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Apple Now Selling Better Than One Laptop In Six 767

Posted by kdawson
from the little-fruit-that-could dept.
Lucas123 writes "Apple's share of the laptop market has grown over the past few years and the company is now beating Gateway in sales, according research firm NPD Group Inc. in Port Washington, NY. 'Their sales are continuing to grow faster than the rest of the marketplace,' the firm stated. In June Apple was responsible for 17.6% of laptops sold (at retail) in the US and is now in third place behind HP and Toshiba."
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Apple Now Selling Better Than One Laptop In Six

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  • Brand Synergy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @06:37PM (#20391851)
    Yes that is an over used term, but in this case it is warranted. With all the brand exposure over the last few years (ipod) and more recently (iphone) is it suprising that people are getting the idea that Apple makes cool stuff?

    With Vista firmly planted on the rocks, Apple are in a strongest position they have been in since the original Mac.

  • Re:College kids (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BronsCon (927697) <social@bronstrup.com> on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @06:41PM (#20391901) Journal
    No, it proves that people who would have bought an IBM ThinkPad want the best. Since the LeNovo ThinkPad is not the IBM ThinkPad, the best is now the MacBook Pro.

    Or, anything at this point is just conjecture and this is nothing more than a small market fluctuation, the meaning of which we won't know for years to come.

    I have no affilliation with either of the companies I mentioned, nor do I own any of their products. This post was typed on a Compaq notebook. ...

    and, as I have karma to spare... ...

    IMPEACH BUSH!
  • Re:College kids (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cmowire (254489) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @06:45PM (#20391939) Homepage
    No, it's the Windows Black Hole of Suck effect.

    Vista just made things worse.

    The simple truth is that at least for IBM (now Levno) laptops and HP... and probably others... the build quality is just not there compared to Apple.

    Plus, the risky gamble of allowing people to run Windows on their MacBooks really did work out. People can talk their employer into buying them a MacBook, instead of being issued a winblows machine.
  • Re:At retail... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Warin (200873) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @06:51PM (#20392013)
    You can run FreeBSD or Linux on the "expensive" Apple machine as well. Heck, you can also run Vista on one, if you must!

    The cheapest of the cheap laptops are generally sucktastic, big, and heavy (And generally come pre-installed with Vista). My MacBook Pro is far more stylish and compact than almost every other equivalently priced Windows notebooks. OS X is a joy to use, and coupled with an AG-HVX200, Final Cut Studio, and a couple of big external drives... and I am a production unit on the go. It just works best for what I do. Which is why I "drank the koolaid" in 2003 and bought a Mac to start with. After 17 years of using MS-DOS and then Windows... I am loving being an "Apple Fanboi" and I cant see going back to Windows for anything other than the occasional game.

    I think a lot of people are discovering that OS X just works, and doesnt need the sort of tinkering and maintenance that Windows rigs generally do to stay in top running shape.

    I cant remember the last time I did a virus scan or a defrag...

    Oh...

    Last week...

    On my roomies computer, so the damn XP rig would actually work again.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @07:04PM (#20392163)
    People have been told 'Apple is dying' for decades. This makes your average Joe inclined to avoid them.

    But when you have young people, who haven't had this drummed into them, and they see the success of the iPod and the iPhone, they're happy to consider a Mac just like any other brand. And because they have an iPod, there's brand awareness, so it may well be the first laptop they look at. And if they like it, they're sold and out of the market for something else.
  • by MalleusEBHC (597600) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @07:16PM (#20392291)
    Who are the selling them to?

    I'm writing this on a four year old G4 Tibook that continues to run and run and run...


    They're probably selling them to people with 6 or 7 year old Macs. Getting 6-7 years of useful life out of a Mac is quite common. This is a testament to how well OS X has supported older hardware. (Let's see Vista on a 7 year old machine.) I'm much in the same boat as you; I've got a 4 year old PowerMac G5 and a 3 year old AlBook. As much as the geek in me would love to find an excuse to get a shiny new toy, both machines still serve my needs quite well.
  • by VirusEqualsVeryYes (981719) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @07:18PM (#20392325)
    The music industry's business model is busted. Traditional news media's business model is busted. Hell, you could argue that Microsoft's is busted. Having a busted business model doesn't mean that a company is small or easy to beat.

