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Sustained growth of MacBook Air could provide $3.0B-per-year opportunity for Apple

post #1 of 36
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Apple is poised to realize a $3.0 billion opportunity with its line of MacBook Air computers as "break-out" growth of the portables continues, according to one analyst.

In a note to investors on Thursday, analyst Mark Moskowitz of J.P. Morgan revised his April estimates of a $2.2 billion a year revenue stream upward to reach the $3.0 billion figure. Moskowitz sees the average quarterly run rate of the MacBook Air reaching 700,000 units over the next 12-18 months.

According to Gartner's estimates, Apple shipped 432,000 MacBook Air units in the first quarter of 2011, up 412.9 percent year over year and 2.9 percent sequentially. In particular, Moskowitz sees the sequential growth as a positive sign of sustainable demand for the thin-and-light notebook.

The MacBook Air also significantly outpaced total Mac units (excluding the MacBook Air), which were down 10.5 percent sequentially in the first quarter of this year and the broader PC market, which was down 10.1 percent.



The current generation of MacBook Airs was released in October 2010 and became instant bestsellers. AppleInsider reported last week that Apple has readied an update to its MacBook Air line and will begin production this month with an initial run of 380,000 units. A subsequent report out of Taiwan mirrored the numbers, citing "industry sources." Analyst Chris Whitmore with Deutsche Bank believes sales of the new MacBook Airs could go as high as 1.5 million units per quarter.



Moskowitz sees Apple's iCloud and similar cloud-based services as driving a reduction in internal storage requirements, which should quicken adoption to the MacBook Air. J.P. Morgan estimates that currently just 3-4 percent of notebook PCS utilize Solid-State Drives instead of Hard Disk Drives.

The analyst believes the MacBook Air acts as a "a quasi-tablet for productivity," given its combination of tablet-like features such as ultra-portability, thinness, and instant-on with an integrated keyboard and a full computing applications suite.

International demand for the MacBook Air serves as evidence of plenty of room for growth, according to the analyst. By breaking out sales into regions, Moskowitz shows that the MacBook Air has a "fairly balanced" distribution and therefore maintains a "wide appeal."

Moskowitz does note that the MacBook Air's higher Average Selling Price may be a hurdle to sustained growth, but he predicts a $100 price drop for the MacBook Air in the next product refresh, due to "component cost declines and more integrated features." The current ASP of the MacBook Air is estimated to be $1,295, almost $300 more than the entry price.



post #2 of 36
we do seem to have reached another tipping point with these devices.

I recall about 10 years ago when the large corporations i was working at (FMCG multinationals) basically stopped buying desktop PCs and started giving everyone notebooks.

It feels like we might be close to a similar tipping point for "thin & lite, SSD" laptops. Prices are now affordable, and even svelte-looking MBPs are starting to look and feel a little bulky compared to the new MBAs.

Most folks I know who currently sport MBPs are seriously considering MBAs for their next purchase. (Obviously a 15" model would help here...)
15" uMacbook Pro 2.4Ghz 8GB 128GB SSD/500GB 7200rpm, iMac 27" i5 16GB 1TB, MacBook Air 8GB 256GB, iPhone 5s 64GB, iPhone 4 32GB, iPad 4 64GB, Apple TV2/3, iPod Nano 2nd gen, iPod Touch 4th gen,...
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15" uMacbook Pro 2.4Ghz 8GB 128GB SSD/500GB 7200rpm, iMac 27" i5 16GB 1TB, MacBook Air 8GB 256GB, iPhone 5s 64GB, iPhone 4 32GB, iPad 4 64GB, Apple TV2/3, iPod Nano 2nd gen, iPod Touch 4th gen,...
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post #3 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by ameldrum1 View Post

we do seem to have reached another tipping point with these devices.

I recall about 10 years ago when the large corporations i was working at (FMCG multinationals) basically stopped buying desktop PCs and started giving everyone notebooks.

It feels like we might be close to a similar tipping point for "thin & lite, SSD" laptops. Prices are now affordable, and even svelte-looking MBPs are starting to look and feel a little bulky compared to the new MBAs.

