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back to article Apple bests Dell for first time as preferred US consumer PC choice

Apple is now the preferred choice of US consumers shopping for desktop PCs, according to a nationwide survey of 2,500 "US broadband households" conducted by the research firm Parks Associates. "Apple topped the list of intended brands for desktop purchases for the first time this year," said Parks Associates' director of …

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Anonymous Coward

So.....

How long before the smarting Apple Haters make their excuses?

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Anonymous Coward

About 5 minutes. It's indicative only of the lack of intelligence shown by American corporate and otherwise mass users.

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Bronze badge

Bleh.

The numbers were surveys of people who have yet to go out to buy the things.

Now, let's see what happens when they see the price sticker.

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Hoe

Who needs to make excuses, they still haven't beat the PC only 1 manufacturer, if \ when they beat Windows PC sales as a whole that will be a real milestone.

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Anonymous Coward

There is a huge flaw you your logic Hoe. Microsoft is the dominant force in the Office suite space which allows them to control the desktop like they and thus have a strong Windows server presence. Microsoft is playing a dangerous game as in the near future, smart devices will outsell PC's. Right now Microsoft is using Office as a way to sell the smart devices. What happens when the smart devices go past PC devices and companies start looking at alternatives? Once Microsoft loses the Office suite market, they lose their desktop edge and then the server OS side as well. Many companies have not switched because they don't want to retain users but when over half have a smart device, you need to train them anyway. That leaves the minority that would need to be retrained and that is far easier. Another option is if a company views that those users could use a smart device instead, they just switch the user. See how this puts Microsoft in a bad position? Microsoft is playing a dangerous game by controlling the market with one product that it sells others but the way the market is headed, Microsoft is having a very hard time getting any traction into that space. The Office suite market is for Microsoft to lose at this point and then the Microsoft we know today will no longer exist. Microsoft needs to release Office for iOS, Androis, Sailfish OS, Firefox and Tizen if they want to keep the Office market and thus the desktop and server side as well. Who needs Windows and their servers if Microsoft Office is no longer used?

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@ Hoe

"Who needs to make excuses, they still haven't beat the PC only 1 manufacturer, if \ when

they beat Windows PC sales as a whole that will be a real milestone."

So, if I'm understanding your argument correctly, it would be unimportant that, e.g., Toyota is the top-selling carmaker in the world because they aren't outselling all other car makers combined...?

...Does that make sense, even to you...?

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Holmes

PCs beat Apple

Who cares if Apple turns more profit than the entire PC industry?

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Anonymous Coward

That's like expecting BMW to sell more cars than almost everyone else combined - i.e. unrealistic.

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@Hoe

Apple will never beat the whole PC market, just like they'll never beat the whole Android market.

They've never claimed they're trying to do so either, and if they are secretly are they're obviously stupid because there isn't one single mass market product in the world where something sold in the high priced end has the biggest market share.

Still, if someone had claimed in 2000 that Apple would someday be more profitable selling computers than everyone PCs combined (talking OEMs like Dell & Lenovo, not including Microsoft and Intel who sell stuff used in PCs but not PCs themselves) everyone would say they're crazy.

Apple isn't taking the PC world by storm, and never will, but being the most "preferred" choice in these markets at least means that more people buying a computer/tablet/set top are looking at Apple's offerings first. Some may be turned off by the higher price and go for their second or third choice to save money, but most companies are pretty damn happy to be on consumers' short lists, let alone at the top of their short list. That's half the battle.

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Anonymous Coward

I don't think the non-manufacturers will be concerned given the niche group used in the sample. What percentage of people have broadband, to begin with... and what speed did the particular group have? How much discretionary money does this group have?

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Greetings, Long time Windows user here. Kinda hate to say it, but the story would probably be more accurate if the title read OSX beats Windows 8 making way for Apple to surpass Dell in consumer PC sales.

I don't own apple nothing yet, but when looking for a new computer, Apple will beat out ANYTHING with that abomination Microsoft is attempting to force on the world.

Microsoft better figure out they are messing up pretty quick. Thanks to Android people are discovering that a Linux based OS isn't the nightmare Microsoft says it is. Valve is making big moves with it's Linux client. (Games help push consumer pc sales) And game devs are discovering it's quite easy to port for Linux / OSX / PS4. Gonna leave MS crying in their coffee when software developers decide the windows platform isn't worth their time..

Oh and to our anonymous friend. Office is one of the easiest suites to replace without leaving users lost. Especially at the consumer level. Corporate? Yea, you gotta convince the close minded boss. LoL

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Silver badge

The article hasn't claimed that Apple have beaten Dell in PC sales. Only that for customers considering a PC, Apple is top of the list of brands they'd consider buying, whereas Dell used to be.

As the article rightly states, there's many a slip 'twixt cup and lip, or to put it another way: wanting to buy a Mac is easy; actually paying Apple's prices for one isn't for many people. I'm still the "Mac guy" in my social circle, and my non-techy friends often ask me about getting a Mac. I go through the pros and cons, and they're enthusiastic right up until they see the prices, and then they ask me what the best Windows laptop is...

