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Apple's MacBook Air projected to reach sales of 1.6M per quarter

post #1 of 35
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Sales of Apple's ultraportable MacBook Air notebook continue to grow, and are expected to reach an average of 1.6 million units per quarter over the next 12 months.

Analyst Mark Moskowitz with J.P. morgan sees the MacBook Air becoming a $7 billion-plus revenue driver for Apple with continued growth over the coming months. He noted that unit growth for the thin-and-light notebook accelerated for the fourth straight frame last quarter.

In the third quarter of calendar 2011, Apple sold 923,000 units of the MacBook Air, representing 838.6 percent year-over-year growth. On a sequential basis, the MacBook Air grew 43.8 percent, outpacing total Mac unit growth of 17.1 percent.

Another potential boost for the MacBook Air is China, where Moskowitz believes Apple's expanding presence could be a boon for Mac sales. He noted that in the last quarter, MacBook Air units grew 339 percent year over year in China, versus 76.5 percent for the rest of the Mac lineup.

Moskowitz also doesn't see notebooks based on Intel's Ultrabook specification as posing a significant threat to the MacBook Air. He said the first run of Ultrabooks lack the features and price necessary to compete with Apple.

"In general, we think that Ultrabooks are highly-discretionary devices, and pricing on competitive offerings must fall below $800 before posing a viable threat to Apple's MacBook Air," he wrote in a note to investors. "In our view, Apple's first mover advantage and optimized feature set and form factor command a higher price that early adopters, productivity users, and Apple enthusiasts are willing to absorb."



Numerous reports have indicated that the initial lineup of Ultrabooks have failed to gain traction on the market, and PC makers are set to lower their retail prices this holiday season in an effort to boost sales. Those lower prices are also expected to be aided by a $100 marketing subsidy from Intel.

Ultrabooks have struggled while the MacBook Air continues to grow. Last month, Morgan Stanley revealed that the thin-and-light notebook now represents 28 percent of Apple's notebook shipments.

There are expectations that Apple will expand the MacBook Air lineup in 2012 beyond its current offerings with screen sizes of 11.6 inches and 13.3 inches. The company is rumored to build a new model with a 15-inch screen, and reports have claimed the new, larger MacBook Air will debut in early 2012.
post #2 of 35
If the analyst is comparing the mba to netbooks, when stating that "Apple's first mover advantage and optimized feature set and form factor command a higher price that early adopters, productivity users, and Apple enthusiasts are willing to absorb.", then he would correctly be pointing out why a $1000-$1500 mba is doing well compared to netbooks.

But if the comparison is related to ultrabooks, as it should be in comparing apples to apples, or as close as possible (and no pun intended), then it's off base given pricing on comparable ultrabooks is not coming in under the mba (apples to apples).

Like with the iPod, Apple is ruling the category that they defined - and those trying to compete head to head will find it difficult to impossible to beat Apple at their own game. The Apple haters will point out the one or two units that come close to competing and how pricing is better - but from a business standpoint, Apple is able to do what they're doing while making margins that no other company can do - making it a sustainable long-term model. That's just not what most other companies have been able to do and I don't see any of them really having any impact on Apple's model going forward.
post #3 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmgregory1 View Post

If the analyst is comparing the mba to netbooks, when stating that "Apple's first mover advantage and optimized feature set and form factor command a higher price that early adopters, productivity users, and Apple enthusiasts are willing to absorb.", then he would correctly be pointing out why a $1000-$1500 mba is doing well compared to netbooks.

He's specifically comparing the MBA to other ultrabooks in that same category. His comment about Apple commanding a higher price is regarding Apple's mindshare in this market segment. Meaning, between a $999 MBA and an $899 Acer Aspire S3 customers are going to choose the MBA. For customers to seriously consider the competition in this segment they will have to be priced another $100 less, or 20% below the MBA.

