Apple's Gadget Sales Fell in January
Posted on February 19, 2009The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple's unit sales fell 6% in January 2009 compared with January 2008's figures. The dollar value of Apple's sales fell by a steeper amount (11%) as consumers turned away from Apple's pricier computer models.
The report could be good news for some of Apple's many rivals in the computer and smartphones markets that offer lower-priced gadgets. Apple could reduce prices to try and increase demand but they did not return the WSJ's calls. There have been rumors that Apple may release a $99 iPhone this summer.Demand for Apple's laptop computers, in particular, had remained relatively solid for months despite the economic downturn as consumers were willing to pay higher prices for a sleek design and unique operating system. But NPD analyst Stephen Baker said consumers are becoming more price-sensitive as the economic climate continues to worsen.
"Casual buyers or people who are trying to make a choice are trading down," Mr. Baker said.
NPD compiles estimates of sales through U.S. retailers, including Apple's company-owned stores and Web site. The firm estimates that the dollar value of Apple's sales through U.S. retail channels fell 11% during the month, faster than the decline in unit sales. Its market share, measured in dollars, declined to 13.7% from 16.4% in January 2008, NPD said.