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Improved iMac supply propels Apple's Mac sales up 14%

post #1 of 33
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After a disappointing holiday quarter, signs continue to show that Mac sales are on the rebound, with the latest data from the NPD Group revealing a 14% year over year increase in January and February.

iMacs


Apple's growth was attributed to improved availability of the new all-in-one iMac desktop by analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray. NPD's research tracks sales of computers sold domestically.

The data shows Mac sales continue to grow through the March quarter, albeit at a slower pace than the major 31 percent spike in U.S. Mac sales Apple saw in the month of January.

Munster's forecasts still call for total global Mac sales for the March quarter to be down 5 percent year over year, though he admitted there is room for "some slight upside," given the latest sales estimates. He projects that Apple will sell 3.8 million Macs in the three-month span.

NPD


iMac sales were down 700,000 units year over year in the December quarter as Apple faced apparent issues with production due to a new screen lamination process. Limited iMac availability was the chief reason cited by Apple officials for a 17 percent drop in Mac sales in the December quarter.

In all, Mac sales fell 800,000 from holiday 2011 to a year later, from 4.9 million to 4.1 million. Apple's struggles ended a long-running streak where the Mac had continued to outgrow ? or in some cases shrink less than ? the greater PC market.

Finally, the NPD's data also found domestic iPod sales were down 16 percent year over year in the months of January and February. Munster has predicted that iPods will be down 17 percent worldwide for the full quarter.
post #2 of 33

Apple can solve problems. Apple is doomed.

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post #3 of 33
Imac sales were down last quarter because there were no iMacs to sell. Wow, what an insight. Any more amazing comments from analysts?

That's one good thing for Apple's cash pile. It's a great financial shock-absorber so when they do product refreshes, they can weather the storm.
post #4 of 33
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Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Apple can solve problems. Apple is doomed.

Exactly. Too few, downgrade the stock / many available obviously over producing so downgrade the stock again.
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post #5 of 33
iMac sales are cannibalizing iPad sales which are cannibalizing iPhone sales which are cannibalizing iPod sales. Apple is doomed! /s
post #6 of 33
3.8M Macs this Q? That's the first time Gene Munster makes a fair estimate, to me. And after all my negative remarks about him this has to be said as well.
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post #7 of 33
14% < 30% = sell! /s
post #8 of 33

I was in an Apple store over the weekend...Number 1: It was very busy with customers, And 2: The iMac 27" is a very beautiful machine! :)

post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Imac sales were down last quarter because there were no iMacs to sell. Wow, what an insight. Any more amazing comments from analysts?

That's one good thing for Apple's cash pile. It's a great financial shock-absorber so when they do product refreshes, they can weather the storm.


They could have absorbed this "refresh" even without the great cash horde because the "refresh" quarter still brought in record profits.

post #10 of 33
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Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

I was in an Apple store over the weekend...Number 1: It was very busy with customers, And 2: The iMac 27" is a very beautiful machine! :)


Agree with both.

 

But I don't enjoy the Apple Stores as much as I used to - the daily sea of humanity makes many (most?) of them stink like a men's locker room by noon, if not earlier.

post #11 of 33
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Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

And 2: The iMac 27" is a very beautiful machine! :)

 

Indeed.  The one in front of me is truly stunning.

 
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post #12 of 33

Funny thing - when an analyst posts positive numbers about Apple sales, there is no questioning the method of data sampling or reliability of the source. 1wink.gif

post #13 of 33

Apple has managed to sort out their biggest screw up of 2012 and analysts are now reporting that sales of the iMac line are way up..... No shit genius.

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post #14 of 33
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Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

Funny thing - when an analyst posts positive numbers about Apple sales, there is no questioning the method of data sampling or reliability of the source. 1wink.gif

Not true at all. I've frequently questioned things like this. If you go back through the market share threads, you'll find multiple cases where I said that market share figures based on samples were not valid unless they could prove that the samples were representative - and I did so even in threads which showed very positive numbers for Apple.
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post #15 of 33
So Gene is saying that sales are higher if there is an adequate supply. Shocker. In other news, water feels wet if you touch it.

Give this man an honorary doctorate in Econ.
post #16 of 33
Quote:
But I don't enjoy the Apple Stores as much as I used to - the daily sea of humanity makes many (most?) of them stink like a men's locker room by noon, if not earlier.

