updated 04:30 pm EDT, Mon March 16, 2009
Mac sales fall 16 percent
Sales of Mac computers fell dramatically in February, writes Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. Figures released by the NPD Group reveal that Mac units dropped 16 percent year-over-year, a number coincidentally matching a decline in iPod sales. Both figures are at least partially attributable to a recession-fueled pullback in consumer spending, Munster suggests.
The situation is said not to be as grave as it initially seems however, due to a combination of past and present events. February 2008 was inflated by the shipment of the MacBook Air, Munster notes, and March 2009 should rebound significantly thanks to the shipment of new desktops, including iMacs, Mac minis and Mac Pros. iPod sales should be helped by the release of a reinvigorated Shuffle.
For the March quarter, Munster forecasts that Apple will sell between 2 and 2.2 million Macs -- a decline of only 13 to 4 percent, if still worse than the flat 4 percent suggested by the Street. iPod shipments are expected to range between 9 and 10 million, representing a drop of 15 to 6 percent versus Street suggestions of 11 percent. Munster argues that the figure should be thought of in positive terms, due to falling in line with expectations.