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Apple's new MacBook Air predicted to sell 700K during holidays

post #1 of 44
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Apple's new 11.6- and 13.3-inch MacBook Air models are expected to be a major boon for Mac sales this holiday season, with one firm forecasting sales of 700,000 in the quarter, and a Wall Street analyst anticipating gross margins of about 32 percent.

The research department of Concord Securities has reportedly predicted that the MacBook Air will account for 17 percent of an estimated 4.1 million Mac shipments this fall. In addition, Mingchi Kuo, vice president of the firm's research department, believes the new, smaller model with an 11.6-inch screen will account for 60 percent of MacBook Air sales.

Sales of 4.1 million Macs in the quarter would be yet another record for Apple. Just this week, the company revealed it sold 3.89 million Macs in the previous quarter, the best three-month frame for the company yet.

Apple's Mac business was on display this week at the "Back to the Mac" event, where the new MacBook Airs with instant-on capabilities were unveiled. The notebooks start at $999 for the 11.6-inch model.

Analyst Brian Marshall of Gleacher & Company said in a note to investors this week that he believes Apple's new MacBook Air models carry a gross margin profile of greater than 30 percent. If true, that would be greater than his estimated blended margins of more than 20 percent for the rest of Apple's notebook line.

Marshall estimated that the blended gross margins for the new MacBook Air models will be 32.1 percent. He sees the low-end $999 model with a total cost to Apple of $718, while the high-end 13.3-inch model with 256GB of storage retailing for $1,599 likely costs Apple $1,007.40.

Marshall said he has not yet changed his forecast for just over 4 million Macs in the December quarter, though he added the new, lower priced MacBook Air models could add a "kicker" in the future. Gleacher & Company has maintained its price target of $355 for AAPL stock.
post #2 of 44
I wonder what the profit margin is on the Air compared to the MacBook Pros that they'll be cannibalizing... Presumably we're talking about people switching from the 13" MBP to the new Air (and of course some old Air people switching to the new Air).
post #3 of 44
That seems like a high percentage of Macs based on a 5M Mac forecast for the quarter.
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post #4 of 44
Are we done with the "few more surprises" before the end of the year or are there more to come?
post #5 of 44
While the new Macbook Air is pretty slick, I think when most compare the spec's and prices to a hard-drive Macbook Pro (or even a SSD-drive MBP), they'll see you get more for your money with a standard Macbook Pro, including 10-hour battery life.

The Air will appeal to the gadget freaks who have to have the latest new toy, but it's pretty under-powered for the price. Most folks can't live with 64 or 128GB of hard drive space these days. Heck, my music collection alone is 90GB, and I want room to grow. The new MB Air is slower, with less storage space, than my 3-year-old pre-unibody MBP. And with the same battery life.

I have been waiting for this refresh for a while, but am mostly unimpressed. I'm going to upgrade my 3-year-old 15" MBP from its mostly-full 160GB hard drive to a 500GB drive, and hope for something better down the road.
post #6 of 44
And how is OS X Lion going to spur sales in the next quarter when it is not being released until summer '011? Great analysis Mingchi Kuo.
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post #7 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

While the new Macbook Air is pretty slick, I think when most compare the spec's and prices to a hard-drive Macbook Pro (or even a SSD-drive MBP), they'll see you get more for your money with a standard Macbook Pro, including 10-hour battery life.

The Air will appeal to the gadget freaks who have to have the latest new toy, but it's pretty under-powered for the price. Most folks can't live with 64 or 128GB of hard drive space these days. Heck, my music collection alone is 90GB, and I want room to grow. The new MB Air is slower, with less storage space, than my 3-year-old pre-unibody MBP. And with the same battery life.

I have been waiting for this refresh for a while, but am mostly unimpressed. I'm going to upgrade my 3-year-old 15" MBP from its mostly-full 160GB hard drive to a 500GB drive, and hope for something better down the road.

I’m not sure why you were waiting for this refresh when "you get more for your money with a standard Macbook Pro” will always be true. Miniaturization costs money. Those are LV and ULV CPUs in the 13” and 11” MBAs, respectively, and they are expensive.
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post #8 of 44
I was at an Apple store yesterday picking up a copy of iLife '11 and was hoping to get a chance to look at them in person.

The new airs weren't in the store yet. They still had the previous version on the floor.

It will be interesting to see where these go. The biggest drawback to me is the internal storage capacity. I tend to have a lot of photos/videos on my macbook pro, so I don't think the advantage of size/weight would be worth it for me. But there are probably lots of people who will find them just right.

Since Apple hardware is the only place to legitimately run OSX, I think it is great that they are offering more options.
post #9 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

While the new Macbook Air is pretty slick, I think when most compare the spec's and prices to a hard-drive Macbook Pro (or even a SSD-drive MBP), they'll see you get more for your money with a standard Macbook Pro, including 10-hour battery life.

