NPD: iMacs, MacBook Pros top October retail sales

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It should be no surprise to anyone that the newest iMacs catapulted to the top of the sales charts when Apple released them in October. But just in case you have any bets going on the matter comes sweet analyst confirmation: Apple computers topped the list of the most popular machines sold at retail in October, according to the NPD Group. Gentlemen, collect your outstanding beers and pony rides.

According to NPD’s vice president of industry analysis, Stephen Baker, the 21-inch iMac was the top-selling desktop of the month, with the 27-incher coming in third. Apple also took four of the top ten positions for notebooks, coming in first with the $1,199 MacBook Pro and also securing the eight, ninth and tenth positions.

The 21-inch iMac is a fantastic machine and a great value, and the luridly sultry 27-inch iMac is pretty much the equivalent of buying Apple’s Cinema Display and getting a free computer crammed into the guts for free, but both were probably the most promoted computer launches of the month, so it’s no surprise that consumers tore the wax plugs out of their cochleas to be seduced by the throat sprayed melodies of the iMac line’s siren calls. But the NPD thinks another October launch helped push Apple into the the top spots of the month: bizarrely, the launch of Microsoft’s Windows 7.

“Apple gets a bounce whenever they come out with new computers,” Baker said. “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.”

Overall, the NPD thinks it’s Apple’s overall consumer experience that is driving Mac’s juggernautish increase in market share, over any “iPhone or iPod halo effect.” That’s certainly part of it, but my guess is more and more people are buying their computers as a brand and an experience, just like they would buy a car or a phone. Apple is uniquely positioned unlike any other company in the computer world: they offer consumers a small, carefully considered line of computers and then put all their weight behind marketing them.

Computers aren’t just machines anymore, and while Apple has known it for years, the rest of the industry hasn’t yet caught up… and now they are suffering for it.

[Creative Commons image via niicon’s Flickr]

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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