The latest retail sales data from the NPD Group show that Mac sales in February jumped 43 percent year-over-year, coming on the heels of a 36 percent increase in January. Those results led Piper Jaffray anlyst Gene Munster to estimate sales of 2.8 to 2.9 million Macs this quarter, according to AppleInsider.
Mr. Munster, who has long been bullish on Apple, expects 2010 to be “the year of the Mac.” The latest numbers are follow-through from November and December 2009, when year-over-year Mac sales were up 33 and 32 percent, respectively. Mac sales started 2009 with a pair of year-over-year declines and remained muddled until the end of the year.
The analyst also looked at iPod sales, which experienced year-over-year declines throughout 2009, and found that they were up seven percent for the first two months of 2010. Average selling prices of the devices are up three percent, while Macs are down 10 percent, suggesting that cheaper Macs are becoming more popular.
Mr. Munster kept his overweight rating on Apple’s stock, with a 12-month price target of US$284. Shares ended trading on Monday down $2.76, or 1.22 percent, to $223.84.