updated 10:05 am EST, Wed February 14, 2007
Sales of Mac OS X Leopard
Apple's launch of Mac OS X Leopard next quarter is expected to help Mac market share rebound, following the negative impact of the Windows Vista launch. Analyst firm Piper Jaffray estimates that the sequel to Mac OS X Tiger will see sales of 2.6 million copies during the June quarter, adding $130 million to the company's revenues: more importantly, however, it will help focus investors on the "Mac chapter of the Apple story." Sales of the next-generation operating system -- which still has several "unannounced features" expected to be revealed by Apple in the coming months -- will near 10 million for the entire fiscal year, as the company has grown its installed base by 25 percent to 20 million since the launch of Mac OS X Tiger nearly two years ago, the firm noted.
"With the release of Mac OS X Leopard, Mac market share will benefit from upward pressure from slight pent-up demand," he wrote in a research note. "Similar to the Tiger upgrade cycle, we expect 40 percent of Mac users to upgrade to Leopard in the first year of availability. Assuming a late April launch, this would lead to Leopard sales adding $130 million to the June quarter."
Munster expects the Cupertino-based company to sell 2.6 million copies in the first month of availability and about 9 million copies in the first fiscal year, bringing in $456 million in revenue during the same period.
He notes, however, that skeptics may not be able to see beyond March quarter Mac share numbers.
"Given this would be the second consecutive quarter Apple will lose market share, there will be debate as to the strength of the halo effect," Munster surmised. "We believe the halo effect is still strong, and PC demand driven by Vista will fade in June and Mac market share will rebound."