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’14 Winter Quarter Sees US Mac Sales Decrease

us-mac-sales-decreaseAs much as Apple fans would hate to admit it, sales figures for their pet brand haven’t been exactly stellar of late. And the latest Gartner report released on April 9, 2014, confirmed a largely anticipated US Mac sales decrease. The backdrop for this contraction in sales figure that Apple’s flagship computer posted is rather contradictory, as well as dynamic. By and large, two PC producers, Dell and Lenovo, have amassed the largest growth rates on the market, thereby polarizing it, while the rest of the actors on the scene suffered losses. The PC market in the United States saw a slight increase, in terms of the number of units shipped out, but, on a global level, the number of PC sold fell by a rather notable 1.7 per cent. In the following, we take a cursory look at overall market conditions for the winter quarter of the past financial year, and also try to untangle some of the reasons behind the US Mac sales decrease posted during that same quarter.

Who’s who in PC sales for winter ’14?

There were 14.1 million units of PCs sold in the United States during the first quarter of this year. By and large, the market remained somewhat stagnant, compared to the same span of time last year. There was, indeed, a small increase of units sold this year, while the global market saw a slight contraction, yet, in terms of producers, the rankings on the U.S. market shifted significantly. Indeed, HP still leads the charts, with 25 per cent of all PCs shipped in the United States produced by it. However, Dell and Lenovo came up strongly from behind and posted the most important increases of all the top five brands listed in the chart. Their respective growth rates for the year’s first three months were of 13.2 and 16.8 per cent.

According to Mikako Kitagawa from Gartner, the U.S. market still managed to fare better than most other regions around the world. The same expert brought into focus the structural change of the worldwide PC market, whose installed base of PCs was still growing last year, as opposed to the one in the U.S. which first started its decline there. There’s a massive saturation of PCs in the U.S., with 99 per cent of all households owning at least one desktop or laptop computer and over 50 per cent owning two such devices. Gartner estimates that tablets will penetrate the market by up to 50 per cent this year, but, at the same time, it’s allowing for a return to PCs in consumer spending.

What’s up with the US Mac Sales Decrease: Facts and Figures

Apple shipped 1.5 million units during the first quarter of 2014, which brought its market share to 10.8 per cent – a comparable number to Lenovo’s 10.4 per cent and Toshiba’s 8.4, but one that’s significantly behind Dell’s 23.8 per cent and HP’s neat quarter of the market. The company also saw a decrease in terms of market share, from the 11.5 per cent it boasted during last year’s first quarter, as well as posting a negative growth of 3.8 per cent on the year.

Though the situation looks largely negative, it’s worth bearing in mind that these figures are preliminary. Indeed, the US Mac sales decrease has also been reported by IDC, with a market share drop of 10.3 per cent chalked up to Apple, down from the 11 per cent reported last year. IDC data says the global PC market shrunk by a heftier 4.4 per cent. However, last year Gartner revised its Apple numbers by not one, but two share points, as the then recently launched iMac had been in very short supply. There have been no updates in Apple’s line up of Mac products since the beginning of fall 2013.

7 Great New Games for Macs

Are you a gamer? Do you own a Mac? Then you don’t need us to tell you how game-changing (pun not intended) the past few years have been in this respect. Apple has been putting out increasingly good hardware, they launched Steam, and optimized the App store so that, often enough, the only thing standing between you and your new favorite game is a single click. That being said, it’s no wonder the games have gotten better, be they simple or complex, be they major titles or casual little ditties. But what if you’re new to gaming (or to the world of Macs)? Well, in that case, you’ve just arrived at the right place – we are about to deliver seven great new games for Macs that are bound to get you hooked on their awesomeness.

#7 Gone Home

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This is one of the great new games for Macs for several reasons: first off, at only $19.99 it’s one of the more affordable titles on our list. Then, it’s casual, which makes it great for newbies and it’s also very well written. It tells the tale of a college student who returns home to find that her family has gone missing. There’s a whole lot of suspense involved, as she wanders from scene to scene, trying to find them.

#6 Mark of the Ninja

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This is an even more affordable title on our list of new games for Macs, priced at $14.99. even though it’s an action game, it doesn’t feature the usual serving of a glam 3D environment, yet this doesn’t make it any less deep and exciting. The graphics are great, there’s a lot of well-paced excitement and adventure, as well as all the shadows, traps, and enemies one would expect to see in a game featuring ninjas.

#5 Portal

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Care for a great little game, which will only take $9.99 out of your budget, but will keep you entertained for hours in return? Then you should probably buy Portal, one of the great new games for Macs from Valve. It’s a puzzle, but one with test chambers, teleporting, lots of innovation, and a whole lot of humor, too. The original game is pretty short, but the good news is that the developers also came out with Portal 2, in case you feel up for more.

#4 Call of Duty: Black Ops

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This game has become so much of a classic over the years that have elapsed since its launch that it almost feels like it needs no further introduction. It’s priced at $49.99, set during the Cold War, and will literally keep you entertained for a great many hours. You can play online, in the multiplayer mode, or choose the co-op mode – but that doesn’t even begin to scratch at the surface of this awesome game. It’s rich in maps, has tons of content to unlock and even includes zombies!

#3 Sid Meier’s Civilization V

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Civilization is also a franchise that barely needs any introductions and the fifth installment in the series lives up to its good reputation. If you’re into strategy games, this one is an absolute must-have. priced at $29.99, we’re listing it as one of the best new games for Macs because it’s rich in detail, has a great story, a lean learning curve, and beautiful graphics.

#2 StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

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Playing any game in the StarCraft universe on a Mac is an experience in and of itself and this definitely also applies to StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. It costs $29.99 and is a hit with fans of online gameplay, since it allows for a lot of customization and upgrades. The sci-fi setting looks as great as always and there’s also plenty of enjoyment in playing single player campaigns as well.

#1Bastion

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What makes this title, with a $14.99 price tag stand at the top of our list of cool new games for Macs? The awesome way its hand-painted settings look, the hypnotic story, and, of course, the audio narrative. To boot, the action and adventure parts are also greatly produced and its customizable beyond belief.

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