Most folks I know who currently sport MBPs are seriously considering MBAs for their next purchase. (Obviously a 15" model would help here...)

The 13" MBA can hold up to 256GB and it wasn't too long ago the aluminium MacBook with 250GB and 2GB RAM as that much. I know a lot of people with PCs that don't come close to using that much capacity. Now add to that the increased usage of satellite computers such as tablets and smartphones. If Apple creates the iOS/ARM-based Home Server product I want I an see the MacBook Air pushing even further into the Mac cut. I'd even consider getting one then (assuming the battery life was significantly increased).
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #4 of 36
So far, the lighter and smaller model outsells the other. Many people want an even lighter and smaller Mac. A truly mobile Mac.
post #5 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by ameldrum1 View Post

we do seem to have reached another tipping point with these devices.

I recall about 10 years ago when the large corporations i was working at (FMCG multinationals) basically stopped buying desktop PCs and started giving everyone notebooks.

It feels like we might be close to a similar tipping point for "thin & lite, SSD" laptops. Prices are now affordable, and even svelte-looking MBPs are starting to look and feel a little bulky compared to the new MBAs.

Most folks I know who currently sport MBPs are seriously considering MBAs for their next purchase. (Obviously a 15" model would help here...)

Laptop are supposed to be portable I never understood why would anyone buy a 15' machine which clearly is not portable..13" is good enough.

"Apple people have no objectivity when it comes to criticism of Apple.." Lenovo X1 Carbon is out..bye bye MBAir

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"Apple people have no objectivity when it comes to criticism of Apple.." Lenovo X1 Carbon is out..bye bye MBAir

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post #6 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by daylove22 View Post

Laptop are supposed to be portable I never understood why would anyone buy a 15' machine which clearly is not portable..13" is good enough.

Different needs. If your job is to edit Final Cut at various remote locations you don't want to haul an iMac around and you certainly don't want a 13" or smaller MBA. You might even find 17" as the most ideal size.
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post #7 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by daylove22 View Post

Laptop are supposed to be portable I never understood why would anyone buy a 15' machine which clearly is not portable..13" is good enough.

Coz people also use them as desktop replacements in the home/office. 13" is fine for use on the road but not so good when used all day at home/office.
post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by ameldrum1 View Post

we do seem to have reached another tipping point with these devices.

I recall about 10 years ago when the large corporations i was working at (FMCG multinationals) basically stopped buying desktop PCs and started giving everyone notebooks.

It feels like we might be close to a similar tipping point for "thin & lite, SSD" laptops. Prices are now affordable, and even svelte-looking MBPs are starting to look and feel a little bulky compared to the new MBAs.

Most folks I know who currently sport MBPs are seriously considering MBAs for their next purchase. (Obviously a 15" model would help here...)

I would absolutely love a 15" MBA. Unfortunately our IT folks don't allow WiFi in the lab's.

So no WiFi & no ethernet >> no access to the internet.

So for the time I will have to stick to my MBP 15"
post #9 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The 13" MBA can hold up to 256GB and it wasn't too long ago the aluminium MacBook with 250GB and 2GB RAM as that much. I know a lot of people with PCs that don't come close to using that much capacity. Now add to that the increased usage of satellite computers such as tablets and smartphones. If Apple creates the iOS/ARM-based Home Server product I want I an see the MacBook Air pushing even further into the Mac cut. I'd even consider getting one then (assuming the battery life was significantly increased).

What I feel is missing from this whole ecosystem is a recognition that an OSX device, the Air etc, can be one of the satellite devices like an iOS device.
Currently, any OSX Mac behaves as if we are still in the old days when it would be the household's only computer and hold all content itself.
There's some syncing, but it's still syncing between vertically complete systems that each consider themselves your only computer.

I would get an Air, and be very happy with smaller storage if I knew I could have a light version of my main Mac's content, without having to manually manage it all.

An example would be for OSX iTunes to be taggable as a slave/mobile copy.
It would contain only content in playlists referenced to another iTunes installation against the same Apple ID and perhaps have some iCloud access too.

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Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

I would absolutely love a 15" MBA. Unfortunately our IT folks don't allow WiFi in the lab's.

