Mac sales 2013: 7 Reasons why sales are falling

Recent figures show that Mac sales in 2013 are down 200,000 units on 2012, calling into question the future of one of the most iconic computing products of its age. The Mac has been Apple’s anchor product since the company was founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. We investigate 7 reasons why Mac sales are crashing in 2013

The original 1970’s Mac

A cursory glance at the Apple figures released recently paint the picture of an organisation in rude health. The company released their financial figures on July 23rd, showing the company had generated $35 billion in sales during the last quarter, yielding a mighty impressive $6.9 billion in net profit. Far from a company showing the early signals of decline, Apple revenues were up $300 million on the corresponding quarter of 2012. Dig a little deeper, and things get somewhat less rosy, including declining market share in the smartphone market and declining sales of Macs and iPads.

That deeper introspection finds that Apple’s profit has fallen quarter to quarter in 2013, down from $8.8 billion last year to $6.9 billion in 2013 – a massive differential of nearly $2 billion. There are many reasons for this, but declining sales of the company’s anchor product, the Macintosh, are chief amongst them. Figures show Apple are on course to sell 200,000 less Mac’s in 2013 compared to 2012. Whilst its possible to glance over declining sales of the iPhone (the 5 is at the end of its cycle, and to an extent the iPad, as Apple have canibalised their own figures with the iPad mini and the news of an upcoming iPad 5), it is harder to gloss over the declining sales in their Mac division. Below are 10 reasons that go some way to explaining why sales are declining in 2013:

The iPad is eating into Mac sales

The entry level Mac is only 11 inches, putting it a mere couple of inches larger than the top spec iPad. With rumors of a new larger iPad coming (13 inch model), this is only set to continue.

The iPad has been eating into Mac sales since 2010. Photo credit: Macrumors

Apple are pricing themselves out of the game

Apple will launch the new Mac pro later in 2013, but it could be burdened by its own super-specifications. Wit the sheer amount of grunt that Apple are setting to launch it with, you can bet that it will sell at $2,000+ (1,500 GBP). In this day and age, Apple may find that there are simply too many other compelling options on the market for the regular consumer.


The Mac may be becoming an afterthought for Apple

The Mac is the defining product of Apple inc, but Apple’s top brass are pouring all of their focus into mobile devices. Having taken a bettering in the smartphone market by Samsung, Apple need to get the iPhone 6 right in September. With declining iPad sales, there will also be a huge emphasis on nailing the iPad 5 this Autumn. Therefore, its maybe no huge surprise that at the July 23rd summit, Apple were focusing entirely on mobile. Perhaps for the first real time, the Mac is now a mere afterthought

The Apple 2013 lineup is set to grow, and with a company wide focus on mobile devices, the Mac may be slipping in Apple’s focus

Macbooks losing out to ultrabooks

Ultrabook’s had a rocky start, but analysts expect them to have three very strong quarters moving forward. They’re light, nimble and highly affordable, and they’re sure to put additional pressure on Macbooks. Do most consumers really need the full horse power that comes from a Macbook? The growth in tablet sales perhaps suggests otherwise, and many are now seeing an Ultrabook as a tablet with a keyboard.

The desktop is dying

Desktop sales have been in near-terminal decline for some time now, as the world becomes appreciably more mobile focused when it comes to their devices. Emerging markets have virtually skipped the desktop entirely, in favor of mobile devices. Add in that many consumers have realised that they don;t need a notebook to sit in front of the TV and browse the net on a second screen – for many a tablet will more than suffice – therefore Mac’s are getting squeezed from both sides.

Changing consumer tastes are making desktop based Mac’s a dying breed

Mac’s aren’t as good business any more

They cost more than ever to manufacture, yet consumers no longer clamor for them. Component prices have been going up as consumer sales have been declining. Therefore Apple are finding it harder and harder to maintain their stellar margins on Mac’s, especially under intense pressure from other manufacturers. All of this helps to explain why the Cupertino based giants may be looking elsewhere in their product lineup during 2013 and beyond.

Apple’s perception is falling

Since their reincarnation as a super-cool company, Apple have had a stellar run. Over the past decade or so, there have been many times where products have sold well just because they were made by Apple. Now, lacking the visionary leadership of Steve Jobs, and croaking under sustained attack on all product divisions, Apple are just starting to feel like yesterdays news. The market in 2013 is changing as fast as the technology in it, and that may not bode too well for the Mac or for Apple.

A man with this level of innovation, drive and leadership would take some replacing for any organisation. Apple are yet to overcome the loss of their charismatic CEO and founder, Steve Jobs


One senses that the final quarter of this year is going to be huge for Apple. A new iPhone, a new iPad, a new headline Mac and perhaps a vast array of new features and new screen sizes. All has the potential to reinvigorate and regather some lost market interest. The Mac though remains one of the most iconic pieces of technology of its age, so lets hope Apple don;t leave it to rack and ruin.



 It’s that last tidbit of information that might be enough to worry at least some of the company’s shareholders and fans. Yes, things are still looking quite good for Apple on paper, but closer inspection shows there are problems in the business the company needs to address. Try as it might to reassure stakeholders about its future, it appears that Apple has a real issue on its hands with the Macs. This eWEEK slide show examines Apple’s Mac business and discusses why it should pay close attention to what is happening in that important division. – See more at:
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