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post #4 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

He's specifically comparing the MBA to other ultrabooks in that same category. His comment about Apple commanding a higher price is regarding Apple's mindshare in this market segment. Meaning, between a $999 MBA and an $899 Acer Aspire S3 customers are going to choose the MBA. For customers to seriously consider the competition in this segment they will have to be priced another $100 less, or 20% below the MBA.

Do you think that laptop/tablet units like the Asus Transformer Prime will eat into the ultralight laptop category?

There is talk that the iPad is reducing sales of the Air already, and it is not as versatile as the new Transformer, given that it is only a tablet, and not a tablet/notebook. Will other manufacturers come out with similar products? Will the tablet/notebook eat into the ultralight laptop category?
post #5 of 35
That's because the MacBook Airs are awesome. Best laptop I've ever owned. 15" would make it perfection- at least for me (my wife prefers the 11")

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post #6 of 35
don't get the excitement

saw the MBA and MBP in the store next to each other and bought the MBP without a second thought. the MBA screen looks like crap compared to MBP
post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

There are expectations that Apple will expand the MacBook Air lineup in 2012 beyond its current offerings with screen sizes of 11.6 inches and 13.3 inches. The company is rumored to build a new model with a 15-inch screen, and reports have claimed the new, larger MacBook Air will debut in early 2012.

If they removed the border around the screen and went with an edge to edge display they could probably fit 13" and 15" screens in the current models.

I would love it if they made the MBA in a range of colours similiar to the iPod Nano. The current silver and black MBA just looks so bland.
post #8 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

don't get the excitement

saw the MBA and MBP in the store next to each other and bought the MBP without a second thought. the MBA screen looks like crap compared to MBP

Really? I looked at the MBP in my local AppleStore, could hardly see a thing on the screen because the reflection was so bad. The MBA has a fantastic antiglare screen. Makes such a difference when you're using it all day. I know you can get an antiglare option on the MBP but it's very expensive. I also love how light the MBA is. The MBP is really heavy, especially when you have to carry it around a lot.
post #9 of 35
I presently have a 17" PowerBook G-4 that I love and use constantly. If the MacAir ever expands to the 17"screen, I will certainly be a ready and willing buyer. That extra screen space really comes in handy.
post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

Really? I looked at the MBP in my local AppleStore, could hardly see a thing on the screen because the reflection was so bad. The MBA has a fantastic antiglare screen. Makes such a difference when you're using it all day. I know you can get an antiglare option on the MBP but it's very expensive. I also love how light the MBA is. The MBP is really heavy, especially when you have to carry it around a lot.


saw them in best buy

in the galaxy picture on the desktop or whatever it's called the MBA colors were all washed out compared to the MBP

then there is the issue of storage. i have close to 100GB of photos i'll be importing into iphoto, something like 1500 apps and other data

for the price of the MBA i can buy a MBP and install the momentus hard drive in there that's a hybrid SSD/platter drive and get faster performance
post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post


for the price of the MBA i can buy a MBP and install the momentus hard drive in there that's a hybrid SSD/platter drive and get faster performance

Ya man! I can get a ford F150 for the price of a Mazda Rx 8! The F150 can hold tons of cargo in the back, and can haul way more then the Rx 8 could ever hope too!

Who would ever buy a Mazda Rx8 when they can buy a ford F150 for the same price!
post #12 of 35
As an ex-Macbook Air owner I can wholeheartedly recommend one.
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post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

saw them in best buy

in the galaxy picture on the desktop or whatever it's called

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post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

That's because the MacBook Airs are awesome. Best laptop I've ever owned. 15" would make it perfection- at least for me (my wife prefers the 11")

Not sure I see the 15-inch version as a good option. The biggest advantage of the Air is its weight and it's simply impossible to go to 15 inches without a significant weight penalty.

Just going from the 11 to the 13 in the existing model means a leap in weight from 2.38 points to 2.96 pounds. A 15-inch Air would not be that much lighter than a 13-inch Macbook Pro and as such you start to lose the reason for going with an Air over a Pro.

