Interesting times for Apple
The November data indicate that falling prices for Windows-based PCs, and the rise of low-priced computers like netbooks -- mini notebooks that cost as little as $300 -- have finally tripped Apple, said Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray, who still expects Apple to continue outpacing the market over the next year. "What you're seeing in the numbers is price sensitivity with the consumer," he said.
Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs told analysts in October the company wasn't cutting prices on Macs, which make up 46% of the company's revenue, because "we're not tremendously worried" the downturn will drive customers to cheaper PCs.
Apple has steered away from the low-margin netbook market in favor of higher-end computers. "We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk," Mr. Jobs said in October when the company reported earnings.