NPD: Mac sales outgrew PCs in back-to-school season

I don’t know if you’ve read the news lately, but the economy isn’t doing too great. So, what are the odds that sales of Macs—premium machines by every definition of the term—would outgrow PC sales during this year’s back-to-school shopping rush?

Pretty good, apparently. According to NPD analyst Stephen Baker, who spoke to the guys at AppleInsider this week, Apple “grew much faster than the Windows notebook market did” during the back-to-school season. That growth came in spite of the smaller discounts Apple offered students this year, not to mention the demise of the $999 MacBook (which Apple retired in July as it rolled out Mac OS X Lion and new MacBook Air laptops).

Interestingly, on the subject of the defunct MacBook, Baker commented, “I think the $999 price point for Apple is just kind of a teaser . . . The sales of those kind of products aren’t always as big as the hype might be.” AppleInsider says Baker pointed to the $1,199 MacBook Pro as the system consumers “tend to gravitate toward,” instead, because it offers “the best value in Apple’s notebook lineup.” The 11.6″ MacBook Air is a couple hundred bucks cheaper, but it’s also smaller and less powerful.

PC vendors shouldn’t be too discouraged, though. Baker said sales of Windows systems picked up in the latter half of the back-to-school season and managed to exceed expectations.

Comments closed
    • Aussienerd
    • 8 years ago

    Why do people care so much about what other people like??

    Spend your money on what you want.

    If you want to spend $200k on a ferrari that can go 300kmh in a country with a speed limit of 110kmh go ahead I will not argue why you should buy a cheaper car, or get angry when you want to tell me how good it is. I have a Laptop, Ipad, Iphone and 2 self build PCs.

    Have I spent to much on it all? Yes, but I love it…….

      • derFunkenstein
      • 8 years ago

      Your penchant for rational thought is not welcome in a heated debate about lickable interfaces and glass themes.

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        LICKABLE???? WE CAN LICK THESE THINGS!!!!

          • A_Pickle
          • 8 years ago

          /archer

        • Aussienerd
        • 8 years ago

        Hahahha

        My Appoligies I will leave….

    • Krogoth
    • 8 years ago

    [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFZrzg62Zj0[/url<] They both use the same hardware and practically the same software. The only difference is brand name.

    • PeterD
    • 8 years ago

    People buying Mac’s are the sort of people who don’t know what an economical crises is.
    It’s like Ferrari and Porsche: their sales never tumble either.

      • A_Pickle
      • 8 years ago

      You make a valid point…

      • ThorAxe
      • 8 years ago

      People buying Macs often get a Toyota for the price of a Ferrari….

        • no51
        • 8 years ago

        Your comparison suggests Ferraris are reliable and cheap to maintain.

    • Rakhmaninov3
    • 8 years ago

    The whole Mac vs. PC thing is made kinda moot by the fact that ~90% of households with a Mac also have a PC around. It’s possible to have more than one computer, people, and most of those who can shell out the extra $$ for the Mac fit and finish already have a PC.

    If I were to get a laptop right now, I’d seriously consider a MacBook because of the build quality; I’ve used lots of PC laptops as well as MacBooks and right now what the MacBooks offer over their PC competitors makes them worth the extra cost, IMHO.

    Now that doesn’t extend into their desktop-based machines (mainly talking about the iMac and Mac Pro), as they still sport comically low-rent, generations-old hardware at bloated prices in a segment where their durability/solid-build-goodness doesn’t matter nearly as much as it does for computers that are bashed around and handled every day. I’d still never spend so much extra cash for the different-ness they have to offer.

    But the laptops are solid machines that are worth a look and that really deserve recognition and popularity for being quality computers.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]The whole Mac vs. PC thing is made kinda moot by the fact that ~90% of households with a Mac also have a PC around. [/quote<] [citation needed]

        • Beelzebubba9
        • 8 years ago

        48% of statistics are made up on the spot.

        True story!

    • Arclight
    • 8 years ago

    Mac or not, they’re all PCs, i’m fine with it if people like them. What i’m really worried about is Microsoft’s Windows 8 which is shapping up to be a new “Vista”. Scratch that “worse” than Vista, atleast for me as a desktop owner.

    • Jigar
    • 8 years ago

    The Army of Macs are increasing defend your self brothers..

    • Voldenuit
    • 8 years ago

    I see lots of people being downvoted for defending Windows notebooks here, even if they aren’t attacking Macs.

    This is weird. Are we being punk’d or something?

    In related news, I got a chance to try out a sony vaio z premium notebook today and was shocked at how appalling their chiclet keyboard was, with tiny keycaps, very shallow action, and poor feedback. If windows notebooks want to grow market share, they had better do more things right.

      • internetsandman
      • 8 years ago

      That’s probably why defending Windows notebooks gets people downvoted LOL

    • jcw122
    • 8 years ago

    I’m really excited by the fact that everyone who seems to be on this supposed “technology” website doesn’t understand the concept that SIMPLIFYING THE COMPUTING EXPERIENCE IS NOT PROGRESSIVE

      • sweatshopking
      • 8 years ago

      wut? that’s a double negative. you’re saying it IS positive?

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    I really think that the technology oriented generations will buy something they want, as they have the means to. This ‘recession’ isn’t so bad that you can’t simply put something you want on a card, which I’m sure most people did.

