Mac sales jump 19% when compared to terrible Q4 2012
Apple squeaked out a 1% gain for all 2013 as the PC business plunged 10%
Computerworld - Mac sales jumped 19% in the fourth quarter of 2013 over the year before, the first uptick in more than a year, Apple said Monday.
For the quarter ending Dec. 31, Apple sold 4.8 million Macs compared to about 4.1 million during the same period of 2012.
"We were ... very pleased to have generated such strong results for our Mac products, particularly given IDC's most recently published estimate of a 6% year-over-year contraction in worldwide personal computer sales," said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's chief financial officer, during the company's earnings call with Wall Street.
While the number was impressive for Apple -- it was the Mac's fourth-best quarter ever and the first to show growth since the third quarter of 2012 -- what Oppenheimer failed to mention was that the 19% increase was largely artificial.
The quarter to which Oppenheimer compared Mac sales -- the fourth of 2012 -- had been weak because Apple botched the introduction and rollout of that year's refreshed iMacs, which were announced in October but weren't ready to ship for weeks. Apple later quantified the loss in iMac sales in the fourth quarter of 2012 at around 700,000 systems, meaning that if it had been able to sell that number then, the fourth quarter of 2013 would have been flat, not up 19%.
Even so, Apple trumpeted sales, particularly of the iMac and MacBook Air, and Oppenheimer touted the fact that the Mac had gained global market share in 30 of the last 31 quarters.
While Mac sales increased last quarter, the overall PC industry continued to shrink. IDC estimated the worldwide contraction at 6% while rival research firm Gartner pegged it down 7%. But Apple remained off both companies' top-five lists, with the 4.8 million Macs about 600,000 shy of fifth-place Asus by Gartner's count and equal to a third of leader Lenovo's total for the quarter.
If Gartner's global shipment estimate was accurate, Macs accounted for about 6% of the world's total.
Some believe Apple has an opportunity to grow that share, a feat the company pulled off during 2013, when Mac sales were up 1% year-over-year even as overall PC shipments fell 10%.
"This was a good quarter for the Mac compared to PCs, especially from the notebook standpoint," said Ben Bajarin in an interview after Apple's earnings call. "The Mac was a bright spot, and it can benefit from the contraction."
Bajarin's theory is that as consumers purchase fewer personal computers and wait longer before buying replacement systems, they will begin to view the household's sole computer as an investment. The Mac will be more attractive than cheaper Windows PCs because of Apple's new practice of giving away OS upgrades and its iWork productivity suite and will be valued for its top-of-the-line construction, Bajarin has argued.
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Client Management Tools The client management tool market is maturing and evolving to adapt to consumerization, desktop virtualization, and an ongoing need to improve efficiency.
- Audit Ready and Asset Optimized: The Solid Promise of an Intelligent Software Asset Management Solution In this paper Frost & Sullivan examines the benefits of enterprise-grade Software Asset Management solutions, and how these solutions serve as the convergence...
- Pragmatic Endpoint Management: Empowering an SMB Workforce in the Age of Mobility Lacking the time for proper training and education, SMB administrators often resort to taking shortcuts to keep their environment running.This paper discusses the...
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Application Security The market for application security testing is changing rapidly. Technology trends, such as mobile applications, advanced Web applications and dynamic languages, are forcing...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy... All Macintosh White Papers | Webcasts