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Apple flirting with another record quarter for Mac sales

post #1 of 30
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After spending 25 hours counting sales of iPhones and Macs at Apple's US-based retail chain, investment bank Piper Jaffray said it believes the company this quarter could meet or beat last quarter's record 2.6 million Mac sales total while again selling more than 6 million iPhones.

The firm's checks reveal the Cupertino-based company is selling an average of 28 iPhone 3Gs per day through each of its retail stores, down from 95 units per day in July, immediately following the handset's launch.

While those results would suggest a stark decline in quarterly sales, analyst Gene Munster said expanded international availability, the upcoming holiday shopping season, and the addition of Best Buy as an authorized iPhone reseller in US should combined to offset any slowdown in sales at the company's stores.

"We believe iPhone units will decline 5-15% sequentially, which is above recent reports from Asian suppliers suggesting up to a 40% sequential decline," he told clients in a research report Monday. "We are currently modeling for an 8% decline [to 6.4 million units]."

Separately, Munster said his observations regarding Mac sales lead him to believe Apple will best his 2.6 million Mac unit sales estimate for the current December quarter, which would position the company to potentially set a new single quarter Mac sales record should it ship more than last quarter's 2.611 million units.

More specifically, the analyst's checks show per-store Mac sales to be up 80 percent year-over-year from a similar survey in September of 2007 when each outlet was moving approximately 20 Macs per day. During his most recent analysis, Munster said Apple is averaging 36 Mac sales per store, per day, which gives him confidence in his 2.6 million unit estimate.

Piper Jaffray, which maintains a Buy rating and $250 price target on shares of Apple, says its retail store checks were performed at various times and days of the week. The firm's weighted average calculations assume 8 percent of Apple retail stores are flagship locations while the remaining 92 percent are regular-sized stores.
post #2 of 30
I am an Apple bull, and I still think this is unlikely. 2 million iPhones were used to stuff the channel last quarter, which they won't have as an extra push this quarter.

The real comparison number, then is 5 million units (the "real" number than ended up in people's hands last quarter), so an 8% decline would be 4.6 million sold. I am thinking it will be more like 4 million flat. Luxury goods are having a hard time, just look at ANF and COH as comparisons.
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post #3 of 30
This will disappoint those who hope MacBook sales are suffering because of the lack of firewire. They will come to the hard cold reality that they are of the extreme few who care about firewire.
post #4 of 30
If true, Apple stock will take a pounding for this.
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post #5 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

This will disappoint those who hope MacBook sales are suffering because of the lack of firewire. They will come to the hard cold reality that they are of the extreme few who care about firewire.

LOL I was gonna say something similar.
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post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

This will disappoint those who hope MacBook sales are suffering because of the lack of firewire. They will come to the hard cold reality that they are of the extreme few who care about firewire.

As an AAPL stockholder, I never wished MacBook sales would suffer. However, it frustrates me no end that Apple dropped FW from the MacBook for such an insignificant cost in a laptop that starts @ $1299. At this price level, there is no finanicial reason to have dropped FW from the MacBook.
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just waiting to be included in one of Apple's target markets.
Don't get me wrong, I like the flat panel iMac, actually own an iMac, and I like the Mac mini, but...........
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post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

This will disappoint those who hope MacBook sales are suffering because of the lack of firewire. They will come to the hard cold reality that they are of the extreme few who care about firewire.

yes it would be pretty funny if it's revealed
that the mac sales are predominantly whitebooks
due to the price drop

does anyone believe this analyst anyway (serious question actually)
he's been braying about $250 share price for as long as i can remember
how can he be serious with that estimate in this climate? he's talking about in 5 years right?
post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickag View Post

As an AAPL stockholder, I never wished MacBook sales would suffer. However, it frustrates me no end that Apple dropped FW from the MacBook for such an insignificant cost in a laptop that starts @ $1299. At this price level, there is no finanicial reason to have dropped FW from the MacBook.

I don't think anyone is arguing that the reasoning is remotely financial.
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post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickag View Post

At this price level, there is no finanicial reason to have dropped FW from the MacBook.

It likely was not a financial reason. Its an acknowledgment that most MacBook users don't use Firewire, and that the technology itself is fading into the sweet night.
post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

This will disappoint those who hope MacBook sales are suffering because of the lack of firewire. They will come to the hard cold reality that they are of the extreme few who care about firewire.