The Air will appeal to the gadget freaks who have to have the latest new toy, but it's pretty under-powered for the price. Most folks can't live with 64 or 128GB of hard drive space these days. Heck, my music collection alone is 90GB, and I want room to grow. The new MB Air is slower, with less storage space, than my 3-year-old pre-unibody MBP. And with the same battery life.

I have been waiting for this refresh for a while, but am mostly unimpressed. I'm going to upgrade my 3-year-old 15" MBP from its mostly-full 160GB hard drive to a 500GB drive, and hope for something better down the road.

The technology is not there to produce an ultra-light notebook that can deliver what you are obviously hoping for. You pay for the convenience of having an exceptionally light laptop and the trade-off is less power. On the other hand, if what you want is a device that aces the portable side of the equation and has just enough power to perform particular tasks, the new Air gets it done.

In time, Apple will be able to raise the bar but right now, the available technology is what it is.

I have to say that I'm surprised that you would be expecting anything close to MacBook Pro performance with this particular form factor. For those who are in the market for such a computer, the question isn't how does the Air compare in terms of performance for the price but rather how capable is the machine, as in does it have enough horsepower to get the job done. For each potential purchaser, there could be a very different answer.

I find if curious when the discussion veers towards expressing concern over performance relative to price. If you want bang for the buck, Apple never looks good in terms of raw specs. It's about the quality of a design not the quantity in terms of memory, CPU speed, etc.
post #10 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by debusoh View Post

I was at an Apple store yesterday picking up a copy of iLife '11 and was hoping to get a chance to look at them in person.

The new airs weren't in the store yet. They still had the previous version on the floor.

Someone should pick them up and put them on the table.
post #11 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackintosh View Post

Someone should pick them up and put them on the table.

post #12 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

While the new Macbook Air is pretty slick, I think when most compare the spec's and prices to a hard-drive Macbook Pro (or even a SSD-drive MBP), they'll see you get more for your money with a standard Macbook Pro, including 10-hour battery life.

The Air will appeal to the gadget freaks who have to have the latest new toy, but it's pretty under-powered for the price. Most folks can't live with 64 or 128GB of hard drive space these days. Heck, my music collection alone is 90GB, and I want room to grow. The new MB Air is slower, with less storage space, than my 3-year-old pre-unibody MBP. And with the same battery life.

I have been waiting for this refresh for a while, but am mostly unimpressed. I'm going to upgrade my 3-year-old 15" MBP from its mostly-full 160GB hard drive to a 500GB drive, and hope for something better down the road.

Obviously you value a larger drive with a fast CPU and more battery life. But for those that value portability and higher screen resolution, the choice will be just as simple, but for the MacBook Air.

If a person needs CPU speed, the Air is not in their future. But if the main need is MS Office (i.e., non-CPU intensive application), chat, IM, mail, and the internet, then this may be their ticket. Since we all have iPhones/iPods/iPads, the storage space for music can be an external drive.

My guess is that the $999 will be hot, especially for college students.
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post #13 of 44
I could see a lot of MBA 13 sales that would cannibalize the MacBook sales. I think the machine is awesome for what it's intended for - thin and light consume model. I doubt those who want a mbp would go for air simply because it is still a bit underpowered at comparable price points.

11 inch might be a hit with students that already have decent desktops and want something really small to take notes, watch videos and do some homework on, but for longer papers I always find myself hooking up the 17 inch monitor.
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post #14 of 44
Slash Gear's "MacBook Air 11.6″ Review is quite illuminating.

As they conclude, "As with the previous MacBook Air, the style will win hearts in the Apple Store; what makes the difference is that the day-to-day experience is strong enough to win over your head and wallet, too."

And you really have to read their real-world experience to appreciate their enthusiasm.

http://www.slashgear.com/macbook-air...view-22109859/
post #15 of 44
After being really excited to get an Air, I think the Pro is a better choice for me. I really wanted the 11", since you can't get that size in any other Apple product. But only the 13" has an SD card slot. Once I realized I prefered the 13" (simple for that slot), the Pro seemed like a better value. I'm not sure how many others will follow the same line of thinking, but it seems to me the 13" Airs will be slow moving.
post #16 of 44
I think Apple will discontinue the white MacBook now that they have $999 MB Air. In my opinion, they should drop the Air from the name.
post #17 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackintosh View Post

Someone should pick them up and put them on the table.

Yep before someone accidentally steps on them.
post #18 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

I think Apple will discontinue the white MacBook now that they have $999 MB Air. In my opinion, they should drop the Air from the name.

Yeah.. I don't think Nike is too happy with Apple using Air.
post #19 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacKeeperFunReg View Post

And how is OS X Lion going to spur sales in the next quarter when it is not being released until summer '011? Great analysis Mingchi Kuo.

