updated 04:10 pm EDT, Mon August 17, 2009
Piper on Apple Q4 forecast
Mac sales should do well in Apple's fourth financial quarter, says Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. Based on July NPD numbers, which grew 2 percent year-over-year, Munster forecasts that Mac sales will grow 3 to 7 percent during the September quarter as a whole. The figure is said to be roughly on par with Street predictions of 5 percent.
Munster cautions that Q4 estimates are frequently difficult, as approximately 50 percent of the quarter's Mac sales can take place in September. Complicating matters is that July 2008 was unusually profitable, with a growth of 43 percent over July 2007. International sales are likewise rising faster than domestic ones, a factor not reflected in NPD tracking.
iPod sales are meanwhile believed to be suffering, having fallen 17 percent year-over-year in July 2009. Accelerating international sales should cushion the blow, as should an Apple back-to-school promotion, which typically offers a free iPod alongside a discounted Mac. Piper estimates call for a 5 to 14 percent decline in iPod sales for Q4, paralleling Street projections of a 10 percent drop.
The average selling price for Macs is noted to have slid 4 percent between June and July, outdoing the computer industry in general, which is selling an increasing number of $399-499 netbooks. Quarterly ASPs may fall 6 percent sequentially in Q4.