The Gartner estimates were within 8%. Not bad for an estimate, especially because the conclusion was right: Mac units dropped.
8% is off the mark. It is not as bad as 10%, but it’s certainly not at all good. And for the last time, for real, Shipments are nothing resembling profitability. Revenues and average selling prices are. There are other factors to consider down the road. Amazon, who is the largest seller of PCs in the US, is doing extremely well with their house brand Fire tablets and TV sticks:
Rumors have been floating around for quite a while that they could be getting into convertible laptops and possibly monitors. This could really drive down PC prices even more. Because Amazon’s ad sales network is growing exponentially (they are #3 behind Facebook and Google), this makes a lot of sense. They won’t even have to make much, if any, profit off of hardware sales to rake in the billions.
The fact that it is an estimate and later gets corrected is by the way something the originally quoted article actually spells out very clearly. The same uncertainty BTW pertains to their estimate for Lenovo’s numbers for example. Lenovo, who in the same quarter had GROWTH of 11% I might remind you. Or HP’s growth at 6% — that would be 4 times in growth what Apple suffered in loss. All in the very same quarter.
For the 4th quarter, Apple had the best revenue growth and average selling price. Growth of whatever shipments is not a relevant comparison as it is possible that few, or even none of the unit sales were profitable.
But these estimate, well, get used to it. Apple just told us they won’t show units anymore. All you’ll get is revenue.
Mestri explained what every analyst knows and acknowledges:
“Unit sales are not necessarily representative of underlying strength of our business. Revenue and net income, stock price, etc, over past 3 years, no correlation to unit sales in any given period… As you know well, our product ranges for all the major product categories have become wider over time… therefore, a unit of sale is less relevant for us at this point compared to the past because we have a much wider lineup… as I know that you’re aware, our top competitors in smartphones and tablets and computers do not provide quarterly unit sales either… nevertheless, we know this is something of interest, and we believe when providing qualitative commentary is necessary, we will.”