The release of Microsoftis Windows Vista operating system may have impacted Mac sales, but Appleis still gained some market share and will likely continue to grow, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. The release of new Macs, Mac OS X 10.5, and other products will help drive that growth.
"Strong Mac sales in Appleis March quarter enabled the company to gain share despite stronger than normal PC sales," Mr. Munster said. "With Apple heading into three quarters of significant product releases (iPhone, Leopard, new iPod) and the education buying season, we expect year-over-year market share gains to continue."
Based on IDC data, the Mac held 2.6 percent of the market in the first calendar quarter of 2007. During the same quarter last year, Apple held 2.1 percent of the market.
Since Apple already has a strong position in the portable computer category, the company has a prime opportunity to gain additional market share as more consumers switch to laptops from desktop systems. The iPod and iTunes are also luring new customers to the Mac platform.
Mr. Munster commented "iPod and iTunes users are increasingly switching to Macs because they offer superior media management. And with iPhone and Apple TV, Apple has carried its lead in music into two new product categories. These products will further expand its footprint in a market with growing demand for simple solutions for digital content management.
Mr. Munster is maintaining his "Outperform" rating and target price of US$140 for Apple stock. Apple is currently trading in the pre-market at $100.15, up 0.23 (0.23%).