A new op-ed piece by Gregg Keizer for “Computerworld” says that the iMac is on the road to irrelevance and that the all-in-one peaked a year ago. I beg to differ; in fact, I think the iMac is more important than ever to the Mac line.
But first Mr. Keizer’s thoughts (which you can read in their entirety at http://tinyurl.com/bhh5zqv). He says the iMac is on losing relevance because:
° It has long been outpaced by Apple’s laptops. In the last four quarters, for example, Apple’s laptops outsold desktops by nearly three to one, with a similar revenue disparity.
° Brian White, an analyst with Topeka Capital Markets, predicts that desktop sales this quarter will be just over one million machines, or 31% fewer than during the same quarter last year.
° ISI analyst Brian Marshall forecasts that desktop sales will be down 29% this quarter.
° The Mac has been the “weak sister” of Apple revenue since the fourth quarter of 2009, when the iPhone passed it by.
All these things are true, but consider that:
° The iMac is the industry’s best-selling all-in-one.
° Macs have sold better than the industry average for computers for 25 straight fiscal quarters.
° Needham & Company analyst Charlie Wolf says Apple’s success in the enterprise is the “big story” in regards to Mac sales in the September quarter. With computer sales to U.S. businesses declining 13.3% year-over-year, Apple had a 62.7 percentage point difference.
° Analysts such as Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research, and Stephen Baker, an analyst with retail research firm NPD Group, believe the desktop will remain the “communal computer” in homes even as individuals do their own thing with their own laptops — or iPads.
What’s more, by all accounts, the iMac vastly outsells Apple’s other desktops — the Mac mini and the Mac Pro — by a wide margin. If any Apple desktop is in danger, it’s the Mac Pro (though CEO Tim Cook promises something cool in regards to this line for next year).
As for the iMac, it’s going to be around — and selling well — for a long, long time to come.