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Mac sales forecast to grow 20% on strong demand for new MacBook Pros

post #1 of 37
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Apple's recent MacBook Pro refresh and the newly launched iPad 3G are both strong sellers, industry and supply chain sources have told one Wall Street analyst, who believes Apple could see another quarter with more than 20 percent year-over-year growth in Mac sales.

Shaw Wu with Kaufman Bros. issued a note to investors Tuesday, in which he revealed that the iPad 3G has had a "surprising" start, with strong sales despite the $130 premium over the Wi-Fi-only model. Sources told Wu that the 3G model has sold "better than expected."

Wu has doubled his expected iPad sales for the June quarter to 2 million, up from 1 million. Of course, Wu's original sales forecast was already exceeded after just the first day of iPad 3G sales, as Apple announced the hardware sold more than a million just 28 days after it launched only in the U.S. iPad sales will expand to nine more countries on May 28.

In addition, the analyst said April's refresh of the MacBook Pro line, which equipped the high-end models with Intel's latest Core i5 and Core i7 processors, has helped to keep Mac sales at a brisk pace. Wu believes Apple's Mac business is likely to have its third consecutive quarter with more than 20 percent year-over-year unit growth, which would indicate yet another an increase in PC market share.

"Our sources indicate that Mac momentum is strong, helped by a recent significant refresh of the MacBook Pro to new Intel Arrandale processors," Wu wrote, "offering much better price-performance and an industry best 8-10 hours of battery life."

Wu has slightly increased his projected Mac sales for the quarter to 3.2 million, up from a previous prediction of 3.1 million. Last quarter, Apple sold 2.94 million Macs, helping the company achieve an 89 percent increase in profits to $3.07 billion.



Wu has also increased his gross margin assumption from 37 percent to 38 percent, leading to $14 billion in revenue and $2.90 in earnings per share. With those increases, he has upped his 12-month price target for AAPL stock to $320, up from the prior target of $315.

"Customers continue to flock to the Apple platform despite its premium pricing and still difficult macroeconomic conditions," Wu wrote. "What it confirms to us is the company's proprietary technology continues to give it a competitive advantage where customers value Apple and believe its premium is more than justified. We do not know of another technology company enjoying such a trend."
post #2 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple's recent MacBook Pro refresh and the newly launched iPad 3G are both strong sellers, industry and supply chain sources have told one Wall Street analyst, who believes Apple could see another quarter with more than 20 percent year-over-year growth in Mac sales.


How often are the analysts correct?
post #3 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Customers continue to flock to the Apple platform despite its premium pricing and still difficult macroeconomic conditions," Wu wrote. "What it confirms to us is the company's proprietary technology continues to give it a competitive advantage where customers value Apple and believe its premium is more than justified. We do not know of another technology company enjoying such a trend."

Neither do I.
post #4 of 37
Apple is doing so well because the competition is so far behind. Apple's products are decent, to be sure, but what gives the company even more of an edge is that the competition's products are generally rather poor.

Netbooks, for example, have their strengths but if you find yourself using one for any length of time, the typical netbook is a rather frustrating beast. The main reason for this is that competitors subscribe to the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach. Throw this in, and that, and more of that, and on and on.

The iPad, on the other hand, is an example of Apple's approach. The iPad, by not trying to be a complete desktop/laptop replacement, does several things exceedingly well. It's a nicely designed product that just works. Once you start using a product that just works, it's hard to go back to something fraught with issues and that, for all intents and purposes, does nothing particularly well.


Apple is to computers what Japanese cars ended up being in that industry. American brands produced inefficient, poorly designed products for decades and got away with it because that's what cars were like. The Japanese came along and brought out smart, well-engineered products that raised the bar. Eventually the competition gets better but the perception that a particular company is dong it better pays dividends long after the real advantage has diminished.
post #5 of 37
Apple is Doomed! ⓒ
post #6 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"We do not know of another technology company enjoying such a trend."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

Neither do I.

Sony used to.
post #7 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

Eventually the competition gets better but the perception that a particular company is dong it better pays dividends long after the real advantage has diminished.

Good observation, but I agree only in part.

I think there are a few companies who have tried to match Apple's quality - at least in some of their products. There are two problems, however.

First, they find that to build quality costs money (which is why so few even try). So, when they do try to match Apple products, most of the price differential is lost.

Second, matching the quality of an Apple product is more difficult than it seems. Apple products reflect a culture of quality that extends throughout the product, encompassing hardware and software, external appearances and internal design. This is very hard to generate.

