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Look for the iPad to continue dominating the tablet market, even as Mac sales grow faster than overall computer sales. Yes, per my crystal ball, Apple will continue to grow its computer market share in the U.S. and globally.
In a note to clients -- as reported by "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com) Evercore (http://www.evercore.com), an independent investment banking advisory firm, says personal computer sales for 2012 will remain flat while tablets continue to be hot sellers. Analyst Rob Cihra says the iPad will account for 60% of the tablet market.
Cihra thinks iPad/tablet sales are responsible for "at least half" of the computer market's current decline. He says consumer computer sales have struggled every quarter since they topped out in the third quarter of 2010, which is just one quarter after Apple launched the first iPad.
According to "AppleInsider," Cihra believes that a quarter of tablet purchases are direct replacements for computers, while another quarter are "effectively" replacing personal computers, as users delay purchasing a new computer by getting an iPad or another tablet.
Based on my "gut feeling" and anecdotal evidence, I think the iPad is cannibalizing ultrabook sales and some PC sales, but isn't having a significant impact on Mac sales. In fact, the tablet may be having a "halo effect" and helping increase Mac sales.
When Apple reports its third quarter fiscal results in two weeks, Mac sales will have outpaced the market for the 25th quarter in a row, according to my crystal ball. My forecast remains the same as mentioned Friday: Mac sales of at least 18.75 million units for 2012 and 23 million for 2013.
-- Dennis Sellers