It’s been a fast paced start to the year for Apple. The electronics superpower has rolled out a new laptop, new desktops, and even a new iPod Shuffle -- priced for the recession at $79. However, what would normally make for another record setting start of the year for Apple is fast turning south as fears of the recession has sent customers fleeing from Apple's pricey luxury lineup.
After seeing its sales growth surpassed by PCs for the first time in months in January, the latest figures show that February was far worse for Apple. The NPD Group has released its sales figures for the month and they are worse than even Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster's pessimistic forecast.
Both iPod and Mac sales were down 16 percent year-to-year. The worst predicted by analysts was around a 4 percent drop. Analysts were somewhat predicting the drop as last February was a particularly good month for Apple, and Apple only released its new desktops and iPod in March.
Munster's new predictions place total iPod sales for the quarter ending in March at around 9 to 10 million units. He predicts that 2 to 2.2 million Mac computers will ship in the same period. The Street is predicting 9.5 million iPods. These figures are not significantly worse than last year, and represent analyst optimism that Apple's new products will lead to a strong March.
Thus, the real test for Apple will be how its sales have fared at the end of March. While January was a letdown and February was undeniably downward trending for Apple, a strong March could salvage an otherwise rocky quarter.
One potential ace in Apple's sleeve is the announcement of the iPhone OS version 3.0 later today. No one knows quite when Apple will release the new OS, but many are speculating wildly, including guessing at new hardware (every past x.0 release has been accompanied by new hardware). Big news could stave off the Wall Street wolves for a little while, even if Apple's sales disappoint.
quote: More like 99% of the software, and now PCs only run 90% of the software.
quote: That's not my contention.
quote: I like how as soon as Pirks makes a post, he is already rated down to -1
quote: Better graphics
quote: You're talking about higher image quality from newer rendering engines and game content, but the problem is that the consoles fall short on antialiasing and various filter and shader effects.
quote: the trees in Fallout3 look downright terrible on the consoles
quote: Judging by the popularity of 8800/9800 and 4700 series graphics cards...
quote: why not spend several $100 more to make it a decent gamer?
quote: Didn't notice that on those screenshots from your link.
quote: ...people prefer to invest their money in expensive GPUs instead of games, hence the piracy and exodus of gaming studios to the console or cross platform side due to this piracy. No amount of marketing money from AMD or nVidia will change that, unfortunately.
quote: Why not spend less than that and get more great big budget games like GeoW 2 or Uncharted by buying a console?
quote: If you are in the market for a new computer and you don't own a console, then the cost to boost your purchase to a decent gaming rig is the same as what it would cost to get a console in addition to the computer.
quote: That's only if you hand build your computer which is very rare case in general. So your arguments are not applicable to the general public. Unfortunately far from all games are on Steam (where's new Riddick game, Assault on Dark Athena? not on Steam! oh nooooeesss, Ronald Hubbs just told me it MUST be on Steam!) so this is moot too. And you are ignoring the fact that almost all these great games on PC are multiplatform so they exist on consoles, which negates a reason to buy a gaming PC.
quote: have you given Scientology any serious thought?
quote: Gaming rig "for under $1k" is still significantly more expensive than Xbox 360 or a Wii, so this changes nothing.
quote: When and only when digital distribution is everywhere you start telling me your fairy tales about Steam, but not now.
quote: Now the situation is pretty different - I can't find some games I want in digital form, they're sold as packaged goods only.
quote: Why should I care about your Steam argument about "old PC games being discounted" when the old console games are also discounted? You miss the basic logic here.
quote: For the same price, I have both in one, and faster
quote: Most games today are written for all platforms - this doesn't make PC any better or worse.
quote: Like I said - the cost of a low end PC + a console is about the same as a good gaming PC
quote: This is why Nvidia is filthy rich and ATI is keeping AMD afloat. In a world of cheap computers with built in video cards, they sure sell an aweful lot of video cards - even in this tight economy
quote: Again, clueless. Just stop - your embarrasing yourself.
quote: And by the way, it's called a job. If you work hard and get one that pays well, then you can afford to pay a bit extra for better quality.
quote: who are you to judge how someone spends their money?
quote: Pirks: For most people it's pretty idiotic affair to pay extra grand just to get a few better looking pixels on screen. NOT. EVEN. FUNNY.
quote: Pirks: I'm not judging how someone spends their money
quote: A few people who can afford expensive gaming PC buy it, the rest, the masses - they just buy cheapo consoles like Xbox 360.
quote: I DON'T CARE HOW PEOPLE SPEND THEIR MONEY. Is that clear?
quote: where do I have the time to figure out how to bend Picasa (a free app even) to my Will?
quote: Or figure out how to use Google Pages or Sites?
quote: My tech support emails
quote: Are you trying to argue that using PC software is as easy as using equivalent Mac software? I use PC software at work, and it definitely isn't as easy!