In 2012, two prevailing stories ruled the Apple (NASDAQ:
) rumor mill. First the company was expected to change the
iPhone's form factor, which it did last September. Next, analysts
thought that Apple would release a large television set. That
rumor has yet to come true. Few were surprised by the iPhone 5,
which lived up to the rumored expectations. However, there was
one device that consumers hoped for but did not see coming: A
high-end MacBook Pro that was lighter, thinner, contained a solid
state drive and a Retina Display. Apple granted consumers their
wish when it unveiled the
next-gen MacBook Pro
Apple surprised consumers once more when it reduced the price
of the 13-inch MacBook Air by $100.
At the time this seemed like a win-win strategy. The initial
well above expectations
, but the high sales did not last.
During the company's fiscal 2010 first quarter (ended December
26, 2009), Apple sold
3.36 million Macs
. This represented a 33 percent unit increase over the year-ago
Mac sales continued to climb during the fiscal 2011 first
quarter (ended December 25, 2010). Apple sold
4.13 million units
during the period, representing a 23 percent unit increase.
During the fiscal 2012 first quarter (ended December 31,
2011), Apple set a new record for Mac sales --
5.2 million units
The sale streak ended during the fiscal 2013 first quarter
(ended December 29, 2012), at which point the company sold
4.1 million Macs
that the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display will now sell
for $1,499 -- $200 cheaper than its starting price last fall. The
company also tweaked its Retina Display computers to further
entice those who have yet to make a purchase.
Unfortunately, consumers do not want computers anymore -- they
Last year, analysts
that PC sales would decline for the first time in more than 10
years. Year-end results show that Apple
sold more iPads
than the number of PCs sold by any manufacturer -- including
Apple was thought to have braced for these declines by
releasing new products while simultaneously reducing the price of
the MacBook Air. The company also launched a revamped version of
the iMac, which is significantly thinner than its
None of these maneuvers prevented Mac sales from declining,
however. One can only imagine how steep the declines would have
been if Apple had not released any new products -- or if it had
chosen not to reduce the price of the Air.
Historically, Apple's second quarter sales are lower than the
company's first quarter results. Even so, the Mac maker has
experienced an upward trend over the last three years, selling
2.94 million units
during the fiscal 2010 second quarter,
3.76 million units
during the same period in 2011 and
four million units
It will be interesting to see if Apple can continue its growth
trend in 2013. If not, investors should keep an eye out for
another MacBook refresh and/or price cut.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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