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January wasn't a very good month for Apple

Throughout 2008, Apple consistently posted higher growth than Windows PCs.  Thanks to this trend, Apple skyrocketed to third place in total quarterly sales.  However, in Q4 2008 the first signs of trouble appeared as Apple fell to fourth place as its growth slowed. 

The source of its problems seemed to be the bad economy, as cash-strapped customers are less likely to pay for Apple's pricey luxury machines when they can buy more affordable offerings like netbooks.

Now another significant landmark has been passed by Apple, further signaling that it is not immune to the economic downturn.  In January, for the first time in almost a year, total Windows PC sales growth surpassed that of Apple.  Apple sales and revenue dropped 6 percent and 11 percent respectively during the month of January compared to December.

Windows PCs, on the other hand, saw sales increase by 13 percent.  The revenue ended up being virtually flat, though, as much of the growth was attributable to the burgeoning netbooks sector which features low-priced machines with low profit margins.

NPD analyst Stephen Baker says price is not Apple's only problem.  He says that Apple's Mac mini line is quickly becoming out of date, in terms of technology due to the fact that it has not been refreshed in some time.  Apple had the chance to refresh it at its January MacWorld appearance, but instead chose to release a high-end 17" refresh to its MacBook Pro line.  Many Apple users may be waiting for the rumored update to the Mac mini, according to Mr. Baker.

He states, "
I don't think there's a lot of Apple people switching.  We think people just aren't buying."

Indeed, while the latest sales paint a grim picture for Apple, a company used to prolific growth over the past few years, it still can count on its unquestioningly loyal customers.  Mr. Baker though believes that Apple's MacBook laptop needs to drop in price from $999 to $799 to convince more of these loyal fans to buy again.  Such a price would be cost competitive with Windows laptops with similar specs, and might lure more than a few Windows users.

However, such moves seem unlikely from Apple, which revels in offering products with large profit margins. Steve Jobs stated in an October interview, "
We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk."

Overall, laptop sales continue to grow as desktop sales shrink.  Part of Apple's problem, according to NPD, may be cannibalization.  Its users may be switching from iMacs to MacBook laptops, which ultimately cut Apple's revenue.

The NPD report only accounted for sales in U.S. retail stores and excluded online sales, so Apple still has some hope for posting a less disappointing quarter.  However, even if the final numbers aren't quite as bleak, Apple still finds itself in the very unfamiliar territory of contraction.



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The economy finally hits...
By psypher on 2/22/2009 10:10:51 AM , Rating: 5
Did anyone really think that people would continue to buy overpriced computers in the face of a failing economy? If apple wants to stay relevant in the next year, they are going to have to pimp some seriously cool hardware that nobody else has(read not just faster since they've never been fast, but more innovative) or finally learn to compete on price...




RE: The economy finally hits...
By quiksilvr on 2/22/2009 11:52:15 AM , Rating: 2
They won't change their pricing scheme but they'll probably just scrape a couple hundred bucks off the high end notebooks.


RE: The economy finally hits...
By Tuxy79 on 2/22/2009 1:03:27 PM , Rating: 4
"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk."

Not suprising since they can't make a $3000 computer that's not a peice of junk.


RE: The economy finally hits...
By scrapsma54 on 2/22/2009 2:54:01 PM , Rating: 5
Why does apple have to sell something that isn't a piece of junk at a ultra high price? Is it that hard to expand their userbase by sacrificing something to gain a lot? In my entire life I have not seen apple sacrifice one thing to reach out to potential computer buyers. This Standard of theirs is like a childs dream to own a pet shark.
So, since when is technology a piece of junk?
I guess their shuffle line isn't a generic pos, or their joke of a Digital entertainment medium, iTV?
I am begining to doubt apple's standards, because all im seeing is commercials that bash each other like Oxyclean to windex, and customers that Plug their ears and sing.


RE: The economy finally hits...
By SavagePotato on 2/22/2009 3:39:07 PM , Rating: 5
Apple is just proof that negative marketing works surprisingly well. Maybe it is because people are so trained by the political world to accept smear tactics and attack ads that it makes the apple commercials more effective.

I guess if you believe their rampant BS commercials, you are more likely to convince yourself that you should pay double the price for the same product. Out of personal experience I just bought a dell studio 17 with better specs than the macbook aluminum epeen edition (which costs over $3000 Canadian) for half the price, and it has blu ray playback.


RE: The economy finally hits...
By kelmon on 2/23/2009 5:13:27 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Out of personal experience I just bought a dell studio 17 with better specs than the macbook aluminum epeen edition (which costs over $3000 Canadian) for half the price, and it has blu ray playback.


Pardon? Perhaps I am missing something here but which specifications are better? It's got the same processor, slower memory with less total capacity, a slower graphics card with half the memory, a smaller battery, and it's physically bigger and heavier. As best as I can see the only thing it has over the 17" MacBook Pro is the option of a 500GB drive (for some odd reason the MBP's highest option is 320GB), an optional Blu-ray drive, and the price. If that is what is important to you then that's absolutely fine with me but I do not think you can claim that the Dell Studio 17 has a better specification than the 17" MBP. Frankly, this is to be expected since the MBP is a professional laptop (think photojournalists) while the Dell is designed for home users looking for a multi-media laptop.

