Apple's Mac surges on back-to-school, emerging markets

The larger question is whether Apple can keep the Mac momentum going. The short answer is that Apple can probably keep the good times rolling with product updates and emerging market strength.

Apple's Mac platform had a strong back-to-school season and landed sales in emerging markets en route to a record quarter.

imac

While Apple's fourth quarter results were dominated by iPhone sales as usual, Mac units and revenue growth stood out.

By units, Mac saw a fourth quarter surge of 21 percent compared to a year ago. Revenue growth for the Mac was up 18 percent from a year ago. The sequential growth was just as impressive.

Given that PC sales have been so-so at best, Apple's Mac growth stood out. The reasons for the growth were even more notable.

CFO Luca Maestri recapped the quarter for the Mac:

"We saw great demand in the back-to-school season for both desktops and portables with especially strong growth from MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. We achieved double-digit Mac growth across most markets around the world with particular impressive performance in emerging markets where Mac sales were up 46 percent. We ended the quarter with Mac channel inventory slightly below our four to five week target range."

Add it up and market share for the Mac is at its highest level since 1995.

The larger question is whether Apple can keep the Mac momentum going. The short answer is that Apple can probably keep the good times rolling. Emerging markets, now a quarter of Apple's sales, are critical now that back-to-school season is over. The holidays will also keep Macs humming, but it's most likely going to be an iPhone and iPad dominated few months. Once Apple updates its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lines it'll have another item to juice sales. Apple updated the iMac last week.

apple product recap

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