    Apple is further hampered by their policy of selling their own OS on their own hardware, while Gateway piggybacked on the success of Windows. Apple still beat them out. So, yes, I'd say that's an achievement -- if only an achievement until Gateway is bought by Acer, but an achievement nonetheless.
  • by graymocker (753063) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @07:35PM (#20392509)

    Three years ago I helped my parents find a great deal on a Dell laptop for my sister, who was just heading off to college at NYU. I was rather pleased with myself too; we used one of those 50% off coupons I found and got a great-spec machine for the price.

    When the family got together for the holidays I asked her how the computer was working out; she complained to me that all the cool kids had MacBooks and she was "embarrassed to be seen in public with the ugly Dell next to all the sleek Macs."

    So I can honestly say the Apple's success here is unsurprising to me; the laptop market is one that is well-suited to Apple's core strengths. Though a desktop is largely perceived as an appliance - it's an utilitarian box that you use to do stuff with - a laptop has the additional function of being a status symbol and expression of personal taste. Your desktop stays at home, but you can carry your laptop around with you. An iMac may look great, but its usefulness as a signifier of taste is constrained by the simply fact that it stays in your room. Now that the laptop market has become so important, Apple is in a great position to capitalize on their previously under-exploited brand identity.

    And this is before we even consider Apple's incredibly devious "buy a Macbook, get an iPod" promotion. If Mom and Dad offer to buy you a computer for college, are you going to choose the PC or the Mac that comes with a great MP3 player? Unless you're a gamer, you're going to opt for the latter (and even if you are a gamer, you may just decide to get your fix by playing networked games with the roommates on an 360 anyway),

  • by dindi (78034) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @07:44PM (#20392571) Homepage
    It is definitely not my reason for owning a macbook, but I heard that several times:

    ".... and it can also run Windows if I really need it for something ....."

    I think the Intel switch and the option to run Windows is a huge selling point for many.

    For me on the other hand is that it is the only laptop that actually runs UNIX out of the box with a functional desktop, without constant headaches for drivers and all.

    I respect, love and use Linux every day, but when you face all the little quirks of a laptop when trying to put Linux on it (especially a new one) you know what I am talking about. And when you think you solved it all, you realize that your battery dies a lot faster, or your backlight just does not go out when the screen saver starts.

    I myself own a Macbook, and while I have seen many OSes, touched and owned many hardware devices, I have to say that this was my best ever computer/OS selection. I admin servers and develop mostly for LAMP web, if you wondered, and yes I also enjoy having a decent DVD player program with a remote under UNIX (yes mplayer + lirc + whatever - but i mean out of the box, not after 3 days of hacking)

  • Re:At retail... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by GuyverDH (232921) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @08:07PM (#20392777)
    I'd be tempted to try the Mac OS as long as I can do it on a system that I myself built.

    I don't trust anyone else to build my machines. I sure as hell wouldn't trust Apple.

    Expensive, locked in for upgrades, ooh - stylish? eh? wow - it won't run half of what I need, but it looks cool doesn't pay the bills.

    Oh - and once they get ZFS ported to Mac OSX, they may actually have a filesystem that's trustworthy...
  • Re:College kids (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mad Merlin (837387) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @08:32PM (#20393023) Homepage

    Similarly, I also got a Thinkpad (T40) when I started University. After 4 years of heavy use, it's still like new, and has never needed any repairs.

    In comparison, any Mac laptop would be useless to me as they a) don't have a nipple, and b) only have 1 mouse button.

  • by Solandri (704621) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @08:36PM (#20393073)

    Also, the numbers from IDC (also mentioned in the article) put Apple's share at 5.6%, not 17.6%:

    Research firm IDC also has Apple in the third spot; data it released last month put Apple's share of U.S. sales at 5.6%, far behind leaders HP (28.4%) and Dell (23.6%) but tied with Gateway.

    In other words, 1 laptop out of every 18, not out of every 5.

    I puzzled over that too since the article itself says Apple is selling more than 1 in every 6 laptops. I think the 5.6% figure is referring to all computer sales, since it falls pretty close to Apple's acknowledged ~5% share of the OS market.
  • Re:College kids (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Oktober Sunset (838224) <[ku.oc.oohay] [ta] [301egapds]> on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @08:44PM (#20393137)
    well, the major disadvantages of mac desktops are they are overpriced, they don't play games and to upgrade, you throw them in the bin and buy a new one.

    But all lap tops are overpriced, can't play games and can't be upgraded, so the mac disadvantage disappears.
  • Re:At retail... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by effigiate (1057610) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @09:13PM (#20393337)
    On my roomies computer, so the damn XP rig would actually work again.

