Notebook Computers Get Fruity

Last Updated Aug 20, 2007 6:24 PM EDT

The Apple MacBook Pro Taking Off in SalesThe home computer market is all but through with desktops and thoroughly enamored with notebooks. Last month, U.S. retail sales of notebook computers jumped 40 percent from the year before, while desktop sales declined overall. But that's not the headline finding from the NPD Group market report released on Friday.

Apple's share of laptop sales last month spiked to 14.3 percent, up nearly two full points from April. The report also indicated that Apple notebook sales ballooned a staggering 65 percent year-over-year, whereas sales of Windows-platform notebooks grew a measly 37 percent. The fruitful company is now number four in notebook sales, behind Gateway, Dell, and HP. Apple's growing success in the home computing market is not simply coincidental with their iPod mobile music hegemony, and now, their rock-star assault on handsets with the launch of the iPhone later this week. Barry Levine reports in a CIO Today article:

The increase [in Apple notebook sales] reflects not only the numbers of units sold, said Samir Bhavnani, research director at Current Analysis West, but also Apple's increase in "mindshare."
Apple's computers continue to be known for their ease of use, he said, and the now-famous TV commercials are a big reason. They "highlight the issues that customers seem to have with Windows-based PCs," Bhavnani added. Apple is increasing its sales, he pointed out, even though Apple laptops' average selling price is over $1,000, while PCs sell at an average of about $800.
Apple's momentum in computers has been growing since the switch to Intel-based microprocessors was first announced in 2006, he said, and it's been propelled by the exposure to Apple-ness by iPod users. The recent release of MacBook Pro laptops using Intel's new Core 2 Duo chip also stimulated growth, he said, and the upcoming tidal wave of hype surrounding the iPhone launch can only help lift all of Apple's boats.
Apple's skyrocketing notebook computer success offers more proof that the company is a phenomenal branding machine, leveraging the Apple identity across all their product lines. Because the truth is, especially in the younger generation, the Mac-PC decision has little to do with functionality -- Apples are just cooler than all the other computers.

(Image of Apple Notebook Computer by Gepat, CC 2.0)