    Macs are turning into a fad and there really isn’t a whole lot tying people to PCs anymore…

    • Suspenders
    • 8 years ago

    Actually it isn’t so strange at all that Mac sales, or sales of premium goods in general might be rising. Just take a look at the refreshingly honest “Plutonomy” memo from Citibank ( [url<]http://www.box.net/shared/9if6v2hr9h[/url<] ); essentially the "average" consumer of yesteryear, the one the economy revolved around in the past (the middle class essentially) doesn't really matter any more. If I recall the latest income stats that were released, the top 5th of households in the US make over 50% of all income, so it makes sense that businesses that sell or serve to the rich are the ones that will do well. If most of Apples customer base is the richer part of the population (those that aren't being crushed by the economy), their sales shouldn't be affected much.

    • LaChupacabra
    • 8 years ago

    Hey guys! What’s going on in her….

    oh.

    /leaves

    • sschaem
    • 8 years ago

    Since we are all about manipulating perception:

    May 2011, 8.3% of browser run on OSX
    but dropped to 8.2% in Aug 2011 8.2%

    source: [url<]http://www.w3schools.com/[/url<] A decline in mac usage in the past 3 month! Yet, during that same time Windows7 usage grew by 10% ! OSX usage declined while windows7 went up dramatically. We can deduce that Apple is loosing market share at a rapid pace and at this rate all macs will be recycled into Aluminium cans by the end of the decade.

      • Deanjo
      • 8 years ago

      Deduce FAIL!. Win 7 increase came almost entirely at the expense of it’s own previous OS’s which dropped by almost the exact same amount.

        • sschaem
        • 8 years ago

        Dense… that was the point of the post, people coming to conclusion based on isolated facts to manipulate perceptions.

        You can also see that I picked two month that showed a decline, yet OSX outgrew windows in a more representative period.

        The fact remain that PC sales continue to grow and dwarf mac sales.

          • Deanjo
          • 8 years ago

          No one, not even the article is disputing that PC’s have sales. Their share however is dwindling on a regular basis and slowing or did you not understand

          [quote<]Apple "grew much faster than the Windows notebook market did"[/quote<]

    • sschaem
    • 8 years ago

    How many mac where sold ? 4 millions ? how many PC where sold ?120 millions?

    Just to put some perspective.

    If Apple sold 10 computer in Q2, but sold 11 computer in Q3 we could have the same headline… Perception manipulation.

      • Deanjo
      • 8 years ago

      In the states, if current 8% marketshare of Apple is the rough estimate that would mean that 4 million Macs means roughly 46 million PC’s. Just to put that into real perspective.

    • ew
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]Lt. Cmdr. Data: [polite tone] Could you please continue the petty bickering? I find it most intriguing. [/quote<] Right there with you Data. I haven't been this entertained by a thread in a long time.

    • Taddeusz
    • 8 years ago

    Gotta love all the “Mac’s are bad, mkay” rhetoric every time Apple news comes up. It’s tiresome and juvenile. IMHO, if you don’t have anything really worthwhile to add why say anything at all? Or at least come up with an intelligent criticism. Spewing the same tired line over and over again does nothing for anyone.

    Which, by the way, Mac’s are almost spec for spec equal in value to a like Windows computer. By like Windows computer I don’t mean something from the bargain bin. That is not a fair apples-to-apples comparison since the hardware is nowhere near equal. I’ve done the research myself. For the hardware a Mac computer is a good value.

      • Dashak
      • 8 years ago

      Please expand a bit on that. The cheapest Macbook I see is priced at $999.

      • sschaem
      • 8 years ago

      Where do you shop for PC ? Same place where they sell gold phone for $50,000 ?

      Apple product are at least 2x overpriced for the spec.

      Just look at adding 1gig to a mac book… 100$ … >>100<< for 1 gig ? sure its a good value.

      Mac would need to be gold plated to be worth what they want for them.

    • Corrado
    • 8 years ago

    *shrug* I can afford a MacBook Pro. And I did. And I love it. People are overlooking the FEEL of a metal laptop vs a plastic one. The fact that its also 1 piece and DOES NOT CREAK after 6 months of owning. I have a Dell Lat 5400 that I got about 18 months ago, and has spend roughly 75% of its life on a docking station. It creaks and flexes. The keyboard stops working sometimes, the trackpad is flakey, the battery life is ~ 2 hours. And it cost $895. I’ve had Dell out to look at the keyboard and the trackpad issues, to which they say ‘Yeah, they do that sometimes’. Thats the support I get with the next business day on site support. This is BUSINESS support too. Dell’s consumer support is known to be worse than that.

    I haven’t had any problems with my MacBook pro in about 1 year. Yeah, it cost $1650, but I’m going to have it for 4 or 5 years. My Acer Timeline, god bless its soul, was a great machine… but after 8 months it looked like hell, and the plastic was creaky and the paint was wearing off the palm rests. Before that, I had a Dell Latitude D620 that I liked, but same issues with the trackpads. Couldn’t 2 finger scroll, battery life was nothing great. Glad I got to keep that as compensation when the company I was contracting at went under. They owed me $200, said keep your laptop (It was about 3 months old at the time). I’ve had HPs, I’ve had Dells, I’ve Acers, I’ve had MSIs, I’ve had Asuses (Asusii?) and I’ve had Apples, in terms of laptops. The only ones that still felt solid and ‘new’ after 1 year were the MacBook Pro’s. I know HP makes (made?) some metal chassis laptops, and Dell had the Adamos, but dollar for dollar, spec for spec, the MBPs were a better deal. Stop comparing ONLY specs on paper and start comparing other tangibles like the superior trackpad, backlit keyboard, high resolution screens, better customer support, etc.

    Don’t forget, Apple has been selling $999 “Ultrabooks” for a year now, and the rest of the industry still has yet to retaliate with a competitive offering. When you have a year headstart, and the rest of the industry is only MATCHING you, chances are you will win the mindshare of the general public.