I know it's fun to mock Apple, and sometimes they deserve it, but you need to bare in mind the market they are aiming for and also keep things in perspective.


RE: The economy finally hits...
By mcnabney on 2/23/2009 11:02:31 AM , Rating: 1
Now you really can't boast on a graphics card in a Mac. Anything that improves gaming with the Mac O/S is like putting teats on a bull. It is completely useless. The only games that run on Macs can get by with three or four-year old graphics performance.


RE: The economy finally hits...
By HighWing on 2/23/2009 1:20:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I am begining to doubt apple's standards, because all im seeing is commercials that bash each other like Oxyclean to windex, and customers that Plug their ears and sing.


That pretty much sums up exactly what I have felt since the iPod went to the top.

Honestly I would love to see apple allow third party vendors to make Apple machines. Then and ONLY then could you really make honest comparisons between Apple PC's to Windows PC's. Though even then the simple fact that MS does not make their own line of computers still factors in.


RE: The economy finally hits...
By Moishe on 2/22/2009 5:34:58 PM , Rating: 3
I think that's a funny statement because I've seen (and bought) some crappy computers and they tend to work and do the same tasks as expensive ones. I've also bought some extremely cheap computers that are definitely high quality.

So Jobs is admitting that Apple can't make a cheap, quality product just so he doesn't have to admit that they are just making a higher profit margin. He's also reinforcing the concept that Apple computers are 'just better', which is a line that will be bought by all existing Apple religion members. I'm not opposed to higher margins but Apple would be more successful if they simple pegged the price of their product to the price of the comparable PC + 25%.

As it is they are spending fewer resources (less work involved in the software and hardware), updating less frequently than PC makers, and making more profit.


RE: The economy finally hits...
By kelmon on 2/23/2009 4:53:32 AM , Rating: 3
Here's the thing. Firstly, Apple publishes its financial results each quarter so there is nothing to "admit" to - it's all there in black and white.

Secondly, because Apple charges a higher margin than other companies it doesn't have to sell as many in order to make the same amount of profit. The idea that Apple would be "more successful" if they charged a lower price is a suggestion not backed up by facts. Take last year, for example. Despite their overpriced computers Apple managed to make $904 million profit in Q4. Dell, on the other hand, only managed to make $727 million in Q3 (we'll have to wait until Thursday for Q4 results but I don't think anyone expects them to be higher). Do you really think you know something better than Apple does?

Please spare us from closet analysts who think they have the answer to everything.


RE: The economy finally hits...
By pxavierperez on 2/23/2009 5:53:32 AM , Rating: 2
Not too mention that Apple Inc. has some $20 billion in cash and no debt whatsoever. Compare that to any other hi-tech company, it's pretty amazing.

and yeah, this OS VS. that OS bashing is completely immature.


RE: The economy finally hits...
By afkrotch on 2/23/2009 8:43:09 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft...debt free.
Electronic Arts...debt free.
Intel...debt free.
Google...debt free.

Hell, Cisco can be debt free, but it just chooses not to be. If they paid off their debt, they'd have more cash on hand.

I think you'd be a stupid company to have that much cash on hand. You take your money and make more money by investing it.


RE: The economy finally hits...
By pxavierperez on 2/23/2009 3:48:40 PM , Rating: 1
I think you'd be stupid to think that Apple isn't using that money to invest in R&D.


RE: The economy finally hits...
By afkrotch on 2/24/2009 9:25:01 AM , Rating: 2
R&D investment. Part of their operating income. Thus, cash on hand is not part of the equation.


RE: The economy finally hits...
By Targon on 2/23/2009 9:05:22 AM , Rating: 2
The key to bad economic times is that companies that count on high-end high-profit items will have a harder time than companies that cater to a wider audience. The reason you see people buying low-cost PCs is that when you can buy a computer tower for $390 that has 3 gigs of memory, even in bad economic times there will be many people who can handle that sort of purchase. Spending $700 or more on the other hand will require saving for many consumers, and that is why you see these problems.

People are also starting to figure out that Vista isn't as bad as all the negative press has lead people to believe. Most of the negative press really was about the poor driver support we saw for the first 5-6 months of 2007, and people repeating "reports" for six months after they no longer applied. Also, with those 1GB computers no longer being sold, except in a few places, Vista really runs acceptably for most home users.


By scrapsma54 on 2/23/2009 4:40:12 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately for your statement, I dont care about how much money apple is making, I just know they are making money.
Ultimately, when It comes to it, the customer is what matters most, which is my line of thought.
If apple wants more customers who spend their money in a similar fashion as me, they better reorganize their advertising without bashing a computer (with more games than just calculator/clock), and add real features that actually appeal to an average joe gamer/photographer.


RE: The economy finally hits...
By Moishe on 2/24/2009 2:14:47 PM , Rating: 2
We're debating on the same side. The point is not whether Apple can profit doing what its doing, the point is they CAN create a quality netbook for a reasonably price but they choose not to.

Apple isn't stupid and they make plenty of money charging people high prices for a product that is half image and half function. They succeed where other PC makers largely fail: marketing. Marketing allows one computer to sell for more based on nothing but perception.


RE: The economy finally hits...
By Gyres01 on 2/23/2009 11:34:18 AM , Rating: 2
LOL....thanks, that was great !!


