THE US PRESS seem deeply shocked that even Jobs' Mob is feeling the pinch in the economic downturn.
A recent article by the Wall Street Journal said that even Apple is beginning to suffer in this year's dismal holiday season, as if it expected the outfit to be immune to the woes of the economy.
With hushed breath it noted that sales of Macs had actually declined a year ago while sales of other brands of PCs managed to increase by two percent.
How can that be? People always buy Apple don't they? Steve Jobs told them so.
NPD analyst Steve Baker pointed out that there had been a 35 per cent drop in sales of desktop Macs although the outfit still did quite well in desktops, which bolstered the figures a bit.
The WSJ said that the decline was a sharp reversal for Apple which it claimed had robust demand this year for its Macs, even as spending on Windows-based PCs slowed.
The question is why are the US press so surprised that sales of Apple are declining. Apple is still the most expensive option if you want to buy a PC and, unlike many other companies in troubled times, is not discounting.
Goldman Sachs analyst David Bailey warned "some nicks have started to emerge" in Apple's cunning plan for the future. Bailey warned the company faces "a tougher environment" in the first two quarters of next year, when he believes consumer demand will rot faster than a milkshake in the Sahara.
An Apple spokesman said the Cupertino outfit doesn't comment on monthly sales. But then it never comments on anything, particularly if it is bad.
But it is starting to look as if the falling price of a Windows PC and the rise of netbook is actually gutting Apple.
Sultan of Smug himself Steve Jobs told analysts in October he was not going to cut the price of Macs because he was not tremendously worried that the downturn will drive customers to cheaper PCs.
He has also ignored the low-margin netbook market claiming that he didn't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk.
It is starting to look like (pause for religious effect) Steve Jobs was wrong.
Remember you heard it here first. You will not hear it from the New York Times which is frantically penning a report about how wonderful the Iphone is compared to the Blackberry. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