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Analyst trims Apple estimates, says Air seeing decreased demand

post #1 of 110
Thread Starter 
American Technology Research trimmed its estimates for Mac maker Apple Inc. on Friday, saying that while the company's near term prospects look fine, future quarters may be met by muted demand, particularly for higher-end products like the MacBook Air.

"While we continue to see fairly favorable unit trends in the September quarter with back-to-school, our supply chain checks indicate low visibility in the December and March quarters, which we believe will likely impact build plans," analyst Shaw Wu advised clients in research report.

Based on those findings, Wu said he's decided to once again "err on the conservative side," as he believes tough macroeconomic conditions will lead system builders and distributors to keep their inventory levels low.

"In addition, our supply chain checks indicate a mix shift towards low-end and mid-range Macs as it appears that more affluent consumers may be feeling the effects of a tighter credit environment," he wrote. "MacBook Air sales and build plans appear more modest after more robust levels."

For fiscal 2008, the analyst now estimates Apple to earn $5.29 per share on sales of $32.8 billion, compared to his previous estimate of $5.34 on $32.9 billion. His model for fiscal 2009 now has the company earning $6.15 per share on revenue of $38.8 billion, down from $6.35 on $39.2 billion.

Those estimates factor in changes to his model for the next two quarters: For the current September quarter, Wu expects per share earnings of $1.19 on sales of $8.2 billion, down from $1.24 on $8.3 billion. Revisions to his model for the December holiday quarter have the company earning $1.90 per share on sales of $11.4 billion, down from $1.96 on $11.5 billion.

"We are leaving our Mac assumptions intact at 2.8 million for the September quarter, but lowering our average selling price [estimate] (4 percent quarterly decline vs. our previous view of 2 percent decline) and gross margin assumptions (32.5 percent vs. previous view of 33 percent)," he wrote.

That said, Wu still recommends that investors buy shares of the Cupertino-based electronics maker. He's, however, reduced his 12-month cieling on the company's share price to $205 from $220, which represents 31.5 multiple of his calendar year 2009 earnings estimate of $6.52 per share.

Shares of Apple were trading down $4.25, or 2.78 percent, to 148.40 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq stock market.
post #2 of 110
Da Air is da dud.
post #3 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Da Air is da dud.

I think that's a bit hard to tell at this point. It may be that everyone who wanted to buy an Air bought one and now things are slipping, or it was doing very well and now things have just returned to a normal pace.

It could be that the market for laptops that are thin but with a larger footprint is not that large. The rest of the market may want a smaller laptop in one or two other dimensions.

If it's doing well Apple may refresh it but leave it be, if not Apple will either kill it off or make a smaller laptop. He's hoping for the last option.
post #4 of 110
The Air can use an update to Montevina, but I can't find any machines currently using the 22mm^2 packages. Anyone one know of any or if these aren't shipping yet?
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post #5 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

I think that's a bit hard to tell at this point. It may be that everyone who wanted to buy an Air bought one and now things are slipping, or it was doing very well and now things have just returned to a normal pace.

It could be that the market for laptops that are thin but with a larger footprint is not that large. The rest of the market may want a smaller laptop in one or two other dimensions.

If it's doing well Apple may refresh it but leave it be, if not Apple will either kill it off or make a smaller laptop. He's hoping for the last option.

Me too- smaller and add some ports while your at it.
I would also add that the the Air is usually bought as a secondary computer and that a bad economy is killing anything non-essential.
post #6 of 110
More nuggets of wisdom from Wu... funny, those nuggets taste like chicken.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #7 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Da Air is da dud.

I agree.... The consumer market for that type of laptop is so small to begin, this news isn't surprising.
post #8 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Me too- smaller and add some ports while your at it.
I would also add that the the Air is usually bought as a secondary computer and that a bad economy is killing anything non-essential.

I'm not just saying this because I love my MBA . . .

I think the "secondary computer" market would naturally slip a bit in this economy -- no doubt.

I also think that the next price drop (especially as flash memory goes down in price) will
attract a wave of "waiting buyers", and things could swing up again for the MBA. I know
several people who would love to have one, but said they'd wait a year or two until
the price came down.

You really can't beat it for travelling, which I do often.
Journalism is publishing what someone doesn't want us to know; the rest is propaganda.
-Horacio Verbitsky (el perro), journalist (b. 1942)
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Journalism is publishing what someone doesn't want us to know; the rest is propaganda.
-Horacio Verbitsky (el perro), journalist (b. 1942)
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post #9 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Me too- smaller and add some ports while your at it.
I would also add that the the Air is usually bought as a secondary computer and that a bad economy is killing anything non-essential.