      • sschaem
      • 8 years ago

      Take the blinders off… OR at least browse the web for 5 minutes, beside apple.com, to see how delusional you are.

        • internetsandman
        • 8 years ago

        I’d say his personal experience and logical, insightful opinions are far more worthwhile than your generic one-line insult to his supposed ignorance. He’s right. The ONLY PC laptops you can buy with any sort of inkling of quality are priced actually higher than Apple’s laptops

          • shank15217
          • 8 years ago

          Yea I think you pay for the price of service, isn’t that the point?

          • A_Pickle
          • 8 years ago

          That is a bald-faced lie.

          EDIT: Aww, someone disagrees, but can’t be bothered to actually reply to refute my refutation!

          • ThorAxe
          • 8 years ago

          Do you work for Apple? If not then that is a rather ignorant comment.

      • brucethemoose
      • 8 years ago

      THIS is what makes me angry at the million people like you.

      “My $800 laptop is awful! It’s plastic, dirty, and has an awful keyboard. So, I got a $1650 macbook pro and I love it!”

      Do you see the problem here? You spend $800 on a business windows laptop, you get a dual core Intel Sandy Bridge processor, a slow 5400RPM hard drive (size doesn’t matter, they’re cheap), no graphics card, and a 1366×768 display. Get a 13″ Mac pro, you get the same thing, except you get a 1280×800 non widescreen display instead. You pay over double for quality. Pay the same amount for a Windows laptop from a company like Samsung, ASUS, or a high end Sony, and you get a laptop with better specs and similar build quality to a macbook pro.

      Compare a $800 PC to a $1600 mac again, and I think I’m going to be sick.

        • internetsandman
        • 8 years ago

        “1280×800 non widescreen”

        Isn’t the whole PC enthusiast industry whining about the shift to 16:9 displays? The display on the MBP is 16:10, and as far as I’m concerned, vertical screen real estate is much more important at these resolutions that horizontal screen real estate is

        One other interesting thing to note is that that 1366×768 resolution you’re showing as an advantage is the resolution that every PC laptop seems to use, right up to 16 inch displays, maybe larger, I haven’t yet checked. Don’t you think that’s a bit pathetic, considering the 11 inch MBA, the smallest screen size available from Apple, uses the same res?

        “similar build quality to a Macbook Pro”

        Have you ever actually held a MBP in your hands? or a MBA? They’re built so solidly that even in the event that you accidentally drop one, especially with an SSD inside, it will still function perfectly. You can’t say the same about any PC laptop.

        Spend 50 bucks more on a 13″ MBA and you get an even bigger resolution and an SSD, along with an incredibly lightweight and STILL solid construction. You don’t seem to grasp the difference that quality makes in the experience. Yes, they’re overpriced, but when it comes to the actual user experience, not just ticking spec and marketing boxes, Apple provides much better products than any PC laptop manufacturer

          • A_Pickle
          • 8 years ago

          [quote<]Isn't the whole PC enthusiast industry whining about the shift to 16:9 displays?[/quote<] Yes, they are. I don't really care. While I'd prefer 1920x1200, I certainly don't mind 1920x1080. It's still a shitload of pixels. I can do work just fine at 1920x1080, and frankly, with Windows 7's Aero Snap feature, I'm rather productive with a wider aspect ratio. [quote<]One other interesting thing to note is that that 1366x768 resolution you're showing as an advantage is the resolution that every PC laptop seems to use, right up to 16 inch displays, maybe larger, I haven't yet checked.[/quote<] Because, as we all know, it is 100% impossible for a PC notebook to offer a screen resolution any higher than 1366x768. Oh look, it's another bald-faced lie by internetsandman! [quote<]Don't you think that's a bit pathetic, considering the 11 inch MBA, the smallest screen size available from Apple, uses the same res?[/quote<] Considering that there were 11.6" PC netbooks/notebooks that preceded the 11.6" MacBook Air and had the same screen resolution, no, I don't think that's pathetic. You know what's pathetic? A device in 2011 shipping with a 1024x768 pixel screen. [i<]THAT's[/i<] pathetic. [quote<]You can't say the same about any PC laptop.[/quote<] You are so full of FUD that it isn't even funny. I've never owned an Apple product in my life, a tradition I intend to continue until Apple decides to respect user's rights a little more. That said, I [i<]have[/i<] dropped my fair share of laptops in my time, plastic and magnesium alloy, and I have [i<]never[/i<] had one stop working on me. Hell, I've even had a desktop fall off of a table onto bare concrete WHILE CONNECTED to it's dual CRT monitor setup and it didn't miss a beat. It still had Firefox open to Google.com, ready and waiting for me to search. Methinks you don't know the first thing about electronics. [quote<]Yes, they're overpriced, but when it comes to the actual user experience, not just ticking spec and marketing boxes, Apple provides much better products than any PC laptop manufacturer[/quote<] Ah. Well, when it comes to ticking specifications boxes, PC manufacturers provide much better products than Apple. If I can't get precisely what I need in the hardware, then your product will not suffice and I won't buy it. It's that simple. Apple makes the decision of "what I need" for me, a habit of their's that I'm not entirely fond of.

