Daring Fireball blogger John Gruber is one of the best-sourced Apple (AAPL) writers on the planet. So when he declares something, we listen. And he seems to be carrying good news for Apple, whose rivals in the PC industry aren’t having the best year.
The latest: Gruber says Apple’s iPod touch and new MacBook lines are on fire.
- From yesterday, via his blog: “my sources indicate the Touches are selling nearly as well as the Nanos this year, despite being much more expensive.”
- From Wednesday, via his blog: “It’s only going to take a few weeks for us to get Apple’s results from this quarter, at which point we’ll find out that the new MacBooks are selling like hotcakes.”
- From Dec. 6, via Twitter: “From what I’ve heard, the new MacBooks are selling at an unprecedented pace. Insanely popular.”
This isn’t surprising. We’re sure there’s pent-up demand for the new, much-improved MacBooks, which hadn’t been updated for a long time.
And Apple has been advertising the heck out of the iPod touch and the iPhone/iPod touch app platform, which has to be helping sales. The iPod touch is the no. 1, no. 2, no. 6, and no. 7 best-selling MP3 player at Amazon (AMZN), while cheaper nanos are nos. 3, 4, 8, 9, and 10. (Last week, Amazon and Walmart even sold out of some iPod touches.)
What’s this mean for Apple?
- Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, an Apple bull, expects Mac unit sales to increase 13% year-over-year to 2.63 million Macs, slower than last quarter’s 21% year-over-year increase, and the 44% year-over-year unit sales growth that Apple experienced during 2007’s December quarter.
- So, anything better than that could represent upside for Apple’s fiscal Q1, which ends this month.
- Munster expects Apple to ship 7.2 million iPod nanos this quarter and 2.8 million iPod touches — or 2.6 touches shipped per nano shipped.
- Surely some touch sales are coming at the expense of nano sales. But if touch sales are significantly higher than Munster is projecting, that’s good news for Apple’s top line: Munster estimates that iPod touches will sell for an average $280 this quarter, 50% more than the $160 (average estimate) iPod nano. (Extra, incremental bonus: Apple gets more revenue from iPod touch App Store sales, too, which it doesn’t get from the nano.)
Bottom line: If MacBook sales are stellar — and if iPod touch sales are really almost as strong as iPod nano sales, and iPod nano sales aren’t tanking themselves — that’s all very good news for Apple.
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