What I do see happening, though, is that there will be weight improvements made in the Pro line which in turn will further erode the difference between the two lines, hence making the 15-inch Air a rather curious product. If, for example, the next generation of Pros check in at let's say 3.9 pounds, 4.9 pounds, and 5.9 pounds for the 13-, 15-, and 17-inch models, respectively, a 3.6-pound 15-inch Air would be a hard sell. After all, if the choice were between a 3.9-pound 13-inch Pro priced at $1,249 or a 3.6-pound 15-inch Air starting at something like $1,700 with similar performance, few would value the additional two inches in screen enough to spend more money and wind up with a marginally lighter device.

If the 15-inch model does materialize, then there will be minimal changes to the form factor of the Pro line but I do think Apple is more inclined to shave weight off the Pros than to introduce a 15-inch Air instead.
post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

saw them in best buy

in the galaxy picture on the desktop or whatever it's called the MBA colors were all washed out compared to the MBP

then there is the issue of storage. i have close to 100GB of photos i'll be importing into iphoto, something like 1500 apps and other data

for the price of the MBA i can buy a MBP and install the momentus hard drive in there that's a hybrid SSD/platter drive and get faster performance

Storage is a problem I agree, especially if like me you have a large iTunes collection. I got a portable external hard with 1TB to get around that. Not ideal but it's ok.

Shame they can't come up with a hybrid screen which has bright vibrant colours but no glare. Not sure if that is technically possible. Who knows maybe if they do eventually merge the MBP and MBA they will come up with a solution.
post #16 of 35
i was thinking about that but then it's $1500 or more for a laptop, in 2011, with no discrete GPU

i was originally going to buy a early 2011 refurb MBP but couldn't come up with a plan to sneak it in the house and surprise my wife. the retail box easily fit into my backpack
post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

[...] Moskowitz also doesn't see notebooks based on Intel's Ultrabook specification as posing a significant threat to the MacBook Air. He said the first run of Ultrabooks lack the features and price necessary to compete with Apple. [...]

And, if you really must run Windows for some reason, you can install and run it on any MacBook Air.
Ultrabooks thus lack any compelling features. The only way to compete is by undercutting the MacBook Air in price.
Which, as we all know, leads to the inevitable race to the bottom.

Good luck with all of that, Ultrabook makers.

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post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmgregory1 View Post

. . . Like with the iPod, Apple is ruling the category that they defined - and those trying to compete head to head will find it difficult to impossible to beat Apple at their own game.

Exactly, jmgregory1.

So goes the iPad along with the iPod and MBA. Apple did define the personal computer but failed to rule that category while learning valuable lessons, nonetheless. And in categories it does not dominate by units sold, it does dominate in profits which allows it the time and encourages its efforts to design and innovate.

Hard to argue with dollars and sense.

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post #19 of 35
With the MacBook Air 11-inch outselling the 13-inch model 10 to 1. That is why Apple should make also a MacBook Air 7-inch to outsell them all. Because true portability is the number one feature in this case!
post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

then there is the issue of storage. i have close to 100GB of photos i'll be importing into iphoto, something like 1500 apps and other data

I guess you figure that makes you pretty much average, right? Not on the thin part of the bell curve at all, right?
post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

don't get the excitement

saw the MBA and MBP in the store next to each other and bought the MBP without a second thought. the MBA screen looks like crap compared to MBP

The air screen does have very poor color reproduction at angles. That's definately true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

saw them in best buy

in the galaxy picture on the desktop or whatever it's called the MBA colors were all washed out compared to the MBP

then there is the issue of storage. i have close to 100GB of photos i'll be importing into iphoto, something like 1500 apps and other data

for the price of the MBA i can buy a MBP and install the momentus hard drive in there that's a hybrid SSD/platter drive and get faster performance

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhende7 View Post

Ya man! I can get a ford F150 for the price of a Mazda Rx 8! The F150 can hold tons of cargo in the back, and can haul way more then the Rx 8 could ever hope too!

Who would ever buy a Mazda Rx8 when they can buy a ford F150 for the same price!