        • Rza79
        • 8 years ago

        I have to fully agree with you on this statement. I actually own a computer business and i see this happening every day. Customer buys a 500 Euro laptop, clicks on every piece of bloatware on the internet, carries it around like an idiot, harddrive breaks, … anyway it craps out on him after 2-3 years. Comes back to me, orders a Mac for 1200 Euro (or more), comes back to me after 3 months and tells me how amazing it is.
        Firstly, obviously any new laptop is going to be much faster than the old one. So that’s a moot point.
        Secondly, it’s not like MacBooks are using ‘special’ components that can’t break (or anything special for that matter). They have the same POS 2.5″ harddrive that you will also find in 400 Euro laptops. Actually my friends MacBook Pro is up to his 3th hdd now (while losing his data once in the process).
        My point being, you can’t compare the two. And your Mac has as much chance to break as any other laptop. I know this for a fact after being in the business 14 years.
        What strikes me the most odd is that most customers don’t consider high end Windows models from any manufacturer. I can tell you from experience that a HP EliteBook of 1000 Euro doesn’t ‘creak nor flex’ after years of usage.
        I have nothing again Macs … i sell them gladly bc they generate me more revenue. Personally, i don’t like MacOS. I can do everything (and more) in Windows, as fast or faster. More games, more software, …

        edit: spell check

        • BestJinjo
        • 8 years ago

        Don’t you understand? This is the exact “logic” apple fans have. They buy a mid-range $600-900 PC laptop when they want a 1080P screen, amazing battery life, solid construction and then they complain laptops in this price range didn’t deliver. No way…..really?

        Why would anyone compare a $700-900 PC laptop to a $1500-1600 Apple laptop and come up with all these “ground-breaking” ideas why the PC laptop is inferior in everything? How about we compare it to a $1400-1600 PC laptop? Oh what’s that people don’t want to spend $1400-1500 on a PC laptop because it doesn’t have the Apple brand logo?

        It’s interesting that only this week Apple FINALLY released new firmware to fix the MacBook Pro’s SATA 3 issues.

        There are all kinds of good arguments of why one should pay $1600 for an Apple laptop such as:

        – One of the thinnest unibody construction bodies at each 13/15/17 inch size categories
        – Excellent battery life based on size
        – If you particularly like OSX over Windows 7
        – If you want a good screen
        – If you don’t care to play videogames
        – Apple products DO have higher resale value somewhat offsetting the higher barrier to entry

        BUT, to use the argument that a $1600 laptop is better than a $900 laptop is just plain STATING THE OBVIOUS, regardless what brand it’s from! How about we compare a $1600 PC laptop vs. a $900 PC laptop>>> I wonder which is better between them……..

        • A_Pickle
        • 8 years ago

        You, sir, win an internet point.

      • indeego
      • 8 years ago

      [i<]"Yeah, it cost $1650, but I'm going to have it for 4 or 5 years."[/i<] And the rest of us will have laptops that cost roughly half what you paid every 2-2.5 years (or less). I'm going to keep taking the cheaper option/more rapid updates. 4-5 years is completely ancient for laptops/mobile land.

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        not sure why you were downvoted for this. nobody on this site wants to use a 5 year old pc, and anyone pretending they’re going to be is smoking drugs.

          • End User
          • 8 years ago

          Anything based on Core has a the potential for a vey long useful life. I’m still using systems based on the following:

          Core Duo 1.66 – 2006
          Core 2 Duo 2.33 – 2006
          Core 2 Quad 2.4 – 2007

          I’m particularly fond of my quad core (Q6600). Even with just half the CPU power of my i7 rig it still does an admirable job. It will be another two years before I retire it (6 years!).

          • Decelerate
          • 8 years ago

          Speak for yourself; don’t include EVERYONE else when you make bold statements such as “nobody on this site wants to use a 5 year old pc”. I WANT to use a 5 year old pc and be productive. I feel no joy in having to spend time and money building a new gaming rig after a few years. The excitement got old after the 3rd time.

          And no, I’m not smoking drugs (I don’t even smoke the legal stuff).

            • travbrad
            • 8 years ago

            What does money/time have to do with it? In Indeego’s example the cost is the same either way, whether you go for more rapid upgrades (newer hardware) or less rapid (older hardware).

            If it costs the same either way, why would you choose an older, slower, less efficient, product?

          • travbrad
          • 8 years ago

          Smoking drugs…or drinking Kool-Aid.

          • sircharles32
          • 8 years ago

          I’m still rocking my circa 2005, home grown, Opteron 150 socket 940 workstation.
          It still does what I want/need.

          • A_Pickle
          • 8 years ago

          That’s not true, sir. I think a 2-3 year upgrade timeframe, frankly, is utterly wasteful — but then, I give enthusiasts a pass on it because [i<]everyone[/i<] tends to indulge in their hobbies moreso than does the average person. If desktops, laptops, and smartphones could last people 4-5 years, I'd be much happier... but they often do not, and [i<]THAT[/i<] is wasteful. Me? Well, hell. I'll just take a computer. In the beginning of last year, my Alienware Area-51 m5790 17" awesome-top died (I think it's the fan, but I dunno) after three years of faithful service. The fastest computer that I had to replace it was an aging Dell Dimension 8300 with no plastic side panels (it's just the metal understructure -- we call him "Skeletor"). It's got a 3.0 GHz Pentium 4 (northwood), 2 GB of DDR-400 RAM in dual-channel, a 250 GB SATA 1.5 GB/sec hard drive, and a Radeon HD 4650 AGP graphics card. I love that computer, nevermind the fact that it's probably approaching [i<]nine years old[/i<]. I play League of Legends on it. I can play Left 4 Dead 2 at medium settings at 1440x900, getting no less than 28 FPS, but usually between 35-40 FPS (are we allowed to say that word here, still?). It plays 720P YouTube videos, but tends to struggle on the 1080P Flash stuff (haven't tried HTML5 yet). Hell, we even had it set up to host Murmur, which is the server backend to the Mumble client VOIP software. I had FIVE users connected to it, three through my LAN and one connected from Texas, and me -- connected locally. This was running [i<]while[/i<] the five of us were also in a game of League of Legends -- and it never missed a beat, never dropped voice packets, and never lagged out of LoL. 2011! This is a nine-year-old computer that's performing tasks expected of modern, brand new computers! I can't rag on that. I happily use Skeletor. I've gotten my money's worth out of that computer, and then some. I love old PC's that work, and old PC's that work [i<]well[/i<] are treasures.

