Apple’s Selling More Macs Because It Finally Has More Macs to Sell

Published on February 26, 2013
by John Paczkowski

new_imacsThough supplies of its new iMac remain somewhat constrained, Apple appears to be making some headway in bringing supply of the machine into rough parity with demand. To wit, new data from NPD that shows Mac sales up significantly this year.

According to NPD data cited by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, Mac sales rose 31 percent year over year for the month of January. Why? Simple. Said Munster, “We believe the reason for the significant improvement in the sales data is primarily due to Apple catching up with iMac supply.”

When Apple last reported earnings, CEO Tim Cook noted that iMac supplies hadn’t been what the company had hoped. “We left the quarter with significant constraints on the iMac,” Cook said. “And we believe … that our sales would have been materially higher if those constraints weren’t there.”

Cook went on to pledge that Apple would work hard to ramp up iMac production, though he cautioned that supply-demand equilibrium may be something of a moving target in the short term. “On iMac, we are confident that we are going to significantly increase the supply,” he said. “But the demand here is very strong, and we are not certain that we will achieve a supply-demand balance during the quarter.”

On its face, the NPD seems to bear this out. The increase in Mac sales is likely the result of Apple improving production, but as the two-to-three-week/three-to-four-week shipping times on the Apple Store suggest, the company is still having trouble manufacturing enough iMacs to meet demand.

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