Here’s some slightly good news for Apple.Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster reports Mac sales were up 31 per cent on a year-over-year basis in January, according to the latest NPD data.
Last quarter Apple’s earnings missed analyst expectations due partly to significantly worse than expected Mac sales. Apple sold 4.1 million Macs, versus Street expectations of 5 million.
Munster believes Mac sales were up sharply because Apple is catching up to demand. It introduced new iMacs last quarter and it couldn’t manufacture enough of them to meet demand. This pop is probably the result of Apple improving production.
As good as this sounds, the Mac business, like the entire PC industry, appears to be in decline. Munster is calling for Mac sales to be down 5 per cent on a year-over-year basis for the first quarter of this year.
The Mac business has been affected by the rise of iPad. This hurts Apple inasmuch as it’s losing some sales. But, overall, the growth of the iPad is strong enough to offset the decline of the Mac.
The big question for Apple is whether or not the iPad business will be able to fend off the increasingly fierce competition.