Apple Tops U.S. Retail Sales Rankings in October


NPD Group has released its latest numbers for U.S. computer sales in October, and Macs are occupying many spots at or near the top of the list in all categories. Sales of both Mac desktop and notebook computers were very impressive for the month, but a good amount of that success can be attributed to the introduction of new models.

Among the big winners for October were the new 21-inch iMac, which topped the desktop sales charts, and the more expensive and powerful 27-inch iMac, which took a surprisingly high third place overall.

The iMac wasn’t the only winner, as Apple also saw strong sales in the notebook department. The entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro came in first overall in notebook sales, and Apple occupied four of the top 10 spots for the month, though its other offerings placed low, taking the eighth, ninth, and 10th locations.

NPD Group’s vice president of industry analysis attributed Apple’s success to low numbers on the PC side of the equation, too, in an interview conducted with CNET:

Apple gets a bounce whenever they come out with new computers. For the most part, October was a down month on the Windows side because [PC manufacturers] were working through inventory before the Windows 7 launch.

Baker goes onto speculate about what’s behind Apple’s success:

Over past few years, Apple has continued to gain share in the market, and there are a lot of ways to explain that. It could be the stores, the computers themselves, the iPod, or iPhone. I think it’s a combination of all those things.

There’s no doubt in my mind that customer experience is the key to Apple’s success of late. The iPod and iPhone might have been the gateway drug for many users, but these days I find just as many people for whom the opposite is true. The common denominator is user friendliness and great support. The November numbers will be a much better indicator of Apple’s true success, however, since it will see a lot of holiday sales, and also should show how Mac is faring against Windows 7 machines.

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