RE: The economy finally hits...
By GeorgeH on 2/22/2009 5:01:03 PM , Rating: 1
The thing is, Apple's stuff isn't so much overpriced as it is "luxury". If a typical PC is a Nissan 350z, a typical Apple is a Infiniti G35 Coupe. Basically the same car, except the Z is a little faster and the G35 is slightly more luxurious.

Apple can afford to add subtle little "luxury" features because they have no direct competition; if they started making "cheap" items they would do nothing but create a low margin competitor for themselves that would devalue their high-end offerings and their brand as a whole.

Apple would be better off creating more exclusive high margin items to sell to the wealthy. That way when the economy recovers and the "common" man has more disposable income, the Apple brand will be in great position to profit from the luxury/poseur cachet that has made Apple what it is today.


RE: The economy finally hits...
By GeorgeH on 2/22/2009 5:01:03 PM , Rating: 2
The thing is, Apple's stuff isn't so much overpriced as it is "luxury". If a typical PC is a Nissan 350z, a typical Apple is a Infiniti G35 Coupe. Basically the same car, except the Z is a little faster and the G35 is slightly more luxurious.

Apple can afford to add subtle little "luxury" features because they have no direct competition; if they started making "cheap" items they would do nothing but create a low margin competitor for themselves that would devalue their high-end offerings and their brand as a whole.

Apple would be better off creating more exclusive high margin items to sell to the wealthy. That way when the economy recovers and the "common" man has more disposable income, the Apple brand will be in great position to profit from the luxury/poseur cachet that has made Apple what it is today.


RE: The economy finally hits...
By scrapsma54 on 2/22/2009 6:04:18 PM , Rating: 4
Another funny thing is when apple is confronted with competition, a la iPhone/palm-pre, They Spit in the faces of such an advance.
BUT when a apple takes a Back-up delivery concept that windows had for ages, They incorporate it in a comercial that makes it look like Windows doesn't have such a feature. Such advertising makes me stay away from an apple product, including iPod.


RE: The economy finally hits...
By kelmon on 2/23/2009 4:38:07 AM , Rating: 1
Just a couple of points:

quote:
when apple is confronted with competition, a la iPhone/palm-pre, They Spit in the faces of such an advance.


I must have missed the spitting incident that you refer to. Regardless, under what circumstances, particularly with the current economy, will a business welcome competition?

quote:
BUT when a apple takes a Back-up delivery concept that windows had for ages, They incorporate it in a comercial that makes it look like Windows doesn't have such a feature.


Oh, for crying out loud. Are you serious? Product A has a similar feature to Product B so Product B should advertise it? I'm sorry but Time Machine is better than Windows Shadow Copy for numerous reasons (quite a bit due to the unusual use of UNIX Hard Links) and Apple has every right to advertise it. Would you be complaining if the advertisement worked the other way around? I very much doubt it.


RE: The economy finally hits...
By afkrotch on 2/23/2009 8:49:19 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
I must have missed the spitting incident that you refer to. Regardless, under what circumstances, particularly with the current economy, will a business welcome competition?


He doesn't mean they actually spit on them. More like sent tons of letters or said they'd sue until the competition gives up. That or they all go to court and end up settling out of court.

Microsoft said "hey...look, the Wii is great" or some crap like that.

quote:
Oh, for crying out loud. Are you serious? Product A has a similar feature to Product B so Product B should advertise it? I'm sorry but Time Machine is better than Windows Shadow Copy for numerous reasons (quite a bit due to the unusual use of UNIX Hard Links) and Apple has every right to advertise it. Would you be complaining if the advertisement worked the other way around? I very much doubt it.


They put Product A on a pedestal and pee all over Product B. Last I looked around, most companies just show how good Product A is and don't even bring up Product B.

The only ppl who have commercials like that now are Apple and Politicians.


RE: The economy finally hits...
By kelmon on 2/23/2009 5:32:21 AM , Rating: 2
The problem here is that Apple is not a fast company and therefore I do not expect this situation to change. They spend years working on products and therefore they probably are not able to respond quickly enough to changing demands, although they do certainly have the potential to cut prices. However, I think we need to wait until the Q1 results are released to see whether action is even necessary. They may plan simply to ride out the downturn safe in the knowledge that their products are different. You may disagree with that statement but Macs are not really playing in the same market as the likes of Dell and HP and in some respects that shields them from the need to compete more closely with other hardware manufacturers. That difference is what means that Apple never has to compete directly on price unless their products are seen as being inferior and, clearly, that is not the case today (DailyTech's audience, notwithstanding).

Somehow, I doubt that Tim is pushing the panic button.


I can't believe I'm saying this
By shiznit on 2/22/09, Rating: 0
RE: I can't believe I'm saying this
By Pirks on 2/22/2009 2:21:39 PM , Rating: 2
Everyone witness a birth of a new Macolyte :P


RE: I can't believe I'm saying this
By shiznit on 2/22/2009 2:55:30 PM , Rating: 1
I said laptop only lol, no way I would ever go OS X on desktop and lose all my games and programs.

But for basic laptop use multi touch is amazing, no way I could go back to keyboard shortcuts.

Besides the multi touch I like Windows 7 better, but that feature is a dealbreaker on laptop at this point.


