Domestic Mac Sales Flat in April (And That’s Not Bad)
With the iPhone and iPad driving increasingly more of Apple’s profits, the Mac is no longer the defining theme of the company’s financial story that it once was. Which is why new data suggesting that domestic Mac sales for the month of April didn’t grow at all is actually reasonably good news for Apple.
According to NPD, Mac sales for the month of April in North America were flat year over year. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who reported the data, said that’s a “neutral to slight positive” data point for Apple, relative to expectations for its Mac business.
Why neutral? Munster’s own forecast calls for worldwide Mac sales for the June quarter to decline about 5 percent year over year. And, last quarter, supply issues hampered sales of Apple’s newer Macs. So if NPD is seeing flat sales for April, that potentially bodes well for the current quarter.
Level Mac sales aren’t great, but they’re obviously better than down Mac sales. And now that Apple is looking to other devices like the iPad to fuel its growth, a planate trend in Mac sales isn’t really cause for much concern. As Apple CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly said, the iPad is now the company’s growth engine, not the Mac.
“With iPad in particular, we have the mother of all opportunities because the Windows market is much, much larger than the Mac market is,” Cook said back in January. “And I think it is clear that it’s already cannibalizing some, and I think there’s a tremendous amount of more opportunity there. As you know I’ve said for two or three years now that I believe the tablet market will be larger than the PC market at some point, and I still believe that. And you can see by the growth in tablets and the pressure on PCs that those lines are beginning to converge.”
And as they continue to do so, declining Mac sales will be less and less cause for concern — as long as the iPad continues to exploit that “mother of all opportunities” to which Cook referred.