MacBook Sales Could Decline At Least 13% In 2013
Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) MacBook line of computers may endure a significant sales decline in 2013.
In June, overall Mac sales declined 12 percent in the United States.
Global Mac sales declined five percent during the entire April-June sales period.
These declines were not offset by the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display, which received a $200 price cut in February.
The 13-inch MacBook Air received a $100 price cut when it was upgraded in June. It now retails for $1,099. It is not yet known if this had a positive impact on Mac sales.
Even if it has, MacBook sales are still expected to take a dive this year.
According to DigiTimes, Apple has shipped 5.3 million MacBook units during the first half of the year -- less than half the number of units (13.03 million) shipped in all of 2012.
In order to match last year's shipments, Apple would have to ship another 7.73 million from July through December.
This is feasible (back-to-school is a lucrative sales period for computers), but DigiTimes found that MacBook shipments only increased 10 to 20 percent during the third quarter. Shipment growth is expected to continue through October.
Assuming that growth stays constant at no more than 20 percent, Apple will ship an additional 6.36 million units (5.3 million + 20 percent = 6.36 million) during the second half of the year.
When combined with the existing MacBook shipments of 5.3 million units, Apple could ship around 11.39 million units this year -- roughly 13 percent less than it shipped in 2012.
Why It Matters
Product shipments and sales are very different from each other. But if product shipments decline, product sales will do the same by default.
This is why Mac and MacBook shipment numbers are so important.
The aforementioned sales data already shows that Mac computers are losing popularity. This is due to a variety of factors, including the growth of tablets and the increased durability among new Macs and Windows-based PCs. If a three-year-old MacBook still works, most consumers aren't going to upgrade.
iPad sales have declined as well, however, so it's not as if Apple is replacing new Mac sales with new tablet purchases.
If this trend continues, Apple may choose to rely more heavily on the iPhone, which has managed to set new sales records every time a new model is released.
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ
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