“Sure, Apple Computer sold a lot of iPods in the September quarter. But unlike in past periods, when surging sales of the iconic digital-music player grabbed headlines, this time around, the Mac was the belle of the earnings ball,” Arik Hesseldahl reports for BusinesWeek. “In fact, Apple sold more of its Macintosh computers—1.61 million—than in any other quarter. Mac sales were clearly the high point of the quarter and the year, accounting for $2.2 billion, or 45%, of revenue.”
“‘They delivered in spades,’ Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says of Apple’s Mac sales. ‘It’s a sign that Apple has turned the corner from being a niche player to being a player that is starting to make a run at bigger players.’ Indeed, Apple came within spitting distance of overtaking Gateway as the third-biggest U.S. computer maker, according to Gartner figures released on Oct. 18, the same day as Apple’s results. Last quarter, Apple sold a mere 38,000 fewer units than Gateway, which trails Hewlett-Packard and Dell,” Hesseldahl reports.
“Not that the iPod played the shrinking violet by any means. Apple sold 8.7 million units, more than 2 million more than a year earlier. That was welcome news, considering some recent analyst reports pointing to the prospect of worse-than-expected iPod sales. Indeed, the iPod showed its continued importance to Apple’s bottom line, making up $1.5 billion, or nearly one-third, of sales,” Hesseldahl reports.
“The retail division also pulled its share of the weight, turning in sales of $936 million and clocking more than 20 million visitors to its 165 stores around the world. Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said internal surveys found that 50% of those who bought Macs in the retail stores described themselves as ‘new to the Mac,'” Hesseldahl reports. “Also aiding Apple’s retail efforts is a trial with Best Buy, which by the end of the quarter was selling Macs in 50 stores, up from 7 at the beginning of the period. ‘If it succeeds, and expands across all of Best Buy, it could increase Apple’s retail footprint by 10%,’ says Munster. ‘That will dramatically boost the U.S. go-to-market strategy with the Mac. I bet a year from now they’re in half of Best Buy’s stores.'”
Hesseldahl reports, “The quarter also capped a fiscal year when Apple sold 5.3 million Macs and 39 million iPods, recorded $19.3 billion in sales, and stacked up a $1.9 billion profit.”
Full article here.
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