Apple thriving amid sluggish PC market

One would hardly expect Apple's computer business, which specializes in pricy, high-end systems, to be growing very much in today's economy. However, a Morgan Stanley analyst quoted by Fortune says Apple is seeing much faster shipment growth than mainstream PC vendors like HP and Dell.

Kathryn Huberty notes that Apple's commercial Mac shipments climbed by 25% between April and May, while the commercial PC market as a whole grew by only a single percent. And that was before the updated MacBook Pros came out:

The fact that the new laptops arrived in early June means that they will provide what Huberty calls "a catalyst for growth" in both the June and September fiscal quarters. She points to NPD weekly shipment data . . . showing steady acceleration of Mac shipments over the past few weeks.

Apple's new 15" and 17" MacBook Pros both cost several hundred dollars less than their predecessors, which has likely helped their popularity. They're still not cheap, though. The 15" model starts at $1,599, and the basic 13" MacBook Pro will set you back $1,199—almost double the price of HP's cheapest 13.3" laptop.

Huberty reportedly estimates that Apple shipped 2.5 million Macs in the second calendar quarter. If accurate, that figure would represent quarterly growth of no less than 12%.

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