Macs flying off the shelves, says Apple

by admin July 20, 2006 at 12:22 pm

From pause to fast forward…

With a wider range of systems available, consumers have been snapping Macs up, giving them a growth boost that outpaced the rest of the market.

Macintosh shipments were up 12 per cent compared with last year, Apple said on Wednesday during its third-quarter profits call. That’s in contrast to a shipment increase in the second quarter of only four per cent year over year – something that Apple described as a “pause” in buying activity.

In announcing its switch to Intel’s processors months before systems became available, Apple set itself up for a little pain: Consumers hesitated to buy PowerPC-based systems, with new Macs on the way. But now that MacBook Pro and iMac systems have been available for several months, and because of the strong demand for MacBook systems released in mid-May, any signs of hesitation among home users appear to have been erased.

Shaw Wu, an analyst at American Technology Research, said in an email interview after Apple’s profits announcement: “I believe the key take-away is that the Mac business is starting to accelerate.”

Macs accounted for 55 per cent of Apple’s revenue during the third quarter, ended 1 July, said Peter Oppenheimer, the company’s chief financial officer. Laptop shipments and revenue both increased by 61 per cent, and Apple believes it doubled its share of the laptop market in retail channels, he said, citing data from research company NPD.

About half the Macs sold at Apple’s own retail stores during the quarter were bought by people who had never owned a Mac before, Oppenheimer said. That is roughly the same percentage that Apple has seen in recent quarters.

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