Ha! You made me chuckle, ankleskater. "The stores are nice except for all the customers". ROFL. I hope you're not an employee at one of those stores. 1wink.gif

(Though perhaps you're mostly complaining about the *type* of customer, in which case your complaint is akin to what my friends say about Wmart. Still, I'd think the two shops would have a different demographic.)
post #17 of 33

There is no possible way the NPD Group could cull accurate data on Mac sales. Absolutely impossible unless they are stealing it from Apple. In other words... BS.

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post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

Funny thing - when an analyst posts positive numbers about Apple sales, there is no questioning the method of data sampling or reliability of the source. 1wink.gif

 

Any and all statements by analysts should be viewed with a huge amount of skepticism or just plain be ignored.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #19 of 33
Ankleskater...
We need to make a Fabreez mist app for the devices at their stores! Call it 'BO b Gone'...
post #20 of 33

I'm assuming after looking over these charts that when they say "Mac sales," they mean ALL Macs, including the MBP and MBA line, which have seen significant price cuts recently. Considering iMacs have been instock at most BnM stores, both Apple and third party since January, I think it's fair to say those price cuts probably play a huge role in this surge. Of course no one wishing to stay in Apple's good graces wants to report that, as it directly implies lowering rMBP prices to more realistic levels = surging sales. Since this report doesn't include sales numbers for individual products in the Mac line, there's no way of knowing what contributed most to this sales increase, but I do think it's notable that the recent significant price cuts aren't mentioned at all.

post #21 of 33
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Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post

I'm assuming after looking over these charts that when they say "Mac sales," they mean ALL Macs, including the MBP and MBA line, which have seen significant price cuts recently. Considering iMacs have been instock at most BnM stores, both Apple and third party since January, I think it's fair to say those price cuts probably play a huge role in this surge. Of course no one wishing to stay in Apple's good graces wants to report that, as it directly implies lowering rMBP prices to more realistic levels = surging sales. Since this report doesn't include sales numbers for individual products in the Mac line, there's no way of knowing what contributed most to this sales increase, but I do think it's notable that the recent significant price cuts aren't mentioned at all.

I don't think that there's any way to say that for a number of reasons:

1. Sales in January are always the slowest month of the year. So even without any price changes or new products, one would expect them to increase in February and March.

2. Even in January, supplies of the iMac were constrained with long lead times - especially for custom orders.

3. The price cuts were not universal. AFAIK, the prices on the Apple Store remained unchanged.

There's absolutely no way to say that the price cuts played a huge role as you claim. They probably played some role, but no one outside of Apple knows how much.
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post #22 of 33
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Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

 

Any and all statements by analysts should be viewed with a huge amount of skepticism or just plain be ignored.


And yet here you are reading this page. :)

post #23 of 33
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Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

There is no possible way the NPD Group could cull accurate data on Mac sales. Absolutely impossible unless they are stealing it from Apple. In other words... BS.


That used to be what I thought too. But the fact is that these groups are rarely way off and are often <20% off, which is remarkable to me. In some ways, I am sort of impressed.

post #24 of 33
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Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Not true at all. I've frequently questioned things like this. If you go back through the market share threads, you'll find multiple cases where I said that market share figures based on samples were not valid unless they could prove that the samples were representative - and I did so even in threads which showed very positive numbers for Apple.


Man ... you are so defensive when it comes to Apple that you are even defensive about being defensive.

post #25 of 33
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Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post


Man ... you don't like it when people spread lies.

There. Fixed it for you.
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post #26 of 33
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Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post


Man ... you are so defensive when it comes to Apple that you are even defensive about being defensive.

 

Ok I laughed at that. I've noticed the same thing from a few commenters here, but you're the first to point it out.

post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


I don't think that there's any way to say that for a number of reasons:

1. Sales in January are always the slowest month of the year. So even without any price changes or new products, one would expect them to increase in February and March.

2. Even in January, supplies of the iMac were constrained with long lead times - especially for custom orders.

3. The price cuts were not universal. AFAIK, the prices on the Apple Store remained unchanged.

There's absolutely no way to say that the price cuts played a huge role as you claim. They probably played some role, but no one outside of Apple knows how much.

 

1. Which probably played a large role in shipping times beginning to improve, but otherwise this has nothing to do with my point so why mention it?