            • sweatshopking
            • 8 years ago

            Ok, maybe i should clarify. nobody likes using 5 year old laptops. there are plenty of powerful desktops that age gracefully. 5 years ago in laptops was single core days. yes, you can use it, but i was commenting more on corrado, who has money (“i can afford a macbook”) and trying to imply that the chances of him actually using this machine 5 years down the line aren’t that good. I’m all for keeping them, and wasting as little as possible, don’t get me wrong, but i don’t see too many apple fans (“upgrade every year, because the last years model is garbage” people) waiting 5 years.

            • End User
            • 8 years ago

            Core Duo and Core 2 Duo were released over 5 years ago:
            [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_core#Core_Duo[/url<] BTW, my 2006 Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro says hello.

            • Beelzebubba9
            • 8 years ago

            Yeah my Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro is still plugging away just fine. I’d still be using it (with a new battery) as my personal laptop if I wasn’t given a newer machine by my employer.

            For most workloads, a Core 2 is plenty fast enough. I game enough on my desktop that it has pretty modern hardware, but aside from the slow hard drive I dont’ think I’ve ever had issues with the MBP’s performance.

        • axeman
        • 8 years ago

        At least you could sell it after the 2.5 years instead of having to toss it in the junk bin.

          • BestJinjo
          • 8 years ago

          So in 2.5 years a PC laptop with similar specs and a modern OS is suddenly junk that needs to be tossed while an Apple laptop with worse specs still has some value left? Is that strictly because people who buy used Apple laptops have come up with this “used value” idea on their own account?

          What about the fact that I bought a 17 inch $700 HP laptop with a C2D, 3GBs of ram, Blu-Ray Drive, HDMI port, with an extra expansion slot for an SSD in January of 2009?

          How is a $2500 17 inch January 2009 macbook pro holding up? Can you watch Blu-Rays on it from RedBox connected to your plasma TV? Was that $1800 extra in investment justified? Sure if you are in the top 10% of income earners. Not all of us are.

          PC laptops are still perfectly useable after 2.5 years. I simply upgraded the laptop to Windows 7 2 years ago and it’s as good as new. 3GBs of ram is plenty since I am not playing Crysis 2 of BF2 on it. It’s 100% useable for watching any 1080P content and Blu-Ray rentals. $1800 savings is still in my pocket 🙂

        • BestJinjo
        • 8 years ago

        That’s a great point. After building desktops for > 10 years, I realized that upgrading more frequently rather than “future-proofing” is a far more effective and cheaper strategy. It also allows me to have very good performance all of these years for a fraction of the cost after reselling previous generation hardware.

        Either way, none of my friends who owns an Apple laptop has kept it for 4-5 years. Every single person I know who owns a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro has upgraded one every 2-3 years actually. Obviously I am not insinuating that my observation is in any way related to the average. However, even my friends admit they purchased Apple partly because they wanted to pay a premium for a product that “feels and looks more expensive”. That’s a perfectly valid argument, especially if you make good $$$. But in this economy, I’d rather get a $500 PC laptop + $100 60GB SSD and a 50 inch Plasma TV than a 15 inch MacBook Pro. I have my desktop when I need the extra horsepower!

        The other day I checked that you can get an LG 60 Inch Plasma + an $800 17inch PC laptop for the price of entry level 17 inch MacBook Pro. That’s just shocking!!!!!!!!!!!

          • End User
          • 8 years ago

          After building PCs for almost 25 years I can safely say that you would have to PAY ME to use an $800 17″ laptop.

      • A_Pickle
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]Stop comparing ONLY specs on paper and start comparing other tangibles like the superior trackpad, backlit keyboard, high resolution screens, better customer support, etc.[/quote<] No! Specs are objective, that's why they exist! Make no mistake, I'm not suggesting the build quality or featureset isn't important -- it is! But that's just it, there are [i<]plenty[/i<] of offerings from PC companies that offer solid build quality, a good featureset, and high performance specs. You mention good trackpads and backlit keyboards, well, there are plenty of PC's with good trackpads and backlit keyboards. There are also plenty of PC's with USB 3.0 ports, ExpressCard slots, built-in webcams, high resolution screens, discrete and switchable graphics, and much, much more. I know, I know -- the Apple trackpad is better! The aluminum unibody is awesome! That's fine, you go right ahead. The ASUS trackpads that I've used [i<]work for pointing the mouse[/i<] -- and that's all I care about. The plastic Dell laptops that you bitch and moan about are actually built pretty damn good -- a friend of mine purchased a Dell Inspiron E1505 some six years ago on my recommendation, and today it runs Windows 7 like a boss. Apple offers nothing noteworthy (well, MagSafe is nice), except for a computing platform which, given enough consumer traction, threatens our information technology rights.

      • Bensam123
      • 8 years ago

      Try a Thinkpad for the same quality.

        • PrecambrianRabbit
        • 8 years ago

        Sorry, but I’ve got a ThinkPad at work and an objectively lower-spec MacBook Pro at home, and I’d take the MacBook any day. Now, it’s possible that the issue is caused by some software mandated by our IT department, but I definitely do not have a favorable impression of either the ThinkPad or Windows at the moment.

          • Bensam123
          • 8 years ago

          I was referring to the overall quality of the build… Lenovo can’t make the software they use better.

