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Apple front-ended their notebook event today with a look at the business side of things.  Their reported sales figures were impressive, having moved 2.5M Macs last quarter alone, and continuing their trend of growing at two to three times the rate of competitors in the same […]

Apple front-ended their notebook event today with a look at the business side of things.  Their reported sales figures were impressive, having moved 2.5M Macs last quarter alone, and continuing their trend of growing at two to three times the rate of competitors in the same sector.

COO Tim Cook listed a number of reasons why Apple continues to put up impressive numbers:

  1. Hardware quality (all Mac computers, basically)
  2. Software quality (Leopard, iLife, iWork, etc.)
  3. Compatibility (Boot Camp, virtualization software makes it easy to switch and/or integrate with existing infrastructure)
  4. Vista (Microsoft’s poorly received OS scaring people to OS X)
  5. Mac vs. PC ads (heightened brand recognition)
  6. Brick-and-mortar retail growth (new Sydney, China stores; 400,00 visitors a day across all locations)

Cook then went on to talk about growth, where Apple has done better than their market for four years running, raising their market share from less than 10% to 17.5% in the U.S.  While that represents a significant gain, Apple’s most impressive figures are in the educational market segment, where they saw an improvement from 15% to 47% market share at one major university, and enjoy a 39% share overall, surpassing PC provider Dell.

Overall, Apple has already matched their sales figures for all of FY2007, moving 7.1M Macs between Q1 and Q3 2008.  The holiday season and today’s introduction of new models could see Q3’s numbers exceeded, despite the mostly depressed consumer electronics market, and will likely see Apple nearing or even passing the 10M mark by end of year.

Following today’s announcment, the price of Apple’s (AAPL) shares initially dropped, due likely to the absence of the $800 laptop predicted by some analysts.  Share price has gradually recovered since, and has stabilized at 104.08 at the time of this writing, down 5.60% from opening.

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