Why the Mac Still Matters to Apple

What a difference an iPhone make.

A note to all the folk out there complaining that Apple isn't paying any attention to Mac sales-- you're wrong. Just look at the data. Cast your mind back to 2007, perhaps call it up by attempting to remember what your cellphone did for you then. Think back to January that year when Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, introduced the iPhone, then take a look at the data below:

This chart maps Mac sales since that date. (Technically, the iPhone was introduced during Q207.) Since then, as the chart clearly shows, sales have climbed and continue to climb.

Examples:

  • Q2 2007 saw 626,000 desktop Macs and 891,000 notebooks sold.
  • Q2 2010 and Apple shifted 1,147,000 desktops and 1,796,000 notebooks.

In other words, in three years, Apple has nearly doubled (quarterly) Mac sales.

[This story is from Computerworld's Apple Holic blog. Follow on Twitter or subscribe via RSS to make sure you don't miss a beat.]

Don't neglect that Mac sales at the point the iPhone was introduced had already been boosted by the so-called 'iPad halo' -- a side benefits of six years of iPod popularity.

Q1 2002 (the financial quarter in which the iPod was first introduced) saw Mac sales hit 746,000 total. These climbed to 1.254 million sales (total, desktop and notebook) by Q1 2006.

Cumulative Mac sales for calendar 2002 hit 3.098 million; for 2006 they reached 5.655 million. Compare this with Q2 2010, when Apple sold 2.943 million Macs total.

What does this mean?

Put simply, Apple is now selling nearly as many Macs in some single quarters as it once sold in an entire year.

Why?

Partially because of the popularity of Mac OS X, partly because of the company's focus on user experience, partly because of the success of the iPod and the impact of the iPhone and iPod touch. All these elements and more.

The big takeaway here has to be:

Of course the Mac still matters to Apple. That's why the company is already developing the Mac of tomorrow -- the iPad.

Competitors don't fully seem to comprehend the significance of the product. It isn't just that it is a media consumption device in an eminently portable form factor, it is also that it is personal computing -- made personal.

Anticipate more productivity features will be introduced within Apple's iPad in future, even as competitors (wrongly) focus on media-centric service delivery.

Apple will hold its Q4 financial results conference call on Monday, October 18, 2010 at 2pm, PT.

Data in this report from Apple published quarterly reports

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