I predict all retail versions of Lion's release will be USB based from then on. Because how would you install it on the Air? (Not counting CD sharing or buying external drive)
post #20 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustReelFilms View Post

I predict all retail versions of Lion's release will be USB based from then on. Because how would you install it on the Air? (Not counting CD sharing or buying external drive)

True or via online download like a lot softwares are now a days.
post #21 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

I think Apple will discontinue the white MacBook now that they have $999 MB Air. In my opinion, they should drop the Air from the name.

I think 2 things:

- The white MacBook down to $799, or
- The white MacBook dissapears.

I believe in the 2nd thing, because now all its line is aluminum, the white looks out.
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post #22 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

I think Apple will discontinue the white MacBook now that they have $999 MB Air. In my opinion, they should drop the Air from the name.

They will not do the latter.

They will simple kill the white MacBook and remove 'Pro' from the Pros. And they'll probably remove the DVD drive from the 13" and 15" models.
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post #23 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by lvidal View Post

I think 2 things:

- The white MacBook down to $799, or
- The white MacBook dissapears.

I believe in the 2nd thing, because now all its line is aluminum, the white looks out.

And you know what that means? The following year they'll bring back colors. Aluminum-colors.
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post #24 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

They will not do the latter.

They will simple kill the white MacBook and remove 'Pro' from the Pros. And they'll probably remove the DVD drive from the 13" and 15" models.

I don't think they will remove the Pro from the Pros. If you look at the specs of the MB and MBA you will see that they lack illuminated keyboard and Firewire. I think it makes more sense to keep the current Pro as is and removing the Air from the MB Air. I am not saying they will do this now. I think they will do it when they can put faster processors in these MBA.
post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

I wonder what the profit margin is on the Air compared to the MacBook Pros that they'll be cannibalizing... Presumably we're talking about people switching from the 13" MBP to the new Air (and of course some old Air people switching to the new Air).

I doubt anyone needing a MBP could use a MBA. They are two different worlds. Heck the apps needed by a MBP user wouldn't fit on the storage available let alone the potential data. The new MBA is awesome but it is for a different kind of use IMHO.
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post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by lvidal View Post

I think 2 things:

- The white MacBook down to $799, or
- The white MacBook dissapears.

I believe in the 2nd thing, because now all its line is aluminum, the white looks out.

I don't see either happening until SSD drives come standard with 512GB baseline settings.
post #27 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

They will not do the latter.

They will simple kill the white MacBook and remove 'Pro' from the Pros. And they'll probably remove the DVD drive from the 13" and 15" models.

removed
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post #28 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Im not sure why you were waiting for this refresh when "you get more for your money with a standard Macbook Pro will always be true. Miniaturization costs money. Those are LV and ULV CPUs in the 13 and 11 MBAs, respectively, and they are expensive.

I agree a MBP is not the same beast as a MBA, no way they represent alternatives. A MBA isn't going to run Apple Pro apps for example ... they would fit on it let alone the potential data!

BTW... I got my first ever MBP recently, I went for the 2.66 15" i7. I am very, very impressed and this is from a MacPro user. I have an Apple 24 LCD and extended external USB keyboard and magic mouse for whenever serious work is needed but it is amazing as just a stand alone laptop. I can run all my Pro apps no problem.
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post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

BTW... I got my first ever MBP recently, I went for the 2.66 15" i7. I am very, very impressed and this is from a MacPro user. I have an Apple 24 LCD and extended external USB keyboard and magic mouse for whenever serious work is needed but it is amazing as just a stand alone laptop. I can run all my Pro apps no problem.

I am jealous. That's what I was planning on getting as my next system. MBP 15" with i7 ($2000 on MacMall) and the new Apple LED display. My current 15" 2.4 C2D unibody MBP is showing its age. I only have 2GB of empty space on the HDD
post #30 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

I think Apple will discontinue the white MacBook now that they have $999 MB Air. In my opinion, they should drop the Air from the name.

For $999 the white MacBook offers a lot more computer than the Air. Bigger screen. More powerful CPU. More storage. The Air is not a replacement for people currently buying white MacBooks.
post #31 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by lvidal View Post

- The white MacBook down to $799, or
- The white MacBook dissapears.

If those are the options, the white MacBook disappears. At $799 it starts elbowing the iPad.
post #32 of 44
Yep, I think I will be getting the base 11" with 4gig of Ram...I'm going to try really hard not to buy the SuperDrive. I don't want any cables except the pwr and my iPhone 4 USB connector

I read a previous post where someone suggested that Apple is moving in the direction of streaming, Movies, Photos, Music., SW, etc., (Like the AppleTV) and so big HD's may not be as necessary as they used to be. More Cloud based.

