updated 09:00 pm EDT, Mon April 16, 2012
May miss analyst estimates for yearly growth
New numbers of analyst firm NPD for March added to previous data for the quarter suggests that US Mac sales will be flat or low in terms of year-over-year growth, missing analyst's estimates, warned Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster. Foreign sales, already expected to offset the slow growth in North America as buyers wait for anticipated notebook and iMac refreshes, may not hit the 14 percent year-over-year consensus targets analysts expect.
Munster believes Apple will report Mac sales of 4.1 to 4.4 million overall, AppleInsider reports, representing at least nine percent year-over-year growth, but says any "softness" in Mac sales during the company's fiscal second quarter will be made up for by stronger iPhone and iPad sales. Macs will make up only 15 percent of Apple revenue in the March quarter, analysts believe. His outlook mirrors that of Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty, who said earlier this month that US sales will miss targets.
He expects that the Mac line will do better in the company's third quarter over the summer. Munster says the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air along with the iMac are prime candidates for updates featuring Intel's latest chip line, known as "Ivy Bridge." The MacBook Pro and iMac alone make up around 50 percent of all Mac sales, he claims. US sales in March indicated an anemic five percent growth, but only in US sales numbers rather than worldwide.
Munster, like Huberty, believes there is pent-up demand for a refresh, as there has been no significant update for those lines in over a year. Recent reports have also suggested that the Mac Pro is now in short supply, indicative of a possible new model coming soon. Sales of Macs in developing countries has picked up significantly as the "halo effect" of iPads and iPhones begins to take hold outside the US. [via AppleInsider]