RE: I can't believe I'm saying this
By Reclaimer77 on 2/22/2009 5:00:14 PM , Rating: 4
Is multi touch REALLY worth 1000 bucks AND having a notebook and PC running different platforms ?

If multi touch did more than just replace keyboard shortcuts, I might see your point. But to me it's just another 'gee wiz' feature.


RE: I can't believe I'm saying this
By AlexWade on 2/22/2009 7:12:58 PM , Rating: 2
By Marlonsm on 2/22/2009 8:37:19 PM , Rating: 2
If it was real and Apple did get mad at that point, many people would still buy the $10K version and call everybody with a keyboard a loser.

All I can do is LOL.


RE: I can't believe I'm saying this
By shiznit on 2/23/2009 12:07:08 AM , Rating: 2
of course it's not worth 1000, but considering my laptop usage it would be constantly benefiting me every day all the time. And a windows laptop with similar specs and isn't that much cheaper (Dell Studio XPS 13 is another I'm looking at and its $1200).


RE: I can't believe I'm saying this
By kelmon on 2/23/2009 4:25:57 AM , Rating: 2
To be honest, this is pretty much how I justify a Mac. I am under no illusions that I can get more for less elsewhere when it comes to pure specifications, but I know that I will enjoy using the Macintosh platform more and that I can justify spending the extra for the number of years of service that I will get back. Additionally, you can sell the old Mac on eBay when you buy something else and you'll get quite a bit of your initial investment back.

Others, I am sure, will disagree, and that is their prerogative but it all depends on what is important for you and whether you "get on with" the Mac platform.


RE: I can't believe I'm saying this
By twjr on 2/22/2009 4:57:27 PM , Rating: 3
Does anybody else sense a disturbance in the force? It seems Pirks has a positive rated comment......


RE: I can't believe I'm saying this
By jjmcubed on 2/22/2009 10:16:09 PM , Rating: 5
Anyone else wondering why Pirks isn't talking up Apple now? I seem to remember an article about Apple and Jailbreaking...

quote:
Blah blah blah. While Apple bashers are furiously barking up the tree yet again Apple posts another profitable quarter and more cash in the bank, even in recession, while MS is laying people off and depleting its cash reserve. Keep barking, market realities don't pay attention to you bashers :-P


quote:
Why then Apple sells more and more Macs, iPods and iPhones every year? Why do they keep building more and more SUCCESSFUL _CONSUMER_ _ORIENTED_ Apple stores around the globe? Why does Apple post healthy profits and keeps hiring when everyone INCLUDING MICROSOFT lays people off? Doesn't the market reality contradict your words?


quote:
This is exactly what Apple is doing, and this is why they are so profitable compared to other PC makers. They just prop their profits with some snazzy exclusive software that adds some more magic (i.e. user friendliness) to their hardware turning it into a single cohesive digital platform. Something that MS has totally missed with its partner oriented business model.


quote:
No, how could it be wrong if MS is depleting its cash reserves and lying off people while its chief competitor keeps posting healthy profits in times of recession, increasing cash reserves and only hiring?


quote:
It's also a part of the reason Apple keeps chipping away at Windows market share.


RE: I can't believe I'm saying this
By Pirks on 2/24/2009 12:55:12 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
why Pirks isn't talking up Apple now?
'Cause kelmon is doing it, and I like his posts so there's no need for me to repeat what he's saying. He's got downrated for this too. Thanks for your rating sacrifice, kelmon ;-)


RE: I can't believe I'm saying this
By noirsoft on 2/22/2009 7:35:38 PM , Rating: 3
Why do you need a four-fingered gesture to hide open windows? Under 7, it's a much simpler thing to go to the lower right corner and click.

I personally hate most trackpad gestures and find them less intuitive than the alternatives. I even turn off the trackpad scrollbar features.


RE: I can't believe I'm saying this
By shiznit on 2/23/2009 12:13:05 AM , Rating: 2
how is that simpler? buy the time I move the cursor down to to the bottom right I could have already pulled up Expose (or Switcher, fingers crossed) and selected the window I wanted.

Two finger scrolling vertically and horizontally in any window or app is amazing, I can't tell you how much I hate hunting scroll bars or buttons with a touch pad.

I have firefox on my desktop set up with mouse gestures, it's extremely efficient (i can go back, forward, open/close tab in a split second), when I use a laptop having to click everything with cursor or use keyboard shortcuts is really annoying. Multitouch gives me the flexibility of those gestures on a laptop.


By afkrotch on 2/23/2009 9:01:36 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
how is that simpler? buy the time I move the cursor down to to the bottom right I could have already pulled up Expose (or Switcher, fingers crossed) and selected the window I wanted.


Or alt+tab in Windows.

quote:
Two finger scrolling vertically and horizontally in any window or app is amazing, I can't tell you how much I hate hunting scroll bars or buttons with a touch pad.


Some laptops just put a scroll bar on your touchpad for you. That or press the up/down arrow, page up/down, or home/end button.

quote:
I have firefox on my desktop set up with mouse gestures, it's extremely efficient (i can go back, forward, open/close tab in a split second), when I use a laptop having to click everything with cursor or use keyboard shortcuts is really annoying. Multitouch gives me the flexibility of those gestures on a laptop.


Because keyboard shortcuts is so different from doing some touchpad gesture. I personally hate touchpads/mice while I'm surfing, cause then I have to remove my hand from the keyboard.