So no WiFi & no ethernet >> no access to the internet.

So for the time I will have to stick to my MBP 15"

Just get the Ethernet adapter for the MacBook Air?
post #11 of 36
Wait, I thought the ipad was going to kill notebook sales.
post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

Wait, I thought the ipad was going to kill notebook sales.

PC notebook sales. As it is different and it is not the "incompatible" Mac of the '90s that doesn't have as many applications as Windows.
post #13 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by superbass View Post

wait, i thought the ipad was going to kill netbook sales.

t, ftfy
post #14 of 36
wait....a cheaper, faster, MBA.....nah that will never sell....I'll pass.
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post #15 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by daylove22 View Post

Laptop are supposed to be portable I never understood why would anyone buy a 15' machine which clearly is not portable..13" is good enough.

Someone at work sold her 15" MBP to buy a 17" HP laptop. I said why not go for a real light mobile laptop and just buy a 24" moniter for home use? She has no room to put a dock station and she wanted a bigger screen.

She went from a mac back to a windows machine because her boyfriend cant stand Apple products and he was not supporting her on any problems or questions. Second reason was shortcuts difference in MS word between the windows version (work) and the mac version (home). Apparently you cant customize the mac version to match the windows version. (I check for a few hours and could'nt find a solution either)

When are the new MBA coming out?!?
post #16 of 36
Apple will also have to outdo Google before Chrome becomes popular.
Right now they don't have much to worry about. But in a couple of years it will be pretty appealing to start up whate ever PC, Laptop, Pad, or Phone, and continue working on any and every project you may want.
post #17 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by juandl View Post

Apple will also have to outdo Google before Chrome becomes popular.
Right now they don't have much to worry about. But in a couple of years it will be pretty appealing to start up whate ever PC, Laptop, Pad, or Phone, and continue working on any and every project you may want.

Don't need Chrome for that. Won't need to wait a couple years.
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post #18 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Different needs. If your job is to edit Final Cut at various remote locations you don't want to haul an iMac around and you certainly don't want a 13" or smaller MBA. You might even find 17" as the most ideal size.

I use a 17" MBP and am on the road 75% of the time and don't find it too big or too heavy.

Actually, I thought the Macbook Air would be a flop as a result. I didn't see how a 13" Macbook could be considered too heavy, so I didn't think people would want to get a less powerful option just because it was lighter, and I envisaged the Macbook Air being somewhat like the G4 Cube - a fine engineering achievement, but not what the market wanted.

I'm happy to have been proven wrong.
post #19 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

I use a 17" MBP and am on the road 75% of the time and don't find it too big or too heavy.

Actually, I thought the Macbook Air would be a flop as a result. I didn't see how a 13" Macbook could be considered too heavy, so I didn't think people would want to get a less powerful option just because it was lighter, and I envisaged the Macbook Air being somewhat like the G4 Cube - a fine engineering achievement, but not what the market wanted.

I'm happy to have been proven wrong.

Definitely that different needs thing. I have the 2x6-core tower as my main work machine, and wanted something light that lets me work but in no way needs to replace my 'real' machine in terms of capability.

The 11" MBA is incredibly sweet, actually reasonable on compiles thanks to the SSD, and I can even open it on the tray table of an airplane without it getting crushed. Would I want to work on it daily in the office? Hell no, not without a bigger monitor and external storage, etc., but as the on-the-road machine it's absolutely fantastic.

The funny thing is that when people see my MBA and try it out, most suddenly start wondering if they couldn't do the same - and with the new Sandy Bridge chipset coming, I suspect more will be going that route.

But you know, before the 4GB option, I wouldn't have considered it either...
post #20 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

I would absolutely love a 15" MBA. Unfortunately our IT folks don't allow WiFi in the lab's.

So no WiFi & no ethernet >> no access to the internet.

So for the time I will have to stick to my MBP 15"

As someone else mentioned, get the ethernet -> USB adapter. Or are you saying you're not allowed wired ethernet either and need to have a 3G card or something?
post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrstep View Post

As someone else mentioned, get the ethernet -> USB adapter. Or are you saying you're not allowed wired ethernet either and need to have a 3G card or something?

