Sales growth for the Mac platform has outpaced the PC market for the 31st time in the past 32 quarters, keeping the trend alive. Surprisingly, Apple’s premium priced computers were actually driven by growth in emerging markets last quarter according to new data. The fact that the Mac outpaced the overall PC market last quarter isn’t surprising, Apple has seen its share of the worldwide PC market grow from 2.1% in 2005 to 5.5% in 2013, which is something noted by analyst Charlie Wolf. In the March quarter, Mac sales actually underperformed in established markets.

Year-over-year growth for Mac sales were down in North America, according to data from Gartner. In addition, PC sales growth exceeded the Mac in both Europe and Japan. Apple’s Mac platform saw explosive growth in Greater China, Asia Pacific, EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa), and Latin America. In particular, the Cupertino California company saw explosive growth north of 20% in EMEA, and exceeded 25% year-over-year growth in Latin America.

Wolf summarized the data in a note to investors and states that he is baffled by this result. According to him:

We can see no obvious explanation for the disparity between developed and developing regions. It could be a one-quarter blip, which only the data for June will reveal. Or it could represent an inflection point in the Mac's fortunes. Only time will tell.
The Cupertino California company’s growth in emerging markets comes in spite of the fact that the average selling price of a new Mac has remained well above $1,000, placing the devices in a class and price range that is well beyond the low-margin nature of the rest of the PC business. Market watchers believe the continuing decline in PC sales is attributable to the rise of touchscreen tablets, particularly Apple’s iPad and iPad mini, which compete at lower price points.

It’s also worth noting that Apple recently began experimenting with much lower pricing on its Mac lineup in 2014. Notably, a lack of new next-gen chips from Intel has helped push Apple to focus on more affordable options with its latest Mac models. The discounted product pricing didn’t take effect until Apple began launching its new 2014 Mac models in April, after the March quarter data from Gartner. This means that any results from sales and discounts in the just-concluded June quarter will not be revealed until the company’s fiscal third quarter earnings call next Tuesday. In the meantime, Apple’s strong March quarter performance in emerging markets remains “counterintuitive” according to Wolf.

Source: Needham & Co. via AppleInsider