Apple's third quarter results show continued historically strong demand for the Mac, while PC sales continue to falter.
By now it's a familiar story: Apple's sales of the Mac continue to grow and bolster, despite the PC industry's continued downward trend. For Apple's third fiscal quarter, which ended on June 30th, the company reported sales of 4.8 million Macs — the highest number that it's sold in its fiscal third quarter, ever.
Market research firm IDC says that the global PC market contracted by 12 percent for the same period that Apple just reported — a quarter in which Apple grew Mac sales by 9 percent.
In other words, Apple continues to expand the Mac's market share while PC manufacturers struggle around the world.
The PC market's weak results can at least be partly laid at the feet of Microsoft. Analysts say that demand for new PCs is weak prior to the release of Windows 10, which is coming later this month. Analysts predict gradually stronger PC sales beginning through 2016.
What's Apple's secret? They keep making computers that people want. They're also doing extremely well in a new, expanding, and huge market.
Apple itself said strong Mac sales can be attributed to performance of its portable devices, and company executives speaking on the analyst call reiterated their satisfaction with sales of the new MacBook, which Tim Cook has called "the future of the laptop."
There's another factor, too, and that's demand in China. The company saw a 33 percent increase in year over year Mac sales in the greater China market. That's better than it did last quarter, when it reported a 31 percent year over year sales increase.
Apple has refreshed MacBook products earlier this year than it has in the past. The MacBook Air and the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro saw some changes in March, at the same time as the MacBook was introduced, and the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro followed suit in May. That's undoubtedly taken the brakes off of Apple laptop sales among customers who otherwise may have waited until a later seasonal refresh, as has happened in the past.
With all those changes to Apple's laptop line already done, It'll be interesting to see if the trend continues throughout the rest of the year.