Apple Sees 'Pause' In Mac Sales


Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer made the statements during a conference call with analysts to discuss the company's second quarter financial results, which included better-than-expected profit on less-than-expected sales.

Apple actually began seeing a slowdown in sales of Macintoshes during its first quarter, which ended in December, Oppenheimer said.

"As we anticipated, this pause was even more evident in the March quarter," Oppenheimer said. He added that "we believe some customers are delaying purchasing" Intel-based Macs until major software is optimized for the new platform.

Overall, Apple turned in sales of $4.36 billion for the quarter, compared with an average of Wall Street analyst expectations of $4.52 billion, according to Thomson First Call. The company reported a profit of 47 cents per share, compared with analysts expectations of 43 cents per share.

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Apple posted earnings of $410 million, compared to the year-ago quarter's earnings of $290 million.

Oppenheimer said revenue was above the company's own guidance to analysts for the second quarter, and was the second-highest sales ever achieved by the company in a single quarter.

Apple first announced last year that it would transition its Macintosh systems from PowerPC processors to Intel processors beginning by mid-year 2006. Apple actually announced its first Intel-based systems in January, and began shipping its first Intel Macs in February in limited quantities. Solution providers and Apple executives have both said that much software for the Intel-based Macs still runs slower than previous systems.

For example, Adobe has said it will not have optimized versions of Photoshop available for the Intel-based Macs until its next general release, by 2007. That will likely keep "power users" from migrating to the new Apple platform until that time.