C|Net: More to Mac Sales Than Halo

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Looking at the Apple sales numbers in detail, it remains impossible to attribute Appleis sales growth to the iPod halo effect alone. There are other effects, according to C|Net on Monday.

The halo effect results when iPod customers go into an Apple store, have enjoyed their iPod experience, and see the Mac in possibly a new way. Apple has sold 120 million iPods, and many of the visitors to Appleis retail stores become new Mac owners.

"... despite the recent results, itis just not that simple," Tom Krazit wrote. " Apple sold 473,000 Macs at its retail stores. That means weire talking about something like 200,000 people last quarter who were new to the Mac."

Thatis not enough to account for all of Appleis sales growth.

"Maybe Mac shipments are growing because people have had two or three Windows PCs in their lifetime, and are looking for something different," Mr. Krazit observed. "Maybe Mac shipments are growing because people are upgrading older PowerPC-based systems to Intel-based systems. Maybe younger buyers, a larger segment of the population than us Gen Xers, prefer the Mac over the PC. And, yes, maybe Mac shipments are growing because of the amazing swirl around Apple in 2007 spearheaded by the iPhone."

More questions were posed by the C|Net author. "Are you more likely to buy an HP PC because you own (and like) your HP printer? Are you more likely to buy a Sony television because youive spent thousands of quality hours with your PlayStation 2? Maybe, maybe not."

Appleis growth, then, could be a combination of many factors. Thereis no penalty in switching to a Mac now. Windows can run nicely on them. Apple has world-class marketing and design. In short, all the factors that Apple has been emphasizing lately could account for their success rather than a mere iPod halo effect alone.

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