Fear of Windows Dangers
Attracts Customers to Mac"> Still, Schadler said, there are other factors driving Mac sales, which saw 35 percent growth year-over-year. "Theres a fear factor," Schadler said, "with Windows suffering brutally from virus and spyware attacks." He added, "Im surprised theyre not selling more Macs."The first-hand experiences of many retailers support many of these conclusions. Those who spoke with Ziff Davis Internet News said they had seen strong Mac sales, often led by iPod purchases, and fewthough somepurchasing delays due to the upcoming Intel transition. "I think the iPod halo is absolutely real," said Don Mayer of Small Dog Electronics in Waitsfield, Vt. "Every day," Mayer said, "a customer walks in for an iPod and says, Hey, what about that iMac?" Mayer said that this was "only part of an upward trend" hes seen in Mac sales. "The other part is more important," he said: "Customers are looking for the benefits of Mac OS Xs security" from adware, spyware and viruses. These two have combined to make what Mayer said was a "dramatic" increase in first-time Mac buyers. Mayer said he hasnt noticed anything like an Osborne effect yet. "The closer we get to new machines," he said, the more reluctant consumers will getbut thats not out of the ordinary." Mayer added that there could be a software issue, where people would delay their purchases of the Intel-based Macs once they have hit the shelves because they might not want to spend the money to update all their software, depending on how effective the Rosetta emulation system is. But currently, Mayer stressed, Mac sales have gone nowhere but up. "We do see some misunderstanding" about the Intel transition, Mayer said. "But frankly," he said, "people dont care what processor is in a machine. They care about the software and what it allows them to do." "What Id like Apple to do," Mayer said, "is lie. Say the new Macs are not coming until next summer, but then pop them out in January." The worst-case scenario, Mayer said, would be knowing that new, Intel-based Macs were coming three months before their release. "Then," he said, "there will be a slowdown, and theres nothing Apple can do to prevent that." Mayer also stressed that it would be important to have stock in hand of the new computers not only in Apple stores but at independent retailers as soon as the product is ready. He noted that in the past, such retailers have been left out in the cold when new products have hit the market. Next Page: Some buyers will delay purchases.
On the Front Lines