Some industry watchers keep questioning whether the Mac has benefited from a "halo effect" from the iPhone. In spite of the naysayers, I suggest that yes, Mac sales bounced from iPhone sales, and history will repeat itself with the iPad.
In a BNET article from earlier in the month, Eric Sherman said there is no global iPhone Halo since the Mac share is flat worldwide. He based his figures on various geographic and market segment data from Gartner.
If anything, the progress on the commercial end seems to be trending down slightly, while consumer purchases as a share of all PC units bought globally have been flat. Taking the U.S. separately, as Gartner did, may show a stronger market, but only domestically. Apple would appear to have significant room for sales improvement elsewhere in the world.
That fact counters the assumption that the iPhone has delivered a strong halo effect for other Apple products globally, though there does seem to be some tie between increasing handset sales and increased purchases of Macs
Sherman discounts data of Web browser usage and even Apple's own quarterly reports that might offer a different picture. The question is whether there's evidence of more Macs and Mac shipments.
I can understand the reluctance to use Web browser stats to determine market share, but certainly, this data can show trends over time. W3Schools.com offers quarterly records going back to 2002. I plugged them into a spreadsheet. The results are clear below:
It's easy to see an uptick following the introduction of the iPhone. Yes, it's browser stats, but certainly an increase in the browser use must be from more Macs.
Late last week, Andy Zaky on Bullish Cross predicted that 2010 will be a banner year for Apple.
After taking a look at patterns in consumer behavior for Apple’s various operating segments, I’m looking for Apple to do roughly $63.459 billion in revenue in 2010 driven largely by staggering iPhone, Mac, iPad and iPod sales. That’s an explosive 47.91 percent rise in revenue from the $42.905 billion recorded in 2009. Not bad for a mega-cap tech company that currently holds the second largest market cap among U.S. publicly traded companies.
In a post filled with charts and stats, Zaky includes a chart showing Mac quarterly sales since 2007. Mac sales jumped following the introduction of the iPhone. Here are the Q1 units shipments:
2007 - 1,606 2008 - 2,319 2009 - 2,524 2010 - 3,362
In his calculations for 2010, Zaky says that Mac sales may be diminished by the iPad.
Also, one must consider that Macintosh sales will be somewhat affected by iPad cannibalization. Sure it will probably be pretty negligible, but the concern does exist. Thus, we take 15 percent of 3,100,000 units to get us to a rough first call estimate of 3,565,000 units. As we get data in Q4, those estimates will obviously change. Who knows though? I’ve seen scenarios where my first call doesn’t change in any meaningful way, and are pretty in-line with final results as consumer behavior tends to be more predictable than many really believe it to be. While the past doesn’t really predict the future, sometimes behavior can – history does often times repeat itself.
I see the iPad influence differently. The iPad will function as another halo for the Mac in the Windows market. Just as we saw with the iPhone, the iPad will drive Mac sales.