An example. My friend K is a very serious and software engineer at a high level in a very technical field. He is also a musician and has a great appreciation for quality and beauty in detail. For almost 20 years he resisted getting a Mac, in spite of my gentle prodding. Recently he purchased a Mac Pro (yes the big one) to do video editing. He went to add in some hard drives and when he opened the case for the first time he was actually shocked at how well laid out it was, how easy it was. The inside of the machine was actually (to an engineer) a thing of beauty. Finally he understood what I had been saying for so long - that Apple cares about every little detail! This is why people fall in love with their products.

IMHO
post #8 of 37
This is where having a low market share in laptops/desktops actually helps! There is a lot of room left for growth, and hence, further value creation. The growth opportunities are even bigger outside the US.

Obversely, where Apple's market share is high (iPhones, iPods, possibly iPads), one can thank the competition for being weak or non-existent.
post #9 of 37
It certainly is a very strong lineup...13" to 17" screens, unibody aluminum construction, camera, glass trackpad and of course, OSX.

I can see them obviously adding faster processors and maybe making a thinner frame around the screen. Possibly adding SSD's for 'instant-on.'

Or perhaps removing the Superdrive on some models and making them a little lighter, thinner, and a little lower price points. And then make the battery a little bigger to add another hour or two.

I would gladly give up my superdrive....I never use it!

If my original intel MacBook ever breaks, I will replace it with an iPad 3G. If my original intel iMac ever breaks I most likely will replace it with the new and improved MBA!

In the next year or two I will end up with an MBA, iPad and a 4g iPhone and the first time since Apple's were available no desktop!

That's if things start breaking! Fingers crossed! I want new stuff!
post #10 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmx View Post

Sony used to.

IBM too.
post #11 of 37
I was most impressed with the new anti-glare screens on the new 15¨ MacBook Pro´s at the Apple Store, nothing like the previous dull matte screens of before.

While others were busy tilting the other glossy screens around to avoid the overhead lights reflections on the display, the anti-glare 15¨ had a perfect screen image in any position.

That machine is certainly on my next to get list, just waiting out any hardware glitches that seem to show themselves later on. So far the new processors are running a bit hot, very hot in fact. I don´t think Intel can do any better, they have gone as far as they can.

We might be seeing the end of powerful laptop computers here shortly or perhaps no new performance increases, just like the new 13¨ MBP is stuck on the last generation of processors.


And it´s obvious why the MacBook Pro´s are set to have greatly increased sales, Apple all but eliminated the MacBooks except one model and introduced a line of iPads. Since the iPad needs a computer, it´s driving nearly all the MacBook demand to the MacBook Pro line.
post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

IBM too.

Anyone remember Gateway?
post #13 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post

We might be seeing the end of powerful laptop computers here shortly or perhaps no new performance increases, just like the new 13¨ MBP is stuck on the last generation of processors.

I didn't want my first post here to be contrary in nature, but I don't believe we will ever see the end of performance increases; not in our life times.
post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmx View Post

... The inside of the [Mac Pro] was actually (to an engineer) a thing of beauty. ...

Yes, it really is. Anyone who hasn't seen the inside of a Mac Pro really should have a look. You'll never look at a PC tower the same again.
post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Anyone remember Gateway?

They never had any real power to change/dominate the industry. Not like Palm, or Sony or IBM used to. Not like AOL used to.

And certainly not like what Apple has today.

Apple's current position is much less of a complete stranglehold over the relevant industry when compared to these others. Many of them had complete control of their niche, back in the day. Apple has it with the iPod, but that category is not growing fast, if at all.

And all of these others have fallen. It will be very interesting to see what happens over the next 10 years. Apple has a very good shot at finally being a major force in several areas all at once.
post #16 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

IBM too.

I think customers who are buying IBM hardware still feel this way. They aren't in the desktop/laptop PC business anymore, so not as visible to the average consumer, but for the hardware they do make, it is very high quality and their customers are happy to pay the cost.
post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Yes, it really is. Anyone who hasn't seen the inside of a Mac Pro really should have a look. You'll never look at a PC tower the same again.

I built my son's PC tower. It is a work of art. All the ugly wires are hidden, and all the cool-looking ones are lit with neon. The liquid cooler is integrated into the plexi side and looks very futuristic. It has fully functional analog heat/RPM gauges on the front.

He's a teenager.