Jhende said it perfectly. You're saying the air isn't good because it doesn't have the storage. You might not "get" it for your application, but others definately can see the benefit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

Not sure I see the 15-inch version as a good option. The biggest advantage of the Air is its weight and it's simply impossible to go to 15 inches without a significant weight penalty.

Just going from the 11 to the 13 in the existing model means a leap in weight from 2.38 points to 2.96 pounds. A 15-inch Air would not be that much lighter than a 13-inch Macbook Pro and as such you start to lose the reason for going with an Air over a Pro.

What I do see happening, though, is that there will be weight improvements made in the Pro line which in turn will further erode the difference between the two lines, hence making the 15-inch Air a rather curious product. If, for example, the next generation of Pros check in at let's say 3.9 pounds, 4.9 pounds, and 5.9 pounds for the 13-, 15-, and 17-inch models, respectively, a 3.6-pound 15-inch Air would be a hard sell. After all, if the choice were between a 3.9-pound 13-inch Pro priced at $1,249 or a 3.6-pound 15-inch Air starting at something like $1,700 with similar performance, few would value the additional two inches in screen enough to spend more money and wind up with a marginally lighter device.

If the 15-inch model does materialize, then there will be minimal changes to the form factor of the Pro line but I do think Apple is more inclined to shave weight off the Pros than to introduce a 15-inch Air instead.

I doubt the 15" air would jump that much in price or weight. The main weight jump from 11 to 13 are because of the batteries (which give significant improvement). The 15" would have slightly larger batteries. But not as drastic. And a 3.3 lb 15" sounds awesome vs a 5.6 lb MBP (if portability AND screen size is a plus)

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post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

don't get the excitement

saw the MBA and MBP in the store next to each other and bought the MBP without a second thought. the MBA screen looks like crap compared to MBP

That's beside the point.

The form factor/power ratio is astounding. As is the form factor/practicality ratio.

It is not nearly the most powerful laptop, nor does it have the best screen of any laptop. But that is beside the point.

I think you made the correct choice for yourself, and the numbers indicate that most MacBook buyers agree with you. But the Air, for what it is, is really cool.
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post


A 15-inch Air would not be that much lighter than a 13-inch Macbook Pro and as such you start to lose the reason for going with an Air over a Pro.

Not really.

You would get a 15 inch laptop that is lighter than an alternative 13 inch laptop.

To some people, that would be a dream come true. Especially if it were easily dockable with a full sized monitor and keyboard at home.
post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by lencoff View Post

I presently have a 17" PowerBook G-4 that I love and use constantly. If the MacAir ever expands to the 17"screen, I will certainly be a ready and willing buyer. That extra screen space really comes in handy.

How the hell can you still use a G4 in this day and age without pulling your hair out? I mean, seriously. I tried using mine for kicks a while back and..no. It struggles loading webpages. Also I don't get how someone can like Apple enough to frequent forums dedicated to the company yet are perfectly content using antiquated technology. A G4 can't even run most modern osx software, as it's becoming intel only.
post #25 of 35
Would like to see thinner bezels, especially on the 11". Would allow for bigger displays.
post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhende7 View Post

Ya man! I can get a ford F150 for the price of a Mazda Rx 8! The F150 can hold tons of cargo in the back, and can haul way more then the Rx 8 could ever hope too!

Who would ever buy a Mazda Rx8 when they can buy a ford F150 for the same price!

Well said.

The problem is (and internet forums are dreadful for it) that many people only see a product from their own use.

I couldn't buy an Air because of storage, but it doesn't mean it doesn't/wouldn't sell. Just means that I'm not the right buyer.

Personally the whole Ultrabook thing is rubbish for the non Apple players. Everyone knows that Apple commands the $1k+ market, and these are $1k machines. Who is really wanting to spend $1k on a bargain basement PC maker that don't usually sell such models?
post #27 of 35
The Air is an amazing machine, SO nice to grab with one hand and go, cheaper than the closest equivalent I can find from other PC makers (which of course dont have OS X anyway), and its so surprisingly fast with the SSD that I think I may never buy a desktopor any traditional computer but an Airever again! Especially with Thunderbolt external GPUs on the way. An awesome machine, as well as being Apples cheapest laptop. No surprise that theyre big sellers as SSD prices have come down.

