updated 04:38 pm EDT, Mon March 18, 2013
Piper Jaffray links improvement to better iMac availability
Over the span of January and February, US Mac sales rose 14 percent year-over-year, according to new NPD Group data. Commenting on the figures, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster links the improvement to increased iMac availability. During February, shipping times at Apple's US online store improved to just a few days, something that was likely reflected at retail stores as well.
Munster is still anticipating a five percent drop for the March quarter globally, once all statistics are in. He does suggest that there could be "some slight upside," in light of the new US data. If Apple does suffer the expected drop, that will leave the company with 3.8 million shipments.
The NPD data also shows that US iPod sales dipped 16 percent in the January/February period. The device has been on a long-running downward trajectory, however, as smartphones and tablets take the place of dedicated MP3 players. Most of the lost iPod sales have likely flowed back to Apple in the form of iPhones and iPads, along with the flagship fifth-generation iPod touch.