U.S. Mac Sales Surge in January as iMac Orders Pick up Steam

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster today issued a new research report sharing data from research firm NPD covering Apple's U.S. Mac sales for the month of January. According to NPD's data, Mac sales were up a strong 31% year-over-year for the month.

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Munster attributes the strong performance to Apple finally being able to roll out orders of the new iMac, even as the company remains significantly constrained with multi-week waits for new orders through its online stores. Apple announced the new iMac in late October of last year, but did not begin taking orders until the end of the November with the larger 27-inch models not arriving until several weeks later.

We have analyzed domestic NPD retail data for the month of January which suggests Mac sales were up 31% y/y through the first month of the March quarter. We believe the reason for the significant improvement in the sales data is primarily due to Apple catching up with iMac supply, which the company noted to be constrained in the December quarter. CEO Tim Cook noted that iMac sales were down 700k units y/y in December (we note iMac sales are likely far less impacted by iPad, thus the vast majority of the y/ y unit decline is likely supply).

It remains to be seen if the strong sales will hold up for the remainder of the quarter, and thus Piper Jaffray is maintaining its estimate of a 5% year-over-year decline for the full quarter when global sales are considered.

NPD's data also reveals a bit of a surprise for the iPod, showing U.S. unit sales up 3% year-over-year and revenue up 2%. Piper Jaffray has been modeling for a 17% decline in total iPod sales for the quarter as the device continues to lose favor with consumers shifting music consumption to smartphones. But even a strong showing for the iPod is unlikely to have a significant impact on Apple's bottom line, as the line represented just 4% of Apple's sales in the holiday quarter, typically the strongest one for iPod sales.

Related Roundup: iMac
Buyer's Guide: iMac (Neutral)
Related Forum: iMac

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Top Rated Comments

0029937 Avatar
147 months ago
I'm really surprised that people are willing to buy the new iMac with NO DVD drive or Firewire!
I'm surprised people still use DVD drives, I can count on one hand how many times I've used mine in the last 5 years.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SeattleMoose Avatar
147 months ago
Big increase in Mac sales only confirms what I already suspected. Apple performance is completely disconnected from AAPL performance.

All the negative Apple stories on Yahoo are simply plant stories by Wallstreet sharks to drive AAPL down to a point where they can once again buy "cheap". Then they jump back in and the "pump and dump" cycle starts all over again.

Betting on stocks going down should be illegal. Allowing "puts" simply results in pump and dump cycles for short term profits that completely warp stock values simply for short term gain. AAPL over the last half year is the poster boy for this activity.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
147 months ago
Big increase in Mac sales only confirms what I already suspected. Apple performance is completely disconnected from AAPL performance.

All the negative Apple stories on Yahoo are simply plant stories by Wallstreet sharks to drive AAPL down to a point where they can once again buy "cheap". Then they jump back in and the "pump and dump" cycle starts all over again.

Betting on stocks going down should be illegal. Allowing "puts" simply results in pump and dump cycles for short term profits that completely warp stock values simply for short term gain. AAPL over the last half year is the poster boy for this activity.
You mean like this (on the homepage of yahoo finance right now)?

HP’s New Low-Priced Tablet Puts Even More Pressure On Apple (http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/hp-low-priced-tablet-puts-even-more-pressure-154015787.html?desktop_view_default=true)

Why aren't they asking how HP's slate will impact Google Nexus or Amazon Kindle? Because throwing Apple in the headline guarantees someone will click on the article.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
6749974 Avatar
147 months ago
Not surprised...

I'm not surprised. Demand is high for the new iMacs. A lot of people on MacRumors want to complain that Apple isn't meeting their current 'buying criteria' of more power but the truth of the matter is Apple Inc. is filled with smart minds that know society changes, and so does 'buying criteria.'

Not only are iMac's more powerful, but they are thinner, lighter, simpler and more essential—which is what society wants in a desktop machine going forward. Our buying criteria is more influenced by laptops and tablets than anything else.

I talk about buying criteria in my latest podcast. :) :apple: if you want to learn about it and how businesses use it as an innovation strategy.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
0815 Avatar
147 months ago
I'm surprised people still use DVD drives, I couple count on one hand how many times I've used mine in the last 5 years.
agree. When I got the MacAir quite some time back, I also got the external DVD just in case ... guess what - it is still in its original package since I just don't have any use for it anymore.

That does not mean nobody needs a DVD drive - but those few have the option to get an external one ... no need to put a drive that most people don't need into a machine.

But some people will keep complaining, no matter if they have a real use case ... same happened back than when the floppy drive got removed and people thought 'how can they sell a machine without the really important floppy drive' ...
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Born Again Avatar
147 months ago
Well it's obvious to many of us

consumers want skinnier computers with a hump (bootie) in the back :cool:
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)