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ATPM 17.05
May 2011


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by Robert Paul Leitao,

Welcome to the May issue of About This Particular Macintosh! We’re encouraged by the Mac’s recent strong sales performance and how our publication’s enduring name is as relevant today as it was in the computing days of yesterday. We begin this month’s issue with an overview of Apple’s most recent quarterly results.

The iPhone Reigns Supreme

In the fiscal quarter ended March 26, 2011, Apple sold a record 18.647 million iPhones, an increase of 113% over the number of iPhone units sold in the prior-year period. In the United States, iPhone unit sales rose 155% due in part to the iPhone’s availability on the Verizon network. Revenue generated from iPhone handset and related sales accounted for almost 50% of Apple’s reported $24.667 billion in revenue. There’s no disputing that the iPhone is currently the company’s preeminent product. But let’s not forget about the Mac.

The Mac’s Ongoing Resurgence

Long-time readers of ATPM will remember a time when revenue generated from iPod sales was greater than the revenue generated from Mac sales. Following the Intel transition, the Macintosh has continued to gain new users and in the March quarter recaptured the #4 spot among domestic PC makers. In the March quarter, Apple shipped 3.76 million Macintosh computers led by a 53% gain in Mac laptop sales. Recent estimates from IDC and the Gartner Group forecast falling PC unit sales both in the US and in international markets. Set against negative growth in the PC industry, the Mac’s 28% gain in unit sales is even more noteworthy. For 20 consecutive quarters, the Mac’s unit sales performance has been better than the performance of the PC industry in general. Stepping back 20 quarters or 5 years, puts us at the start of Apple’s Intel transition and the release of the first iMac with an Intel chip inside.

The iPod

In the March quarter sales of the iPhone and the iPad represented over 60% of Apple’s reported revenue. Both products were introduced to consumers within the last four years. The popularity of the iPhone in particular has diminished the need for specific-use digital music players. As a consequence, iPod unit sales continue to fall, and in the March quarter iPod unit sales retrenched by 17% to just over 9 million units.

The iPod touch, an iOS-based device, now accounts for over 50% of the revenue generated from iPod sales. Although overall iPod sales continue to fall, the iPod touch is building the market for apps, games, and other content sold through the App Store.

The iPad

We’ll close this month’s Welcome section with a mention of the iPad’s March quarter performance. Surprising many, Apple sold fewer than 5 million units in the period due to a lack of supply. The iPad 2 was launched late in the quarter, and Apple could not keep up with product demand. This reduced global iPad inventories and left the market wanting more iPads than Apple could manufacture. Creating a global market for a new product isn’t as easy for Apple as the iPad is easy to use for those who wait patiently to buy one.

Our May Issue

In our most recent excerpt from The iPad Chronicles titled “Two iPhones and a Rice Bowl,” Robert Paul Leitao puts to good use a novel approach to resolving a drenched iPhone dilemma.

Our May issue also includes:


A monthly summary of Wes Meltzer’s blogosphere news, originating from his Pinboard feed. This month: netbooks, Android, other wireless news, and more.

MacMuser: Da Pain, Da Pain

Mark Tennent explains why the latest version 9 release puts QuarkXPress back in the race as a contender against Adobe InDesign.

MacMuser: All Abroad for iPad 2 Alternative

While Mark Tennent awaits his iPad 2, he takes a moment to tell about how much he enjoys using the Apple Magic Trackpad.

The iPad Chronicles: Two iPhones and a Rice Bowl

Robert Paul Leitao shares two stories of iPhone resuscitation in uncooked rice.

The iPad Chronicles: Wonders Never Cease

For someone who practically ignored the PC era, having never used one, Robert Paul Leitao’s mother is thrilled with using an iPad for reading news and books.

How To: Using the Free Disk Utility on Your Mac

Apple’s Disk Utility application has grown up to become a respectable tool that may make you less dependent on third-party solutions.

Desktop Pictures: Arizona 2010

Chris Turner shares some photos from a mission trip he took part in last year, to build housing on the San Carlos Apache reservation in Arizona. The scenery was at once desolate and beautiful.

Out at Five

Matt Johnson’s new series, Out at Five, looks at the workplace and its boundaries from all angles, revolving around many of the same characters from his former series, Cortland.

Review: Escape Rosecliff Island HD

Hidden object game with variations to please everyone.

Review: Handoff 1.1

An alternative tool to Instapaper for passing off Web pages to be read on other devices.

Review: PDF Studio Pro 6.6

A somewhat more attractively priced alternative to Adobe’s pricey Acrobat Pro.

Also in This Series

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