updated 03:45 pm EDT, Mon April 18, 2011
NPD says Mac sales up 47pc while PCs on way down
New NPD data in a research note later on Monday from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster suggested that the new MacBook Pro may have pushed Apple well ahead in growth in the computer market. March sales in the US were estimated to be up 47 percent compared to a year earlier following the much faster line's introduction in late February. The growth came after more modest but still healthy 20 percent and 12 percent year-to-year increases in January and February.
The growth gave Apple an average growth of 27 percent for the three months of the winter quarter. If reflective of the market, the rise could put Apple well ahead of growth seen by Gartner and IDC, either of which saw it shipping as little as 9.6 percent more Macs in the US and no greater than 18.9 percent more.
Its fast rise could lead to a major upset in market share. Overall American computer shipments were expected to drop between 6.1 and 10.7 percent in the US. Most of it has been at Acer's expense after it failed to treat the iPad seriously and eventually reorganized its business around competing more in non-PC hardware.
Apple has usually seen sharp upticks in computer sales after a new model but may have seen a higher than usual leap through the importance of the new MacBook Pro. The 13-inch model has more recently been its bestselling Mac and has finally received an update to Intel's modern Core i5 processors. High-end users also saw one of the greatest leaps in performance with the first instances of quad-core processors and the new Thunderbolt standard.
Not all was positive for Apple in the NPD data. Sales of iPods dropped about 10 percent in March as the company's line skewed more towards iPads and iPhones. Unofficially, Munster estimated roughly 9.8 million to 10.3 million iPods would have shipped worldwide in the whole quarter. Apple is generally expected to stay in the lead for MP3 players, but as part of a shrinking market.