    With all due respect, if you're smart about how you surf...you won't have to run a virus scan. I haven't had a virus scanner on my XP machine in five years and I haven't gotten a virus yet. Think about something before you click on it. Don't be a random internet user and you don't get crap on your computer.

  • Re:Don't forget. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @09:48PM (#20393609)
    Enlighten me to which features SP1 and SP2 added that come close to:

    Quartz Extreme, FileVault, Spotlight, Dashboard, Smart Folders, Core Image, Core Video, Automator, Time Machine, Spaces, Boot Camp, Resolution Independance... And Last but not least:

    1 Install DVD For PPC 32 bit, PPC 64 bit, Intel 32 bit & Intel 64 bit with complete binary compatibility between all versions.
  • Re:College kids (Score:1, Insightful)

    by molarmass192 (608071) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @10:03PM (#20393741) Homepage Journal
    My current MBP has a 17" screen at 1920x1200, compare that with the top of the line ThinkPad with a 15.4" screen at 1600×1024. If you're using a TP, you're not on the right equipment for "serious" graphical work.
  • Re:College kids (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Your.Master (1088569) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @10:05PM (#20393753)
    At first your comment seemed like a funny snark. But the more I read it the more I realize that it is what you said that is, in fact, the mark of a poor businessman. You might need some cash on hand or in short-term investments, but other than that you absolutely should be thinking of how to spend the money, with the eventual goal of gaining even more money. Your other option is to return it to the owners, which, depending on the business model, could be a dividend or a withdrawal or whatever, and you might be an owner, in which case, you can still legitimately think "how can I spend this?"
  • That one's easy. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Estanislao Martínez (203477) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @10:31PM (#20393925) Homepage

    In all seriousness, what do you guys actually do with your Macs that justifies the expense?

    Work. (As opposed to "fiddle with a computer.")

  • by stewbacca (1033764) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @10:59PM (#20394105)

    I personally hate the mac interface ... I can't find anything.
    Classic. For the last time: Mac OS X is (thankfully) NOT Windows. Just because you can't figure it out and just because it isn't Windows doesn't mean it sucks. We Mac users complain that Windows sucks, not because we can't figure anything out, or it doesn't look like a Mac. No, we complain about Windows, just like Windows users complain about Windows, because Windows just sucks. All PC users can come up with is that Macs are slow, they crash and there is no software (all false, obviously). Once you spend some time and get used to something NOT Windows, you might actually see why simple things (like command+Q) Quits a program, and why that is 1000 times better and more intuative than alt+f4 ever will be.
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @11:17PM (#20394223)
    The application menu constrained to the top of the screen hides information present in other applications and forces the user to either learn all the shortcut keys or suffer rediculous amounts of additional mouse travel.

    Said applications should be designed to show whatever information might be useful in some other location than a menu bar. And the extra mouse travel distance is not a problem because it's easier to hit a target always at the top of the screen than one that might be mixed around other menus (In Windows I've found myself accidentally raising windows I did not mean to when I mistook which menu bar was for the active window).

    A single mouse button was NEVER a good idea.

    You say that now but when you realize how much more manageable a single large button is that you can chord into two, vs. two mouse buttons on a laptop where at least one is awkward to hit... on top of that applications are designed to work with one mouse button instead of requiring two,

    The single button design aspect across all Mac platforms is what allows the laptops to be especially usable.

    The iPod. A product that outclassed the competition by a mile. This made them profitable and restored people's trust in apple producing a reliable, desirable product.

    Apple was quite profitable, and had a huge cash reserve, well before the iPod when they were just selling iMacs and OS X. The iPod did vault them into a new straosphere of awareness and is obviously having an effect though.
  • Re:College kids (Score:3, Insightful)

    by iroll (717924) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @11:22PM (#20394267) Homepage
    Huh, because I thought his point was that he wanted to invest in productivity. Well, guess it went over ONE of our heads.
  • by stewbacca (1033764) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @11:28PM (#20394313)
    I can speak as an "evangelist" (your words, not mine). I don't think Mac users differentiate as much between desktop and laptop models as PC users do, because most Mac users don't care about all the specs. They just want it to work. There is an inperceivable performance difference between MacBook Pros and desktop computers, which makes the choice (as a Mac users) to buy a laptop a no-brainer, whereas a PC user is more used to expecting a mobile computer to have serious performance issues compared to equivalent desktop specs. PC users new to the Mac might think twice about getting a laptop, given their PC experiences, but when the see/use MacBook Pros, they see a computer that works as well as a desktop. I think this is the key to the MacBook Pro's success (combined with the safety blanket of running Windows). I find it amusing (and confusing) that people will rip iMacs to death, yet heap praise on the MacBook Pro (when they are virtually the same computer in different form factors).

