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Apple's Mac sales solid ahead of "possible MacBook Air refresh" as early as March

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
NPD Group is reporting essentially flat domestic sales of Macs, but Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster reports that "Apple may launch new MacBook Airs as early as March," helping to boost global Mac sales and reach quarterly street expectations of 4.5 million units.

In a note obtained by AppleInsider, Munster wrote that NPD's domestic retail data points to just 1 percent Mac growth for Apple's Q2 (first calendar quarter) compared to the year ago quarter.

The note highlights Apple's growing international sales, nothing that in the previous quarter, "Mac NPD units were up 12% y/y, but actual worldwide Mac unit growth came in at 26% y/y (a difference of 14 percentage points), suggesting international Mac sales are driving the growth in Mac units."

Air refresher?

Estimating international Mac sales using the same 14 percentage point difference, Munster wrote that "softness in domestic Mac NPD units in the month of January will be offset by continued strong international growth and a possible MacBook Air refresh in March."

Munster cites no evidence to support a MacBook Air refresh; Apple last enhanced the MacBook Air in July of last year, adding new support for Thunderbolt and faster Core i5 and i7 chips.

Apple refreshed its MacBook Pro line twice last year however, once in February to add new Sandy Bridge chips and debut Thunderbolt, and again in minor refresh last October.

Munster reiterated the claim twice however, writing "we believe Apple may launch new MacBook Airs as early as March. Net-net, we believe this early data suggests Mac sales in the range of 4.4m-4.6m, or 17%-22% y/y growth (we believe Street consensus is 4.5m Macs in the quarter and we are also at 4.5m). If iPhone units are down 8% q/q (34m) and Mac units are up 10% y/y, our overall revenue number would be 5% higher than the Street in March."

iPhone 4S launch continues

His note added, "we estimate Mac revenue will represent 17% of overall revenue in the March quarter," adding that "based on our analysis of 3rd party data, we believe iPhone units for the March quarter are tracking down slightly q/q (32m-34m); we are modeling for iPhone units -19% q/q (30m)."

Apple's blockbuster winter quarter, which included sales of over 37 million iPhones, was boosted by the later than usual launch of iPhone 4S. This quarter however, Apple is continuing to launch iPhone 4S in significant new markets.

Apple launched its latest iPhone in Brazil, Taiwan, Russia and 20 other countries within the last two weeks of 2011, then expanded its launch to China and 21 additional countries in mid January.

In early March, Apple will be expanding availability of iPhone 4S in China through China Telecom, the second major carrier to launch the phone after China Unicom.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 25
no, your wrong.
post #3 of 25
Thin MacBook Pro please. I have been holding off on replacing my 2009 17" MacBook Pro for the past 6 or so months waiting for a possible major refresh.
post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by pooman625 View Post

no, your wrong.

Uh what?
post #5 of 25
No update before Ivy Bridge, methinks.
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post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sennen View Post

No update before Ivy Bridge, methinks.

I figure early March iPad 3 announcement and late March release.

Then mid-April Ivy Bridge MacBook family redesign.

And then an Ivy Bridge iMac and Mac Mini update sometime before September.

And then Mountain Lion.

Then the 6th iPhone.
post #7 of 25
I'll dito the sentiment about being more excited for the Macbook Pros. My biggest hope is that the 13" gets upgraded in line with its bigger brothers, since without the optical drive and replaced the hard drive with one of their thinner SSDs they would have a lot more space for heat dissipation and more battery space to keep up with that, while making it thinner too. A 13" with a quad core and a dGPU would be killer. That's also the only thing that would differentiate the Pro from the Air 13" models if the SSD and no ODD rumours are true. I'll take slightly thicker than the Air for the quad and dGPU.
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I figure early March iPad 3 announcement and late March release.

Then mid-April Ivy Bridge MacBook family redesign.

And then an Ivy Bridge iMac and Mac Mini update sometime before September.

And then Mountain Lion.

Then the 6th iPhone.

How do you figure April Ivy Bridge refresh/redesign when Intel has warned everyone that shipments are to be expected in June?
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...ntil_june.html
Otherwise I agree with your roadmap....

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post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

How do you figure April Ivy Bridge refresh/redesign when Intel has warned everyone that shipments are to be expected in June?

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-573...report-claims/

Quote:
A "small volume" of Ivy Bridge processors will ship on schedule in April, the publication added.

Read: Apple gets first dibs. That's why I don't figure the Mac Mini, despite using laptop chips, will be updated alongside the MacBook family; Apple will use what chips it gets early for their most important purpose.
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by pooman625 View Post

no, your wrong.

yes, my right.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I figure early March iPad 3 announcement and late March release.

Then mid-April Ivy Bridge MacBook family redesign.

And then an Ivy Bridge iMac and Mac Mini update sometime before September.

And then Mountain Lion.

Then the 6th iPhone.

They won't ship new MacBooks before Moutain Lion. They will come together. Possibly at WWDC. I suspect ML will have significant new iCloud functionality to support the reduced hard drive size with moving to all SSD.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

They won't ship new MacBooks before Moutain Lion.

Are you kidding? Of course they will.

Quote:
They will come together.

No. You've forgotten the original aluminum iMac intro.

Quote:
I suspect ML will have significant new iCloud functionality

It does, and I can only see that increasing as the DPs go on.