Well-built PCs are, well ...
post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmx View Post


Second, matching the quality of an Apple product is more difficult than it seems. Apple products reflect a culture of quality that extends throughout the product, encompassing hardware and software, external appearances and internal design. This is very hard to generate.

IMHO

Interesting thought...and the culture of quality at Apple extends not just throughout the product but throughout all product lines and the company itself from beginning to end (just look at the agonizing detail of the retail stores!)

Its probably harder to inculcate a culture of quality in even a single product (let alone an entire organization) when management settles for more than half the product line being crappy and cheap.
post #19 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Anyone remember Gateway?

DEC? Wang?
post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by psoon70 View Post

I didn't want my first post here to be contrary in nature, but I don't believe we will ever see the end of performance increases; not in our life times.

Just performance increases in Apple laptops, because they can´t carry the elaborate cooling and power necessary for more advanced processors that generate more heat in their present form factor.

Apple did dump IBM´s PowerPC processor because they couldn´t make a cool enough processor for laptops and now it seems Intel has also reached the end of the line in that regard.

The new 13¨ MacBook Pro does use the last generation of Intel processors, and the new 15¨ and 17¨ using the newer processors are running very hot according to reports on Apple forums.

So the obvious conclusion is the 13¨ doesn´t have the space for either cooling or battery to handle the newer processors.

Of course Apple could make the MacBook Pro line thicker and heavier, but then they wouldn´t be as attractive.

So it seems the end of the line is being reached, sure processor performance increases will continue, look at the Cell, 9 cores and hot as hell, not good for latops, it´s just Apple´s MacBook Pro laptop line might undergo a change next generation, or *gasp* elimination if they can´t get cool enough processors.

The processor industry can pull only so many technological trick rabbits out of it´s innovation hat, eventually it will stop, at least for laptops.
post #21 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

DEC? Wang?

Tandy, Commadore, Atari?
post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

I built my son's PC tower. It is a work of art. All the ugly wires are hidden, and all the cool-looking ones are lit with neon. The liquid cooler is integrated into the plexi side and looks very futuristic. It has fully functional analog heat/RPM gauges on the front.

He's a teenager.


Well-built PCs are, well ...

It has wires? How quaint.
post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

DEC? Wang?

If I remember correctly, DEC is the system my Dad bought way back in 1982....$21,000 for word processing with two stations.

He was a CEO who believed in writing 100 letters a week among many, many reports! He kept two secretaries busy both on IBM Memory Selectrex typewriters....$6000-$9000 each ( i think!)

The DEC was a small CRT with blue text and that's it!

When I showed him my original iPhone he was amazed!
post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post

The processor industry can pull only so many technological trick rabbits out of it´s innovation hat, eventually it will stop, at least for laptops.

People said that 4 years ago when dual core was coming out. Now look where we are. We clearly need more processing power, but we just need to use the power the processor consumes more efficiently. And so it continues...
post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmx View Post

..... encompassing hardware and software....

This is the key. Also, that the software is intuitive and uncluttered. iTunes really is the only example I can think of that Apple has been bogging down with too much crap, but I have a feeling that will change rather soon. Safari can use some work too, but there are easy alternatives and it's not such a big deal.

While other companies can easily match the build quality of Apple's products, they cannot meet the price points because they have to buy the OS. Please don't even bring Linux into it, because it's not easy for the average consumer to use.
post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

I built my son's PC tower. It is a work of art. All the ugly wires are hidden, and all the cool-looking ones are lit with neon. The liquid cooler is integrated into the plexi side and looks very futuristic. It has fully functional analog heat/RPM gauges on the front.

That's the difference between elegance and featuritis.

Apple realizes that elegance means designing the whole machine to work well together and not to waste energy or money on non-essentials.

Your concept of design seems to be that the more flashing lights and gauges you can add, the better. I guess if you're a teenage boy, lots of neon lights and a transparent case might be a good thing, but that's hardly what I'd call well-engineered elegance.
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Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
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post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmx View Post

Good observation, but I agree only in part.

I think there are a few companies who have tried to match Apple's quality - at least in some of their products. There are two problems, however.

First, they find that to build quality costs money (which is why so few even try). So, when they do try to match Apple products, most of the price differential is lost.

Second, matching the quality of an Apple product is more difficult than it seems. Apple products reflect a culture of quality that extends throughout the product, encompassing hardware and software, external appearances and internal design. This is very hard to generate.

