Market research company NPD has compiled some interesting data on average selling prices in the retail PC industry. As eWeek's Microsoft Watch reports, the numbers show Windows desktops have hovered around $550 for the past couple of years, while Windows laptops dipped from $877 in June 2006 to only $700 two months ago.
Apple has priced its Macs a little differently. At $1,543 on average, Mac desktops were actually over $100 more expensive in June of this year than in June 2006. Meanwhile, Mac laptops only went down from $1,574 to $1,515 over the same time period. Microsoft Watch illustrates the data by comparing two notebooks: an HP DV2946NR that's available for $699.99 at "some Target stores," and Apple's $1,299 MacBook. The HP has a larger display (14.1"), double the memory (4GB), double the hard drive capacity (320GB), and a slightly slower processor (2GHz), but with a much lower price tag.
Interestingly, the HP laptop complements its four gigs of RAM with a 64-bit version of Windows Vista. Microsoft Watch questions Microsoft's own observations about the increasing prevalence of x64 systems, but it nonetheless quotes NPD as saying 11.6% of Windows notebooks sold in June had 4GB of RAM. 4GB Windows notebook sales were "nothing" at the start of this year, NPD claims.