ChangeWave Survey Shows Slight Slowing in Mac Sales

A ChangeWave Research survey, published on Thursday, asked its members about their Mac purchases in the last 90 days, and there was only a slight dip in September. Going forward, the dip is a bit more pronounced.

The survey of 4,262 consumers was conducted September 16-26 and obtained by TMO. It asked customers who bought a computer in the last 90 days what brand and type they bought, desktop or notebook.

"...while the latest Mac results are down slightly, theyire still quite close to the highs reached in both our July and August surveys ? when the Mac halo effect caused by the release of the 3G iPhone was still in effect," Paul Carton, Director of Research said.

Source: ChangeWave Research

"When you look at the July, August and September surveys in combination, the results say that Apple should meet its Mac sales numbers for the July 1 ? September 30th quarter," the report concluded.

The outlook for the next 90 days is slightly more dramatic. There was about a 5-6 percent drop in those planning to buy a Mac compared to other brands. [That could suggest that price conscious customers could be planning for a less expensive alternative.]

Source: ChangeWave Research

"Bottom line, while Appleis guidance is normally conservative, we expect it to be much more so on October 21st when it provides its Mac sales projections for the holiday season," Mr. Carton wrote.

"Long term, the company still has a tremendous outlook. One example, our latest consumer cell phone survey shows the smart phone market thriving, and among respondents planning to buy a new smart phone in the next 90 days, more than a third (34%) say theyill get an Apple iPhone -- the highest level of smart phone demand in the industry."

The vulnerability of Mac sales to the current economic problems was seen as the number one issue for Apple.