Quote:
…to support the reduced hard drive size with moving to all SSD.

Something we… don't even know yet and which probably will not be true at all, given the small size of SSDs these days.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Negafox View Post

Thin MacBook Pro please. I have been holding off on replacing my 2009 17" MacBook Pro for the past 6 or so months waiting for a possible major refresh.

I've been holding off on replacing my 2008 Unibody MacBook Pro. I'm all ready for a thinner, more powerful MBP!
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-573...report-claims/



Read: Apple gets first dibs. That's why I don't figure the Mac Mini, despite using laptop chips, will be updated alongside the MacBook family; Apple will use what chips it gets early for their most important purpose.

I did read it and it was not written by CNET but instead they were quoting DigiTimes. It is the same source that writes this article about Ivy Bridge being delayed until June>
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...ntil_june.html
I don;t see Apple having enough Ivy Bridge chips to fulfill demand in April. Maybe June but not in April. Then you have to wonder why Apple would release a major hardware design before the new OS Mountain Lion. It would seem they would release them at the same time. Not a major hardware release followed 2 months later by a major OS release. New shiny hardware with new shiny OS (Mountain Lion).

Tallest Skil:


"Eventually Google will have their Afghanistan with Oracle and collapse"

"The future is Apple, Google, and a third company that hasn't yet been created."


 


 

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Tallest Skil:


"Eventually Google will have their Afghanistan with Oracle and collapse"

"The future is Apple, Google, and a third company that hasn't yet been created."


 


 

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post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Are you kidding? Of course they will.

No. You've forgotten the original aluminum iMac intro.

It does, and I can only see that increasing as the DPs go on.

Something we don't even know yet and which probably will not be true at all, given the small size of SSDs these days.

Things change. iMac was delayed last year to wait for Lion. iPhone was delayed to wait for iOS5. New OS is key USP for future products as hardware becomes less differentiated from competition. Can't release new SSD MacBooks without more iCloud functionality hence wait for Mountain Lion.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

Things change. iMac was delayed last year to wait for Lion. iPhone was delayed to wait for iOS5. New OS is key USP for future products as hardware becomes less differentiated from competition. Can't release new SSD MacBooks without more iCloud functionality hence wait for Mountain Lion.

I agree with your logic!

Tallest Skil:


"Eventually Google will have their Afghanistan with Oracle and collapse"

"The future is Apple, Google, and a third company that hasn't yet been created."


 


 

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Tallest Skil:


"Eventually Google will have their Afghanistan with Oracle and collapse"

"The future is Apple, Google, and a third company that hasn't yet been created."


 


 

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post #17 of 25
I'm still ecstatic that there are no more plastic Macs! May 2012 be a great year revamping the entire notebook lineup. MBPs taking a design cue from the Airs would be wonderful! All SSD and no optical, it's the future. Bring it now Apple to all notebooks, please.
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

I don't see Apple having enough Ivy Bridge chips to fulfill demand in April. Maybe June but not in April. Then you have to wonder why Apple would release a major hardware design before the new OS Mountain Lion. It would seem they would release them at the same time. Not a major hardware release followed 2 months later by a major OS release. New shiny hardware with new shiny OS (Mountain Lion).

Absolutely. Shiny new hardware + shiny new OS = sales spike.
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

Absolutely. Shiny new hardware + shiny new OS = sales spike.

Shiny new hardware and then later shiny new OS means TWO sales spikes.
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post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Shiny new hardware and then later shiny new OS means TWO sales spikes.

Could be but then would that be a good buying experience? Buy the latest hardware only to find it doesn't have the latest OS...then you have to pay more to have the latest and greatest OS that is being hyped. Now Apple can give vouchers to quell any customer complaints. So it could be two different releases. But it would seem that shiny new hardware would not be complete without the shiny new hyped OS.....
EDIT: Also this is going to be a very busy year for Apple. iPad 3 release.......New Macbook family hardware/redesign refresh. New operating system..........iPhone 5 release in the fall!

Tallest Skil:


"Eventually Google will have their Afghanistan with Oracle and collapse"

"The future is Apple, Google, and a third company that hasn't yet been created."


 


 

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Tallest Skil:


"Eventually Google will have their Afghanistan with Oracle and collapse"

"The future is Apple, Google, and a third company that hasn't yet been created."


 


 

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post #21 of 25
It appears that the dual core 17 watt chips are the ones being delayed. That is the chips going into the AIRs.
post #22 of 25
by the end of Q1 or I'm getting a Samsung Series 9.
post #23 of 25
Piper Jaffray knows nothing about Apple's release schedules. Grasping at straws.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by pooman625 View Post

no, your wrong.

yes, my right.

And today's existential question is "what is the opposite of a comma?".
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Shiny new hardware and then later shiny new OS means TWO sales spikes.

Apple likes to release new products with a fanfare to generate a lot of interest, media coverage and initial sales. That way they can announce "record sales" in the first month after launch. They can't do that if half the potential buyers are waiting for it to come with Mountain Lion before they buy. Also the press interest around a new Mac gives Apple the opportunity to show off their shiny new OS to the journalists at the same time.

USP: "All new MacBooks with the latest intel processors (yawn) and the latest OS (excitement)"

If it was a simple internal upgrade or spec bump that would be different but just look back at the last few Apple product launches - it's always new hardware + new software.
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