And USB 3.0 will put the final nail into Firewire's coffin. I fully expect Macs to move to USB 3.0 as soon as possible. Yes, Firewire is not standing still, but it's too late I think.
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickag View Post

As an AAPL stockholder, I never wished MacBook sales would suffer. However, it frustrates me no end that Apple dropped FW from the MacBook for such an insignificant cost in a laptop that starts @ $1299. At this price level, there is no finanicial reason to have dropped FW from the MacBook.

The reason to drop Firewire appears to be more an issue of enginneering and marketing. I doubt fianacials had a lot to do with it. The effort appears to be focused on an easy to construct MacBook housing.

As to this analyst haven't weall heard enough of this crap on AI? I mean really if you want to post research info at least post data that has a reasonable chance of being called valid. Sitting outside ONE Apple store means absolutely nothing as far as the market as a whole goes. There isn't a store anywhere that represents the country in total, that is why real organizations canvass widely to get a pulse on the economy. Which by the way isn't as bad as some make it out to be, sure Detriot is going to hell but that should surprise no body. GMs failure was likely to happen even with out the banking problems. So it is a stretch to say that the current economic problems would impact Apple significantly.



Dave
post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

LOL I was gonna say something similar.

and we would have had a point too, if it hadn't been for you meddling kids!
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post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

If true, Apple stock will take a pounding for this.

exactly

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post #14 of 30
$250 may be a fair price in a bull market, but in a bear market with the global economy suffering serious headwinds, that price is unrealistic. Apple doesn't pay a dividend, and with little prospect of guaranteed price appreciation in the near future, and possibly even lower prices, there is very little incentive for people to jump on board to make that $250 price a reality.

When the market starts to recover, AAPL is likely to rocket, but I'm not expecting that in the very near future.
post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheeles View Post

$250 may be a fair price in a bull market, but in a bear market with the global economy suffering serious headwinds, that price is unrealistic. Apple doesn't pay a dividend, and with little prospect of guaranteed price appreciation in the near future, and possibly even lower prices, there is very little incentive for people to jump on board to make that $250 price a reality.

When the market starts to recover, AAPL is likely to rocket, but I'm not expecting that in the very near future.

The estimates I'm hearing put a recovery for our economy anywhere from 16 months to 4 or 5 years. \ In other words, nobody knows nuthin'.

And another thing... Piper Jaffrey's method of surveying sales at the Apple Store is pretty flaky. This method cannot account for online sales, sales through at&t, Best Buy, and other sources.

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

This will disappoint those who hope MacBook sales are suffering because of the lack of firewire. They will come to the hard cold reality that they are of the extreme few who care about firewire.

I've always thought that it's pretty much only the A/V pros who care about Firewire. And most of those will opt for the MBP over the MB.

My only everyday use for Firewire in the past was for external hard drives (superior to USB for speed and consistency). Now that I've moved to eSATA for my external drives, my only need for Firewire is when using my M-Audio Firewire 410 for occasional (hobbyist) audio work. But I realize that I'm in a pretty niche user category for that.

It's too bad about Firewire though... it really is a much better design than USB. It's not so computer-centric -- which is why Intel put their weight behind USB instead. Hence where we are today. I still remember a quote from a Firewire enthusiast about the USB 2.0 spec back before it was ratified: "polishing a turd"

I guess USB 3.0 would be "buffing a turd".
 
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post #17 of 30
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Originally Posted by otwayross View Post

does anyone believe this analyst anyway (serious question actually)
he's been braying about $250 share price for as long as i can remember
.....

I don't know whether he is accurate or not from a price prediction standpoint, but I have always liked the quality of his fundamental analysis.

More importantly, in a profession that is replete with a bunch or Monday-morning-quarterbacks and after-the-fact geniuses, I give Munster tremendous credit for sticking to his guns and not following the crowd. He may be right or wrong, but he clearly believes what he is saying.

Your mileage may vary. But then, that's how it should be in the stock market, since after all, if everyone believed the same thing, there would be only one side to any transaction and therefore, no transaction.
post #18 of 30
So Apple lets people who aren't shopping stand around and count sales for hours?
post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

This method cannot account for online sales, sales through at&t, Best Buy, and other sources.

Don't you think the sales via these various channels are likely to be highly correlated?

Why would sales go up, say, in Apple Retail Stores, but not online?
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic_Al View Post

So Apple lets people who aren't shopping stand around and count sales for hours?

In the store? Probably not. But it's not hard to sit outside in the mall on a bench, pretend you're reading a magazine while keeping an eye on the doors.
post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

In the store? Probably not. But it's not hard to sit outside in the mall on a bench, pretend you're reading a magazine while keeping an eye on the doors.

