I won’t make this long, just provide some realistic statistics. NPD says that 91% of all computers over $1,000 are Apples. First off, the thing they obscure a bit is that is 91% of all computers sold AT RETAIL. That means all desktop computers and laptop computers for businesses across the country aren’t counted, and that’s a lot of greater than $1,000 machines.
The Best Buy Study
I think we will all agree, that when the average person thinks retail computer sales, Best Buy is the Mecca. Current Best Buy inventory shows some pretty interesting things. 269 machines show up in their current online inventory. If you break those machines down, you’ll see
- 19 desktop computers over $1,000, 6 of those are made by Apple. (iMac and Mac Pros)
- 58 desktop computers under $1,000, two of those are made by Apple. (Mac Minis)
- 81 laptop computers under $1,000, one of those is made by Apple. ($999 White Macbook)
- 38 laptop computers over $1,000, 4 of those are made by Apple. (Macbook Pros)
- 72 netbook computers, none of these are made by Apple.
So what do we have? 211 computers under $1,000, and 57 computers over $1,000.
So now that we have an idea what percentage over $1,000 machines makes of buying options (27%) let’s take a look at what is actually selling.
When you search desktop computers, and sort by “Best Selling” you will find that the $1,499 24” iMac is the first Apple in the Best Selling computers, and it shows up 29th on the list. It’s also one of 3 computers over $1,000 in the top 30! That’s right one single Apple desktop in the top 30.
When you do the same for laptops, you will find the $1,199 Macbook Pro 22nd on the list of best selling laptops at Best Buy, and one of only two laptops in the top 30 over $1,000. Again, one Apple in the top 30.
So what does all this mean? It means that over $1,000 desktops make up 10% of the best selling desktop sales at Best Buy, laptops over $1,000 make up 6% of the best selling laptops at Best Buy, and obviously, every netbook is under $1,000 and not made by Apple.
So, of the 27% of machines for sale at Best Buy, that cost over $1,000, 5 of them have managed to make it into the top 60 selling machines, not including netbooks, and TWO of those are made by Apple. That goes against the 91% number pretty heavily, but even if we give them the benefit of the doubt, I hope that Apple is damned proud to own 91% of 8 1/3% of non-netbook computer sales at Retail (at least @ Best Buy)
Keep in mind that the American heartland buys a LOT of computers at Wal-Mart, of which none are made by Apple, and that is counted as retail. I would guess that most of those computers are under $1,000, further skewing this number into looking like some sort of victory. The fact of the matter, is that sub-$1,000 computers are where the real users are, netbooks or not, that IS the market these days. HP, Dell and Gateway aren’t slashing their prices and profits because the race to the bottom is their idea. They sell what is selling.
Apple fanboys love to say “You pay more for a BMW because it’s a BMW, it costs more than a Chevrolet because it’s better.” The problem with that logic is that unless you are talking about a very expensive Bimmer and a really cheap Chevrolet, the difference isn’t all that huge, it’s pretty easy to spend $35-40,000 on a Chevy. As PC prices plummet to the $300s, the difference between a $300 laptop (you can get a $299 laptop in lots of places) and a $999 laptop, is suddenly striking and causes the biggest consumer segment pause to wonder why they are paying 333% more than they have to.