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Apple offers more than the iPhone but it has struggled with one core product until the pandemic.


Daniel Kline

Publish date:

Jan 31, 2022 4:05 PM EST

Before the pandemic, personal computer (PC) sales declined steadily from a peak of 365 million globally that year to a low of 260 million in 2018. That number jumped a bit to 263 million in 2019, but 2020 represented a true comeback as 275 million PCs were sold.

That’s a bounceback, but it’s still well off the 365 million peak. However, it does return the industry to roughly where it was in 2007. Sales, of course, recovered because the Covid-19 pandemic increased demand.

More people worked from home and kids had remote school. Those two things forced a lot of families to buy new computers since multiple members of the household needed access to a PC at the same time.

This led to a bump in sales for Apple’s (AAPL) – Get Apple Inc. Report Mac that has been sustained for quite a while. 


Apple Mac Has Been a Sales Leader

Mac has been on a tear since the pandemic took hold and lockdowns, work-from-home, and online schooling became a thing. Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed the strong sales during the company’s first-quarter earnings call in response to a question from Cross Research analyst Shannon Cross.

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“Mac set an all-time revenue record at $10.9 billion for the quarter. That was up 25%. And as you point out, the last six quarters for the Mac have been the top six revenue quarters of all time,” he said. “And what’s further very good about this is, we set all-time revenue records in Americas, in Europe, and the rest of Asia Pacific. And we set a December quarter record in Greater China. And so it’s not narrowed to a particular geographic area that we’re doing well in. It’s almost — about almost across the board.”

Why Are Mac Sales Soaring?

While the pandemic has pushed PC sales up overall, Cook does not think that’s the main driver for Mac sales. Instead, the CEO credits his company taking chip production in-house in order to improve performance. 

“The response is very much because of M1. And we got even more response with the MacBook Pro that we launched in the — during the Q1 time frame,” he said. [It’s] both the upgraders, which we had a record number of upgraders for the December quarter, but also in markets like China — six out of 10 sales are people new to the Mac. And so it’s powered by both upgraders and switchers.”

The CEO also noted that consumers really like the new computers and that could further drive sales.

“Customer satisfaction is off the charts. And so what I see this as is a product that will be very successful in a number of different markets from education to business, to the creative industry and in all geographic markets,” he said, “We’re not limiting ourselves.”




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