1. Which make MunsterMall results even less credible. Munster has crude methods, and his store polling can't really be taken seriously. It's been pretty far off in the past.

2. My biggest concern about losing FW was the first time Mac buyer who gets home to discover they can't use iMovie with their existing camera. That isn't a great first impression and it could be pretty disappointing.

3. I overheard a woman in the Apple store telling the Apple guy that speed was important to her, as he described features of a Macbook. She sounded like she had a clue. When he described the hard drive she said, "Hard drive - what does that do again?" No - you can't expect the customer to know their camera won't work. To you it's Firewire. To them it's a plug.
post #22 of 30
Apple could have a huge christmas quarter if they cut their black friday prices a little more.

Then Jan-March sales would be down 'cause Dell would have its Chapter 11 sale and MS would do a Fire Sale on Zune with so many left overs after Xmas.
post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

I overheard a woman in the Apple store telling the Apple guy that speed was important to her, as he described features of a Macbook. She sounded like she had a clue. When he described the hard drive she said, "Hard drive - what does that do again?" No - you can't expect the customer to know their camera won't work. To you it's Firewire. To them it's a plug.

You are absolutely right on this point about FW. Makes me so angry Apple would pull a move like this... it's so... Apple!

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #24 of 30
As an iPhone 3G user, I know a couple of my co-workers are in the market.

As for the Mac, I look forward to purchase a 2.4Ghz MacBook or go straight to the 2.53Ghz MBP before Christmas.
post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

3. I overheard a woman in the Apple store telling the Apple guy that speed was important to her, as he described features of a Macbook. She sounded like she had a clue. When he described the hard drive she said, "Hard drive - what does that do again?" No - you can't expect the customer to know their camera won't work. To you it's Firewire. To them it's a plug.

At the start of the digital video camera age, it was only the higher end DV cameras which used Firewire. The consumer level cams were still analog (tape/video out).

There was a brief period where a lot of consumer-level cameras had only Firewire/iLink, but nowadays most consumer-level cams tend to use memory cards and/or support both USB and Firewire. So again, there's a relatively small number of people who have the FW-only cams. A number which will decrease over time as people buy new cameras.

Apple has always been among the first to deprecate technology on their systems (floppy drive, pre-USB keyboard and mouse connectors), so it's not really a surprise.
 
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post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

At the start of the digital video camera age, it was only the higher end DV cameras which used Firewire. The consumer level cams were still analog (tape/video out).

There was a brief period where a lot of consumer-level cameras had only Firewire/iLink, but nowadays most consumer-level cams tend to use memory cards and/or support both USB and Firewire. So again, there's a relatively small number of people who have the FW-only cams. A number which will decrease over time as people buy new cameras.

Apple has always been among the first to deprecate technology on their systems (floppy drive, pre-USB keyboard and mouse connectors), so it's not really a surprise.

Agreed - Apple is great at deprecating old tech. In this case I think they were a year too early. I stick to my example of the disappointed first time Mac buyer.

And I know this can be argued all day, and I'm not really that interested in it, even though I'm one of the few with a FW only camera. btw - do you know what that "few" number actually is? Sony sold a hell of a lot of them. In fact, they still sell them.

That said, I'll probably buy a Macbook in the next month or two despite the FW thing. I'm lucky enough to have a MBP for video.

One more year of FW and this wouldn't be a discussion. But with Sony still cranking out the cameras I think it was premature.
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

Agreed - Apple is great at deprecating old tech. In this case I think they were a year too early. [...]
One more year of FW and this wouldn't be a discussion.

Judging from the longevity of the previous MacBook design, the new design will be around a lot longer than a year. For now, just buy the old design and save a few $hundred if you care that much.
post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

Judging from the longevity of the previous MacBook design, the new design will be around a lot longer than a year. For now, just buy the old design and save a few $hundred if you care that much.

You're actually helping make another point. I want the aluminum case. Apple mistakenly thinks Pro means 15" or larger. Size is a strange place to divide pro and consumer.
post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

And USB 3.0 will put the final nail into Firewire's coffin. I fully expect Macs to move to USB 3.0 as soon as possible. Yes, Firewire is not standing still, but it's too late I think.

Any reason Target Mode cannot be made to work by Apple using USB 2 or 3? It is the only reason I'd miss FW on a MacBook since I'd not use it for my FW HD Sony FX1 editing machine anyway.
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post #30 of 30
Quote:
You're actually helping make another point. I want the aluminum case. Apple mistakenly thinks Pro means 15" or larger. Size is a strange place to divide pro and consumer.

Heh.

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