Here’s another reason why Apple won’t be abandoning the Mac: money. On the heels of an exceptional fourth quarter in 2009, global personal computer shipments followed suit with year-on-year growth of 27.1% in the first quarter of 2010, according to the IDC research group (http://www.idc.com). And we’re just getting started.
Unlike most of 2009, the recent market recovery has also seen a small rebound in higher priced SKUs as netbooks became less of a driver of volume (perhaps thanks to the iPad, eh?). Although low to mid-range portable computers still dominate the market, desktop computers also recovered with its first yearly growth since the second quarter of 2008.
Commercial desktops posted positive growth, a first since the downturn, while the popularity of all-in-ones was a major factor in driving consumer desktop growth. That’s good news for the Mac Pros — way overdue for an update — and the iMac — which should be refreshed sometime this year.
Going forward, IDC expects computer market revenue in 2010 to surpass that of the previous revenue peak set in 2008 as more purchases shift to higher margin SKUs. Desktop volume should grow over 8% in 2010 thanks in part to favorable comparisons to a dismal 2009 but also due to business replacements and the popularity of all-in-ones — another reason to expect Apple to rev the iMac.
The main driver of growth will come from mainstream notebooks. So expect Apple to successfully push its MacBook, MacBook Pro and, to a lesser degree, the MacBook Air line (hey, the latter is, IMHO, endangered by the iPad).
So don’t count the Mac out. It’s still going to be a massive contributor to Apple’s bottom line.
— Dennis Sellers