Peak Mac? | SplatF →

July 24, 2013 |

Dan Frommer, back in January, arguing the case that Mac sales may have peaked for good. This is relevant in light of Apple’s Q3 results, which show a significant decline in Mac sales compared to the year-ago quarter. An interesting thought:

Are things like iPhones and iPads — and just better Macs than before, such as the amazing MacBook Air I’m using now — driving slower Mac replacement cycles? (In my case, yes, but perhaps I’m an anomaly.)

I too must be an anomaly. I use 3 different Macs every day, for work and play, and all of them are at least 3 years old (2008 24" iMac, 2009 20" iMac and 2010 13" MacBook Pro). They’re all still working great and I have no plans to replace any of them anytime soon.

If you look at the numbers, that means I bought a new Mac every year for 3 straight years (2008, 2009 and 2010), and then nothing else (not counting iPads/iPhones of course). I could easily see myself making it into 2015 without needing to upgrade any of my Macs, which would make it an upgrade cycle of at least 5 years for my MacBook Pro and 7 (!) for my first iMac. That fits right into Dan’s case that significantly better Macs have made the typical user’s upgrade cycle significantly longer.

It makes sense that this could be contributing to the overall slowing down of Mac sales because the Mac market is probably more saturated than say, the iPad market: the number of people that are buying their first Mac ever is considerably lower than the number of people that are buying their first iPad, and sales to new customers is where the growth is.