Vista Drags Down Apple's Mac Sales

Dennis Faas's picture

A few weeks ago we talked about speculation surrounding the delay of the new Mac operating system (OS) from Apple, Leopard.

In order to better accommodate Microsoft's own new OS, Windows Vista, some experts believed Apple pushed back their product until the fall, an action that disappointed many Mac maniacs. There may be more fist-shaking today, with news that Windows Vista likely sapped Macintosh hardware sales during its last period.

Looking at the numbers, it seems fairly obvious that some sort of major release put the squeeze on Mac success during Apple's second fiscal quarter of 2007. Although those figures are still impressive -- 88 percent year-over-year gain -- total shipments dropped six percent from the previous annum, with portable shipments dropping a more significant 8 percent. This, despite recent reports that there would be no such impact. (Source:

Matching up the calendar and important dates, it's fairly clear: Apple's stunted growth comes at the same time Microsoft released its powerful Vista, featuring heightened security, a new graphical engine (Aero), and the kind of hype only Microsoft can generate in the software sphere.

Although experts do believe Vista had an impact on Mac sales, they also doubt it will impede Apple's steady momentum in the long run. The fact that PC sales failed to rise over the same period proves that Vista sold primarily as a software purchase, and may have only prolonged the life-cycle of older systems. (Source:

The most puzzling decline in the numbers -- slight as they are -- is the drag of portable sales. With laptops quickly leap-frogging desktops in overall sales, the more significant drop in notebook shipments may lead Apple to re-evaluate its marketing strategy.

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