This morning, Goldman Sachs warned that weak consumer spending could whack Apple’s (AAPL) sales and profits. So how are Mac and iPod sales going so far?
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has analysed November sales data from research firm NPD Group and, in a note today, extrapolates:
- Apple could sell 2.5 million to 2.7 million Macs this quarter, in line with the Street’s expected 2.6 million.
- Apple could sell 18.5 million to 19 million iPods this quarter, in line with the Street’s expected 19 million.
While roughly in line with expectations, these aren’t stellar numbers — they represent 13% year-over-year Mac sales growth and a 15% year-over-year iPod sales decline. But this November had five fewer holiday shopping days than last November. And they’re the same extrapolations Munster made a month ago, which suggests things haven’t significantly deteriorated.
What the numbers remind us:
- Mac sales growth has hit a wall. A year ago, Apple reported 44% year-over-year Mac unit sales growth. Even last quarter, the company reported 21% year-over-year Mac unit sales growth. This quarter, it could even be single-digit year-over-year unit sales growth.
- Despite new MacBooks, Apple’s Mac business is no longer leading the company’s growth. The iPhone is Apple’s most important business.
- iPod sales have probably peaked for good. The current iPod lineup will never top the 22.1 million iPods shipped that Apple reported last Christmas.
- We think there’s a bright future for the iPod touch and an Apple touch/tablet platform. But we don’t think they’ll be called iPods forever. (We think Apple will still be able to sell iPod nanos and shuffles for several years, but not in the volumes they used to.)
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