NPD INTELECT Market Tracking is reporting that despite continued softness in the retail computer hardware market, the retail computer software market remained stable when comparing the first half of 2001 with the first half of 2000. And Apple is doing very well, thanks to Mac OS X.
In the overall software market, retail unit sales of software titles approached the 70 million mark in the first half of 2001, gaining 0.2 percent over the same period in 2000, according to NPD. Revenues from retail software sales improved 1.2 percent, approaching US$2.8 billion.
Boosted by the release of Mac OS X, Apple’s operating system sales improved overall nearly 20 percent during the first half of 2001, according to the NPD report. In other areas of operating systems, Microsoft Windows ME operating system propelled dollar sales in the segment 25.9 percent higher during the first half of 2001. Retail revenue from the Microsoft Windows operating system increased 31.5 percent, while dollar sales of the Linux operating system declined by over 40 percent.
“This year’s second quarter retail software revenue of $1.23 billion represents a 1.9 percent increase compared to the same period last year,” said Steve Koenig, senior software analyst, NPD INTELECT. “As is typical in the software market, overall retail software sales slowed in the second quarter of 2001, with revenue down about 20 percent compared to first quarter results. The drop last year was 21 percent.”
Two software categories that experienced significant revenue growth during the first half of 2001 were finance (up 12.5 percent) and business (up 7.7 percent). The finance category was driven by tax software, which comprises almost three-quarters of the finance titles sold through retail sales channels. Unit sales of tax titles increased 19 percent during the year-to-date period. Led by the strong sales growth of virus detection and communication titles, unit sales in the business software segment (not including operating systems) improved 7.7 percent during the first half of 2001, according to NPD.