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  (Source: Reuters)

Apple's sales plunge: January '08 thru February '09
Apple is stuck in recession purgatory

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.



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RE: maybe, just maybe...
By Pirks on 3/18/2009 5:17:14 PM , Rating: 2
Gaming rig "for under $1k" is still significantly more expensive than Xbox 360 or a Wii, so this changes nothing.

When and only when digital distribution is everywhere you start telling me your fairy tales about Steam, but not now.

Now the situation is pretty different - I can't find some games I want in digital form, they're sold as packaged goods only.

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:
have you given Scientology any serious thought?
Ah, this is where your nick comes from ;)))


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By LRonaldHubbs on 3/19/2009 12:08:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Gaming rig "for under $1k" is still significantly more expensive than Xbox 360 or a Wii, so this changes nothing.

Changes nothing? You claimed that a gaming PC was a grand more expensive than a console. You were wrong, as usual.

quote:
When and only when digital distribution is everywhere you start telling me your fairy tales about Steam, but not now.

Steam isn't a fairy tale. It exists now, and has existed for several years. And Steam isn't the only game download service.

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.

Again, I never claimed that Steam has everything. But let's look at some packaged goods prices. What do you suppose is the going rate for some recent games on each platform?
http://www.ebgames.com/browse/search.aspx?N=0&Ntk=...
http://www.ebgames.com/browse/search.aspx?N=0&Ntk=...
http://www.ebgames.com/browse/search.aspx?N=0&Ntk=...
http://www.ebgames.com/browse/search.aspx?N=0&Ntk=...
You can feel free to look up other games, but the overall result is the same. Console games cost more than PC games because they need to make up for their losses on the hardware.

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.

No, you fail at reading. Where did you get the word "old" from? It isn't from any of my comments, so next time you use quotes, how about actually copying what I said into them. But we can talk about 'old' games too if you want. How cheap can you find a new copy of Bioshock for the PS3 or 360? I got it for $5 on Steam a couple months ago.

Clearly you don't use Steam or you would know that games often launch at a discounted prices and that every few weeks they put large portions of the their catalog on sale. This isn't just for old games, it also includes new ones.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By Sazar on 3/20/2009 2:10:31 PM , Rating: 2
Not really.

You can't do anything with a gaming console.

You will likely need to buy or own a display, so that has to be factored into the cost and also will likely have to buy or own a decent sound system.

Not a necessity but it is part of the total cost of ownership of a console. A self-contained gaming system for a PC is cheaper than a self-contained gaming console. It's actually common sense.

With regards to the Steam Distribution system, this is a lot like Xbox Live is attempting to be, but Steam is far more useful in what it offers, all around and has a very large reach and massive installed user base. And, it is FREE, unlike Xbox Live.


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