Most Macs Ever Sold in a Quarter

That's maybe the single biggest bit of news from Apple's fourth quarter results for 2006. And it's not just that this is the best Mac quarter ever, it's the best by a wide margin.

More specifically, Apple sold 1.61 million Macs this quarter, which is thirty percent higher than the same time last year. The previous record was held by the first fiscal quarter of 2000, which was 1.38 million.

So why did Apple sell so many machines? They chalk it up to fantastic educational sales and the delivery of all of the fancy new Intel-based machines. I can vouch for the educational sales. It seems like everyone going to school was getting a MacBook Pro. One million of the Macs sold were laptops, by the way.

Even given all of that, they still feel some people are holding back on their next purchases until a few key apps like Adobe's Create Suite are fully universal. This sort of thing could put more pressure on Apple to expand their Pro line so they're not held hostage to companies like Adobe further in the future.

Most of this came up during the conference call. The press release basically says that the fourth quarter brought in $4.84 billion in revenue, which is up 32% from the same quarter a year ago.


Apple now has $10.1 billion in cash. Yowza.

Apple had about 20 million customers in retail stores during the quarter, and about half of the people that bought Macs were previously Windows users (according to their survey). Each store added about 1,000 new Mac customers on average during the last three months.

iTunes is responsible for about 85% of the music purchased and downloaded in the US. So, yeah.

In terms of income, 58% came from Mac sales, and 42% from iPods and other music-related stuff.

In the year overall, Apple sold 5.3 million Macs, 39 million iPods, and brought in $19.3 billion in revenue.

A Note About Boot Camp

A bit off-topic, but still interesting.

It came out during the course of the conference call that Boot Camp has about 1 million downloads now. I don't remember the source, but I vaguely remember reading that Apple had no plans to support virtualization in Leopard, but will stick to dual boot instead.

On the surface, this seems odd. Or it did until today. Kevin Callahan passed around a note on macosx-talk that suggests the cheapest version of Vista will not be licensed for use under an emulator.

This may leave Apple better off with pushing Boot Camp as a solution for running Windows so they don't have to tell customers "Sorry, you have to purchase a more expensive version of Vista before you can run it on a Mac."
Design Element
Most Macs Ever Sold in a Quarter
Posted Oct 18, 2006 — 5 comments below


PGM — Oct 19, 06 2100

As a Mac user, I find this array of different Windows versions with different possibilities and different EULA's bewildering, not to mention that you will be only able to install a copy twice. One problem is that you never know what to expect when you sit behind a Windows XP-machine. On some machines it is possible to have some rudimentary version of fast user switching, while on others you have to leave close everything before another user can log-in. I suppose that with Vista the confusion will only get bigger as it looks like there are more different versions.

jo — Oct 19, 06 2103

Here are some reasons behind the numbers:

db — Oct 19, 06 2104

...not to mention that you will be only able to install a copy twice.

I've read of people, mainly gamers, who reinstall Windows every 6 months to keep their system in top performance. Now, after two installs, they will have to buy a new Vista license. What happens if a virus kills your Windows installation, twice?

I glad to know that I can reinstall my copies of OS X as many times as needed. Though, I have never had the need to reinstall them.

Mike Abdullah — Oct 19, 06 2106

The whole virtualization thing with Vista has been misunderstood.

When running an emulator, you have an OS operating the machine normally. This can be any version of Vista of anything else.

In the emulator you run another OS. This could be a version of Vista of something else.

What the EULA disallows is for both of the above OS's to be a single license of Vista Home or Basic. If you want to have a Vista Home host OS and a virtualized Vista Home you have to buy 2 copies.

There is nothing to stop you running Vista Home/Basic in Parallels.


On the other hand the plethora of Vista versions and many other parts of the EULA are just plain dumb and make me very glad that I only have to think about OS X and OS X Server.

Blain — Oct 19, 06 2107

...not to mention that you will be only able to install a copy twice.

I had a hard time believing that, especially considering that most tech support calls appear to have reinstallation as step two, between restarting and waving a dead chicken. Is there a source for that?

What I did find, googling for 'install a copy twice', is that reinstalls with different hardware triggers the lockout, but even then one can call, and wait on hold to talk to a person to reactivate it. Still not fun, but reinstalling with the same hardware does not trigger this, and even triggered, this doesn't require a secondary license.


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