Why Are Apple’s Mac Sales Taking a Hit?

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Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) MacBook line saw a 6 percent year-over-year decrease in U.S. sales over the five-week holiday sales period even as its average selling price grew by nearly $100 to $1,419. However, the decline was even more significant for Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows PCs, with sales down 11 percent year-over-year despite the launch of the Windows 8 operating system, NPD Group said in a new report.

The average selling price of Windows notebooks went up by $2 to $420, with touchscreen Windows 8 devices on the higher end with an ASP of $700. These accounted for 4.5 percent of all Windows notebook sales. In contrast, sales of sub-$500 PCs fell 16 percent year-over-year as Apple’s iPad made inroads in the category.

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According to Apple Insider, the MacBook decline could possibly be blamed on the fact Apple only released one new laptop, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, ahead of the 2012 holiday shopping season. Updates to other portable computers in the company’s lineup had come over the summer. In contrast, it had updated its entire MacBook Pro lineup in late 2011.

Holiday sales of the complete Mac line — including desktops — is also predicted to see a hit, considering the redesigned iMac only had limited availability before Christmas. By comparison, the 2011 holiday quarter was a record one for the Mac, with best-ever sales for the company at 5.2 million units.

NPD’s measurements for this report were made between November 18 and December 22.

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