updated 01:05 pm EDT, Thu October 19, 2006
Mac sales, market share
Apple's "blowout Mac quarter" validates the company's 32 percent surge in U.S. PC market share that resulted in 6.1 percent of the total market for the Cupertino-based company, according to one research firm. Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster expects the "halo effect" -- which describes consumers who are introduced to Macs via their iPod purchases -- will drive continued market share gains moving forward. "The 68m iPods sold in the past five years (39 million of those were sold in the last 12 months) are translating to the resurgence in the Mac platform with worldwide Mac market share increasing from 2.1 percent in March of 2006 to 2.8 percent today," the analyst said. "We believe in six months the halo effect will expand beyond a simple iPod-to-Mac correlation into a four-way relationship with iPod, Mac, iPhone, and iTV benefiting from each other's success."
Munster notes that Apple's growth rate should accelerate in 2007 if the four-way halo effect plays out. Nevertheless, December's Mac numbers will shed light on Apple's "rubber hits the road" quarter for Mac, as December will not benefit from as much pent-up demand from the Intel transition. The analyst also believes that within the next year, roughly half of Best Buy retail stores (around 450) will sell Macs. Mac systems are currently sold in around 7,000 stores worldwide, according to Munster.