computer lineup, with the exception of the new
i7 iMacs, is rather dated. The problem is particularly
severe in the MacBook Pro series, whose hardware currently trails
even drastically cheaper models from competitors like ASUSTek.
Apple also has the difficulty of contending with an increasingly
popular Windows 7 (while Apple supports Windows 7 via Boot
OS X to be the "better" operating system has been
a time-honored Apple advertising technique).Despite these
hurdles, Apple is posting surprisingly good sales according
to Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster. He and his fellow
analysts are predicting the quarter that ends in March to be an epic
success for Apple.He personally predicts Mac sales to rise
over 35 percent on a year to year basis. In January and
February, his numbers indicated sales to be up 39 percent.
These numbers are significantly higher than the still-optimistic
average prediction of a 22 percent rise. In total Munster
expects 2.8 or 2.9 million Macs to sell over the quarter.Even
better for Apple, iPod sales are predicted to finally be up as well.
The iPod lineup was refreshed in
the fall with the entire lineup receiving major changes, with the
exception of the iPod classic, which had a minor capacity bump.
Munster predicts iPod sales to rise 7 percent, to reach 9 or 10
million units.The optimism is diminished slightly by the fact
that the gains were made easier by Apple's recessionary sales
losses. Last January through May, Apple's Mac
sales dipped, and only recovered towards the end of the year with
a very strong holiday season. IPod sales fared even worse last
year, posting an entire year of decreases, a trend that only appears
to have reversed since January.Looking ahead, there's much to
be optimistic about for a recovering Apple; the iPad launches in
April, an iPhone update is coming over the summer, and a
MacBook/MacBook Pro refresh should be coming soon as well.