I'm thinking his biggest problem will be getting a 15" MBA in the first place.
post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

Wait, I thought the ipad was going to kill notebook sales.

i am pretty sure that if you read the forums from when the MBA came out, what was actually going to happen was that the Air was the flop that was going to sink Apple...
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post #23 of 36
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post #24 of 36
Moskowitz sees the iCloud causing a reduction in storage requirements thus driving sales? iCloud doesn't reduce storage requirements at all. It facilitates synching data between your devices.

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post #25 of 36
Still waiting for my 13" i5 MBA with the Thunderbolt port. Got the money socked away. Just in case anyone at Apple is paying attention!

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The 13" MBA can hold up to 256GB and it wasn't too long ago the aluminium MacBook with 250GB and 2GB RAM as that much. I know a lot of people with PCs that don't come close to using that much capacity. Now add to that the increased usage of satellite computers such as tablets and smartphones. If Apple creates the iOS/ARM-based Home Server product I want I an see the MacBook Air pushing even further into the Mac cut. I'd even consider getting one then (assuming the battery life was significantly increased).

Yup, as long as I can get to my full Lightroom catalogs, etc. over that fast Thunderbolt port, 256GB flashdrive storage would be fine for those times when my MBA would be portable.

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post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

What I feel is missing from this whole ecosystem is a recognition that an OSX device, the Air etc, can be one of the satellite devices like an iOS device.
Currently, any OSX Mac behaves as if we are still in the old days when it would be the household's only computer and hold all content itself.
There's some syncing, but it's still syncing between vertically complete systems that each consider themselves your only computer.

I would get an Air, and be very happy with smaller storage if I knew I could have a light version of my main Mac's content, without having to manually manage it all.

An example would be for OSX iTunes to be taggable as a slave/mobile copy.
It would contain only content in playlists referenced to another iTunes installation against the same Apple ID and perhaps have some iCloud access too.

+1. I'm pretty happy with my MBA, but I would love to have a dual monitor 27" iMac for my main machine and the MBA as an accessory. I think this scenario will work itself out in the near future, but for now it's too much of a hassle for me. I would want to be able to pick up the MBA and run, with no worries about apps, documents, email, etc. being out of sync, with no effort on my part.
post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrstep View Post

As someone else mentioned, get the ethernet -> USB adapter. Or are you saying you're not allowed wired ethernet either and need to have a 3G card or something?

OK! how silly of me to not think of that. I thought it would be just too much of a bottle neck to run ethernet through USB 2. So I never considered such a solution. Uh, thanks.
post #28 of 36
Interesting that Apple’s lowest-cost laptop (and nearly their lowest-cost Mac) is so well equipped, with a fast SSD. That makes it all the computer most people need (maybe with an external monitor and keyboard).

Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

What I feel is missing from this whole ecosystem is a recognition that an OSX device, the Air etc, can be one of the satellite devices like an iOS device.
Currently, any OSX Mac behaves as if we are still in the old days when it would be the household's only computer and hold all content itself.
There's some syncing, but it's still syncing between vertically complete systems that each consider themselves your only computer.

I would get an Air, and be very happy with smaller storage if I knew I could have a light version of my main Mac's content, without having to manually manage it all.

An example would be for OSX iTunes to be taggable as a slave/mobile copy.
It would contain only content in playlists referenced to another iTunes installation against the same Apple ID and perhaps have some iCloud access too.

My dream setup, which is easy to do TODAY:

* All my most-used apps are on both machines

* All my FILES are on the Air

* My Air is on all day, screen off, as a file-server

* I sit at the iMac (with SSD there too!) and do my work on the big screen with the super processors—but reading my files off the “server” (Air). Slight network slowdown when opening a file, but not for launching apps or paging memory. So I’d never notice. It would be fast.

* Then, when I want to leave the house (or the room) I just grab the Air. My files are on it with no synching needed.

* Lesser-used files (and backups) can be on the wireless Time Capsule
post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Interesting that Apple’s lowest-cost laptop (and nearly their lowest-cost Mac) is so well equipped, with a fast SSD. That makes it all the computer most people need (maybe with an external monitor and keyboard).



