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U.S. Mac Sales Plummeted 12% in June

U.S. Mac Sales Plummeted 12% in June

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is only a couple hours away from announcing the results of its fiscal 2013 third quarter, and some figures are already rolling in.

According to NPD Group (via AllThingsD), domestic Mac sales plunged 12 percent year-over-year during the month of June.

This decline occurred despite the fact that Apple released a modified MacBook Air with greatly improved battery life.

Related: Apple's iPad Shipments Predicted to Reach 300 Million Units in 2013

On a quarterly basis, NPD Group's research showed that Mac sales declined by five percent.

To be fair, NPD Group does not measure the sales of every retail avenue, so it is possible that Apple will come out with better-than-expected results this afternoon.

In the meantime, the reported sales decline may stand out as the inspiration for Apple's continuous discounts for the Mac line of computers. The company has lowered the price of the 13-inch MacBook Air not once but twice, removing $200 from the MSRP over the last two years.

Apple also reduced the price of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display, which fell from a starting price of $1,699 to $1,499.

As a manufacturer of premium electronics, Apple does not typically lower prices. Up until recently, it was not a big fan of retail discounts either.

But Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) has greatly increased the discounts that are offered on Apple products, particularly those from the Mac family of computers.

In 2011, older MacBook Air models were discounted by roughly $70 to $100 before the new models were released. In 2012, those discounts were offered multiple times throughout the year.

Now Best Buy is offering consumers the chance to purchase a new MacBook Pro for as much as $200 off the sticker price.

Some bloggers have speculated that Best Buy has reduced its prices because the new MacBook Pros are about to be released.

That may be true, but it wouldn't explain why Best Buy is also discounting the newly upgraded MacBook Air.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple typically employs "tough policies" to restrict price reductions at retail.

By loosening these restrictions, the company has all but confirmed the accuracy of NPD Group's report.

Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: AllThingsD Apple iMac Mac macbook airNews Retail Sales Tech Best of Benzinga


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