Certainly the MBA is probably not most peoples idea of a "main" computer...but it could be for me.

I may sell my iMac and get the Air early! Woohoo!

Who wants to sit at a desktop all day and work? Ugggh!

Best
post #33 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

For $999 the white MacBook offers a lot more computer than the Air. Bigger screen. More powerful CPU. More storage. The Air is not a replacement for people currently buying white MacBooks.

But of course we don't know how many people were buying the MacBook because it was the cheapest Apple laptop available, regardless of their actual needs.

If you don't need the storage or CPU (and I'll wager there are many that don't) you can now get an Apple laptop for MacBook money that is vastly easier to carry around with much nicer industrial design. For a little more you can get that and the same screen size as well.
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post #34 of 44
By the way, has their ever been a time when Apple has offered this many discreet laptop models at this many price points?

There's the MacBook, the 11" and 13" Air, and the 13', 15" and 17" MacBook Pro-- with of course multiple BTO options for each. For Apple, that's a heap. Add in the iPad and I think Apple has your mobile computing needs pretty well covered.
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post #35 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwdawso View Post

My guess is that the $999 will be hot, especially for college students.

It probably will and that's a bit unfortunate. After the OS and a few apps are installed, it really leaves little storage space and leaves lots of owners with a less than optimal experience. too bad they couldn't hit that 30% margin at $999 with the 128 GB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sippincider View Post

If those are the options, the white MacBook disappears. At $799 it starts elbowing the iPad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

By the way, has their ever been a time when Apple has offered this many discreet laptop models at this many price points?

There's the MacBook, the 11" and 13" Air, and the 13', 15" and 17" MacBook Pro-- with of course multiple BTO options for each. For Apple, that's a heap. Add in the iPad and I think Apple has your mobile computing needs pretty well covered.

What about $899? That P-point seems open now and the "production experience" costs have long since been recovered.

Here's the lot: iPad: $499-$599-$629-$699-$729-$829. MacBook Air: $999-$1199-$1299-1599. MacBook: $999. MB Pro: $1199-1499-$1799-$1999-$2199-$2299. MacPro: (for good measure) $2400 and up....

And yup, $899's sitting there unfilled. And yup, Apple's finally and slowing expanding its range of SKU's, so if they wanted (I hear it sells well despite faint praise in this forum), they could continue to upgrade the specs on the $999 MB, and iPhone style, make the previous model the $899, i.e., offer two trim levels of plastic Macs.

They would then - considering the iPad a new category of computer - blanket every major price point and very likely skim another point or three of of total PC market share from the budget conscious full-featured lap-top buyers who've previously been priced out of the Mac market.

Note: I've never seen Apple have even a single price duplication in a line (in this case the MacBook line) before. Have any of you? And there it is at $1199. Unless the MB Air can be considered a brand new category. But I call it more evolution than revolution.

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post #36 of 44
I think maybe hard to predict sales numbers this time around. It is the first release of the MBA since iPad came in to existence.
post #37 of 44
If I hadn't already bought an iMac just a few months ago then this new Macbook Air would have made for a toss-up. I'll definitely consider this against the iPad when I go to replace my Macbook. The Air is looking very nice.
post #38 of 44
Ive been in the market for a new computer. I think the 13" MBA is what I want. 11" seems small but i may end up with that one...we'll see.
post #39 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I think maybe hard to predict sales numbers this time around. It is the first release of the MBA since iPad came in to existence.

Even with the iPad I have to assume Apple will break records again, but by how much? There isn’t much of bump last year for the Holiday, but I think this year could be close to 5M Macs, but I think an additional 500k is pretty safe bet.
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post #40 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

By the way, has their ever been a time when Apple has offered this many discreet laptop models at this many price points?

There's the MacBook, the 11" and 13" Air, and the 13', 15" and 17" MacBook Pro-- with of course multiple BTO options for each. For Apple, that's a heap. Add in the iPad and I think Apple has your mobile computing needs pretty well covered.

Apple has been aggressive, no doubt. Most people are still hitting the iPad and iPhone pretty hard, gobbling them up. Apple is trying to shift a little of the iPad madness to the Mac 11".

More iPads were sold in just 26 countries than Macs sold in the whole world, in the most recent quarter. Of the people that picked up the iPad, I'm sure a sizeable number of them might have been frustrated it couldn't do more. This is Apple's answer. The 11" MBA is the direct beneficiary of iPad halo effect and frustration in not being able to purchase the iPad.

Remember when the iPod touch came out? People loved it because they didn't or couldn't get an iPhone, particularly globally. Same thing here. People love the iPad but they can't get it, particularly globally... So Apple is trying to shift that bunch of customers to 11" MBA while they gradually learn more and improve the iPad and figure out how the heck they can make more and distribute it at the same worldwide bandwidth that they do Macs.
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