Tablets impacting Mac sales twice as much as PC sales

Tablets have blown away a fifth of Mac sales. Tim Cook thinks that’s a good thing.

Yesterday, Apple announced that Mac sales were down to 4.1M from 5.2M. That’s a 21% decline. By comparison, Gartner noted:

In the fourth quarter of 2012, mobile PC shipments decreased 11 percent while desktop PC shipments declined 6 percent year-on-year

Since laptop sales are greater than desktop sales, its safe to assume that the combined drop in PC sales is probably closer to 11% than it is to 6%.* But even ignoring the desktop drop entirely leaves the Mac sales drop twice as bad as the PC sales drop. Apple CEO Tim Cook doesn’t mind though (emphasis mine):

“In terms of cannibalization, I think cannibalization is a huge opportunity for us,” Cook said. “Our base philosophy is to never fear cannibalization. If we do, somebody else will just cannibalize it. We never fear it. We know iPhone has cannibalized some iPod business, we know iPad has cannibalized some Macs, and that doesn’t worry us.

While investors might agree with Cook, users of Mac hardware – especially enterprises like Google and web devs who’ve standardized on Macs – should be worried. iPads are neither intended for nor capable of serious multitasking or high performance computation, which leaves professional and power Apple users out in the cold when it comes to the future of their mission critical tools. Such users might want to consider other platforms and OEMs who actually care about the future of the products people in their line of work need.

*Funny how the “dead” PC desktop has the lowest drop of all 3 categories.

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