            • PrecambrianRabbit
            • 8 years ago

            I was also referring to the overall quality of the build, but I’m trying to be fair by stating that it’s possibly a 3rd party software problem that I have no control over. YMMV, I’m just relating my experience comparing (albeit imperfectly) those two models.

            While I’m at it, the keyboard on my ThinkPad creaks. No such problem on the Macbook. And that sure as heck ain’t a software problem :-p.

    • internetsandman
    • 8 years ago

    I’d rather have a Macbook for school than use a PC. Sure, cost is an issue, but have you seen the absolute crap selection of notebooks out there for under a grand? Yeah, sure they might have great components inside, in order to tick marketing boxes or whatever, but to actually USE them, with their 1366×768-fits-all screen sizes (even the 16 inch ones, which is seriously pathetic when you realize that it’s the same resolution used on the 11 inch screen of the base MBA), questionable build quality, bloatware, AND the fact that most educational institutions are switching to Apple as well, in the long run, it makes a lot more sense to buy a Macbook, in my opinion. It will last longer, be more compatible with the systems in place at whatever college/high school the student is attending, and be more reliable and durable, which is a very important quality when it’s going to always be on the move like that.

    Yes, Apple is overpriced, but not nearly as much as they used to be, and when you factor in the impeccable quality, attention to detail and amazing customer service they offer, I’d say it’s worth it to pay the extra cost.

    And speaking of being overpriced, Microsoft shouldn’t get to avoid that criticism. Windows 7 home premium coming in at $220, if not more, and the full-featured version of their OS costing over $300 is a complete atrocity when you look at Apple’s two latest OS’s, both of which come in at under $80 COMBINED.

      • A_Pickle
      • 8 years ago

      If you can afford a MacBook, you can afford a well-built PC with a backlit keyboard and a high resolution screen. Apple is overpriced, but so is Sony. The difference (well, maybe not) is that Sony isn’t trying to govern how everyone uses their products (well, computer products, anyways). Apple, on the other hand, is pushing iOS on the world — which is a world of more expensive applications, no true multitasking, and no control by the user.

      That last bit is why I will advocate non-Apple solutions to people who ask me advice on tech purchases, and why I personally will not buy an Apple device. There’s plenty of money coming from the zillions of people who are completely oblivious to the consequences of a dominant iOS.

        • End User
        • 8 years ago

        Microsoft, on the other hand, is pushing Windows on the world — which is a world of more expensive applications, BSOD and bad taste.

        That last bit is why I will advocate non-Microsoft solutions to people who ask me advice on tech purchases, and why I personally will not buy a Microsoft device. There’s plenty of money coming from the zillions of people who are completely oblivious to the consequences of a dominant OS.

          • A_Pickle
          • 8 years ago

          Bad taste? BSoDs? Expensive applications? None of that is true. BSoDs happen less frequently than ever before (and it’s not as if Mac OS X doesn’t have it’s share of kernel panics). Applications cost roughly the same on Windows as they do on Mac (unless you have a reliable source that argues otherwise), unlike the app pricing disparity between iOS and Android (for the record, Android apps are more often cheaper). As for “bad taste,” well, that’s subjective and I imagine that you, as a Mac zealot, don’t find Windows appealing.

          You could argue that a monopoly on PC operating systems is bad, but not very effectively. PCs, if you haven’t noticed, aren’t just the x86 desktops and laptops that we grew up with — they’re now sharing the limelight with Android and iOS tablets. At least Microsoft allows you to use their OSes on whatever machine you choose…

        • Beelzebubba9
        • 8 years ago

        Amusing that you’d pick Sony – the company who has pushed proprietary formats for both hardware and software for years – as the vanguard of openness. ATRAC and MagicGate anyone?

        I don’t understand the obsession with ‘openness’. I’m running Windows 7 and Ubuntu 11.04 in VMs on OS X Lion along with a mish-mash of software entirely of my choosing on all three platforms on my Mac. The only port on my laptop that is unique to Apple is the MagSafe power adapter, and every laptop company I know of uses power connectors specific to their lines. So how is the closed nature of my computer negatively effecting my work?

        Starting with Windows Phone 7 and now with Windows 8 (where Metro Apps will only be available through the app store), it looks like Microsoft is moving in the same direction as Apple has because they see the value in a platform that is more restrictive and therefore more reliable and usable for most users, but still leaves power users the options to re-configure their systems how they see fit. It’s amusing to me when nerds start the teeth gnashing that they might have to revert a few settings to restore their power user access to a new OS when they represent a tiny fraction of the market, and one whose wants often lie in direct contradiction to the majority of computer buyers.

        I work in IT and I, for one, welcome our new more usable overlords. I’ll always be able to root my smartphone or revert to the command line when I need to, so I’m glad OSs are moving in a direction that’s more usable for most of my customers.

        p.s. Your complaints about iOS are amusingly hyperbolic. I make a living by providing good advice to my customers based on their needs, not my prejudices. I hope yours are smarter than to succumb to fear mongering.

      • provoko
      • 8 years ago

      I would never give my kid something so expensive as a macbook and have it break, lost or stolen while at school. Compare that to an extremely affordable pc. Are you mac fans on crack, maybe you live off gold, I don’t know, but if you hate windows, install ubuntu which is free.

      Macbooks will not last longer, I have seen so many of them break or slow down faster than PCs, come to think of it, I don’t know anyone with a macbook older than 2 years, and the ones with 3 year old macbooks complain of X doesn’t work or is slow. Compare that to 5-10 year old PC laptops still chugging away, and when people complain, I format them with ubuntu and then it’s like “WOW MY COMPUTER IS SO FAST”.

