Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Big Boost: American shoppers were in love with Apple’s (AAPL) Mac computers during the holiday season, AppleInsider notes. According to data from industry research firm Gartner, U.S. sales of Macs jumped 28.5% during the final quarter of 2013, compared to the same time in 2012. During the final quarter of 2012, Apple experienced supply shortages for its redesigned iMacs, which hurt sales. Gartner estimated that Apple shipped 2.2 million Mac units during 2013’s holiday quarter. The sales rise pushed Apple’s share of the U.S. personal computer market from 9.9% in the final quarter of 2012, up to 13.7% at the end of last year. Gartner ranks Apple as the third leading personal computer maker in the U.S. market, behind Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Dell (DELL). While Mac sales were soaring, overall PC sales were headed in the opposite direction, falling 7.5% during the holiday quarter. Mac sales had been sliding over the past year, so the holiday upturn is welcome news for Apple. Gartner’s estimates correspond to data from NPD Group, which forecast a 29% year-over-year gain in Mac sales during the fourth quarter.
Heavy Interest: Crowds were seen queuing up at the Hong Kong Apple Store on Friday, Fortune notes. Consumers were gathering to take advantage of discounts on Apple devices offered under Apple’s Red Friday Sales, a one-day event meant celebrate the Lunar New Year, a major holiday throughout many parts of Asia. Apple Stores in the region were offering bargains on iPods, iPads and Macs. The deals can be found at Apple Stores in Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. This is the second year that Apple has run the Red Friday promotion in Asia.
Letting Go: The arrival of Apple’s iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c in September prompted many older iPhone users to finally trade-in their handsets, the Telegraph notes. That made the 16GB version of the iPhone 4 the most traded-in smartphone of 2013. The handset, which launched in June 2010, accounted for almost 9% of all smartphones traded in last year. Behind the iPhone 4 were Samsung’s dated Galaxy S3 and S2 i900 handsets, as well as versions of the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4s and iPhone 5. Apple accounted for almost 29% of all smartphone trade-ins, followed by Samsung. Among tablets, the 16GB WiFi version of the iPad 2 topped the trade-in list for 2013. Fully eight of the top 10 tablets traded-in last year were older iPads. Apple introduced its next-generation iPad Air and a Retina iPad Mini in October.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.