MacBooks driving Apple's computer sales

With its highest ever quarter for Mac shipments on the books and a rising computer market share, Apple executives said its portable computers are responsible for over 60 percent of the reported shipments.

“Almost one million of the 1.6 million Macs shipped in the last quarter are MacBook and MacBook Pros,” David Moody, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Mac Product Marketing, told Macworld. “For our portables, that’s a 49 percent year-over-year increase.”

According to market research firms IDC and Gartner, Apple’s overall computer market share has passed the five percent mark, growing more than 30 percent in the quarter.

“In the U.S. market, the focus continues to be on the transition from desktops to notebooks, with notebook growth being the sole bright spot while desktop shipments continued to decline,” said Bob O’Donnell, vice president, Clients and Displays at IDC.

Apple has been focused on its growing portable business for some time now and the efforts appear to be paying off. The company’s successful transition to Intel-based processors and the continual updates of its portables have been noted as triumphs by analysts.

“With the inclusion of Intel processors, Apple was able to demystify the perception of the brand,” said Tim Deal, senior analyst with Pike & Fischer. “Intel is so strong, Apple did well to partner with them. From a consumer standpoint the transition went very smoothly and Apple was able to successfully communicate the processor advantages and product offerings — we are seeing the results of that now.”

Apple’s increased portable sales are not just about the hardware, according to Deal. Apple has said for a long time it is its ability to bring a full solution to market that gives it a competitive edge and Deal agrees.

“Apple has done a great job of making its software and hardware a seamless end-to-end solution — people recognize the value of that now,” said Deal.

Of course, when it comes to Apple's increased hardware sales, the impact of the iPod must also be taken into account.

“The iPod has been a phenomenal in making Apple a viable company,” said Deal. “Many consumers who wouldn’t have given Apple a second glance have stood up and taken notice.”

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