My dream setup, which is easy to do TODAY:

* All my most-used apps are on both machines

* All my FILES are on the Air

* My Air is on all day, screen off, as a file-server

* I sit at the iMac (with SSD there too!) and do my work on the big screen with the super processors—but reading my files off the “server” (Air). Slight network slowdown when opening a file, but not for launching apps or paging memory. So I’d never notice. It would be fast.

* Then, when I want to leave the house (or the room) I just grab the Air. My files are on it with no synching needed.

* Lesser-used files (and backups) can be on the wireless Time Capsule

I think you're describing an interesting point there, that it is not necessarily the most powerful machine that gets to act as the hub/server.

I don't think iCloud is complete until it implements a personal cloud that lets us choose the roles of various devices based on a map of our hardware, software and content.

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post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

I would absolutely love a 15" MBA. Unfortunately our IT folks don't allow WiFi in the lab's.

So no WiFi & no ethernet >> no access to the internet.

So for the time I will have to stick to my MBP 15"

My God! What kind backwards, draconian IT universe do you live in?!?!?
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post #31 of 36
When Steve said that the new MBA was the "future of the notebook computer", I inferred that he was hinting at the direction the MBPs were going as well.
So my prediction is that the next overhaul of the MBP line will involve getting rid of the optical drive altogether, squishing the profile into that super-sleek wedge shape, and going all solid-state. If you're doing FCP/X, you obviously wouldn't be using internal storage, you'd be hooked into your Thunderbolt-powered RAID system. Same if you're a pro photographer or designer and need terabytes of storage. A single or dual 512 GB flash drive should be sufficient for local storage.
But what about installing software or rebuilding my system? The OS, from Lion and beyond would be provided on a USB keythe benefit of this over a DVD is that the USB key could be updated automatically, so if you do need to reformat your system and rebuild it, you can do it not with your two-year old system DVD that came with your Mac, but with the latest updated system, as your USB "boot" key would be automatically updated as part of your regular background software update (yes, duh, you have to plug it in if you want it to be updated). Then, when you rebuild your system, you're rebuilding it with the latest versions of Quicktime, Safari, iTunes, etc. rather than rebuilding from scratch.
Even third-party developers are increasingly offering their software as downloadable packages. I think the days of CD/DVD-based software distribution are fading away, and with that, the need for optical drives. If you're an old-timer and absolutely must have an optical drive for whatever reason, you can always buy a separate unit and plug it in.

But, I would love to see a super-thin, wedge-shaped 17" MBP with no moving parts, (save for the keyboard keys and the display hinge!) and a 10-hour battery. I would stand in line for one of those!
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post #32 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph L View Post

It has. Just the same way radio killed live concerts and TV killed radio. Just the same way VHS killed off the movie theaters.

My point is that you seem to buy into some sort of idea that new tech kills old tech instantly. It rarely does.

I'm fairly certain that Superbass was joking.
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post #33 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by daylove22 View Post

Laptop are supposed to be portable I never understood why would anyone buy a 15' machine which clearly is not portable..13" is good enough.

Except that the 15" MBP is quite portable. Not at all like some of the competitions' massive 15" and up laptops.
post #34 of 36
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post #35 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

My God! What kind backwards, draconian IT universe do you live in?!?!?

Ironically, it's the University IT center.

They fear security breaches and so forth.
post #36 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by daylove22 View Post

Laptop are supposed to be portable I never understood why would anyone buy a 15' machine which clearly is not portable..13" is good enough.

Why do people insist that everyone should have the same needs as they do?

I'm perfectly happy with my 17" MacBook Pro. It does everything I need at this point - and is eminently portable. But, then, I'm not some 90 pound weakling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

Wait, I thought the ipad was going to kill notebook sales.

No one ever said that - it's just the same sort of trollish red herring statement that Mac bashers like to pretend they heard.

The iPad HAS had a very strong impact on netbook sales - which is where you'd expect it to be noticed. The data isn't clear, but it seems to have had some impact on notebook sales, as well (specifically cutting into PC notebook sales, not so much for Mac notebook sales).

But no one in their right mind ever said it would kill notebook sales.
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