Maybe they could add ports if they weren't obsessed with tapering at the moment. Apple seems to be on a form-over function kick lately.

Buy they could also use smaller connectors. Surely we can let go the full sized USB plug. So you'd have to buy some more cables or adaptors (or they could include them). I think that'd be a great idea if it meant 2 or 3 USB sockets.
post #10 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

More nuggets of wisdom from Wu... funny, those nuggets taste like chicken.

Somebody needs to fire that guy. I never see any useful information
when his name is attached to an "analysis". Murky comments about
1Q 2009 . . . huh? Like he knows what Steve has up his sleeve that far
down the road.
Journalism is publishing what someone doesn't want us to know; the rest is propaganda.
-Horacio Verbitsky (el perro), journalist (b. 1942)
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Journalism is publishing what someone doesn't want us to know; the rest is propaganda.
-Horacio Verbitsky (el perro), journalist (b. 1942)
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post #11 of 110
The MacBook Air isn't selling because it's priced $1,100 to much. Think outside the Apple for a second, it uses less material, it has less ports, a slower processor than the MacBook, takes less RAM, can't change the battery and no optical drive? MMMMM should cost less too huh?

MacBook should cost $999 since that was the price of the iBook it replaced, which cost more to make by the way. So the Air should start at $700.
post #12 of 110
I can't imagine the Air being a big part of Apple's Mac unit mix, but I agree that it isn't where the broader market is headed now. The likes of the Eee PC and similar offerings from Dell and others are making better inroads in the "I want another computer that I can travel with" crowd than the Air ever will. That market values style at the high end, but the broader appeal is on cost.

Hope Apple comes to the table soon. These offerings might be priced appropriately, but they aren't pretty and I will miss OSX when I get one...
post #13 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by jawporta View Post

The MacBook Air isn't selling because it's priced $1,100 to much. Think outside the Apple for a second, it uses less material, it has less ports, a slower processor than the MacBook, takes less RAM, can't change the battery and no optical drive? MMMMM should cost less too huh?

MacBook should cost $999 since that was the price of the iBook it replaced, which cost more to make by the way. So the Air should start at $700.

Is this a serious post? Since when do smaller, more advanced electronics cost less than larger ones?
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post #14 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

I can't imagine the Air being a big part of Apple's Mac unit mix, but I agree that it isn't where the broader market is headed now. The likes of the Eee PC and similar offerings from Dell and others are making better inroads in the "I want another computer that I can travel with" crowd than the Air ever will. That market values style at the high end, but the broader appeal is on cost.

Hope Apple comes to the table soon. These offerings might be priced appropriately, but they aren't pretty and I will miss OSX when I get one...

These offering use small screen and mini-keyboards. They aren't good for doing any real business work. The MBA is designed for the business man (or woman) on the go. The market is definetly smaller than Apple's other notebook markets, but it's probably larger than we once thought as there are now 3 or 4 other OEMs making these ultra-portables using these advanced SFF CPUs.

A better solution than Eee is the MSI Wind and Mac OS X has been made to work with it.
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post #15 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Is this a serious post? Since when do smaller, more advanced electronics cost less than larger ones?

Short of the SSD disk drive, what's more advanced in the Air? Don't say the processor, that's an old chip in a different package. The have a smaller motherboard, but that's not more "advanced", rather just a set of choices and trade-offs.

I don't think it should cost $700 though.
post #16 of 110
We want to puchase the MacBook Air for our University, but no purchase until it has:

- Firewire ports (repairs via Target Disk Mode, video from camcorders, etc).
- True Ethernet port.
- More USB ports.

That easy! Is Apple blind?
post #17 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

These offering use small screen and mini-keyboards. They aren't good for doing any real business work. The MBA is designed for the business man (or woman) on the go. The market is definetly smaller than Apple's other notebook markets, but it's probably larger than we once thought as there are now 3 or 4 other OEMs making these ultra-portables using these advanced SFF CPUs.

A better solution than Eee is the MSI Wind and Mac OS X has been made to work with it.

???? Say what? A Sony Vaio TZ has an amazing keyboard.
http://www.pocketables.net/2007/09/review-sony-v-2.html
post #18 of 110
I think the information on soft MBA demand going forward is interesting.

