Help, Guides, and News on making the Switch To Apple Macintosh Computers
Mac shipments lowest in 1.5 years - first year-over-year drop in 5.5 years
On April 22, 2009 Apple reported earnings for its fiscal 2009 second quarter that ended on March 28, 2009. Although Apple's CFO commented that the quarter was "the best non-holiday quarter revenue and earnings in our history", Mac shipments were the lowest in 1.5 years and experienced their first year-over-year (year/year) drop in 5.5 years.
Macs were the largest revenue generator across Apple's product lines accounting for 36.1 percent of total revenue in the quarter. Macs dwarfed the revenue generated by the iPod which came in second accounting for 20.4 percent of total revenue. Of note, the iPhone accounted for 18.6 percent of revenue.
The table and graph below detail total Mac shipments over the past fourteen fiscal quarters in thousands of units. For example, 2216 units indicates 2.216 million units. The Year/Year Change highlights the percent change in shipments over the comparable quarter from the prior year. For example, Q2 2009 is compared to Q2 2008. Note that during the quarter, Apple released updates to the entire desktop line; the iMac, Mac mini, and Mac Pro on March 3, 2009.
As shown, Q2 2009 Mac shipments experienced an 3.19 percent year-over-year decline versus Q2 2008 and a 12.20 percent decline versus Q1 2009. This number also represents a 54.1 percent deceleration versus the 14.5 percent growth (yellow) Q2 2008 experienced over Q2 2007. The quarter also marked the second consecutive quarter of declines (-3.33 percent and -12.20 percent), a trend last seen between Q4 2006 and Q2 2007 (orange).
Portable shipments fell 22.20 percent versus the prior quarter, Q1 2009 marked a new portable record of 1.796 million units (green). The 1.398 million portables is the lowest level seen in 1.25 years (Q1 2008 - observable in the graph). Mac desktops showed signs of life rising 12.36 percent versus the prior quarter but fell 4.44 percent over the year ago quarter. The desktop uptick is likely attributed to the refresh indicated above.
Summary of Metrics
- Total Mac shipments fell 3.19 percent year-over-year and 12.20 percent sequentially
- Portable shipments fell 2.44 precent year-over-year and 22.20 percent sequentially
- Desktop shipments fell 4.44 percent year-over-year but rose 12.36 precent sequentially
In our Q1 2009 and Q4 2008 analysis, we asked if the deceleration highlighted observed during those two quarters would continue into Q2 2009. We now know the answer, not only did the deceleration gain steam but year-over-year Mac shipments also dropped for the first time in 5.5 years, a period dating back to Q3 2003.
Over the past year, Mac portables (MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MaBook Air) were the clear driving force behind Mac growth. The stunning 22.20 percent sequential drop following the record set in Q1 2009 is alarming.
- Is the portable drop a sign that buyers are deferring Mac purchases?
- Is the drop a sign that buyers are turning away from the Mac price premium?
- What does this have to say about buyer willingness-to-pay (WTP)?
- What insight does this provide into potential switcher mindset and trends?
Despite the underlying issues, it should be noted that the global economy is experiencing a significant contraction. Whether or not Apple's Mac business is experiencing a more severe contraction versus its PC competitors remains to be seen. We'll gain further insight in subsequent quarters.