the holiday season?

    1. The 27″ is not too large. Its very relaxing.

      New iMac option features the Fusion Drive for an extra $ 250.

      Previous iMac has the DVD drive built-in. I suspect the majority of Mac buyers already have a computer with a DVD drive which is underused.

  4. MacBooks and MacBook Pro’s heading done the same path also. Left unrestrained for a while greed addictions usually can have very bad outcomes.

    Went into Best-buy over the weekend to check out an RTMBP laptop. Sales person stated that if self component upgrades and cost are important to me she would have to recommend a laptop that facilitates this. Since she was so gorgeous I let her showed me a couple non apple laptops. She showed me a couple HP and Dell laptops before showing me the Non-RTMBP. She only showed me the Non-RTMBP because I told her I was an Apple guy.

  5. I have ordered a new iMac 27 inch with full specification costing almost £3000 . Despite having iPhone and iPad3 a desktop is still important to run Aperture and FInal Cut Pro . Portable devices are excellent for many things but, video editing is best done on a desktop in my view. I shall still purchase an iPad mini with retinal screen when it comes out for time lapse capture. Laptops will run Aperture and FCPX ok but, the power of an iMac or Mac Pro will always give you the best experience at present. This will change over time as processors and graphics become more powerful .

  6. My kds want iPad /iBooks because they lead student lifestyles.
    The homebase has an iMac. It’s not about portability it about storage volume, backup and ‘sitting at a desk’ tasks which benefit from screen real estate.

    Removing the DVD burner is not really progress – its blurring the ability to do something – make it incredibly thin – with the need to do it. Does the new machine take up any less desktop space – No.
    Does it add yet another box to the list of: TV, 2TB time capsule, router etc. I’m afraid so. Personally, I’ll keep my slightly thicker iMac and reduce the clutter and have fewer wires desktop that comes with a built in DVD burner.

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