I suspect this may be due to popularity of the pc netbooks. Apple may need to reconsider the MBAs features and price. I don't know if Apple can just upgrade the cpu, add a larger HDD or SSD every few years and keep the same price points with the MBA.
post #19 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

Short of the SSD disk drive, what's more advanced in the Air? Don't say the processor, that's an old chip in a different package. The have a smaller motherboard, but that's not more "advanced", rather just a set of choices and trade-offs.

I don't think it should cost $700 though.

The SFF package and low TDP costs more. Just check out Intel's Montevina price list, They also have to factor in how many of these chips they are going to produce. Less used chips cost more pre unit to manufacturer. If the MBA is so over priced then why are there competitor with exact same screen, CPU, RAM etc charging more than Apple?.

Model. . .Speed . . .\tFSB . . .L2 . . TDP \t. .Size. .Price
T9400\t. .2.53GHz. .\t1066MHz. .\t6MB\t. .35W\t. .35mm. .$316
SL9400. .1.86GHz\t. .1066MHz. .\t6MB\t. .17W. . 22mm. .$316
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post #20 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

... If the MBA is so over priced then why are there competitor with exact same screen, CPU, RAM etc charging more than Apple?

The competitors are going to compete against the MBA feature for feature though. They're going to compete by offering netbooks that compete on function (ie, internet browsing and office document work) but at a fraction of the price.

I think Apple could be in a bind here because the netbooks are just so much cheaper. Hell I'm tempted to pick up one of those new Dell ones with linux pre-installed.
post #21 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

The competitors are going to compete against the MBA feature for feature though. They're going to compete by offering netbooks that compete on function (ie, internet browsing and office document work) but at a fraction of the price.

I think Apple could be in a bind here because the netbooks are just so much cheaper. Hell I'm tempted to pick up one of those new Dell ones with linux pre-installed.

$300 netbooks aren't competing with the MBA. The Lenov X300, VooDoo Envy 133, Sony Viao TZ, and another one I recently heard about but forget the name of is competing with the MBA.
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post #22 of 110
These new netbooks are going to kill the macbook air dead, unless Apple completely redesigns and reprices it, and FAST. I just bought a fully loaded netbook for $350 and sold my macbook air on ebay for $1,400. I never in a million years thought I would buy another windows machine, but this things is everything I want, very light, tons of ports, and above all else, SMALL. Not flat, but SMALL.
post #23 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The SFF package and low TDP costs more. Just check out Intel's Montevina price list, They also have to factor in how many of these chips they are going to produce. Less used chips cost more pre unit to manufacturer. If the MBA is so over priced then why are there competitor with exact same screen, CPU, RAM etc charging more than Apple?.

Model. . .Speed . . .\tFSB . . .L2 . . TDP \t. .Size. .Price
T9400\t. .2.53GHz. .\t1066MHz. .\t6MB\t. .35W\t. .35mm. .$316
SL9400. .1.86GHz\t. .1066MHz. .\t6MB\t. .17W. . 22mm. .$316

All of this analysis and blah, blah, blah means nothing if the thing is too big. People want small.
post #24 of 110
You people who think the Air isn't selling because of the form factor must be smoking dope. Form factor is the ONE reason why it is still selling at all. Sales of the MacBook Air have softened for four very simple reasons:

1. The hard disk capacity is too small. As soon as you get a 128 Gb (or 256 Gb) hard drive, preferably an SSD, then it will be more viable. I just bough an iMac and with my Music, old PC files and now movies, I've already used up 100 Gbs of disk space. The lack of disk space was the only reason I didn't buy an Air.

2. People are waiting to see what the new MacBooks are like. The market eagerly anticipates new MacBooks and I think many potential MBA buyers are waiting to see what turns up before committing themselves. I suspect that the new 13" MacBook will still be significantly heavier than the Air, so that the Air's practical advantages should ensure that it remains competitive.

3. Chip technology has advanced two generations since he Air was launched. The arrival of Penryn has made the Air look a bit slow. The new ULV Penryn/ Montevina chip announced by Appleinsider (SL9400 1.86 Ghz with a reduced thermal envelope 17 w versus 20 w) should provide a significant performance boost - especially when running video applications - so again many potential buyers are anticipating the Air Rev A and again won't commit until this comes out.

