As the end of the March quarter closes in, AmTech analyst Shaw Wu raises his estimates. Specifically, he says Apple’s Mac business — its most important growth driver — is firing on all cylinders.
Wu says March quarter Mac unit sales could jump 42% year-over-year, more than the 38% y/y growth he initially projected. MacBook Air sales, he says, have “picked up rapidly” — customers don’t seem to care about some of its “missing” features, like a removable battery or a built-in DVD drive. And the soft economy? “So far, our sense is that the Mac business appears to be recession proof,” he says.
[Aside: We’re as crazy about Apple and the Air as Shaw is, but if he thinks Macs are “recession-proof,” he’s a nutcase].
Weak spot: The iPod. Wu thinks Apple will sell 10 million iPods this quarter — less than the 10.55 million it sold a year ago. [Perhaps someday Shaw can explain to us why the iPod business is shrinking, when PC units have continued growing for 30 years]
And he thinks iPhone sales could see “a pause” ahead of updates expected this June. That’s when Apple will release the “iPhone 2.0” software update — providing new business-friendly features and support for third-party apps — and probably some hardware updates like faster, “3G” network access. He thinks Apple will beat its goal of selling 10 million iPhones this year — we do too.
Wu now thinks Apple will post $7 billion in sales this quarter and $1.10 of EPS, ahead of both his previous estimates of $6.9 billion of sales and $1.02 of EPS, and the Street’s consensus of $6.9 billion of sales and $1.05 of EPS.
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