U.S. consumer retail PC sales grew almost 3% during the 10 week Back-to-School period (week of July 4th through Labor Day week) after declining by 2.5% in the previous year.
According to The NPD Group Weekly Tracking Service, Apple and Chrome OS led the sales drive with Chrome OS unit sales increasing to 4.5% and Mac OS X-based products up 14 percent to 26.8% share. Windows devices declined 3%. Overall, notebooks were up 3.4% in units and desktops were flat, year-over-year.
Apple notebooks were one of the star performers this year with sales up 16% over last Back-to-School with the most significant increase over the last three weeks of the period growing 27%. Windows desktop towers saw a paltry 2% unit increase, an improvement over 2013’s 12% decline. Chromebook sales were up 32% in 2014 and accounted for 18% of all sales of notebooks under $300, a junk category in which Apple does not compete.
Windows notebook ASPs fell over the last three weeks to just $441, which was 8% lower than last year, but the price cuts lifted units by 4%. Entry-level Windows notebooks priced under $300 increased by 37% as prices dropped from $271 to $242. 2-in-1 Windows devices accounted for 13% of Windows sales as volume increased 6x over 2013.
“After a slow start, aggressive pricing and robust selection drove significant volumes towards the end of the Back-to-School season, making it a very strong year,” said Stephen Baker vice president of Industry Analysis at NPD, in a statement. “Due to the success of the aggressive Windows notebook pricing during Back-to-School we could see a much more aggressive pricing strategy this holiday season as the seemingly stable PC volume environment emboldens the PC OEMs and the OS and chip suppliers to make a grab for market share while the industry remains relatively steady.”
Source: The NPD Group, Inc.
MacDailyNews Take: Market share for market share’s sake is a dead end. Just ask Dell how trying to make it up in volume worked for them.