Black Friday is the biggest retail event of the year, and it gets shoppers into stores and on the web, with credit cards out and ready. But this year, laptop makers didn’t see any growth over last year’s Black Friday sales. This included Apple, which has a brand new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro just released in October, and a lineup of new MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs released this summer to offer shoppers. Sales of MacBooks were even with Black Friday 2011 sales, according to a report published Tuesday by the NPD Group.
NPD noted that all consumer electronics sales in the US — not including Amazon Kindles, iPads, Microsoft Surface, or any phones or video games — were 6 percent lower than Black Friday last year.
From NPD’s report:
Notebook PCs continued their year long struggle as units fell 10 percent, with sales of Apple notebooks flat and Windows notebooks down 10 percent. Windows 8 represented 89 percent of notebook sales with an ASP of $368, and touchscreens accounted for 3 percent of sales with an ASP of $668.
Apple’s Black Friday discounts were relatively minor this year, as usual: a $1,699 Retina MacBook Pro, a $1,199 MacBook Pro and a $999 MacBook Air were each discounted $101. Black Friday is about finding the best deals, and Apple does not take the opportunity to draw customers in with mega price slashing. That said, Black Friday is the one time per year Apple offers any discounts for new products at all.
Still, Mac OS X based laptops did better than their Windows counterparts: Windows laptop sales declined 10 percent compared to the same day last year — and that’s despite Windows 8’s recent arrival.
In both cases, it’s important to note that this report doesn’t tell us anything about how often customers chose a tablet over either a Mac or Windows laptop, since the report doesn’t include iPad or Surface sales. Apple, for its part, isn’t likely to sweat this news too much: CEO Tim Cook has been open about the fact that cannibalization among his products is a real thing, and that some customers are in fact buying an iPad instead of a MacBook.