Retail PC sales up in Q1, Windows Vista delay spurs concerns of slowdown for rest of 2006

“Computer makers enjoyed strong year-over-year growth during the first calendar quarter this year, according to new U.S. retail sales data,” Amanda Cantrell reports for CNNMoney. “But while that strong growth may imply that computer manufacturers are on track to continue that growth the rest of the year, it remains to be seen whether Microsoft’s delay of the consumer version of its highly anticipated Windows Vista operating system will derail that growth, analysts say… PC makers such as Compaq are billing their current products as ‘Vista capable,’ meaning that they will have enough memory to run the new operating system, in hopes that customers will buy now and upgrade their operating system rather than wait until Vista debuts to buy. The data arrived ahead of next week’s tech earnings blitz. Apple, IBM, Intel and eBay all report quarterly earnings next week.”

“Unlike PC makers, Apple is immune to any negative effects of the Vista delay. But it faces a problem its PC competitors do not: It’s currently transitioning its entire line to Intel processors, which means it has to get rid of its non-Intel-based inventory. Goldman Sachs analysts estimate that Apple shipped about a million Macs in the quarter, making for roughly flat year over year growth. That’s in part because of the company’s slow ramp of its MacBook Pro Intel-based laptop as well as some stalling in iBook sales in anticipation of the Intel-based line, which is expected as early as this month, the analysts wrote,” Cantrell reports. “The Goldman Sachs analysts also think iPod sales will drop off sharply from last quarter’s record 14 million units sold. The analysts estimate that apple shipped 9.25 million iPods this quarter and suffered from greater “seasonality,” analyst-speak for the slowdown that takes place in sales following the quarter that includes the holidays.”

Full article here.

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Related article:
Apple Mac primed for market share gains as consumer portable market grows – April 12, 2006


  1. The common consumer know nothing of a upcoming Vista OS, nor did they know anything about the switch to Intel for Apple.

    99 out of 100 consumers will just buy a computer when they need a computer. THey know no different.

  2. Just as I suspected, people will simply buy a “Vista capable” machine for the holidays and wait out the 6 month to 1 year bug period before installing Vista from pirated sources.

    Or simply hold off buying a new machine until next holiday season as to avoid paying the Microsoft tax.

    Nobody really is any hurry, thousands of PC makers OEM Windows anyway, the fools will continue to use it as usual.

  3. One million macs sold this last quarter — keep that number in mind for when Apple releases the actual numbers. We’ll see whether Goldman Sachs is worth their estimates.

    Nine million iPods sold this past quarter? That would outperform Apple’s estimate of 8 million by 15%. That would be a good number, but maybe more than Goldman Sachs estimates.

    We’ll see…

  4. Analists seem forget that Apple doesn´t sell only in the US and that the rest of the world got almost no iPods whatsoever since before christmas so that the US demand could be met.

    I live in a medium sized town in Europe and we are just this week getting the first Nanos and 5G iPod available in the stores.

    So I would not be surprised if the iPod was to sell as much as last quarter but this time because of sales not from the US but from the rest of the world.

    By the way, the same thing is happening with the new iMac, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini.

    So I guess it will be a late christmas season around here…

    MW: Few, as in there were very FEW iPods available here since November…

  5. I predict Apple will surprise mildly to the upside on the Macs sold numbers – maybe 1.1 – 1.2 million. Of course, the number of iPods sold will drop vs. their blowout holiday numbers.

    And Ehh,
    People are referring to dollars not euros.

  6. It’s going to be an interesting quarter for AAPL owners. I’ll be surprised and delighted if Apple sold a million computers with only three of the new models out.

    I hate it when Apple gives guidance, then ANANlysts give a higher consensus, then Apple makes their number but not the stupid analyst prediction so the stock retreats.

    No worries tho, Apple has some dazzling quarters ahead once the rest of the line transitions to Intel. I know four people who’ve postponed Quad purchases to wait for an Intel based ProMac machine (I’m one of them).

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