We don’t know what to believe anymore. Are Mac sales being eaten up by iPads this holiday season? Does the iPad mark a changing of the guard for old technology models like personal computers? Okay, these are exaggerations. The personal computer isn’t going anywhere fast, but Apple’s iPad just outsold Macs on Black Friday. There were 8.8 iPads sold per hour per store, and Macs were shipping at 8.2 per hour per store.
That’s down 0.1 percent for Macs over last year on Black Friday, according to Fortune’s Philip Elmet-DeWitt and based on findings from Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster. If there was ever a case against the cannibalization of a market, this might be it. Year over year, with the introduction of the iPad this year, the Mac market only declined 0.1 percent. This is not exactly indicative of a market where the iPad is eating the Mac for dinner, is it?
There was a bigger differential in Mac sales per hour between 2008 (13%) and 2009 (8.3%), than there was this year over last, and the 2009 and 2008 difference didn’t even have the iPad to contend with.
Perhaps the most telling analysis from the Fortune article is this, “we noticed that the iPad is gaining traction (driven by lower price vs. the Mac) among demographics in which the Mac has historically not been successful. The bottom line is that Apple’s addressable market is expanding with the iPad” (Fortune). The iPad undoubtably makes a great introductory product to the Apple world, alongside the iPhone. It’s for reasons such as this that Apple’s looking to integrate some of the iOS models into the OS X lineup (Mac App Store, etc).
Could it really be this simple? Do Mac users see the iPad as a complementary device, and new adopters see it as a stepping stone into the world of Apple? It could explain how Mac sales are continuing on pace without much change.