And yet I have never seen another human being use or even MENTION a MacBook Air, in all the years Ive been an Air user. Never. I see tons of MacBook Pros, iPads, iPhones... but never an Air. Not at meetings, coffee shops, libraries, anywhere. Very odd.
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

The Air is an amazing machine, SO nice to grab with one hand and go, cheaper than the closest equivalent I can find from other PC makers (which of course dont have OS X anyway), and its so surprisingly fast with the SSD that I think I may never buy a desktopor any traditional computer but an Airever again! Especially with Thunderbolt external GPUs on the way. An awesome machine, as well as being Apples cheapest laptop. No surprise that theyre big sellers as SSD prices have come down (and theyve had some great sales, under $850, for the patient).

And yet I have never seen another human being use or even MENTION a MacBook Air, in all the years Ive been an Air user. Never. I see tons of MacBook Pros, iPads, iPhones... but never an Air. Not at meetings, coffee shops, libraries, anywhere. Very odd.

P.S. Storage is the barrier for me too; an Air with 256 would have JUST enough space, but it would be tight. So I saved a ton and settled for a smaller Air SSD... and added an external pocket 1TB drive. I rarely need it: the stuff I use all the time fits on the internal. With the added pocket drive, Im still spending less than the 256, AND the Air + HD is still smaller than other laptop styles. The pocket drive (Western Digital) fits in the side pocket with my chargerand thats when I need it; usually, I leave it home and forget about it. (Same as I would the DVD driveexcept I actually have never needed one in 4 years so I didnt buy one. I will if I abandon desktops/iMacs, though.)

So an Air all the time with (up to) three external things occasionally seems like a the best deal around: an external HD, an external DVD, and an external big-screen monitor.
post #29 of 35
The MBA's r brilliant. I hope to buy one this year after apple includes 3G capability like the iPad 3G. Oh, never mind, I'll buy one anyway even if it doesn't have 3G.
post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

Not sure I see the 15-inch version as a good option. The biggest advantage of the Air is its weight and it's simply impossible to go to 15 inches without a significant weight penalty.

Just going from the 11 to the 13 in the existing model means a leap in weight from 2.38 points to 2.96 pounds. A 15-inch Air would not be that much lighter than a 13-inch Macbook Pro and as such you start to lose the reason for going with an Air over a Pro.

What I do see happening, though, is that there will be weight improvements made in the Pro line which in turn will further erode the difference between the two lines, hence making the 15-inch Air a rather curious product. If, for example, the next generation of Pros check in at let's say 3.9 pounds, 4.9 pounds, and 5.9 pounds for the 13-, 15-, and 17-inch models, respectively, a 3.6-pound 15-inch Air would be a hard sell. After all, if the choice were between a 3.9-pound 13-inch Pro priced at $1,249 or a 3.6-pound 15-inch Air starting at something like $1,700 with similar performance, few would value the additional two inches in screen enough to spend more money and wind up with a marginally lighter device.

If the 15-inch model does materialize, then there will be minimal changes to the form factor of the Pro line but I do think Apple is more inclined to shave weight off the Pros than to introduce a 15-inch Air instead.

You could be right, but my guess is that if the "Air line" and the Pro line survive as discrete classes of machine the 15" is the ONE size likely appear in both as larger capacity SSD's get cheaper. The 13" MBP is the real endangered species in this scenario to me - even ripping out the ODD, it's still gonna be hard to stuff enough "pro-ness" into a downsized chassis. One already feels that about the current and previous 13" when you start comparing some key specs with the 15" MBP.

