At the Q1 2011 earnings call in January, Apple posted record revenue of $26.74 billion with 4.13 million Macs sold. That was a new record for the company, which sold 3.36 million Macs in the Q1 2010 quarter. Piper Jaffray’s analyst Gene Munster believes, basing on data from research market firm NPD, that in the fiscal quarter ending this month Apple will sell between 3.5 and 3.7 million Macs — somewhere below the expectations following last quarter’s results.
For January and February, Apple is trending up 16 percent over the year-ago quarter. That would put Apple at about 3.6 million Macs for the quarter. The street consensus is for Macs to be up in the 22 percent range year over year. The 16 percent gain would put Apple within, but at the low end, of Munster’s expectations of 15 percent to 25 percent.
The fact that Apple was readying its new line of MacBook Pros in February might reflect in slowdowns in sales as consumers were anticipating the new products. But, then again, that could lead to an increase in sales in March — although the figure won’t be included in this fiscal quarter’s results.
One thing is for sure: in the past quarters, Apple usually surpassed analysts’ general consensus on unit sales and revenue, especially thanks to the explosion of iOS devices outside and in the US. Whether the new MacBook Pros and Airs could lead to similar surprises is still to be seen.