      • Bensam123
      • 8 years ago

      People like this are perpetuating the haughty Macitude.

      For the same price of a Apple you could get a cheap laptop and a normal desktop. Crappy laptop for note taking and when you’re not at home and a desktop for everything else.

      Everyone scrambles for niche products, like tablets, but no one considers having more then one product that actually has a use anymore?

    • CampinCarl
    • 8 years ago

    Shocking that American consumers are a bunch of idiots, spending money on things they can’t afford because they don’t want to look like they can’t afford it.

      • 5150
      • 8 years ago

      Why’s he getting voted down? Truth hurts?

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        it would seem. in other news, north american debt is to record levels. canadians now have an average 147% annual income in short term debt (credit cards, loans, etc). awesome job guys! official recession is only 2 months away!

        • FuturePastNow
        • 8 years ago

        You know what hurts worse than truth? Making crap up.

          • Bensam123
          • 8 years ago

          American pride, fuck yeah!

          This is true. I’m an American and it’s full of tards. There is a reason reality TV is the highlight of TV, shows are switching to ADD encrusted programming, people buy brand new cars they shouldn’t buy instead of sending their kids to college, education is the first thing to be cut when we’re in a bind, and we’re fighting a war only because our reputation is on a line and we don’t want to look like a kid that threw a tantrum and drove our tanks on someone elses lawn.

          America now days is all about looks. We’re like a country of aristocrats that always forces its problems on someone else. Just take a look at our political system.

            • A_Pickle
            • 8 years ago

            [quote<]America now days is all about looks. We're like a country of aristocrats that always forces its problems on someone else. Just take a look at our political system.[/quote<] Your truthspeak makes me cry. I buy used cars... 🙁

          • BestJinjo
          • 8 years ago

          What are you stupid? What he said about Canadian debt-to-income ratio is 100% accurate.

          • shank15217
          • 8 years ago

          Yea like your posts about half the time.

      • End User
      • 8 years ago

      And since the VAST majority of the North American population uses Windows there is only one conclusion we can draw: Microsoft is to blame.

    • Hrunga Zmuda
    • 8 years ago

    That sound you hear is the cognitive dissonance causing heads to explode.

    And notice all the anti-Apple folks just whining and disclaiming and yelping out their threnodies.

    (Love the stick shaking. LOL)

    But even with all the Apple hate, it should be noted the complete bunk in the article itself.

    What pray tell? “Macs—premium machines by every definition of the term…”

    Which of course is NOT always the case, and by many definitions not so. Who, what, when, where and why would I say such an outrageous thing?

    Note the upcoming Ultranotebooks that are coming from the other manufacturers to take on the king of the category (and no doubt the main reason this article could have been written and also should be noted the single best selling computer in the world right now) the MacBook Air.

    Wait, what? Yeah, the Ultranotebook makers have already declared they can’t compete with the price of the MacBook Air. They’re asking Intel for a $100 subsidy so they can make their computers at prices that can compete or beat the MacBook Air.

    Premium machines by every definition? I don’t think so. Sure, Apple owns over 90 percent of the over $1,000 computer category. But now they’re also specializing in the price categories that were unheard of a few years back.

      • sweatshopking
      • 8 years ago

      ultrabooks are premium. THAT’S WHY THEY’RE CALLED ULTRA. apple is a premium maker, other’s are just making more premium model. I JUST BLEW UP YOUR ARGUMENT!!!!!!!!!

      • no51
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]Premium machines by every definition? I don't think so. Sure, Apple owns over 90 percent of the over $1,000 computer category. But now they're also specializing in the price categories that were unheard of a few years back.[/quote<] [i<]citation needed[/i<] I haven't seen a single Mac at work at I'm pretty sure those workstations cost more than $1000.

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        they do have 90% (sad as it is) of the 1000$+ LAPTOP sales. you’re right though, of total pc’s, they’re nothing.

    • geekl33tgamer
    • 8 years ago

    Hey, hey AppleInsider – Hey…. PC’s still have 80% market share* – Overlooked that did we??? 😀

    *Source: Gartner (April 2011 Global Webtrends figures)

      • sschaem
      • 8 years ago

      Its worse for Apple, they only hold 4% of the market by unit sold.

    • tviceman
    • 8 years ago

    Shiny toys are M0Ar fun.

    • sweatshopking
    • 8 years ago

    My wife goes to acadia university. it’s one of canada’s best universities. the computer that is recommended by the school, and the it dept, is a mac laptop. they also REQUIRE mac students to purchase windows and boot camp it up for all the school software. they don’t seem to notice that this is a stupid setup, and at least 50% of computers on campus are macs. it’s completely retarded.

    edit to clarify not a specific model of mac

      • A_Pickle
      • 8 years ago

      And it’s not like that’s an unnecessary barrier preventing access to higher education or anything.

      • End User
      • 8 years ago

      You made that up!

      “All students who will be, or are currently attending Acadia University, are required to have a laptop. This will give students a technology rich educational experience, and prepare them for the world at large with a familiarity of today’s technology. ”

      “Laptop Specifications
      The following is a set of specifications for you to use when you purchase your new laptop or validate your current system that you intend to bring. Be sure that what ever you purchase or already own meets or exceeds these specifications.

      *Acadia University’s Minimum Laptop Specifications
      Specification PC/Apple
      Operating System Windows Professional Edition(or higher) and/or MAC OS X operating system
      Processor 2.0 or greater GHz 32-bit (x86) processor
      Hard Drive 120 GB hard drive
      RAM 2 GB of system memory
      Graphics Memory 128 MB of graphics memory (minimum)
      Media Drives DVD-ROM drive
      Other USB 2.0 Capable
      Audio Output
      Internet Access (Ethernet)
      *Acadia University does not guarantee all systems with the above specifications will run all academic software or be compatible with all Acadia University’s computer peripherals.

