Macs Earned Apple $21.5 Billion In 2013

(Credit: Fortune)

(Credit: Fortune)

The Macintosh may be celebrating its thirtieth birthday today, but three decades on it’s no longer Apple’s flagship device — coming a distant third to the iPhone and iPad (although still ahead of iTunes — for now.)

But just how many Macs did Apple sell last year?

Combing through the data, Fortune created the above infographic, which shows the Mac’s fluctuating sales throughout 2013: starting off weakly in Q1 when a missed iMac deadline signaled the end of a 26-quarter streak in which Mac sales outpaced those of the PC industry. In all, Macs generated $21.5 billion for Apple in fiscal 2013 — representing one eighth of the company’s total revenue.

Fortune also asked a panel of 45 analysts for their Q1 2014 predictions with regards to Mac sales. As the publication explains:

“Of the 45 heard from so far — 28 pros and 17 amateurs — all but three believe Apple sold more Macs this quarter than it did in the same quarter last year.

As a group, their average estimate for Q1 2014 is 4.6 million Macs — up 13% year over year. The average among the pros is 4.58 million; the independents are at 4.63 million.

Last year it was the pros (at 4.35 million) who were more bullish. As it turned out, the amateurs could have been even more cautious than they were. Their average estimate was 4.17 million Macs; Apple sold 4.06 million.”

Of course, when you’re dealing with such a wide spread it’s tough to be accurate in terms of sales figures — which is why analyst estimates veer so wildly from 3.83 million (Glen Yeung from Citigroup) to 5.20 million (T. Michael Walkley, Canaccord Genuity.)

Ultimately, we’ll find out who was closest to the mark when Apple reports its actual Q1 1014 earnings when markets close next Monday, January 27.

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  • Samir Shah

    Apple should not be LIKE MICROSOFT. The resources in developing Macs can be better utilized elsewhere, namely wearables. What I am trying to say is that the development resources on Macs should be stopped but not Macs’ availability. Macs have become a cult and they will remain that way. If you really want to give some resources to Mac development it should be for processor upgrades (from fourth generation Core architecture to fifth and to sixth and so on) but no more to base architecture of the Macs.

    Apple should have a clear vision of where Apple wants to be compared to WHERE APPLE IS.

  • lwdesign1

    Macs have not “become a cult”. They have always held a relatively low percentage of overall computer sales, however, the people that use Macs utterly depend on them in the areas of art, graphic design, photography, magazine and newspaper publishing, music and many, many other fields. I’ve been a very happy Mac user since 1989 (my first Mac was an SE/30 with a 9-inch screen).
    Apple can easily continue to improve and develop the Mac without damaging any of their other product lines and new R&D. They have a potfull of cash and can hire as many technicians and designers as necessary to continue to create even more astounding Macs.
    Despite the success of the iPhone and iPad, these are not devices that many professionals need to do their jobs. I design a lot of print work and packaging, and I work with Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and Muse to create marketing tools for our clients around the world. The Mac and my essential software from Adobe Systems lets me deliver amazing solutions that improve our clients’ visibility, sales and income.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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