Mac demand helps Apple business bloom in Blighty
Rival PC players slump
Apple was the only major computer maker to increase its shipments into the UK PC market during the final three months of 2011.
Figures posted today by Gartner, a market watcher, noted shipment declines for the four remaining players in the UK top five.
Apple's shipments rose 17.2 per cent from 228,000 units in Q4 2010 to 267,000 in Q4 2011. That growth lifted it above Acer, which experienced a decline of 62.4 per cent, the biggest recorded by Gartner. Acer's shipments fell from 610,000 units to 230,000 year on year.
These figures don't include iPad shipments, Gartner was at pains to point out. Had they done so, Apple's success would contrast even more sharply with the experiences of its rivals.
Dell suffered a 32.2 per cent fall, its shipments falling from 601,000 to 408,000. That was still sufficient for it to retain its number two position behind market leader HP. HP's shipments fell from 847,000 units to 618,000, a decline of 27 per cent. Both companies suffered from a low uptake of Windows PCs by big business.
Third-placed Toshiba shipments dipped a mere 5.4 per cent, falling from 313,000 units in Q4 2010 to 296,000 in the final three months of 2011.
If Apple continues to grow, it's hard to see it staying in fourth place behind Toshiba, but it's unlikely to pose much of a threat to Dell, let alone HP.
Still, these PC companies need a lift: all undoubtedly hope the launch of Intel's Ultrabook platform will rekindle their consumer appeal. Unlikely, we'd say, until Ultrabook prices fall.
The UK chart contrasts significantly with that of Western Europe as a whole. In the broader market, Acer stands second only to HP, though both firms saw shipments fall: down 46.1 per cent in Acer's case.
A 9.5 per cent dip in Dell shipments allowed Asus to wrest the third slot from the Texan giant. Asus shipments increased a modest 1.5 per cent, thanks to greater consumer interest in its laptops.
Lenovo's shipments rose too, by an impressive - for the current market conditions - 13.9 per cent, putting it in fifth place. ®
not so much when it comes to the desktop and laptops. most OS X users i know will wait several years before upgrading to the new hardware. it's only the iOS devices that we queue up for every year :)
Something "different" perhaps?
I've been a Mac user for two decades plus and own a few old Macs and some of the more recent stuff too.
Quite often my Windows centric friends and colleagues ask me why I use a Mac, I tend not to geek out and tell them I've been in the UNIX environment for 30 years plus and prefer the CLI, the BSD file structure etc, so without coming across as a "fanboi" I just tend to tell people "they work for me"
However I've encountered more people looking at Macs and MacBooks as an alternative to the Wintel PCs and laptops that they've invested in over the years.
So, now I ask why.. and the biggest factor seems to be that "they don't give trouble and last a long time" Really?
Well, I can vouch for the reliability because the applications are quite limited compared to the Pandora's Box of Windows offerings, although Macs are not exempt from hardware issues
As for the longevity, well yea, I have some old Macs ('89 SE/30, iMac G2 & G4, Mac Pro G5) that still work quite happily
I've seen more OSX compatible games and Microsoft Office 2011 for OSX is really good too. Add FireFox, Chrome, Skype and Apple's own FaceTime into the equation and it seems as if Apple's tin now offers everything that most home users need.
Could the home user be choosing a new home computer like they'd choose a car? Something that costs a little more but is reliable and lasts?
To be honest this growth in Mac sales also comes a surprise to me too...
Macs work for me too.
Personally - and I know that for others, this may not be true, I feel that Macs give me better value for money. My early Intel MacBook Pro is still fast & reliable and I don't have to spend my precious home time (working abroad during the week, when it's used by my wife) to fix it at weekends (I program IBM mainframes in Assembler - the technical challange of fixing PCs/Macs is trivial). I've spent in excess of 15 hours over the last few months fixing friends' Windows machines. (addressing slowdowns and HDD upgrades).
Yes, it was expensive, but £1700 for a no-maintenance laptop that is still running fast after 5 years is good value. Hopefully my 18 month old coreI7 macBook Pro will be as good.
I have more and more friends asking me about Macs and I generally recommend them with the caveat of the high initial cost (although lower TCO perhaps) and if they have any essential PC software (AutoCAD, for one friend) then the Boot Camp/ Parallels situation.
I also think that creating home movies, photo books and calenders etc is easier and much more fun with iLife but again, YMMV.
Yes.... and no.
One of the less-known secrets of Macs is that they tend to hold their value very well.
Because every Windows PC manufacturer insists on cranking out a dozen new models and variants every few weeks, their machines are often obsolete before they've even hit the retailer's shelves, let alone your home office, so PC owners simply aren't used to thinking in terms of trading up; the assumption is that their laptop isn't worth much, so it ends up being given to some (usually older) relative for free instead. Many long-time Mac users have never paid the full whack for a Mac after their first. They've sold their old models and simply paid the difference.
This is, incidentally, one of the reasons why more people tend to opt for Apple's extended AppleCare warranty scheme than you might expect as it makes buyers more likely to buy the machine used if it's still quite new: it removes the element of risk that you'll end up with a dud. (Students buying on an educational discount even get that extended warranty thrown in as part of the discounted price, so it's often a no-brainer for them.)
That said, Macs may cost more up-front, but will usually last for many years, so buying a refurb or secondhand model is not unusual. Yes, Apple will stop officially supporting older models after a while, but the machines will continue to run the likes of *BSD and Linux just fine. And OS X has supported shared computing features ("XGrid", since OS X 10.4), so older machines can still be useful in offloading rendering work in (say) Final Cut Pro or Logic Pro.
Think of your computer as an investment. You're going to be spending an awful lot of time with it, so it makes sense to buy something that isn't going to have you wanting to hurl it out of the nearest window within a week.
In the same boat
I also have a Mac Pro, from mid 2005. I bought it from the refurb store for £1200 and it has served our family of 4 for the last 6+ years without ever missing a beat.
It was expensive compared to a desktop PC, but I would have probably gone through 2 or 3 PCs in that time. Also, the Mac is a joy to use, unlike the Windows thing I am shackled to at work.
It still looks as nice as the day I unboxed it and sadly the only reason I will change it is because of the ever-increasing list of software that I can't run any more (PowerPC support is drying up). Shame really.