      Some of our academic applications use the windows operating system and therefore Apple users may require the Windows 7 Professional / Windows Vista Busines or higher operating system. ”

      [url<]http://ts.acadiau.ca/tech-store.html[/url<]

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        i did NOT make it up. go to the IT dept and ask what is suggested. they tell you ALL the time to get a mac, cause they’re “better” and my wife’s required lab software is windows only, and half of her class has macs, and was told to get bootcamp. it’s not made up at all, you’re just a sad pony.

        you ever try arguing with a woman about something she thinks she needs? she was convinced that the software would only work on a mac running windows, as that’s what is communicated to the students. i had to spend forever trying to convince her otherwise. “Macs are what you should buy, and install windows, for your lab work.”

          • End User
          • 8 years ago

          Interesting. You specifically mentioned “Mac Pro” in your original post. Now it is just “mac”. Your run of FUD continues!

            • sweatshopking
            • 8 years ago

            mac pro’s are mac laptops, since they canceled the plastic one. besides the air, are they making any non-pro macbooks these days? i thought that they were all “pros” now. if not, excuse the error, if you were concerned about the specs, just read the first one as mac laptops, as that’s what i meant.

            • End User
            • 8 years ago

            [url<]http://www.apple.com/macpro/[/url<]

            • sweatshopking
            • 8 years ago

            i meant macbook pro, so they’re just called macbooks, gotcha. i thought they were split into macbooks, and macbooks pro

        • mcnabney
        • 8 years ago

        They require Windows Pro? I call BS on that one. I really doubt the school actually requires the more advanced networking and remote access features that Pro offers over Premium. And really, a DVD drive?

    • tejas84
    • 8 years ago

    This website recently has become the most doom mongering site equal to Ars Technica. I swear TR has it in for the PC platform.

      • sschaem
      • 8 years ago

      Its the flavor of the day. Lets ignore that PC grew by more units then the TOTAL amount of the mac sales…
      “PC vendors shouldn’t be too discouraged” …. No they shouldn’t. The market grew and over 100 million unit sold and 2011 is again getting close to half a billion unit!!!
      2012 with windows8 is expected to break that mile stone.
      And if/when the DOJ fine Apple in unlocking OSX (like windows is) Apple HW sale will drop like a rock.

      • Bauxite
      • 8 years ago

      apple
      *click*click*

      apple
      *click*click*click*click*

      apple apple
      *click*click**click*click*click*click*click*click*click*click*

      apple apple apple
      *click*click*click*click*click*click*click*click*click*click*click*click*click*click*click*click*click*click*

      I think its more about this, which has infected a lot of formerly enjoyable tech sites over the last few years.

        • End User
        • 8 years ago

        I totally agree. We should sweep aside the tremendous impact Apple has had on the industry. Apple’s track record of technological inovation over the past 10+ years should be ignored.

    • bthylafh
    • 8 years ago

    Generic anti-Apple post.
    /meta

      • ew
      • 8 years ago

      Statement about how wrong you are + personal insult!

    • geekl33tgamer
    • 8 years ago

    I.T. teachers at school clearly are not teaching kids anything…

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 8 years ago

    Stupid kids.

    /shakes stick

      • willyolio
      • 8 years ago

      this just in: kids follow fashion trends instead of making utilitarian purchases, film at 11.

      • link626
      • 8 years ago

      you mean stupid parents…… who give in to their kids’ whims.

    • A_Pickle
    • 8 years ago

    Ugh, PLEASE.

      • geekl33tgamer
      • 8 years ago

      I’m sure people are drawn to the shiny logo outside the stores. Can’t see any other reason why anyone would find an excuse to go into an Apple store…

    • 5150
    • 8 years ago

    One of the reasons this country is in the crapper, people spending way more than they need on things and throwing it on the credit card.

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 8 years ago

      Waste of Money for most students, lol. Since apple lost their niche status with the design community (meaning adobe started supporting windows development properly) apple has become a BRAND pure and simple with little real benefit beyond some nice industrial design. Getting a kid an apple laptop is akin to getting him a pointlessly nice car before he gets his first job, just ruins the motivation to do well for ones self, lol.

      I’m not hear to hate on apple but just to point out that these consumers are either not suffering from lack of money or that they are extremely ignorant as to what a deal is. Apple laptops are good products but I consider them pretty premium and not something a college student needs to spill beer on. My sister destroyed 3 laptops at school and I think that laptops have a poor half life in college. Best you get a cheaper brand and full coverage extended warranty.

      I feel like this just means there are more mac books for dorm thieves to steal now.

        • ew
        • 8 years ago

        I’m sure I’ll get down votes for this but…

        My sister bought a 15″ Macbook Pro when she started graduate school about three years ago. I think it was about $2k at the time and way way overkill for what she needed in terms of performance. I convinced her to get it mainly because at the time the Macbook Pro’s had significantly better build quality then anything else and I figured it would last a long time. She still uses it today and it is still way overkill for what she needs. It will probably last her three more years.

        The best part is that I haven’t had to help her fix the thing once. Not a single time!

          • walruslove
          • 8 years ago

          Your sample size of 1 is incredibly relevant.

            • ew
            • 8 years ago

            Still better than the parent and grandparent posts which were speculating with a sample size of zero.

            EDIT: er, just the grandparent. So I guess it’s just 1:1.

      • Corrado
      • 8 years ago

      I didn’t know you were an economist in your day job…

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