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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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For the last several years, Apple has not provided breakdowns of the number of iPhones, Macs, and iPads sold, keeping analysts, customers, investors, and others in the dark on exact device sales. This has led analysts to attempt to estimate product shipments, and as the Q3 quarterly Mac numbers confirm, it's a very inexact process.

macbook-air-red.jpg

Companies like Gartner, IDC, and Canalys in fact appear to have no clue how many Macs Apple sold as the third quarter estimates are wildly different.

IDC estimates that Apple sold 10 million Macs during the quarter, up from 7 million in the year-ago quarter for an impressive 40.2 percent growth. Gartner, however, believes that Apple sold just 5.8 million Macs, down from 6.9 million in the year-ago quarter for a 15.6 percent drop.

There's a 4.3 million Mac shipment discrepancy between the estimates from IDC and Gartner, which highlights just how unreliable these shipment estimates can be. Canalys is in the middle of those two estimates, suggesting that Apple shipped 8 million Macs, up from 7.9 million in the year-ago quarter for 1.7 percent growth.

We have historically seen discrepancies between the estimates provided by IDC, Gartner, and Canalys, but not to this degree. Apple will provide more data on its revenue for the third calendar quarter (fourth fiscal quarter) during its October 27 earnings call, which should give us some insight into how well the Mac sold.

Apple this quarter was offering the new M2 MacBook Air and M2 MacBook Pro, but it was also facing shipment delays on a number of Macs due to supply chain issues. As mentioned up above, Apple will not provide unit sales information, but overall Mac revenue will clear things up a bit, at least in terms of year over year sales and revenue.

Article Link: Analysts Have No Idea How Many Macs Apple Shipped Last Quarter
 

MacGekko

macrumors 6502a
Mar 6, 2009
645
211
There is a reason why Apple stopped reporting the sales figures to the market. Maybe that is what these Analysts should figure out.. Why?

Maybe because the world has reached peak smartphone ownership, I don't know but can one of the experts weigh in as Google can't provide the answer, how does a publicly traded company get away with this?
 

Kierkegaarden

macrumors 68000
Dec 13, 2018
1,736
2,924
USA
Maybe because the world has reached peak smartphone ownership, I don't know but can one of the experts weigh in as Google can't provide the answer, how does a publicly traded company get away with this?
Apple stopped reporting unit sales numbers back in 2018. They stopped giving guidance in 2020. They do report revenue per category, and total profit — that seems adequate to me.
 

rjohnstone

macrumors 68040
Dec 28, 2007
3,858
4,443
PHX, AZ.
As an investor it still bugs me when a company doesn’t report sales data.
Big picture numbers are fine, but it makes fraud harder to detect when real numbers aren’t released.
Blending products into larger categories makes it hard to determine poor performing SKUs.
Yes, they make money hand over fist, but that still doesn’t justify the smoke and mirror routine.
 

JPack

macrumors G4
Mar 27, 2017
10,364
18,472
They need to spend more $ hiring guys in Asia on data intelligence. That's why analysts like Ming-Chi Kuo are invaluable.

You can survey BOE for panel shipments, Wistron for keyboard assembly deliveries, or even as simple as the box maker.
 

MacGekko

macrumors 6502a
Mar 6, 2009
645
211
Apple stopped reporting unit sales numbers back in 2018. They stopped giving guidance in 2020. They do report revenue per category, and total profit — that seems adequate to me.

Maybe to you but as an investor, I want more information not less, that said though, the analyst estimates are probably a solid gauge, maybe there is a nugget in that recent Tripp Mickle book that explains some inside sourcing as to why Apple went in a more secretive direction.
 

Realityck

macrumors 603
Nov 9, 2015
6,224
9,078
Silicon Valley, CA
IDC estimates that Apple sold 10 million Macs during the quarter, up from 7 million in the year-ago quarter for an impressive 40.2 percent growth. Gartner, however, believes that Apple sold just 5.8 million Macs, down from 6.9 million in the year-ago quarter for a 15.6 percent drop.

There's a 4.3 million Mac shipment discrepancy between the estimates from IDC and Gartner, which highlights just how unreliable these shipment estimates can be. Canalys is in the middle of those two estimates, suggesting that Apple shipped 8 million Macs, up from 7.9 million in the year-ago quarter for 1.7 percent growth.
Love it when you try to figure things out with few facts from Apple. Still be nice if they did as well as the stats below show.

Screenshot-2022-10-10-at-14.14.44.jpg
 

Chazak

macrumors regular
Aug 15, 2022
181
303
Maybe because the world has reached peak smartphone ownership, I don't know but can one of the experts weigh in as Google can't provide the answer, how does a publicly traded company get away with this?
A public company is required to disclose their financials and facts materially affecting their business so that owners/inestors are not being sold lies. Disclosing specific detail aside from dollars/accounting is not required and shouldn't be. There is no reason to require any company to provide non-public detail to their competition.

Financial analysts try to to fill in the gaps to provide the deeper detail as much as they can. Gartner, Canalys and IDC are not financial analysts or in the securities business. They are for hire consultants who produce information for people willing to pay for it. They use a variety of sources and then make it up to fill the holes. The discrepancies are the result of them making it up and trying to convince clients they. didn't. Their clients then use that information to plan and compete along the relevant supply chain. If the information they provide is unreliable and has no value, their clients are free to dump them.
 

Retskrad

macrumors regular
Apr 1, 2022
130
445
Nowadays, smartphones is the main computer for 90% of the population. Most people don't need to buy Macs. Those who do, 80% of them use it like a glorified Chromebook. You can use a cheap Chromebook or base iPad and get real work done. In my mind, selling 5-10 million Macs is a big victory for Apple. That means that the relatively small Mac market likes the M-series Macs and they keep buying them.
 
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