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Apple Approaching Sales Of 20 Million Mac Units

Apple could have sold up to 4.6 million Macs by the end of this quarter which would put it on course to beat the company's previous record of 4.1 million units sold during the holiday season in 2010.

According to the oft-quoted Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster (via Businessinsider), Apple sales are up by nearly a quarter for the first two months of the quarter ending in September with the company likely to sell up to 4.6 million Macs and, should the growth be maintained, even be within touching distance of the five million unit milestone.

The new Macbook Air range is what looks to have boosted the growth with various analysts estimating that the ultra slim laptop range - widely believed to be behind Intel's drive to launch the ultrabook range - accounting for up to a fifth of Mac sales in the current quarter.

Apple had been previously slated by observers for not launching a netbook a few years ago just as the trend for the ultra cheap, ultra portable devices was seen as a threat to Apple's product range and many saw the Macbook Air as being Apple's answer to Netbooks, only better.

Next year could also see the launch of a new breed of non-Intel devices based on Apple's own A6 ARM-based system on chip, which is likely to be a quad-core model.