I hate new laptops now, as the touchpad is getting further away from the spacebar. When I use the touchpad, I just keep my fingers on the keyboard and use my thumb on the touchpad. Luckily enough, ultraportables are too small to put the touchpad far away.


By kmmatney on 2/23/2009 12:48:18 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. I can't even stand the dbl0click feature of touchpads - that has caused me so much grief over the years (accidently sending emails, programs opening that I don;t want, etc...)


RE: I can't believe I'm saying this
By kelmon on 2/23/09, Rating: 0
RE: I can't believe I'm saying this
By japlha on 2/24/2009 10:24:50 AM , Rating: 2
Is the 4 finger gesture easier than alt + space n?


RE: I can't believe I'm saying this
By afkrotch on 2/23/2009 8:29:57 AM , Rating: 2
Or you can just buy a mouse. Most ppl buy a laptop and use it at home as a desktop anyways. Think that's just a retarded move anyways.

The touchpad can be bigger or smaller than any other laptop. Multitouch is going to be in Windows 7.

I prefer to just use a single finger on a touchpad. After that, might as well just use the keyboard for what I need to do. I'm sure to minimize a window is going to be as fast by going to the _ button, then figuring out wtf I need to do with 4 fingers. That or alt+space, then N. Keyboard shortcuts are your friend.

Macbook = large iPod with iTunes already installed.


RE: I can't believe I'm saying this
By shiznit on 2/23/2009 2:38:20 PM , Rating: 2
well the whole point is that I wouldn't have to use a mouse, besides I have a very nice dual monitor desktop windows 7 desktop that isn't going anywhere. All I'm saying is that for how I use a laptop (almost never at home unless I'm in bed, how do i plug in a mouse there?) multitouch gestures are going to change the way, the aluminum macbook is the first laptop that I didn't want to plug a regular mouse into. Why would I hunt the minimize button when you can just swipe up then select your window? I know itunes is installed but there are 3rd party players right?

So your prefer to use one finger, I prefer to use as many as necessary to avoid clicking stuff with the cursor or using keyboard shortcuts. They were my friend before I learned multitouch, now they don't seem so friendly anymore.


Bingo.
By Goty on 2/22/2009 12:49:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk..."


... which is exactly why Apple will never surpass PC makers in terms of overall sales.




RE: Bingo.
By pxavierperez on 2/23/09, Rating: 0
RE: Bingo.
By Goty on 2/23/2009 6:48:17 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry, individual PC makers. I didn't figure I'd have to make that distinction, but I guess I was wrong.

I forgot, I've got to give you Apple people a little more to work with than everyone else. =P


RE: Bingo.
By pxavierperez on 2/23/2009 8:19:00 AM , Rating: 1
Wrong again. Per individual basis, Apple oversells a number of PC manufacturers, notably DELL. It was on Daily Tech news a couple of times.

You're completely missing the point. Due to the over saturation of competitors in the PC market, manufacturers had to produce below $500 cheap platforms to survive. Apple would follow suit if they didn't believe it would sacrifice their profitabily or hold on their target market. But being the only company with a unique product Apple can't do every flavor of the month thing everyone is doing. They have to keep innovating. It's a business strategy, plain and simple.

Do you see RIM producing simple cheap hand-phones for the masses like Nokia or Sony-ericsson?


RE: Bingo.
By afkrotch on 2/23/2009 9:40:54 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
But being the only company with a unique product Apple can't do every flavor of the month thing everyone is doing. They have to keep innovating.


Ya, that's why they take a year or more to just refresh their lineup and even then, nothing changes except the specs.

Once a year they come out with a Service Pack...oh...I mean...New OSX and charge your a lot of money for it.

quote:
Do you see RIM producing simple cheap hand-phones for the masses like Nokia or Sony-ericsson?


Yes. Well...simple cheap blackberry capable hand-phone. Get a 7 series Blackberry. Cheap crap blackberry phone.


RE: Bingo.
By omnicronx on 2/23/2009 12:18:31 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Do you see RIM producing simple cheap hand-phones for the masses like Nokia or Sony-ericsson?
Yes I do, its called the Pearl, and they can be had for 0 dollars with a 2 year contract if you look hard enough.

Your entire analogy is flawed because the 'cheapness' of parts has absolutely nothing to do with anything. Apples entire business stragety is based on high margin products, regardless of make and quality, they are not going to get the 30%+ margins they currently get with higher end PC's. It makes no sense for them to undermine their higher end market, as they've claimed all along the reason you pay a premium is that they 'just work'. If Apple were to release a $500 laptop that 'just worked' what would be the point of paying a bunch more money for the high end version.

Apple cornered themselves out of the $500 market because of their business strategy, its not that they cannot do it, its that it does not make good business sense for them to do so. Otherwise what sets them apart from any other manufacturer.


RE: Bingo.
By pxavierperez on 2/23/2009 4:08:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Apple cornered themselves out of the $500 market because of their business strategy, its not that they cannot do it, its that it does not make good business sense for them to do so. Otherwise what sets them apart from any other manufacturer.


You've just repeated my comment with different wording. Did you miss the part where I wrote Apple would follow suit manufacturing a less than $500 dollar computers if it was profitable to them?

