Apple’s Q314: Surging Mac defies a shrinking Windows PC market

“Apple announced its fiscal Q3 2014 results on July 22, reporting a reasonably strong set of numbers that beat market expectation on earnings, although revenues were slightly lower than anticipated,” Trefis Team writes for Forbes. “The results were driven by the iPhone, which saw demand grow for all three models, and by the Mac, which saw double digits sales growth despite a shrinking personal computer market.”

“The iPhone remains Apple’s most important product by far, accounting for close to half of the company’s value, according to our estimates,” Trefis writes. “For this quarter, Apple shipped about 35 million iPhones, representing a 12.7% jump over the same quarter a year ago, although revenue growth was slightly lower at around 9% possibly due to a greater mix of lower-end handsets.”

“The Mac saw particularly strong sales through the last quarter, with shipments growing by around 18% year-over-year to around 4.4 million units, despite the shrinking PC market. Apple notes that Macs have gained global market share for 32 out of the last 33 quarters. The results were primarily driven by strong sales of the Macbook Air, which recently got a price cut along with a bump in specifications,” Trefis writes. “While sales to the U.S. expanded by double digits, driven by the education buying season, shipments in China were robust, growing by around 39% compared to the broader Chinese PC market which was projected to have shrunk by about 5% during the period. Although the Mac isn’t as big a driver of Apple’s value as its iDevices businesses, it remains an important component of the company’s overall ecosystem.”

Much more in the full article here.


  1. For all of us who are on this forum because of its name, Mac Daily News, and who have witnessed Apple’s struggle of the 90’s, the Mac growth numbers are probably the most gratifying portion of this earnings report (as well as for past eight years). While the share of Mac OS in the total desktop pie is still barely around 10% (varying wildly in different estimates, from 4% to 12%), the growth is very clear and consistent, which continues to bring app developers (an issue that presented the biggest problem in the 90’s when Mac development was often not even on the horizon for developers).

    1. I completely agree, Predrag. We’ve been a Mac-only household / business since we bought our first Mac (an SE in ’89). I had to endure insult upon insult from Windohs lemmings for years, e.g., “When are you going to get a ‘real’ computer?”, “Apple computers are just toys”.

      Macs brought us to Apple, and though we have iPhones, iPads, etc., when I think of Apple, I think Mac.

      It is gratifying to see Mac usage continue to increase.

    2. Right on Predrag, and during those trying days one thing became crystal clear. The majority of Mac users loved using their Macs. So did I. Windows users not so much but they sure seethed in hatred of Macs, and FUD was a buzzword of the day.

      Some things have changed, there are a lot more people that love their Apple products, some things have not, there are still a lot of people that hate Apple products, and are as vocal as can be about it.

      One thing though, Apple is not going to go away any time soon. The FUD failure and the Doom scenarios are wisps of smoke that are dissipating. Heck even the stock reaction after the last quarterly results has me wondering.

      All time high coming up for Apple, hopefully before the end of the year.

    3. Absolutely true. I had a co-worker in 2003 who told me I was an idiot for putting money into Apple stock, and said the same “Apple computers are toys” kind of crap that Arnold mentioned…..which I thought was hilarious because on multiple occasions, my unsupported-by-IT personal PowerBook was the only computer in the building that could print, connect to the network, etc. I took great joy from the fact that he had to email documents to have me print for him a couple of times because none of the Windows computers could print for days at a time. 🙂

      I even tried to point out to this guy that Apple had no debt and nearly 50% of their market value in CASH, Mac sales increasing, iPod booming…no matter, he still thought I was “better off just burning the money.”

      Now, 11 years later, with his beloved Microsoft headed straight down the toilet, Apple the #1 most valuable company in the world, and I’m sitting on nearly 7000% gains on that “worthless stock.”

      I dearly wish I still had his contact information. 😀

  2. Apple had a decent quarter but apparently that’s not good enough for investors or pundits who believe selling lots of products is easy to do. Can Apple do better? Probably. Should it have to? I don’t think so. Apple seems to be the epitome of a successful company and demanding more from Apple would be bordering on the point of greed. I think there comes a point where a company should simply focus on building the best products they can and not necessarily set out to capture as much market share as possible.

    Considering Apple’s contribution to consumer tech, I don’t think the company is being given the respect it deserves. People who go around saying Apple is weak and flawed have their heads screwed on backwards. Those terms should be reserved for a company like BlackBerry. I don’t care how great a company is at some point growth is likely to slow, but that time is still impossible to predict. Conditions change and new things come along all the time which could easily skew any prediction. Wall Street is based on fabrications and beliefs that don’t necessarily come true.

    1. The stock market runs on hype and analysts are not pumping Apple for all its worth.
      But in retrospect it has been a good year for aapl. YTD the stock is up 21% and for the last 12 months up over 50%. All the losses in the last few years have been virtually erased and the stock is primed to break its all time record probably when the new phones are announced.
      So I agree that the market is not fully reflecting Apple’s continuing success but at least the negativity is largely over. Apple have successful weathered the smartphone storm and did what it had done to the PC market: marginalize competitors.
      Also don’t forget, for us who have held onto our shares in the last few years we have gain in higher percentage return for dividends. If you reinvested those then you now have more shares than you would have had if the stock had stayed at its current levels.

  3. Mac sales will continue to do well in the comming months and years. Continuity is a big deal and once the public sees this magic their next machine will be a Mac.

    There also could be new opportunities such as monitors with built-in mirroring capabilities. These screens will be able to mirror Macs and iOS devices, but what gets really interesting is when they can mirror an iPhone or iPad which has OS X installed. These new monitors would be sold by Apple and possibly even other vendors. Power users will still need the horsepower of Macs, but for a large segment of the workforce OS X or a hybrid running on the iPhone or iPad will be more than sufficient. I imagine most PC’s in the workplace will be replaced by an iPhone/iPad, docking station and second screen.

  4. Sold my 2009 iMac 27″ for $700 to a person who never used a Mac before. That’s half what I paid five years ago. After all these years it is still like new. I’ll be getting a new iMac. Just need to wait a couple of months for the update.

  5. PC sales are up hence this article is FUD. Mac sales are to existing Mac users who are upgrading as are most Apple product sales which are crystallized with existing Apple product users.

  6. You know…they just done this here deal with IBM for all them iPhones an’ iPads they wanna push into IBM’s big iron clients… what say for the Mac they do a deal with MacDonald’s?
    How come none o’ you smarties didn’t never think of this before? Y’know…has all kinds of possibilities
    Big Mac Pro
    Big Macbook
    Big iMac
    Big iMac and fries

    c’mon, don’t make me think of all of ’em…
    you jerks have a crack at it.

  7. I saw some talking heads on TV the other day saying that the pendulum seems to be swinging back to PCs from tablets. If true, Apple may be in a good position to take advantage of it and possibly pick up some pent up demand. If not true, Apple is still in a good position.

    Apple should be capitalizing on this. That means they shouldn’t be screwing up what they have (e.g. OS downgrades, dropping support for Pro products, pushing everybody into the cloud whether they want it or not, late support for features [e.g. big screens], missed opportunities [e.g. products late for back-to-school or holiday season]).

    Apple is in the driver’s seat but I’m not sure that Tim Cook won’t screw it up.

  8. It’s little wonder – the MBA 11″ or 13″ is a nearly perfect piece of kit. Chinese with the dose (and there’s millions more of them each year) can spot lasting value and prestige when they see it.

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