Essentially, this is a survey of brand awareness, not sales. Look at the "tablets" list: Google aren't even on that list, even though they produce the best Android tablets, and sell quite a lot of them. What will happen is that someone considering a Samsung tablet will go to a retail store to try it out, and while there they'll see the other options. Similarly, while it's heartening news for Microsoft to see that the Surface line now has good brand recognition, their sales don't match this awareness yet.

You make an interesting inference that people are looking at Windows 8, not liking it, and thus buying Macs. However, the various OS usage figures paint a different story. OS X is more or less static at 8%, Win8 and 8.1 together have about 13%, Windows 7 and XP have between 30% and 40% each, but even a year after the launch of 8, Windows 7's market share is growing much faster than Win8's. It's far more likely that people are buying new hardware and installing Windows 7 on it, or upgrading Vista systems to 7 than abandoning Microsoft entirely and jumping camp to Apple

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PJI

Office?

Actually, MS Office is rather good on OSX, arguably better than on a Windows platform. So, for those not wedded to Windows and who need or like MS Office, OSX is a very good option, offered on attractive, decent hardware with a fair lifespan and proper support channels if anything does go wrong. Even the price differences are not so obvious for similar quality and design, ameliorated further by the aforesaid lifespan.

If the user does want access to full Windows or Linux, there is a choice of several virtual machine products to use as well as bootcamp, some of which are free, such as Virtualbox from Oracle.

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Anonymous Coward

Microsoft have Office but seem to expect people to buy it as a subscription these days so it works out EVEN more expensive. Windows 8 is a bit of a dog so they had to bring out 8.1 and is it really much better than Windows 7 - maybe but not a big deal. Also Windows is relatively expensive to upgrade to 8.

Compare to Apple - software and hardware support in one place, arguably more secure, easier to support and maintain, OS designed for better performance and reliability to run on their hardware, features that Microsoft deem as premium built in (remote desktop, encryption etc.) and the OS is free, upgrading is free and their office suite is free. Quite compelling.

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Apple is now the preferred choice of US consumers shopping for desktop PCs

Since when did Apple make PCs?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple is now the preferred choice of US consumers shopping for desktop PCs

Since when did Apple make PCs?

fyi

PC != Microsoft Windows running machine

PC == personal computer (as opposed to a mainframe with a thin client or a mobile device like a tablet)

they've actually been making PCs as long as the company has existed.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple is now the preferred choice of US consumers shopping for desktop PCs

I think Apple's been making personal computers (PCs) since exactly 1976, with the PCB only Apple 1. The boxed Apple ][ PC dated from 1977 and the Mac series started in 1984.

If you mean PCs based on the IBM PC - running Windows, then I'd say, around 2006. Thats when I tried XP on a MacBook Pro and found it a far superior PC to the other available Windows PCs (unless you needed an RS-232 serial port)

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Re: Since when did Apple make PCs?

Since before IBM

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Re: Apple is now the preferred choice of US consumers shopping for desktop PCs

I think we are trying to oversimplify tthings here. Personal Computer was the designation of IBM's first microcomputer with an Intel instruction set (8088) and supporting motherboard. There have been many generations with backwards compatibility since then to all of which would apply the term 'PC', but otherwise it's not a PC, even if it looks like one.

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I don't desire any brand of PC in particular. I certainly can't imagine why you would desire a Dell or HP over anyone other PC manufacturer really considering the build quality issues they have both had in the past, from my experience anyway. I am not sure you can really have Apple in the list anyway as it is comparing a high end only product to something that can be at all extremes. I don't know, it leaves me a bit 'meh' as the kids say.

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Anonymous Coward

Apple is shiny and overpriced, true

but the secret is to buy 'refurb'

e.g. don't spend €3000 on a Mac Pro 3,4GHz Quad-core Xeon, 1TB Fusion, 12GB RAM on 17th Dec2013....just wait 'till May and it'll surely pop-up on the Apple refurb page for only €2500.

(You will need to add the Dell €900+ 4K display, as nobody will be able to afford the new Apple 4K displays!)

As for the 'high-end', nope, I snapped up a great Refurb MacBook Air for £549 this year instead of the new list price of £849, I've also happily bought a Lenovo lappy from their outlet - I personally wouldn't waste money on any other brands - 'cept perhaps a £200 Chromebook.

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Re: Apple is shiny and overpriced, true

Be aware that refurbs from all sources have warranty cover, but with exclusions, and they can often be systems which had multiple faults, only one of which was fixed before sale. Ask me how I know...

I agree on the monitors, though. Dell's current high-end is superb, and on any objective measure they are better than Apple's offerings - particularly on colour rendering, which to me is the only important thing on an LCD display (I don't play games, so transition time is something I don't care about now that all displays offer acceptable levels).

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Re: Apple is shiny and overpriced, true

Actually, when Apple pushed the Cinema display at first, it was the best deal going for a monitor of that size and resolution. Apple knows they're going to get pretty good sales volumes with a product like that compared to what others might get, so they can do larger production runs and get some economies of scale. Before long others who work on much lower margins undercut them, then quality starts getting cut in a race to the bottom leaving Apple looking expensive.