    And what really confuses PC types is that somebody like my wife would LOVE her inferior spec'd MacBook over a new MacBook Pro. I told her I'd get her a new MBP but she won't give up the MacBook....period.

    As I'm typing this, yet another Apple commercial is on TV, which reminds of another element of the Apple success. I recently moved back to the US after living in England for two years. The only advertising I see in prime time and in NON-tech magazines is for Apple products. You know, advertise your product to the millions of people (who aren't tech geeks) in places they hang out, as opposed to page after page of ads in PC World and Wired magazines? Non-computer people need computers too (as silly as that sounds), so why not start advertising during the Late Show (just like the iMac commercial they just played)? I don't think I've ever seen a tv commercial for a Dell computer, or if I have, they aren't memorable.

  • Re:College kids (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 29, 2007 @12:09AM (#20394603)
    How did parent get modded 2?
    1994 called and wants its argument back!

    Every mouse I have for my Mac has right-click. Even if you have an old one-button mouse, Mac OS X support two buttons in the OS, so any two-button USB mouse works.
  • Re:More to Come (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 29, 2007 @12:14AM (#20394641)
    It may be cheaper components and heavier case, but the original parent's point is fair: you do have more choices. I just bought a HP two weeks ago new for $379 retail. Not a piece of crap, but far from a high end machine, though it easily beats the 5 year old, much more expensive replacement. Thing is, it does exactly what I needed it for (I use other laptops for other purposes), and I can buy 3 of them before I approach the lowest entry point for a Mac. Well, actually, next year I can buy another one for sub 400 that will probably be as powerful as that entry mac, or better, and still be ahead 400. I fail to see how this is bad for me.

    I mean, in your world, does everyone drive a Lexus and shit on those who deign to drive a Saturn?

    Also, I'd like to verify with the grandparent that I can usually price a similarily spec'd Dell for abour 33% less, but comparing these machines for portability and use, well, it's like, uh, comparing Apples and oranges.
  • by tehdaemon (753808) on Wednesday August 29, 2007 @12:41AM (#20394775)

    This version of the Flame War requires win2k or better, or OSX. There is a linux port, but it needs 2.6.x, and is still in beta.

    Sorry 1995, you can't have this one.

    T

  • Re:College kids (Score:3, Insightful)

    by xero314 (722674) on Wednesday August 29, 2007 @01:09AM (#20394947)

    OS X really sucks for kids as my boss has just discovered. He wanted to run some spyware software to monitor his 13 year old daughter.
    I'm confused. First you say that OS X sucks for kids and then you go one to prove this my talking about how your bosses paranoia is not supported by OS X. I know many kids, as young as 18 months that use OS X all the time. To say OS X sucks for kids is just down right stupid (regardless of the other posts that show how you can feed you paranoia on OS X just as well as on Windows). I think what you may have meant to say is that OS X is not as good at being a replacement for good parenting as Windows is.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 29, 2007 @04:36AM (#20395859)
    Ashamed!? What are you, 14 years old? Everything that matters about it is shielded and out of sight inside the case. Branding is just marketers trying to confuse you. Computers are tools, and nobody makes fun of you if your screwdriver or notepad don't have the right logo on them.
  • by LKM (227954) on Wednesday August 29, 2007 @06:30AM (#20396341) Homepage
    Yeah, a non-admin account on Windows. Real usable. That's a good one.
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday August 29, 2007 @09:53AM (#20398567)
    a) don't have a nipple

    Have used a Nipple. Outgrew the nipple (no matter how intuitive the use of it might seem). Can't do two finger scrolling with a nipple, a feature which makes a number of operations on a laptop even easier than a desktop. No thanks.

    b) only have 1 mouse button.

    Real OS's make using a single mouse button easy, and thus make the vegistal extra mouse button PC laptops struggle to include in a place that is not an ergonomic disaster unneeded.

    If PC laptops with an extra mouse button are so great, how come almost everyone with a PC laptop has an external mouse while almost no Macbook users do?
  • by LKM (227954) on Thursday August 30, 2007 @02:17AM (#20408607) Homepage
    I think you're missing the point. As you yourself so eloquently explain, running Windows as non-admin is a pita (requiring sudo equivalents and changed configurations); furthermore, you still can't install most apps without having an admin password.

    That is very different to how it works on Macs (or on some Linux flavours).

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