Quarterly US Mac sales up 13%, expected to grow in December

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The latest domestic sales data from the NPD Group shows the Mac lineup demonstrating 13 percent year over year growth in the first two months of the current quarter, a growth number Wall Street watchers expect Apple will handily exceed when the December quarter is concluded.

Analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray revealed the latest NPD data for October and November on Monday, noting that the numbers are "soft" compared to what is expected of Apple for the December quarter. But the data only represents Apple's Mac sales in the U.S., and does not include the platform's worldwide growth.

Investors generally expect Apple to sell about 5.2 million Macs in the December quarter, which would translate to year over year growth of 25 percent. The NPD data showed desktop units up 5 percent year over year in the month of November, while notebooks were up 9 percent from 2010.

Munster is maintaining his projection of between 5.1 million and 5.3 million Mac sales in the December quarter, which would be a record for the company. He noted that last year, 48 percent of NPD units in the December quarter came in the month of December.

"Also, we believe international Mac sales are likely growing faster than domestic Mac units (and NPD does not track international Mac sales)," Munster wrote. "Net-net, we are maintaining our range of 5.1m-5.3m, or 23%-28% (year over year) growth."

Munster estimates that Mac sales will represent 18 percent of Apple's overall revenue in the company's December quarter.

The latest NPD data also shows iPod sales down 14 percent year over year. That suggests that Apple is ahead of consensus, and on track to sell about 15.5 million total units in the December quarter, down 20 percent year over year.

October sales figures from NPD showed Mac sales up 19 percent in the first month of the December quarter. The company is on track to best its previous best of 4.89 million Macs sold in the September quarter.