 

2. Which you'd only notice if you tried to order from Apple's online store. Best Buy, MacMall, and even Apple's retail stores had plenty in stock, including at least one build of the 27" model. You're correct about custom orders still being an issue, but I'd like to see the ratio between stock and custom orders before I comment on whether or not that matters.

 

3. You're half right. All discounts aside from those implemented for the rMBP line weren't matched by Apple itself. I know three people personally who jumped on buying an rMBP after the price cuts, though, as the only thing keeping them on the fence was the price delta between MBP and rMBP. I was half tempted myself, but prefer to wait for the Haswell refresh this summer since I'll be buying the 13" model, as every indication is that the integrated graphics of that part are significantly improved over the current Ivy Bridge model.

 

Since I am assuming these numbers come from ALL Mac sales, not just direct sales via Apple's online or retail stores, to imply that those sizable discounts don't matter because they were only implemented by 3rd party sellers is tenuous as best. As you say, since there is absolutely no way prove one way or another if those discounts did play a role (I said A role, mind you, not a Huge role. That was your word, not mine) there is equally no way to prove they DIDN'T play just as significant if not more so a role as the improved production yields for the iMac line. This point alone negates the credibility of this article, which was the main thrust of my first post. As a shareholder, I'm happy to see sales are up, and never meant to imply otherwise.

post #28 of 33
Now that supply has caught up, can apple please, Please, PLEASE, release an updated Thunderbolt Display?

Pretty please?

I'm dyin' here. Bought a new MacbookPro last summer and have been waiting and waiting for a Thunderbolt update.
post #29 of 33
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Originally Posted by tiger2 View Post

Now that supply has caught up, can apple please, Please, PLEASE, release an updated Thunderbolt Display?

Pretty please?

I'm dyin' here. Bought a new MacbookPro last summer and have been waiting and waiting for a Thunderbolt update.

I expect they will at the event they update the Mac Pro and AirPort products.

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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post #30 of 33
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Originally Posted by saarek View Post

Apple has managed to sort out their biggest screw up of 2012 and analysts are now reporting that sales of the iMac line are way up..... No shit genius.

Can you tell us what went wrong with the screen lamination processes? Who was the job contracted to? How many lines did they set up? How much experience was there with the technology? How closely was Apple riding herd on the suppliers for the materials?

You keep saying that it was Apple that screwed up. How, exactly? Let us know whatever it is that you know.
post #31 of 33
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Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

Can you tell us what went wrong with the screen lamination processes? Who was the job contracted to? How many lines did they set up? How much experience was there with the technology? How closely was Apple riding herd on the suppliers for the materials?

You keep saying that it was Apple that screwed up. How, exactly? Let us know whatever it is that you know.

Isn't it obvious? He had no clue what really happened, so he's slinging mud.

No one here knows the answer to the questions you are asking.
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post #32 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

Apple has managed to sort out their biggest screw up of 2012 and analysts are now reporting that sales of the iMac line are way up..... No shit genius.

Can you tell us what went wrong with the screen lamination processes? Who was the job contracted to? How many lines did they set up? How much experience was there with the technology? How closely was Apple riding herd on the suppliers for the materials?

You keep saying that it was Apple that screwed up. How, exactly? Let us know whatever it is that you know.

Their part of it was halting sales of the old iMacs before there was adequate supplies of the new ones. That's not a fault necessarily but at least a side-effect of their supply chain design where they don't like to build up too much inventory. On the flip side, there would be a risk if they did build up inventory, of news about a new product leaking before the announcement. That seems to happen anyway though so perhaps they need to have a longer lead time. There's a much lower negative impact from finding out about products early than them not being able to fulfil actual orders.
post #33 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

Can you tell us what went wrong with the screen lamination processes? Who was the job contracted to? How many lines did they set up? How much experience was there with the technology? How closely was Apple riding herd on the suppliers for the materials?

You keep saying that it was Apple that screwed up. How, exactly? Let us know whatever it is that you know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Isn't it obvious? He had no clue what really happened, so he's slinging mud.

No one here knows the answer to the questions you are asking.

These questions and their answers are interesting but not relevant in assessing Apple's responsibility in delayed shipment of new iMacs. Either they should have postponed announcing the new design or they should have stopped taking orders. Regardless of which contractor didnt come thru, Apple is responsible.
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