RIM's Pearl is an offshoot of their main product line just as Apple's attempt with Mini to grab that less than $500 PC market. Though people may argue with me but Mac Mini hasn't been that profitable compared to their more than $500 iMacs. Hence the long delayed update to that platform.

What many of you don't realize is that Apple is a one solution company meaning they both developed software and hardware unlike other PC manufacturers. That is where the high cost comes from, they need to invest on both end of the spectrum in order to survive. That's why they rely more on innovating their products than lower priced computers.

Every Apple employees know that the Death of WinPC does not equate to a successful Apple. That's just ranting of fanboys from both sides, Apple and Microsoft.


There price too high
By mrdeez on 2/22/2009 2:08:15 PM , Rating: 3
Apple pc's were always overpriced and before they could always say we have our own cpu's and that's why we are better. Apple would also tout the fact that their pc's were immune to viruses and hackers. Now, that is not the case. They are really just the same pc's that anyone can build with OSX installed on them. As their growth increases so will their hackability and then the only differences is with a pc anyone can work on it and upgrade it with an Apple that's not the case. Higher price more limitations vs lower price and open source. You make the call...




RE: There price too high
By kelmon on 2/23/09, Rating: 0
RE: There price too high
By plewis00 on 2/23/2009 4:44:58 AM , Rating: 2
Great, we have a super-slim Macbook Pro which gets so hot it needs a cooling pad to stop it from overheating - not quite so slim now is it? And I know this because I have a friend who owns one of these (also an Apple headcase) and we measured the CPU cores at 92C after a bout of World of Warcraft. Sure, if you're farting around in Photoshop and barely taxing the CPU at all bar the odd burst it's bearable, but you try running a 3D game on that with it sitting on your lap and then you'll understand.

Maybe owning an Apple product make you immune to simple practicalities like not burning yourself when you use a computer or maybe (quoting The Onion) how well Apple products will 'catch on in the business world where people use computers for actual work and not just dicking around' remains to be seen.

As for 'price being the only thing going against them', I'd say that is one of many failures but more importantly, that price is an absolutely huge factor , even if, as you claim it is the 'only' one.


RE: There price too high
By afkrotch on 2/23/2009 10:02:34 AM , Rating: 2
Apple's use to be big for drafting, like in the early 90s. Nowadays, why the hell bother? It's pretty much an expensive "dicking around" computer for home users. All the good software is sitting on Windows and sometimes Apple users get a port.


RE: There price too high
By afkrotch on 2/23/2009 9:56:35 AM , Rating: 2
Any OEM can make a copy of the MBP. He wasn't even talking about laptops, but their desktops. I mean, there's not a single company that makes DIY laptops anymore. Wasn't a big enough market.


Windows PCs and Netbooks
By Lonyo on 2/22/09, Rating: 0
RE: Windows PCs and Netbooks
By anotherdude on 2/22/2009 1:19:05 PM , Rating: 3
Well, we already know that at least 80% of netbook sales have XP. Also the article states that only retail sales are being used for this report and I'd bet that the percentage of Windows sales are even higher in retail than direct, though that is just a guess.

Also the article does not say if Linux netbook sales are being counted as windows sales but I would think the assumption would be that they are not, unless you have information otherwise. Generally you would think a reputable reporting agency would not call it a windows sale unless it was in fact windows.


RE: Windows PCs and Netbooks
By waffle911 on 2/22/2009 1:27:10 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget the netbooks coming with Windows XP, which shouldn't really be considered a highlight of PC growth.
And it's true, many Apple fans are holding back on purchasing new (high-margin) desktop hardware, because every one of Apple's desktop machines is (statistically speaking) due for a refresh, and by this time, every hard-core Apple user knows it. They know it would be stupid to buy a non-notebook Mac for at least another 6-8 weeks. Cause when they get refreshed, current model Macs will be found on clearance at discounted prices while high-end users can get better hardware for the same price as older hardware the day before. But they've been waiting for a new iMac AND Mac Mini since January, while Mac Pro likely won't see anything until Intel rolls out its next-gen Xeon processors.
Hey, I never said it made perfect sense.


RE: Windows PCs and Netbooks
By afkrotch on 2/23/2009 9:43:00 AM , Rating: 2
Or they can pop in a new processor themselves. Course, Think Different doesn't seem to fall into Apple fans. They just eat up whatever Apple says and do a complete computer replacement.


MUWAHAHAHAHA!!!
By Titanius on 2/22/2009 10:33:37 AM , Rating: 1
It begins...the beginning of the end...




RE: MUWAHAHAHAHA!!!
By StevoLincolnite on 2/22/2009 12:18:00 PM , Rating: 2
For Apple? No.

They have been around for Decades, and they will be around for decades more, however they have always been over priced in my opinion, Apple is seen as a "Single brand" - And most "PC Manufacturers" like Dell have posted losses as well, all that has been done is all the PC manufacturers combined to gloss over the not-so-rosy picture seen across the board in every industry and to flame an Apple vs PC debate yet again.


RE: MUWAHAHAHAHA!!!
By Titanius on 2/22/2009 5:02:20 PM , Rating: 2
Sarcasm...got to love it!


By zombiexl on 2/22/2009 2:07:00 PM , Rating: 2
While Apple may have been gaining on shipments for a while, there is no way that machines we build ourselves could ever be counted.

This isnt as cut and dry as saying samsung ships for LCD's than anyone.




