Apple Rakes in 47% of October Desktop PC Revenue: Report

Dennis Faas's picture

Apple fanboys are bursting with pride this morning after a report emerging yesterday found that of all retail desktop revenue in the U.S. during the month of October, almost half went towards Apple -- a rather large jump over the previous year.

According to industry analysts NPD, a total of 47.7 per cent of all desktop computer revenue went towards the purchase of Macs. That's up almost 15 per cent from the previous October (33.44 per cent). (Source:

NPD: Market Conditions Weighted in Apple's Favor

How can we explain the hike in Apple sales? NPD vice president of industry analysis Stephen Baker says it has a little something to do with Microsoft, and a little something to do with Apple itself.

For one, sales of PCs were sluggish during the first three weeks of October, when everyone waited in anticipation of Windows 7's release. Granted, many Windows 7 PCs could be purchased prior to October 22, the operating system's ultimate launch, but how many prospective home PC buyers knew that?

In addition, Apple released several new iMacs boasting blazing speed and the usual attractive packaging. In the end, Baker suggests, Apple took advantage of the handicap. "You only really had 10 days to catch up some 20 days of lost [Windows PC] sales," he said.

You also can't look beyond the fact that there were very few people interested in purchasing expensive Apple desktop computers in October of 2008. The recession hit Americans like a punch in the gut that month, and most consumers curtailed their spending throughout the holiday season. "You're comparing the [iMac] launch month this year to the month last year when people stopped going into stores to buy things," Baker remarked. "To some extent it's a little bit apples and oranges."

Is Apple's October Bump Sustainable?

Yes and no. It's certainly worth noting that Apple's revenue conquered nearly half the desktop market, and even if people were waiting on Windows 7 until October 22, clearly not everyone was willing to twiddle their thumbs and bought Macs instead.

However, Baker's convinced the rate of revenue is not sustainable. "Apple gets a huge bump out of new products that no one else gets. Those [share increases] haven't tended to be sustainable in the long term." (Source:

With Windows 7 continuing to receive high marks, it's likely that Microsoft's crusade to bring the "cool" back to PCs will continue to gain momentum into 2010.

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