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OS X Lion brought a 26 percent rise in Mac sales

Preliminary estimates put Apple in a good Q2 2011 standing, but the momentum from new MacBook Pros and Airs could fade throughout the rest of the year

Released just over a month ago, Apple’s latest desktop and notebook operating system is already showing significant boost in hardware sales for the Cupertino Company.

In a preliminary sales estimate from market research company NPD Group, Apple was able to sell 26 percent more Mac computers during July compared to the same month a year ago in the United States. Of course, Apple revealed its latest MacBook Air and Mini lineups during this time as well.

We believe Apple will continue to gain share in Macs over the long term even as the iPad grows,” said Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes. He expects an 18 percent year-over-year growth for the Mac maker during Q3 2011 at the very least.

Another analyst, however, sees the next two quarters being tougher for Apple to maintain its growth. “We believe Mac sales benefitted from the 7/20 launch of OS X Lion along with refreshed MacBook Airs and Mac minis,” said Piper Jeffray analyst Gene Munster. “But these tailwinds will fade throughout the September quarter and year-over-year compares get slightly tougher in the last two months of the quarter.”

Apple has been slowly announcing its 2011 lineup of Macs so far this year, starting off with the MacBook Pro in February and the MacBook Air and Mini in July. Official announcements for the hypothetical iPad 3 or iPhone 5 could come before the end of the year.


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Allen Ngo, 2011-08-23 (Update: 2012-05-26)