Apple’s Mac a surprise hit in Q414 results; market share now highest since 1995

“Apple’s Mac was the surprise hit during this past quarterly earnings — record setting sales and revenue for the Mac line as the platform approaches quarterly revenue nearly equaling that of Apple’s entire annual earnings a bit more than a decade ago,” Anthony Frausto-Robledo reports for Architosh.

“In a remarkable story, Apple sold a million more Macs this quarter than the year ago quarter, reaching a quarter record of 5.5 million units and revenues of $6.6 billion. Ten years ago Apple’s total yearly revenue, which was already including its sensational iPod music player, was $8.2 billion,” Frausto-Robledo reports. “It’s important to put that in perspective but today Apple’s Mac business is so strong it nearly accomplishes in one quarter of the year what Apple was doing as a total business a little more than a decade ago.”

Frausto-Robledo reports, “Apple’s Mac sales are so strong the company not only sold more Macs than any quarter in its history—going back to the very beginning in 1984—but it earned the best performing market share since 1995, a peak period for Apple during the PowerPC years and the promise of the AIM Alliance with IBM and Motorola.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Slowly, but surely, the world awakens.

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  1. Wow, so in 1995 it was a peek year for Apple, yet in 1997/8 they were so close to calling it quits.

    We all know the story, but really what happened in “TWO” years? Was is the choice to allow clones? Did that gut the company?

    Something doesn’t add up.

    1. A perfect storm: Apple resting on their laurels and not doing much to advance hardware or software design for 10 years finally caught up with them, Windows 95 comes out and arguably matches/beats what Apple was offering with System 7, and this all happens as the PC revolution really takes off with the introduction of the web.

      Apple’s pants had been down for a while as they focused almost solely on the bottom line, being run by marketing, and they finally got caught.

    2. It’s a bit misleading. Running up to 1995, Apple had some success in new product rollouts (notably 1991 with System 7, Quadras and PowerBooks).

      However by 1995, Sculley had distracted the company with the Newton and along with Spindler, the company had an endless product line. There were countless numbers of “Performas”. I swear, there were more models than customers.

      So in 1995, Apple had a HUGE excess inventory problem with really low margins and lots of write-offs.

      Worse, this is when Microsoft finally got on board with the Internet just as it was starting to really take off with consumers. Windows 95 lead a huge buying surge of PCs while tons of money flowed in to startups that developed all kinds of plugins and apps that were Windows only as the startups limited their focus to the larger platform.

      Meanwhile retail prices were in a free fall. Intel was in a roll with development while at the same time being very aggressive in a price war with AMD, which was also on a development roll.

      Not to mention that before Jobs came back the ship was utterly rudderless. Apple needed a next-gen OS, but all of their attempts had been met with failure. As a result, consumers were looking at new PCs which were evolving rapidly in what they could do and dropping just as rapidly in price, versus a “beleaguered” Apple which was increasingly being left behind in everything.

      The company also had a ton of employees in divisions that were no longer productive or relevant. As a result, not only did they have huge inventory charges, but also huge restructuring charges.

      Dark days indeed.

      I still clung to my Macs though with the poster overhead of how you could take away my Mac when you pried it from my cold dead hands.

      During the darkest days, I had both PCs and Macs on my desks. The PCs were company issued, while the Macs I purchased myself and snuck in.

      1. Didn’t PC Gaming really start to take off around 94-96 with Doom and some other network capable games.

        I was still playing Marathon, far superior to Doom and the rest of the PC shooters, but really the only game Apple had going for it (and it was really only good for LAN).

    3. Just because you have good profits and/or marketshare doesn’t mean a thing for even the near future of your company.
      Look at Nokia & Blackberry. Apple was almost the same in the mid 90s.

  2. This is really fantastic news. It’s also important to realize the difference between now and 1995 in the trend lines.

    Years ago, I write here that Mac market share would reach a critical point where developers would come back to the platform and then consumers would find it more attractive again since all their software and accessories would be compatible.

    We’ve gone beyond that now. With IT departments having to accept iPhones and iPads, we’re looking at a whole new level of change as Macs will be making their way in as well.

