I'm holding firm on my estimate of three million Mac units shipped in the December quarter (Apple's 1st fiscal quarter 2010). This estimate suggests a sequentially flat quarter for Mac unit shipments and a year-over-year gain in unit sales of almost twenty percent. My estimate is based on continuing strong demand for the MacBook Pro line beyond the September quarter and high demand for the recently refreshed iMac line of desktop computers
It was an unusual step for Apple to refresh the iMac at the beginning of the December quarter, departing from a past practice of updating the iMac line in January, in concert with the annual IDG Macworld Expo. Refreshing the line in time for Christmas will capture seasonal sales as well as sales normally postponed into January in anticipation of a product refresh. The December quarter refresh also allows Apple to fill out channel inventory to between four and five weeks of supply provided the company can keep pace with product demand for the iMac.
While air freight costs of moving iMacs quickly from manufacture to distribution is anticipated to pinch margins just a bit in the quarter, ASPs should remain attractive on the three million units to be sold.