At just 15% of revenue, Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) Mac segment doesn't get as much attention as it used to. Back up even just five years and Macs accounted for nearly half of Apple's revenue in some quarters. They had a huge influence on Apple's performance:
Since Apple introduced the iPod in 2001, however, Mac sales have declined as a percentage of total sales very rapidly. But that doesn't mean Apple's Mac segment isn't doing well. In fact, its looks like the Mac may outsell every one of its peers this holiday season, according to one study.
Apple desktops score big with consumers in November
Apple desktops are the most sought-after desktop computer this holiday season, according to market research firm Parks Associates. This is a first for Apple, according to John Barrett, director of consumer analytics at Parks Associates. "In 2011 and 2012, Dell was the top desktop brand, but Apple has displaced it, making Apple now the most popular brand across even more key CE categories," Barrett explained. The study measures intent to purchase a particular brand.
The impressive holiday demand for the Mac comes after a major design revision in late 2012 that made the iMac even sleeker. Apple is also slated to launch its radically redesigned Mac Pro in December.
Loads of iPresents this Christmas
But Apple topped more than the desktop category. The brand also ranked No. 1 in "tablets, laptops, smartphones, home networking routers, MP3 players, and streaming media devices (Apple TV)," according to Parks Associates.
That said, it's worth noting that many consumers often change their minds after they express their intent to purchase a particular brand. Barrett explained:
For example, with streaming media players, Apple is the preferred brand, but many shoppers ultimately end up getting a Roku. Last year, among younger (18-34) shoppers for this device, 34% planned to buy an Apple, and 15% planned to buy a Roku. In a later survey of actual purchases, we found 24% bought an Apple TV and 29% bought a Roku player.
Still, the sentiment toward the Apple brand this Christmas suggests the company likely won't have trouble meeting its guidance for its biggest revenue quarter ever. Apparently the Street agrees, as sentiment toward Apple stock is slowly turning increasingly positive. The stock is up more than 6% since the company reported fiscal fourth-quarter results on Oct. 28.
A pulse check
That Apple's desktop computer ranked as the most sought-after brand during the holidays for the first time is more evidence the company's brand is still doing well with customers. And this isn't the only study that points to a solid holiday season for the company: Localytics sales data suggests that Apple devices are selling very well during the holidays.
The outlook for Apple's holiday performance looks jolly.