Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Mac set to outgrow the Windows market for 25th quarter in a row

July 13, 2012: 6:47 AM ET

PC sales have stalled, but most analysts believe Mac unit sales grew 12% to 14% last quarter

FORTUNE -- According to Gartner and IDC, the worldwide personal computer market -- including both Microsoft (MSFT) Windows PCs and Apple (AAPL) Macs -- shrank by 0.1% in the June quarter, although the two research firms disagree about whether Mac sales grew or not. (See here.)

Our panel of 61 analysts -- 27 from Wall Street, 34 independents -- also disagree among themselves. But 59 of the 61 are looking for Mac sales to beat the 3.95 million sales Apple racked up in the June quarter last year, and most expect Apple to do it quite handily.

In this category, it's hard to tell the pros from the indies. The lowest estimate -- 3.6 million Macs -- was submitted by newcomer Paul Reina of the independent Braeburn Group. The second-highest estimate -- 5.17 million -- was put forward by Merrill Lynch's Scott Craig.

Averaging the estimates of all 61 analysts we get a consensus of 4.49 million units (up 13.6% year over year), which happens to be precisely what the independents as a group are forecasting.

The professionals are looking for slightly lower sales (4.45 million, up 12.7%) and the six analysts with the best track record slightly less than that (4.41 million, up 11.7%).

But nearly everybody we polled believes that when Apple reports its fiscal Q3 earnings in two weeks, Mac sales will have outpaced the market for the 25th quarter in a row.

We'll find out which analysts were closest to the mark after the markets close Tuesday, July 24.

Below the fold: Their individual estimates, with the pros in blue and the amateurs in green.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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