Cheap PCs Ding Mac Market Share

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News Posted: Fri, Jan 15 2010 11:14 AM
Microsoft made it clear with its "Laptop Hunters" ads, and consumers listened, as the global recession ground on: Windows PCs are cheaper than Macs. It's not as though the price differential wasn't known already, but Microsoft made sure we were reminded of what they like to call, the "Apple Tax." With that, Apple fell to the No. 5 spot in the U.S., market research firm IDC said Wednesday.

Naturally, there's no way of knowing how much "Laptop Hunters" had to do with it, but IDC's preliminary report shows Apple swapping places with Toshiba, who now moves into fourth place. The top three are Hewlett-Packard (HP), Dell, and Acer. Last year, Dell held the top spot in Q4.

It's not as though the sales figure for Apple when compared from Q4 2008 to Q4 2009 disappointed. It was that although the company showed nice growth, it was outperformed by formerly fifth-place Toshiba. Apple rose 31 percent, year-over-year, but Toshiba rose an amazing 71.5 percent, HP 45.1 percent, Acer 18.3 percent, and Dell a rather modest 5.3 percent. IDC did note, however, that Apple finished fourth overall for 2009, at 8 percent, trailed by Toshiba at 7.7 percent.


Here's how IDC explained the surge in buying:
The U.S. market exploded in the fourth quarter [...] The vendors responded with new low price points to stimulate demand and face competition. In this context, low-cost notebooks and mininotebooks were the biggest contributors to the successful fourth quarter.
As we know, low price points are not a selling point of Apple PCs. At the same time, analysts at Gartner released their preliminary estimates, and they came up wit the same rankings. The top five in the U.S. were, in order, HP, Dell, Acer, Toshiba, and Apple.

In Gartner's case, the market research firm said Apple gained 23.3 percent, HP 45.9 percent, Acer 48.4 percent, and Toshiba a similarly huge (compared with IDC) 70.7 percent. Dell again had the smallest percentage gain of 5.5 percent.
 


Here's how Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa explained things:
The U.S. market last quarter continued to be very price driven. If a company is not in the low-priced market, it's absolutely difficult for it to increase market share. And Apple did not do as well as others in share because of its prices.
Watch the first "Laptop Hunters" ad, featuring Lauren, who was later outed as an aspiring actress, below:

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gibbersome replied on Fri, Jan 15 2010 11:38 AM

Not surprised at all. Mac has not won many new converts with their pricier offerings.

More interesting is Toshiba surge. Like HP, they've diluted the quality of their laptops to make them more affordable.

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Acer now thats a good company...not....

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acarzt replied on Fri, Jan 15 2010 2:35 PM

Man there is nothing but hate for acer on this forum lol

There are worse companies lol

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The only reason Acer is up on that list is because they have some of the cheapest laptop offerings out there.

MSI have also slashed prices on a lot of their laptops and are moving fast towards the top 5. However, MSI does have really great customer service (as aspect Dell, Acer, HP don't share).

@acarzt Lol, from what I've heard, Acer sucks.

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kid007 replied on Fri, Jan 15 2010 4:40 PM

I have own a lot of laptops and my experience is this I'm not BIAS. I'm just saying the truth the only two laptop that i have enjoyed are my Sony SZ and my current Macbook Pro.

I have dropped them, drop liquid, taken them apart and replace parts and could say that just the material and durability of those 2 laptops have won.

(I haven't had that much of time with the macbook pro, however in sales and in life there is a old saying you get what you paid) if you want reliable then an extra $100-500 would be a headache free :)

Dell remind me of that Dominos Commercial, if you haven't seen it youtube it :)

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My Toshiba has also held up pretty well over the years, though it was initially bought for $1,500+. I wouldn't expect their cheaper models to be as durable.

Even HP has their upscale Envy series, designed for durability.

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rapid1 replied on Sat, Jan 16 2010 12:12 AM

Well I have one thing to say about Acer I owned 1 it was my second PC ever and I returned it for a Packard Bell which operated until it blew it's Pentium 1. Then I got an HP which lasted for several years, until I started building my own when the PII 400 came out.

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rapid1 replied on Sat, Jan 16 2010 12:14 AM

Oh and Acarzt just for you Apple sucks more than Acer if that makes you feel any better!

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HP's quality has really gone downhill in recent years. My gf's tx2500z had to be sent back 2 times within the first year.

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rapid1 replied on Sat, Jan 16 2010 11:38 PM

Yeah I get the point's om support durability etc. I remember when I used to be the laptop lead for downtown Atlanta for Dell support. Dell support at that time was absolutely the best. We generally arrived within 12-18 hours of there call to support, and always with the right parts etc. As for HP, COMPAQ etc the support was usually at the best a half day later and you never new if you had the right pieces etc. Either way thats why Dell got where they are now, because when they were corporate only they were the best support wise. I even wrote a letter in to the BOD when that started dropping, of course they did not pay me any attention.

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