MacBook Sales Dropped 6% Last Christmas
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) did everything it could to increase sales of the MacBook in 2012. It failed.
Buried deep within its report on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and overall holiday sales, researchers at NPD revealed that MacBook sales decreased during the holiday sales period (November 18 to December 22). At the same time, the average selling price (ASP) rose to $1,419 -- an increase of nearly $100.
This increase is no doubt due to the release of the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, which is considerably more expensive than the standard MacBook Pro. However, Apple took $100 off the price of the 13-inch MacBook Air. That reduction should have been able to help the company maintain high sales of its wafer-thin laptop.
If Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) had turned the Ultrabook concept into an overnight success, Apple's decline may have been justified. However, consumers are not buying Ultrabooks either. In fact, the entire consumer electronics industry declined by seven percent during the holidays.
"For the third consecutive year sales trends worsened in the later part of the holiday season," Stephen Baker, VP of Industry Analysis at NPD, said in a company release. "The hyped-up promotion of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and now Thanksgiving Day has proven remarkably effective in moving sales into the early part of the holiday season. Trends like online shopping and self-gifting have intensified the focus on the more event-driven early part of the holiday season."
Windows notebook sales also took a dive, with "holiday unit sales" dropping 11 percent. The average selling price of Windows notebooks rose $2 to $420, while the ASP of touch screen notebooks came to $700. Sales of lower-priced notebooks (under $500) fell 16 percent; sales of higher-end models (above $500) increased four percent.
This could be a sign that the notebook market has already peaked, even as new software and hardware upgrades begin to arrive.
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