NPD Data: Strong Mac Sales in April, Some iPod Cannibalization by iPad?

140954 mac lineup small

Fortune reports on a new research note from analyst Gene Munster at Piper Jaffray, who examined new April U.S. retail sales data for Apple from NPD and found very strong year-over-year Mac growth and a somewhat larger than predicted drop in iPod sales. The combination suggests that the iPad may be having more of a cannibalization effect on the iPod than on Macs, suggesting possible upside to Apple's financial performance as consumers are "upsold" to the iPad rather than holding back from Mac purchases.

"April NPD data gives us the first sign of the degree to which the iPad cannibalizes iPod or Mac sales," he writes. "From the early NPD data, it appears that the iPad has a minimal cannibalization impact on Mac sales, and could be slightly cannibalizing iPod sales. Given the ASP (4x) and margin profile of the iPad, we see this as a net positive for Apple's business."

As noted by All Things Digital, Munster's report suggests that the cannibalization of iPods rather than Macs is a direct result of Apple's positioning of the iPad and the capabilities offered by it. Munster says:

We believe in the long run Mac cannibalization will exist, but will be minimal. Apple has successfully limited the iPad functionality to primarily content consumption, vs. content creation on a Mac. And relative to the iPod, the physical size of an iPad provides a meaningfully different value proposition (portability vs. screen size).

NPD's data shows U.S. Mac sales up 39% year-over-year for the month of April, well ahead of the 19% consensus increase predicted by Wall Street analysts. According to Munster, that projects out to total sales of a strong 3.1-3.2 million Macs for the current quarter based on Apple's sales patterns.

The iPod, on the other hand, saw a 17% decline in unit sales year-over-year, significantly larger than the 9% decline predicted by the Street. Still, Apple may be on track to sell 9-10 million iPods this quarter, a healthy number given the impact of the iPad.

iPad cannibalization of other Apple product lines has been a focus for research analysts looking to understand the effect of the company's new device on its bottom line. Research from Morgan Stanley published earlier this month similarly showed a significant potential hit to the iPod, with 41% of surveyed customers planning to purchase an iPad saying they were doing so instead of purchasing an iPod touch. The same survey showed 24% and 14% of planned iPad customers holding off from buying Mac notebooks and desktops respectively, with another 20% (notebook) and 13% (desktop) forgoing non-Apple computers.

Top Stories

Top Stories 44 Feature

Top Stories: 'Thinner and Lighter' MacBook Air, Smaller iPhone 13 Notch, iOS 14.4 Incoming

Saturday January 23, 2021 6:00 am PST by
We continued to hear a lot more about Apple's plans for its Mac lineup this week, including word of a high-end redesigned MacBook Air and the return of an SD card slot as part of the upcoming MacBook Pro redesign. It also sounds like Apple has been working on Face ID for Mac, but it won't be appearing in a redesigned iMac this year as originally planned. This week also saw rumors about the...
magsafecasedangle

Apple Elaborates on Potential for iPhone 12 and MagSafe Accessories to Interfere With Implantable Medical Devices

Saturday January 23, 2021 2:42 pm PST by
Since the launch of iPhone 12 models in October, Apple has acknowledged that the devices may cause electromagnetic interference with medical devices like pacemakers and defibrillators, but the company has now shared additional information. Apple added the following paragraph to a related support document today:Medical devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators might contain...
Flat MacBook Air Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on 'Thinner and Lighter' High-End MacBook Air With MagSafe, Could Launch in Second Half of 2021

Friday January 22, 2021 3:34 am PST by
Apple is working on a "thinner and lighter" version of the MacBook Air that the company plans to release during the second half of this year at the earliest or in 2022, according to a new report by well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. It will include Apple's MagSafe charging technology and a next-generation version of the company's in-house Mac processors. Apple has discussed...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Bloomberg: Next MacBook Pro to Feature SD Card Reader

Friday January 22, 2021 7:50 am PST by
Last week, reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlined his expectations for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models later this year, including the return of the MagSafe charging connector, the removal of the Touch Bar, a new flat-edged design, and the return of more ports built into the notebooks for expanded connectivity. A concept of a modern MacBook Pro with an SD card reader Kuo did not...
airpods galaxy buds comparison

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro vs. Apple AirPods Pro

Friday January 22, 2021 2:34 pm PST by
Samsung in January unveiled new flagship Galaxy S21 smartphones and alongside the new phones, introduced the $200 Galaxy Buds Pro, which are priced at $199 and offer Active Noise Cancellation. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. These new Galaxy Buds Pro are clearly designed to compete with Apple's AirPods Pro, so we thought we'd compare the two sets of earbuds in our...
maxresdefault

Microsoft Touts Surface Pro 7 as 'The Better Choice' Over MacBook Pro in New Ad

Saturday January 23, 2021 11:02 am PST by
Microsoft yesterday shared a new ad on YouTube titled "Microsoft Surface Pro 7: The Better Choice," in which the company compares its tablet computer to Apple's 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro, as spotted by MSPoweruser. The ad highlights the Surface Pro 7's touchscreen and included stylus as opposed to only a "little bar" (the Touch Bar) on the MacBook Pro. Other advantages of the Surface Pro 7...
iOS 15 icon mock banner

iOS 15 Rumored to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and 2016 iPhone SE

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:58 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iOS 15 operating system, which we expect to see unveiled in June, is rumored to be dropping support for a few of Apple's older iPhones. According to French site iPhoneSoft, iOS 15 will not be able to be installed on the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 6s Plus, or the 2016 iPhone SE, all of which have an A9 chip. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were introduced in 2015 and are now more...
maxresdefault

Video Demos macOS Catalina Running on iPad Pro via x86 Emulation

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:36 am PST by
A video demonstrating macOS Catalina running on a current 2020 iPad Pro has been shared on YouTube, giving us a look at an interesting hack that has a Mac OS up and working on one of Apple's iPads. There's limited information about how the process of getting macOS Catalina on an iPad Pro works, but it uses x86 emulation and was done through the UTM software that allows virtual machines to...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 Release Candidate to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Thursday January 21, 2021 10:14 am PST by
Apple today seeded the RC version of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a week after Apple released the second betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...