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Mac Unit Growth Remains Impressive Despite iPad

Apple’s Mac units continue to climb at a healthy rate, but the iPad is having an affect, just not a big one yet.

Apple has just posted another record quarter for its final fiscal fourth quarter. While much of the spotlight attention will be shined on iPad and iPhone sales a careful examination of its Mac unit growth shows that the Mac division is healthy. Another way of putting this would be to say that prior to the iPod and its famous “halo effect” if Steve Jobs could have promised Wall Street that the Mac would grow at sequential rates as nice as these investors would have been psyched!


There is no doubting that Apple’s Mac division is being upstaged by its new era product lines (with the exception of the iPod division which is slowing down in growth) but one only needs to look at the bigger picture to see it’s all okay with Steve & Company precisely because the “halo effect” from iPhone in particular keeps pushing Mac sales up at a healthy rate. Of course that rate may be slowing as the iPad begins to both produce a “halo effect” and a “cannibal effect.” (more on that later).

So how healthy are we talking about?

Mac Unit Growth

Let’s start with the quarter to quarter sequential growth. In this quarter Apple’s Mac units grew at just over 12 percent, which is a healthy growth rate.  This was the result of shipping more than 400,000 Macs than the previous quarter. Mind you, just a few years ago 400,000 Macs per quarter was approximately one forth the amount of all Macs in that quarter.

Apple’s Mac Unit Growth is growing and if the Cupertino-based company follows its usual sales pattern they are sure to set a new record during the holiday quarter with more than 4 million Macs.
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Reader Comments

  1. A couple of notes to add to this story. Firstly, the presence of AutoCAD for Mac will open the doors for many users to move to the Mac OS X platform where prior to this they have not been able to do so. Secondly, the presence of a true Mac version of Outlook has prevented Windows users from moving to the Mac also. Both of these two changes in the Mac eco-system have been cited lately in our discussions with major companies as having a significant factor on Mac growth going forward. Both are heavily used in higher education, schools and in enterprise corporations.

  2. We noted in the story that earlier this year PC growth was being pegged for all of 2010 at about 20 percent. Now back in September it was shaping up to be around 15 percent. That is substantial drop, a trending downward over the past two quarters. What impact has that had on Apple’s Mac unit sales growth? Previous to this quarter nearly all quarters over the past year have had exactly 33 percent y-y sales growth. Now in the latest quarter we experience just under 28 percent (27.8 to be exact). How much of this is “industry slow-down” versus impact from iPad? My guess is most of that five percent is iPad but that at least 1-2 percent is industry slow-down.

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