Sinking Macintosh Sales a Serious Apple Problem: 10 Reasons Why

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2013-07-25 Print this article Print

Apple’s future seems bright if one were to glance quickly at the company’s recent financials. Apple on July 23 announced that it generated $35.3 billion in revenue during the three-month period ended June 29 and posted a profit of $6.9 billion. The company’s revenue was up $300 million during the period, but its profits fell from $8.8 billion during the same period in 2012. The falloff was due partly to declining iPad sales, but the company also watched its Mac sales drop by 200,000 units year-over-year. It’s that last tidbit of information that might be enough to worry at least some of the company’s shareholders and fans. Yes, things are still looking quite good for Apple on paper, but closer inspection shows there are problems in the business the company needs to address. Try as it might to reassure stakeholders about its future, it appears that Apple has a real issue on its hands with the Macs. This eWEEK slide show examines Apple’s Mac business and discusses why it should pay close attention to what is happening in that important division.

  • Sinking Macintosh Sales a Serious Apple Problem: 10 Reasons Why

    By Don Reisinger
    0-Sinking Macintosh Sales a Serious Apple Problem: 10 Reasons Why
  • The iPad Is Cannibalizing MacBooks

    Apple has all but confirmed that the iPad is starting to eat away at the company’s MacBook sales. The 11-inch MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro are too similar to the high-end iPad, leaving little room for customers who might want to spend the extra cash for the notebook.
    1-The iPad Is Cannibalizing MacBooks
  • The Mac Pro Promises to Be Very, Very Expensive

    The Mac Pro will undoubtedly help boost Apple’s Mac revenue figures when it launches later this year, but given how powerful it promises to be, it’ll be quite expensive. Apple hasn’t announced pricing yet, but don’t be surprised if the device goes for several thousand dollars—and many customers ignore it.
    2-The Mac Pro Promises to Be Very, Very Expensive
  • Apple's Focus Is on Mobile

    Judging by Apple’s conference call July 23, the company seems laser-focused on mobile. The company’s top executives concentrated nearly all their discussion with investors on the iPhone and iPad, realizing more than ever that those products are the key drivers of its growth. As for Macs? They’re just an afterthought.
    Apple's Focus Is on Mobile
  • Ultrabooks Are Starting to Gain Ground

    Although Ultrabooks have been slow to gain widespread adoption, nearly all analysts, including those at IDC and Gartner, say that Ultrabooks should see increased sales in the next several quarters. The main reason for that is their expected reduction in price, which will only put more pressure on Apple’s MacBooks.
    4-Ultrabooks Are Starting to Gain Ground
  • Customer Appetite Is Changing

    Today’s consumers aren’t what they were just a few years ago. At that time, it was a smart idea to buy an iPhone and a Mac, since they worked well together. And while that’s still true, nowadays, customers are finding that the smart idea might be to buy an iPad and get the best of both worlds. Plus, their desire to lug around a notebook is waning. Combine that with their growing distaste for desktops, and it’s clear to see why Apple is having some trouble with its Macs.
    5-Customer Appetite Is Changing
  • Macs Are a Costly Business

    Apple should be deeply concerned about its ability to generate desirable margins on its Macs. Component costs are rising, and Apple's competitors are putting more pressure than ever on prices. As Apple continues to get squeezed, expect the company’s financial performance to slip.
    6-Macs Are a Costly Business
  • Sales Are Already on the Decline

    Apple saw a decline in Mac sales during the last quarter, and said that it expects the same in the next quarter. If sales are already on the decline, shouldn’t Apple be concerned?
    7-Sales Are Already on the Decline
  • Market Factors Don’t Bode Well for Apple

    Apple is in the middle of what could be a difficult time. Steve Jobs is gone, Samsung is gaining ground at a rapid rate in the mobile space, and Google continues to place pressure on it in mobile software. There’s even talk of Microsoft losing its footing in the operating system market. The market is changing, and that might not bode well for Apple or Macs.
    8-Market Factors Don’t Bode Well for Apple
  • The High Prices Might Not Be Sustainable

    Affordability and value are increasingly becoming a major selling point for consumers and enterprise users. For Apple, that’s an issue, since it charges quite a bit more for its Macs than others do for competing products. Customers are buying the iPad instead of a Mac partly because they can get more bang for the buck.
    9-The High Prices Might Not Be Sustainable
  • Combined Sales Are Down for the First Time

    Analysts have been keeping a close eye on so-called “combined sales” in Apple’s financials. That’s the measure of people who buy Macs and iPads and use them together. According to those analysts, for the first time ever, combined sales dropped 12.8 percent in the last quarter from 21.1 million units to 18.4 million units.
    10-Combined Sales Are Down for the First Time
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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