By zombiexl on 2/22/2009 2:07:55 PM , Rating: 2
samsung ships more LCD's


Many may be waiting for Windows 7 too
By taber on 2/22/2009 2:42:18 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Many Apple users may be waiting for the rumored update to the Mac mini


It's interesting to see how the economy impacts computer sales. It's been 565 days since the last mac mini update, so he probably has a point. Macs tend to only be a decent deal soon after a refresh from a hardware perspective.

However, I think many PC people are waiting on the release of Windows 7 to purchase their next computer. With all the bad press Vista has gotten and good press 7 has gotten, it seems likely. I think OS X 10.6 releases this year too, but I think the 7 release may eclipse that with the much larger user base and help extend the trends in this article.




By Ryanman on 2/23/2009 11:24:24 AM , Rating: 3
And 1200 dollars for a 4gb RAM upgrade. Suspiciously enough, DDR800 RAM on Newegg is only 80 bucks : )
http://store.apple.com/us/configure/MB604LL/A?mco=...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...




Price does matter
By MrTeal on 2/22/2009 11:56:05 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Mr. Baker though believes that Apple's MacBook laptop needs to drop in price from $999 to $799 to convince more of these loyal fans to buy again. Such a price would be cost competitive with Windows laptops with similar specs, and might lure more than a few Windows users.


They would have had me buying an aluminum MacBook in December if this had been the case. I wanted the battery life and portability that the MB offered, but couldn't just couldn't justify the cost compared to other similar laptops. In the end I did end up spending around $1000, but bought an Asus N50v instead, with specs much closer to the 15" MB pro, at 60% of the price.




By reader1 on 2/22/2009 1:02:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
SAN MATEO, Calif., February 11, 2009 – Worldwide PC microprocessor shipments fell significantly in the fourth calendar quarter of 2008 (4Q08 ), according to new data from IDC. Further demand decline in 1Q09 points to a very poor outlook for the first half of this year.

In 4Q08, worldwide PC processor unit shipments declined –17.0% quarter over quarter (QoQ) and –11.4% year over year (YoY); market revenue declined –18.0% QoQ and –22.2% YoY to $6.78 billion. For the full year 2008, total PC processor unit shipments grew 10.0%, while revenue grew 0.9% to $30.8 billion.

Intel's Atom processor for mini-notebook PCs (which Intel calls ''Netbooks'') continued to make a notable difference in the overall market performance but not enough to help the market avoid dramatic decline. Without Atom, worldwide PC processor unit shipments declined –21.7% QoQ and –21.6% YoY.


http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS2167...




Please Spare Us From Analysts
By kelmon on 2/23/2009 3:41:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
NPD analyst Stephen Baker says price is not Apple's only problem. He says that Apple's Mac mini line is quickly becoming out of date, in terms of technology due to the fact that it has not been refreshed in some time. Apple had the chance to refresh it at its January MacWorld appearance, but instead chose to release a high-end 17" refresh to its MacBook Pro line. Many Apple users may be waiting for the rumored update to the Mac mini, according to Mr. Baker.


Well, this has to go on record as being one of the biggest loads nonsense I've read in a while. The Mac Mini has never been a big seller even when it was brand new but yet this guy thinks that we're all waiting for one? Pull the other one, it's got bells on the end.

Here's the thing, much like software titles from the likes of Blizzard, Apple tends to release products when they are ready and spends years working on them in advance. The 17" MacBook Pro was released at MacWorld for the simple reason that it was now ready for release and other products (if they exist) were not. Certainly the the 17" MBP is not a machine for the masses but for those who it was designed for, they were dancing a little jig (and I include myself in that).

Anyway, the moral of this comment is this: if an article starts quoting an "analyst", you might as well start reading something else.




lol
By afkrotch on 2/23/2009 8:15:38 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk."


Ya, they don't know how to make a $2000 computer that's not a piece of junk also.




Apple...
By Ish718 on 2/22/2009 5:06:22 PM , Rating: 1
Only if Apple could stop selling overpriced computers, then I might remotely consider them.




News Flash
By KeithP on 2/22/2009 9:00:29 PM , Rating: 1
Whoa...you are saying that a horrible economy affects the sales of premium priced goods? Who would have thought that?

This is why I am not an economist or analyst. I would have thought that maybe since people have been waiting for updates to the Mac Pro, iMac and Mac Mini, and since that those updates didn't happen at the January show, that they will be holding their purchases and that would have been a problem. Nope, that ain't it. It is the horrible economy and Apple's overpriced products.

I would have also thought since the one piece of updated hardware they announced at the show, the 17" MacBook Pro, didn't start shipping until February, that would have had a negative impact on January sales (since non occurred until Feb). Nope, absolutely no cause and effect there either.

Look, there is no doubt that the economy will affect Apple's sales. There is also no doubt that Apple is in bad position for sales given the updates pending for a sizable number of their products.

In fact, the only thing I am doubtful about is the ability of analysts to fully investigate what they are talking about and thus bring insightful commentary to the discussion like I have done. ;)

-KeithP




GO APPLE
By FaceMaster on 2/22/09, Rating: -1
RE: GO APPLE
By psypher on 2/22/09, Rating: 0
RE: GO APPLE
By afkrotch on 2/23/2009 10:06:47 AM , Rating: 2
Vista was a horrible OS. Keyword, was. It's a hell of a lot better now, since all the problems have been patched. But the stigmata of it's release is too hard to overcome. Windows 7 might fix that.


