Apple Posts Big Gains in Retail PC Sales

Apple appears to be the big winner in May retail PC sales, according to data released by financial firm Credit Suisse First Boston. Even though overall PC sales slowed to 6 percent year over year -- the first single digit growth since October of 2003 -- Apple managed to lead the pack.

"From a vendor perspective, Apple Computer was the big winner, growing units 79 percent year-over-year overall and 94 percent year-over-year in standalone retail," CSFB said in its note to clients.

Analysts have worried that after the Intel announcement, shipments of desktops and notebooks would slow due to consumers waiting for the new machines. Lower-end Macs are expected to make the transition in mid-2006, with the Power Mac line switching to Intel by 2007.

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Gateway also did well, posting a 37 percent gain for the month of May. However, the same could not be said for Hewlett-Packard, which posted a 10 percent loss. The turmoil associated with the quick firing of former CEO Carly Fiorina and the resultant search may be to blame for those losses.

PC market leader Dell is not included in the data, as their desktops are not sold through retail or distribution.

CSFB warned against overanalyzing the numbers on overall sales, as units have declined before and rebounded in the following month, and said from an economic standpoint things look promising. "The strength in retail year to date has been somewhat unexpected to us given the consumer strength over the past two years," the firm said.

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