    Also, it’s worth taking these numbers with a grain of salt. On the negative side, you need to seasonally adjust them. It’s back to school, which will be followed by the holiday season and then drop significantly in the yearly cycle, BUT… These are still great year-over-year numbers and it’s great to see the buying trend being initiated by students and consumers.

      1. Read the rest of the rest of the paragraph, specifically, “These are still great year-over-year numbers…”

        The point being that we should expect a drop when results are released in April from where they are now (again better YOY though).

        1. Results from this quarter will be released in January. The new iPhones were available only for a few days last quarter. This quarter should be a blowout compared to last year. April results depend somewhat on the iWatch, Apple Pay adoption, and other moves by Apple in the meantime. If Apple Pay takes hold and begins to grow it will drive iPhone sales well beyond this quarter. I’ve used Apple Pay and it is fantastically easy and secure. There aren’t enough stores and banks accepting it yet for it to be declared a success, but once people start clamoring for it the other banks and stores will follow. It’s a win-win for banks and merchants because the user’s credit/ATM card data is never exposed to anyone during the transaction. In the last two years I’ve had to get a new ATM card issued on my brokerage account due to having used it at places like Home Depot. Both times these alerts came up I was out of town with large amounts of cash for traveling in that account. It took up to 48 hours for the brokerage house to Fed Ex me the new cards. Notice that Home Depot and Target are already participants in Apple Pay, having learned their lesson the hard way.

        2. A sequential drop in sales in April results would be nothing out of the ordinary. That’s a rather routine occurrence with Apple and many other companies. It’s only YoY that matters at all.

  3. hammers home the point that iPads are computers. Looks like a lot of people prefer their computing done with a mouse and keyboard, while others prefer a touch interface. It’s all good because Apple has the best in both worlds!

    1. how does it feel to be deaf, dumb AND blind.
      you are in for quite a shock, i hope, for your sake, you have a strong family or support group.
      have you ever spent any time in God’s Word?

  4. I never ceases to amaze me how so many morons laughed every time I took my Macbook out of my bag, people who said I just wasted my money on a toy, and that Microsoft has the world by the cha chas. And now, so many of those same people rip Microsoft and own a Mac. iPad and iPhone sales have helped, but it’s more than that – people have just had it with Microsoft and the crap they dish out. A Mac has ALWAYS been a better experience. I think they cemented that a long time ago, but with Yosemite, nothing out there comes close.

    1. Not one of those morons would ever apologise either given the chance. They STILL think they’re right.

      It explains why they’re now mostly chronic alcoholics in private.

    2. I shall never forget how the IT guy tried to persuade the design dept to go PC telling us how Vista was going to blow our Macs away. Have to kick myself now to make sure such delusion actually was expressed. But I doubt that he has changed since.

  5. Apple’s Continuity is a brilliant stroke. No other ecosystem/platform has all the necessary pieces. And just recently Apple added a 5K computer to the line-up. These two innovations will help to accelerate the adoption of Macs beyond anybody’s vision. There is an enormous market shift taking place in computing and it will last for years. This is just the beginning.

    1. First Mac was an SE in ’89 that we used for 14 years, and it was still going strong, just rather out-dated when we replaced it with a bondi blue iMac. I did a lot of important, meaningful work on that SE. It was built like a German Tiger II tank.

  6. Gotta admit I have been surprised at how very long it has taken for the public to give up on Windows. Even though Apple has had the public’s confidence for years now. For example, when was the last time you saw a PC on a TV show or movie? No body wants to be caught dead with one. Yet, it has taken until now to see a significant shift in the numbers.

    Better late than never.

  7. I find the entire issue of Mac market share fascinating. Jobs spoke about the glass ceiling of 10% of US market share that was for some reason difficult to achieve.

    Back in the mid nineties, say 1997, these Mac catalogs would arrive with thrilling deals on Mac clone towers that were much faster and cheaper than the apple ones. The sentiment was who why pay more money for a slower computer sold by apple?

    1. Yea, I bought a Power Computing tower because of their build to order option, something that Apple didn’t offer at the time. The price was good, but the sheet medal box was cheaply made and didn’t last as long as it should have.

    1. Is silicon a stone? If it is, and I think it is, then we are still in a stone age of sorts!

      The threads above have expressed sublime eruditus with the exception of bbock and j.eric.

      Thank you people! you have been edifying!!

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