updated 04:05 pm EDT, Wed August 26, 2009
Needham positive on Apple
Needham Research is reporting positive signs in the personal computer market, with Apple rebounding into positive territory. After a 0.4 percent decline in the March quarter, Apple shipments grew 5.5 percent in the June period. The company is moreover said to have surpassed the market in most regions and user segments; in the business segment for example, Apple shipments fell only 1.7 percent, whereas the overall market dropped 20 percent.
Mac shipments grew faster in all price ranges of the home market, excluding the netbook arena, which Apple has chosen to ignore. The company also made large gains in foreign markets, especially Asia and Europe, where it achieved gains of over 20 percent in both cases. In those continents, Needham notes, netbooks are not cannibalizing full-featured notebook sales nearly as much as in the US.
Needham also points out that Apple has made positive leaps using only modest price cuts, as opposed to the drastic ones called for by some onlookers. The cuts have not forced the company to change its overall gross margin structure, likely due to success with the iPhone, and already-large profit margins, which for instance allowed the company to absorb lower prices in the MacBook Pro line.