But I wouldn't be surprised to see Apple offer a ~30" 4K display that's cheaper than what Dell is selling. And note the difference in size/quality between their three 4K models and note one is already a cut-quality version compared to the other two...

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Re: Apple is shiny and overpriced, true

Dell's 4k screen isn't the 4k that cinemas use - it's 3840 by whatever, so can't show cinema 4096xwhatever in native res. Very significant for the folks who want to edit 4k professionally.

If Apple has got hold of screens that'll do true cinema 4k, they'll clean up no matter what the price. And the price will be more than the Mac Pro needed to drive them!

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Re: Apple is shiny and overpriced, true

No warranty exclusions on the Apple refurbs, they get the same Applecare 1 year included / plus two years if you pay as any other Apple kit. I had a dead-shortly-after-arrival refurb iMac replaced immediately with a non-refurb one.

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Re: Apple is shiny and overpriced, true

Cinema Display is the name Apple uses for their monitors.

4K for TV is 3840x2160, 4K Digital Cinema used in movie theatres is 4096x2160. Hardly any difference, and no one would "clean up" if they had that 5% wider screen. Blu Rays will be cropped to 3840x2160 so you'd end up with thin black bars on either side if you had a 4096x2160 display.

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Anonymous Coward

The list reads more like a list of rejects than winners...

I move a fair bit of product and I've got to say the PC side of the list reads more like a list of rejects than winners. So HP and DELL top the PC list, but no Toshiba eh? I think Acer ranks better than all the others... At least they're cheap and don't take themselves too seriously. ASUS used to have great netbooks but they threw those under the bus, and are now hurting their own brand by aggressively pushing gaming laptops with bad video cards. Moreover, Asus have successfully destroyed the idea of customer service, much like the 1984 movie successfully destroyed orgasms!

...And HP, don't get me started. My lady bought an overpriced HP, the screen lasted for 6 months, but the store refused to honour the warranty on a technicality. We can fight it I'm sure, but who has time anymore.

...And DELL for consumer PC's.. Are we talking today or a decade ago?... Talk about, overpriced, unreliable, lousy after sales... The DELL site is saturated with hidden costs and few great offers... Who needs that!

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Anonymous Coward

Interesting

So where are Xbox 360/1 and PS-3/4 on that list of streaming devices? Seriously who in their right mind would buy a device that is limited to only doing one thing?

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what happened with laptops ?

Are they counted as desktops ? Most of the laptops I see being toted by consumers these days are Apple.

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MS surface at number 4 in the tablet list? Interesting that no sign of google nexus in that chart, even though I know plenty of people with one and only one person with a surface!

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Anonymous Coward

"Interesting that no sign of google nexus in that chart"

Google don't make tablets, Nexus tablets are made by Samsung and Asus.

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Robert Heinlein

Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.

*I'm sure he nicked that from elsewhere.

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Slx

Like them or loath them, Apple make very nice kit.

My personal experience with a few laptops over the years has been that the Apple gear has lasted longer, doesn't seem to be as prone to having bits fall of it or scratching up relative to other brands and is generally just that little bit better from a physical design point of view.

Apple's kit's prices are definitely a bit saucy though!

The other thing I would say is that I have had very positive experiences of Apple support both in terms of software updates for iPhones, iPads etc vs very slow and chaotic updates for Android devices from both Samsung and HTC. They've also started releasing completely free updates for OS X which is a nice touch on the desktop and laptop.

I'm not a diehard Apple fan or anything like that and I do shop around for my electronics and definitely consider other brands anytime I'm upgrading. However, I think at the moment Apple just have a lot of things right.

The other big factor I think has been Windows 8. Microsoft shot the PC industry in both feet with that bloody awful tile interface. A lot of people look at it and think it's some kind of weird alien interface and just do not like it.

OS X on the other hand has had very gentle upgrades since 2002 and in many cases it's far less of a jump from Windows 7 to OS X than Windows 7 to Windows 8!

I'm sorry to say this but Window 8 was a *HUGE* *HUGE* mistake! It's up there with "New Coke".

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Anonymous Coward

Meh

Only indicative of America's lack of intelligence perhaps with regards to mass consumerism. Then again, Dell - it's hardly stiff competition is it.

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Are their unit sales going up or is just the PC market is collapsing?

Oh no - this was just preferred sales!

Well in that case ferrari is outselling ford over here!

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They think they are going to buy a Mac and then they ask the salesperson if they have a Mac for under $500 and later walk out with a Windows OS computer. This isn't a slam on Apple, it's just that not everyone can afford an Apple computer. Same hold true with IOS vs. Android really.

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Thumb Up

When you look at screen quality, fit and finish, and specifications Apple gear is usually competitively priced. The Windows world is so varied that on any given day SOMEONE has a deal that is better. You will always get good value for money with Apple when you factor in resale value. Windows laptops have NONE.

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