Analyst: Mac Sales Will Grow 26 Percent In 2010

In a report issued this week, Cihra cites the close control Apple exerts over its product cycles and pricing as reasons why Mac sales will boom next year. Mac unit sales will grow 1.6 faster than the PC industry in 2010, and in the past three years have grown 1.8 faster that the industry, according to the report.

Macs had an average selling price of $1,289 in the 2009 calendar year, which represents a 10 percent year-on-year decline, but is still a premium of 1.8 times that of Windows PCs, Cihra says in the report. Macs also bring in about $340 in gross profit-per-unit, two to three times that of Windows PC counterparts, according to Cihra.

The 26 percent growth forecast may sound ambitious, but Apple resellers are confident that Mac sales will continue chugging along because consumers will have plenty of models to choose from. In October, Apple unveiled four new iMacs, a new MacBook, and a revamped Mac Mini line, all of which include reduced price options that could lure longtime PC users into the fold.

"Apple has definitely got the prices down to a level where people are more comfortable weighing the option of buying a Mac," said David Doyle, vice president of sales at Simply Computing, a Vancouver-based Apple reseller.

Sponsored post

The Mac Store, a Portland, Ore.-based Apple reseller, saw Mac sales grow 23 percent in November. While the holiday season certainly accounted for some of this growth, Erick Laabs, the company's vice president, says this figure is impressive considering that the Portland area unemployment rate has hovered around 12 percent for much of the year.

"If the economy rebounds next year, then 26 percent will be on the low end of what I'd expect," Laabs said.

Shane Spiess, president of Portland, Ore.-based Apple reseller MacForce, is seeing Mac sales roughly in line with last year's, but agrees with Caris & Company's bullishness on Apple.

"Apple is on one hell of a roll right now," he said. "And when you look at the products that could potentially come out next year, like a tablet device, that may well continue."