I also hope the 15" MBP will be more like 4.4 than 4.9 pounds (very close to the current weight of the 13" MBP - and the 15" MBA maybe close to where you said - still a significant diff. The Pro will likely have a bump in screen res as well as well as more storage, RAM and better GPU. And goodbye to ODD's - maybe even in iMacs - within 18 months.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

How the hell can you still use a G4 in this day and age without pulling your hair out? I mean, seriously. I tried using mine for kicks a while back and..no. It struggles loading webpages. Also I don't get how someone can like Apple enough to frequent forums dedicated to the company yet are perfectly content using antiquated technology. A G4 can't even run most modern osx software, as it's becoming intel only.

Such prejudice! I'm excited about new tech and have money, even. However, there's nothing wrong with functional aging tech, and no need to make sure all my cash is spent on having only the latest widgets. My iBook 1.33 G4 is still a dandy bookkeeping and podcast-playing machine, still useful for light browsing sessions in bed and runs iWork (particularly I use Pages) like a dream. What, I should trash it 'cos its ancient-ness offends?

PS: I'm also using my Dad's old hand tools from the 1940's and '50's around the house to fix things, and I eat at a 110 year old solid Mission Oak table. Any objections?

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post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post

Would like to see thinner bezels, especially on the 11". Would allow for bigger displays.

I have long thought the 13":s current screen size with bezel cut off would be perfect, which is essentially the same thing. Keep full width keyboard, make the display exactly as wide, no bezel -> win.
post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinman0 View Post

Personally the whole Ultrabook thing is rubbish for the non Apple players. Everyone knows that Apple commands the $1k+ market, and these are $1k machines. Who is really wanting to spend $1k on a bargain basement PC maker that don't usually sell such models?

You'd abandon a high-end machine because the same manufacturer also makes low-end machines? Completely irrational.
post #33 of 35
There is no question that when it comes to portable computers weight is the enemy. Apple would be making exclusively Air-like laptops if it could figure out how to do that and yet offer both affordability and performance. One major obstacle is the cost of SSDs which are an important part of making lighter laptops. But it's also about the need for a processor that has a lot of muscle to go with low power consumption and runs relatively cool.

I do agree that the 13-inch Pro is threatened as the Airs continue to get more powerful with each revision but I also think that a 15-inch Air is a long way off. Right now serious performance, as in having a laptop be your only computer and be expected to do demanding work, isn't possible while making the compromises that the Air does to achieve lighter weight. On the other hand if weight reductions are made technically possible going forward, without a performance hit, there is no reason for Apple to forego such reductions. There is no advantage to having a heavier laptop.

I don't see a 15-inch Air at this time coming to market. What I see is the continued upgrading of the 11-inch and 13-inch Airs which will sooner than later result in the killing off the 13-inch Pro. While this is going on, expect weight reductions in the 15-inch and 17-inch models which will come in an evolutionary fashion. The focus will be on performance in the Pro range with weight reductions regarded as desirable whereas the Air range will be focused on weight reduction with performance upgrades regarded as desirable.

A 15-inch Air just doesn't feel like the right product, not quite fitting well into either category. The worst of both worlds, is how I see such a device. A little too heavy and not powerful enough. Maybe I'm wrong about this but I believe Jobs would never give such a device the green light and neither should his successors.
post #34 of 35
Not that I'm complaining about the MacBook Air. It's a great machine and my wife and I both own one. But do remember that the growth of the Air is all pretty recent, with the latest design changes and, perhaps more importantly, the discontinuation of the MacBook. The Air now sits in the low end price point for a Mac laptop, so a lot of people who might have picked a MacBook went with the Air instead.
post #35 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

Right now serious performance, as in having a laptop be your only computer and be expected to do demanding work, isn't possible while making the compromises that the Air does to achieve lighter weight.

Most people's "demanding work" requires much less power than the newest Airs have. I'm personally fine with a last gen Air. The need for display space is almost entirely independent of the need for performance.
Quote:
A 15-inch Air just doesn't feel like the right product, not quite fitting well into either category. The worst of both worlds, is how I see such a device. A little too heavy and not powerful enough. Maybe I'm wrong about this but I believe Jobs would never give such a device the green light and neither should his successors.

???

It would have a large screen and minimal weight. How is that not useful?
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