March 8, 2021

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The coronavirus pandemic helped boost Apple’s iPad and Mac sales

An iMac Pro computer in an Apple store.

Zhang Peng | LightRocket | Getty Images

Analysts expect the coronavirus pandemic to keep boosting Apple’s Mac and iPad units, following the company’s blockbuster fiscal third quarter report on Thursday, where it revealed revenue was up 11% year over year. 

“Despite COVID-19 headwinds, Apple grew revenue in every segment and geography, beating consensus revenue by 14% as ecosystem engagement rises,” Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in a research note Friday. 

The analysts remain bullish on the “increased importance of consumer computing devices to support work, play and learn from home benefiting iPad/Mac sales.” Morgan Stanley also raised the price target on Apple to $430 per share from $419.

Analysts at Piper Sandler also noted that Apple is withstanding the coronavirus pandemic, saying in a company note Thursday that its Mac and iPad units are “actually benefiting nicely” due to remote work and learning trends. 

Retailers have been hard hit by the pandemic that’s shut down stores across the globe and impacted suppliers. But Apple pointed toward both work-from-home trends and strong online sales as delivering a boost to overall operations.

The company’s iPad sales grew 31%, and its “other products” category, which includes AirPods and the Apple Watch, grew 17% from Q3 2019. Mac revenue also rose almost 18% from this time last year.

The work from home trend “definitely has boosted Mac and iPad. We see both of those likely picking up share,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told CNBC’s Josh Lipton. “We have the strongest product lineup in both Mac and iPad that we’ve ever had. It’s the combination of those two things coming together at the same time that are producing the results.” 

Apple shares were up 6% in early trading on Friday. 

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