Apple Computers Over $1,000 Outsell PCs

Dennis Faas's picture

Evidently, Apple's flashy advertising and sleek product design has attracted customers willing to pay high prices for its products. Over the past few years, Apple climbed to the top of the market on high-end desktop and laptop sales, according to a recent report by market research company NPD Group.

Of all computers costing more than $1,000 sold in 2007, 70% were Mac desktops and 64% Mac laptops. (Source:

An interesting report, indeed.  Problem is, it doesn't adequately reflect the realities of the industry.

Anyone browsing the Apple website will quickly see that there are virtually no computers, save one, that cost less than a grand. The Mac Mini starts at $649, but that is without any increases in RAM, hard drive or the cost of additional programs, such as Microsoft Office for Mac. The next bracket up is the MacBook, starting at $1,149. Customers wanting a desktop have to shell out $1,299 for the least expensive iMac. However, regardless of expense, it seems that the majority of consumers willing to pay top dollar turned to Apple last year, and there is little indication that they will stop doing so.

The study is somewhat skewed because Apple almost exclusively markets its products in the high-end market. Because two thirds of PCs retail for less than $1,000, Apple has an artificial hold on the upscale market. Less competition equals higher sales. Who knows what the story would be if Dell or HP offered comparable products in that price range. The difference is that they don't. (Source:

The study also fails to account for purchases made outside stores (such as online sales, which Dell does exclusively) and business clients. Retailers such as HP and Dell continue to dominate inexpensive computer sales, especially in bulk for business purposes. The study offered no indication of how Apple's less expensive model, the Mini, fared in the under $1,000 market. (Source:

The numbers seem less impressive when you realize that Apple's share remains a reasonable 6-8% of the market, not the whopping 60-70% NPD's study makes you think. Good sales of less expensive computers as well as business purchases seem to have tampered the numbers a bit.

Maybe its the ads, maybe the products just look and perform better, but customers with cash still seem to want to take a bite out of Apple (er, in a good way).

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