Mac Sales Decline During Operation Enduring Downturn
Looks like the econalypse is finally catching up with Apple. Though the record revenue and profit the company posted for its fiscal first quarter led many to conclude it was recession-proof, new metrics from Piper Jaffray suggest that Apple, too, is suffering from these economically challenging times. In a report to clients this week, Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster said Mac sales are on a pace to decline on a year-over-year basis for the first time in six years.
Mac unit sales were down six percent compared with last January, according to Munster. Based on that, the analyst expects Apple (AAPL) will sell between 2 million and 2.2 million Macs during its second quarter, compared to 2.3 million Macs sold in Q2 of 2008. Also reportedly on the decline: iPod sales. Munster says January numbers for the iconic device were down 14 percent year-over-year.
It seems, then, that Apple CEO Steve Jobs may have to withhold his oft-recycled “best quarter ever” pronouncement come March. That said, Munster expects Apple to meet consensus expectations for the quarter–so it’s not all bad news. “We believe this data will be perceived as a neutral or a slight positive given the uncertainty surrounding the Mar-08 quarter,” Munster wrote. “Given concerns regarding iPod weakness, we believe the segment’s in-line performance relative to Street expectations is a positive.”
Interesting data points for Apple watchers, although by no means definitive ones. Munster’s report is, after all, based on a single month of data and doesn’t account for wild cards like the announcement of revisions to the iMac and/or Mac Mini lines–both of which have been expected for some time.