(snip)

IMHO

It's really hard for companies to set this priority. Again and again you see cases where the CEO gives nice speeches about how important customers are and we give customers top priorities and similar platitudes. Behind the scenes though all the incentives are setup for saving the company money. Factories are rewarded with bonuses for reducing inventory, not for shipping on time. Factories like to maintain a healthy backlog rather than ship quickly to the customer. If companies really believed that treating the customer was important they would incentivize factories and service for shipping on time and having things work out of the box and doing what they are advertised to do. This is a complex topic and you can find lots of books written on this topic.
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post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

How often are the analysts correct?

It varies. An investment analysis research firm called StarMine has a proprietary measurement called RAS (Relative Accuracy Score) that rates thousands of analysts around the planet on their predictions.

The results are plotted to a bell curve so the bottom 10% get a one-star rating and the top 10% get a five-star rating. "Star analysts" are generally four-star and five-star analysts.

Shaw Wu is not an AAPL star analyst. Some other analysts quoted by AppleInsider (Gene Munster, Katy Huberty) also do not rate very highly. It is beyond me why the tech media loves quoting analysts with poor track records. You can basically bet against what some of them spout off (Enderle, Gartner).

Brian Marshall and Andy Hargreaves are a pair of AAPL star analysts, meaning they fumble the ball less often than their peers.
post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

DEC? Wang?

Ahhh, Wang. Memories... My first stock purchase. I wasn't even in high school, but I had been following the stock in the paper for a while when I inhereted $500 from a great aunt.
If only I had bought AAPL!!!
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post #30 of 37
I've been to Columbia and Cornell's libraries over the past week and I'd ballpark that 60-70% of the students are using the new aluminum MacBooks. Apple is taking over the college campus. It won't be long before that number is 80-90%.
post #31 of 37
The new MBPs are very impressive, but I wish they offered ExpressCard on at least one of the 15" models. ExpressCard is very underrated - you can use it to add additional powered USB ports (who wants an ugly hub AND power supply dangling off their MBP?), eSATA (essential for video work), USB3, and high end audio (my field) and video expansion cards. I'm sure there are other things too. SD slots are of pretty limited value and it you really need one, you can get a USB or ExpressCard model.

I bought the last model to have ExpressCard (to use with an audio DSP card) but I'd love to have a MBP with higher RAM capacity and a quad core processor.
post #32 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by ridikulas View Post

I've been to Columbia and Cornell's libraries over the past week and I'd ballpark that 60-70% of the students are using the new aluminum MacBooks. Apple is taking over the college campus. It won't be long before that number is 80-90%.

And here is the way for Apple to capture more and more market share in the long run. Many people settle for one brand for years. Most grown ups influence their children to look in the way or the brand they like.
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post #33 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmx View Post

Sony used to.

You think it's safe to say Sony died when Morita died? 1999.
post #34 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

They never had any real power to change/dominate the industry. Not like Palm, or Sony or IBM used to. Not like AOL used to.

And certainly not like what Apple has today.

Apple's current position is much less of a complete stranglehold over the relevant industry when compared to these others. Many of them had complete control of their niche, back in the day. Apple has it with the iPod, but that category is not growing fast, if at all.

And all of these others have fallen. It will be very interesting to see what happens over the next 10 years. Apple has a very good shot at finally being a major force in several areas all at once.

I suppose. But I do remember them being a leader, at the time in the consumer PC area where as Dell was the leader in enterprise PC. And both were leaders in 'Customer Support' in their respective areas....I'm going a long way back, BTW!

Albeit...nowhere near the world class products/service Apple has been able to achieve in the last decade!
post #35 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post

You think it's safe to say Sony died when Morita died? 1999.

Sony was pretty dead by the late 90s. I'd say the mid 90s was the absolute tail end of their flagship TV and Discman / DAT / Walkman products. Incidentally, the same can be said for Toyota and their engineering. They are still quite well engineered. But the Toyota Way died after 1995 as was immediately apparent in their cost cut products, which in some respects are still lower quality today (not to mention less stylish) than pre-1995. The Japanese economic crisis is probably the underlying reason.
post #36 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post

You think it's safe to say Sony died when Morita died? 1999.

Will Apple die when Jobs dies?
That's statement's ridiculous- Sony is alive and well.
post #37 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by yesiCan View Post

Will Apple die when Jobs dies?
That's statement's ridiculous- Sony is alive and well.

You are very, ummm, "literal" aren't you?
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