Mac sales to set another record, says analyst

Apple will post fourth-quarter sales of 3.3M Macs, up 31% over 2008

Apple will report selling another record number of Macs in the final quarter of 2009 when it unveils its financial figures later this month, a Wall Street analyst said Thursday in a note to clients.

Brian Marshall, of BroadPoint AmTech, estimated total Mac sales at 3.3 million units for 2009's fourth quarter. If Marshall's calculations are accurate, it would mean Apple broke the record sales of 3.05 million Macs set in the year's third calendar quarter by 249,000 machines, an increase of 8.5%.

Year-over-year, Marshall's estimate of 3.3 million Macs would be a 31% increase from the 2.3 million systems Apple sold in the fourth quarter of 2008. That kind of gain would be a return to Apple sales trends during 2008, when the company racked up impressive year-over-year increases ranging from 21% in the third calendar quarter to a whopping 51% in the first quarter.

Assuming Apple beats the industry average growth again in the fourth quarter of 2009 -- as seems certain, even if Marshall's estimate is on the high side -- Apple's sales will have outpaced the average in 20 out of the last 21 quarters. The one exception: The first quarter of 2009, when Apple failed for the first time since 2003 to boost Mac sales year-over-year.

According to Gartner Research, global computer sales will grow by just 2.3% during 2009.

Marshall also joined other analysts in predicting a resurgence of Apple's desktop sales by pegging the company's sales for the fourth quarter at 865,000 units, a year-over-year increase of 19% and a quarter-over-quarter gain of 10%.

Earlier in December, retail research firm said that sales of Apple's desktops -- the iMac, Mac mini and Mac Pro lines -- were up 74% during October and November in the U.S. At the time, analyst Stephen Baker of NPD credited the revamped iMac for the sales surge.

Apple unveiled the new 21.5- and 27-in. iMacs -- the latter available with quad-core Intel processors for the first time -- on Oct. 20. Since then, however, questions have cropped up about the 27-in. iMacs' graphics cards and displays, with large numbers of customers reporting flickering screens , a problem multiple authorized resellers said resulted in Apple's decision to delay shipping the largest, most expensive models.

Apple will issue its official sales numbers for the fourth quarter in the second half of January during an earnings call with financial analysts.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld . Follow Gregg on Twitter @gkeizer , send e-mail at gkeizer@ix.netcom.com or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed .

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags PC saleswall streetapple mac

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Gregg Keizer

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?