The holiday season wasn’t great for computer manufacturers this year. Gartner, an industry-watcher and specialist, has delivered some preliminary shipment tallies for PCs which won’t exactly light up computer makers’ spirits.
A startling 10.1% drop in domestic computer shipments was felt fourth quarter, rocking the industry. Dell’s losses were the worst at 16.4%.
HP met Dell with some gap-shrinking shifts in sales. Apple, however, held well to its customers.
That isn’t the end of the story with Apple, though. Three months ago, Apple was the third-biggest company in terms of stateside shipments, occupying 9.5% of the market. Acer only had 8.9% and was shunted out of the top three. Apple shipments were growing to overtake last year by over 30%. Clearly, Acer is taking the lead and the momentum.
While Acer is starting to beat Apple for shipments, it’s worth noting that Apple’s MacBooks and desktops sell for far more than Acer machines. Unit shipment isn’t the end-all statistic for describing a company’s success. However, these numbers raise an interesting question: How long can Apple stay out of the netbook market considering this trend?
Apple fans might say getting into netbooks would “eat into its margins, validate a niche industry, and come at the expense of its higher-end machines.” However, what if Apple netbooks steal consumers who might otherwise pick up an Acer Aspire One?
The market wants netbooks. Just look at the $99 RadioShack netbook deal, a similar deal by AT&T, or the Amazon.com bestseller list.
There was a time when Apple was a niche market, but now they should really respond to what’s going on. It’s time for an Apple netbook.