Weak Back-to-School Effort Causing ‘Significant’ Mac Sales Slowdown [Analyst]



Is it time for Apple to tweak its back-to-school sales campaign? An analyst claims Mac sales are off up to 40 percent, as consumers become more sensitive to prices. But the report differs from another forecast suggesting Mac demand is “encouraging.”

Mac demand during the previous weekend “was probably one of the slowest weekends for Mac sales,” Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry told investors Wednesday. Sales were “probably down” between 35 percent and 40 percent from the weekend of July 23, according to the analyst, citing tracking data.

Chowdhry writes high gas prices have made consumers price-sensitive, pointing to a survey of four university book stores which showed a “significant” fall-off of Mac sales over the past three weeks. Store employees attributed the decline to the usual summer-break slowdown that reverses once classes begin.

Apple needs to change its back-to-school promotion, offering parents $100 cash back, rather than a $100 App Store gift card, feels the analyst. Additionally, he would like to see Apple offer extended hardware warranties through the App Store.

Chowdhry’s claims run counter to an analyst note issued a day earlier. UBS Investment Research analyst Maynard Um sees strong Mac sales. Apple’s Mac “continues to be the most popular among consumers and students heading back to school,” Um wrote.

During its previous quarterly report, Apple did announce slightly lower-than-expected Mac sales of 3.95 million, off from the 4.2 million Wall Street had predicted.