NPD: Mac Sales & Revenue up Sharply, Analyst Forecasts New MacBooks

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The NPD Groupis latest data shows unit sales for Mac up 50 percent in April year over year. Revenues were up 46 percent. A Lehman Brothers analyst has forecasted new MacBook designs based on the MacBook Air.

The NPD numbers were reported by Ben Reitzes, a Lehman Brothers analyst, in a note to his clients.

Similar data for the iPod showed that unit sales were up 15 percent year over year. Looking to the future, Mr Reitzes wrote: "We continue to believe our estimate of a 2 percent year-over-year unit decline in iPods could prove conservative; although year-over-year weekly growth rates have decelerated in May."

Mr. Reitzes speculated that Apple will introduced a new MacBook design in time for the back-to-school season. "Checks are indicating that the attractive look of the Air may make its way into other models in terms of slimmer, metallic designs," Mr. Reitzes said. "We believe these notebooks will be popular for the back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons."

Recent results from NPD also showed a staggering market share for Macs in brick-and-mortar stores. While thatis just a small part of the overall channel for distribution of PCs in general, Apple is making it uniquely work to its advantage as thrifty computer buyers more and more want to touch and feel the computer for which theyire paying premium dollars.

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