RE: GO APPLE
By omnicronx on 2/23/2009 12:21:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But the stigmata
I hope you mean stigma!! If Vista caused people to start bleeding like jesus on the cross then the public may have a reason to be concerned ;)


RE: GO APPLE
By Indianapolis on 2/22/2009 10:30:06 AM , Rating: 2
Does the phrase "Get a life" mean anything to you?


RE: GO APPLE
By B3an on 2/22/2009 11:00:58 AM , Rating: 2
He's a fan of Apple - he will never have a life.


RE: GO APPLE
By DigitalFreak on 2/22/2009 2:25:30 PM , Rating: 3
Or the ability to spell correctly.


RE: GO APPLE
By 67STANG on 2/22/2009 2:36:43 PM , Rating: 4
Sure he will... as either a graphic designer or a child pornographer.


RE: GO APPLE
By nikon133 on 2/22/2009 3:34:13 PM , Rating: 2
But he might enjoy iLife... for only $99.99 :)


RE: GO APPLE
By delFur on 2/22/2009 11:01:39 AM , Rating: 1
...economitic?
...economatic?
...economadic?

...green cavemen? This is where my mind took me. Seriously though, spelling and punctuation are a some of the few things not overrated on the internet.


RE: GO APPLE
By gimpycow on 2/22/09, Rating: 0
RE: GO APPLE
By Alexstarfire on 2/22/2009 12:17:58 PM , Rating: 5
Wait, you mean to tell me that people don't buy luxury items in a recession..... guess that tells you exactly what an Apple product is.... a fashion statement.


RE: GO APPLE
By spread on 2/22/2009 12:38:30 PM , Rating: 2
If Microsoft was bribing everyone to buy PCs, how would they make any money?

You're an idiot.


RE: GO APPLE
By ccmfreak2 on 2/23/2009 11:41:03 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, if they were bribing people, I'd like to know where my bribe is at! I didn't get one. It's this kind nonsenes that keeps my list of "Why I Can't Stand Most Mac Users" constantly growing. Why is it that their only reasoning for why computer companies rise and fall comes from conspiracy theories?


RE: GO APPLE
By FaceMaster on 2/22/09, Rating: -1
RE: GO APPLE
By anotherdude on 2/22/2009 1:30:07 PM , Rating: 1
Well, your post kind of sounds like a parody of a fifteen year old Mac fanboy, but I play along and assume you actually are a fifteen year old Mac fanboy.

The part about the bribe and the government is too tinfoil hat to even comment on. The part about the economy makes a little sense anyway - Yea, in tough economic times more and more will turn to cheaper notebooks and netbooks and only the very rich and the completely foolish will pay the massive premium for a Mac. Problem is, for Apple, the tough economic times are here to stay a very long while. Meantime Windows 7 will re-establish the MS dominance and push Apple back down, even further into the niche category.


RE: GO APPLE
By omnicronx on 2/23/2009 12:24:23 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
microsoft is just bribing people to buy theres instead of apple any one who dosnt believe this is obviously part of the government and youve been bribed yourself.
Its true, I am part of a government task force in charge of sending subliminal messages via DailyTech forcing people to use Microsoft Products. In fact by reading this you have already been infected.

You will be forced to use Windows in
5
4
3
2
1..


Apple vs PC
By gybognarjr on 2/22/09, Rating: -1
RE: Apple vs PC
By Larrymon2000 on 2/22/2009 11:23:54 PM , Rating: 4
You're a funny guy. You really think an Apple computer is worth its cost? And what do you mean "C" grade? Do you mean the quality of the semi-conductor material used in the buses? Is it the quality of the RAM chips? Is it the overall specs? Because I assure you, Apple is not "beating" anyone else in this regard. You're telling me that if I do 100 operations, that a Mac computer will "get it right" 100% of the time while a Dell or HP will get it right "50%" of the time?

I suppose a Mac's C2D processor or Nvidia 9600GT is going to be superior to a Dell's C2D processor or 9600GT, by your logic. Please. Don't be silly.


RE: Apple vs PC
By InternetGeek on 2/23/2009 5:33:37 AM , Rating: 2
Believe it or not there's people who's actually convinced that even coming from the same manufacturer (intel in this case), Apple's hardware is actually better somehow. They don't worry whether Apple is getting the most basic series of a given chipset, they just assume that what they are getting is better.

The MacBook gets an Nvidia 9400? That's obivously the fastest chip in the world...


By FaceMaster on 2/22/2009 12:42:47 PM , Rating: 3
HAHAHA just imagine what his face looks like when typing that.


By retrospooty on 2/22/2009 1:19:49 PM , Rating: 4
"HAHAHA just imagine what his face looks like when typing that. "

LOL - it took me a few mins to even type this out. I kept laughing so hard. - had to pause again to laugh more.

classic... truly classic.


By FaceMaster on 2/23/2009 9:45:29 AM , Rating: 2
...and I get rated down for that.


By nikon133 on 2/22/2009 3:37:21 PM , Rating: 2
I'm perplexed individuals like this read Daily Tech.

Or the fact that they can read at all.


"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive














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