4. Price. Price wasn't a barrier to purchase for most business users who saw the MBA as an ideal on-the-road machine. But realising that its high cost was driven by high memory prices which are rapidly coming down, again many people think it makes sense to wait especially as new higher capacity 1.8' drives have been announced.

Soon the only real difference between the 13" MBA and 13" MacBook will be the form factor and lack of an internal DVD drive. The processing power gap should close significantly. As for more ports, perhaps Apple will offer a proprietary port replicator with three USB 2.0 ports, an Ethernet Port, Firewire and video options? But it means something else to lug around which kind of defeats the object of this machine. I don't think the Air is going to be dropped anytime soon. Fix any of the above variables and the Air instantly becomes more attractive. Fix all of them and you hit the ball out of the park.

What we're really seeing is the effect of very savvy computer buyers surfing the net before parting with their hard-earned cash. There's enough reasonable sensible speculation on future Apple buyers to make people hesitate.
post #25 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

$300 netbooks aren't competing with the MBA.

I respectfully disagree.
post #26 of 110
Someone should tattoo SMALL on Steve and Jon's heads.

But I think Apple might update the Air in two directions: (1) Something smaller with some performance penalty (2) something that looks the similar the current machine but has better performance. And there'll probably be a price drop.
post #27 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

$300 netbooks aren't competing with the MBA.

I completely disagree. In fact these new netbooks are so small, not only are they competing with the macbook air, they are competing with the iphone/ipod touch.
post #28 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

I respectfully disagree.

I disagree in an entirely disrespectful manner.

The question is portability, so they are direct competitors. Didn't you yourself buy a netbook of some sort in lieu of a MBA?
post #29 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by YTV View Post

I completely disagree. In fact these new netbooks are so small, not only are they competing with the macbook air, they are competing with the iphone/ipod touch.

I think that's going too far, but I'd certainly like to see how far I can take the touch in terms of a general purpose computer.

Without a keyboard and mouse and better performance there is alot the touch cannot do.
post #30 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

The question is portability, so they are direct competitors.

Yeah that's the way I see it too. Plus they compete based on function and use.

The netbooks and MBA are primarily and almost exclusively used for working with office documents, browsing the net and email. The limited ports on the MBA indicates to me that Apple had this in mind when they designed it.

Netbooks can easily be bought for $400 while the MBA is $1800. That's too much price disparity. While there may be room for the MBA to come down in price I"m not sure it'll ever get under $1000.

No I don't have a Netbook but they are very tempting.
post #31 of 110
So called stock analysts are looking more and more like manipulators to me. They rarely seem to say anything that isn't blatantly obvious or highly suspicious and yet the mere act of opening their mouths can drive a stock several percentage points up or down. The market demonstrates little common sense and small investors are simply taken for a ride, like a rubber duck dumped in the ocean.
post #32 of 110
Ive always classed the MBA in the same league as the Cube and the Burton Snow Jacket.

One of Steves gimmicks rather than a real product.
post #33 of 110
Quote:
1. The hard disk capacity is too small. As soon as you get a 128 Gb (or 256 Gb) hard drive, preferably an SSD, then it will be more viable. I just bough an iMac and with my Music, old PC files and now movies, I've already used up 100 Gbs of disk space. The lack of disk space was the only reason I didn't buy an Air.

1) If you are talking Base-2 increases then 128GB and 256GB would have to be SSD.

2) The next MBA will have the same 120GB HDD than the iPod Classic now has.

3) I'd wager that Apple will use Intel's SSD when they become available. The MBA would be a great place to promote Intel's new drives before production fully ramps up. They will come in 80 and 160GB sizes.

4) So you were torn between a ultra-portable and desktop? It doesn't sound like you are the target consumer for this machine.

Quote:
2. People are waiting to see what the new MacBooks are like. The market eagerly anticipates new MacBooks and I think many potential MBA buyers are waiting to see what turns up before committing themselves. I suspect that the new 13" MacBook will still be significantly heavier than the Air, so that the Air's practical advantages should ensure that it remains competitive.

The MB is 5.4lbs and the MBP os 5.0lbs. There isn't much Apple can do to shed weight from the device outside of removing the optical drive (which I don't see happening on the MB) and reducing the battery size. Polycarb isn't heavy, but it does have to be thicker than aluminum so they can lose some weight there. I think it'll still be a good 2lbs more than the MBA.


Quote:
3. Chip technology has advanced two generations since he Air was launched. The arrival of Penryn has made the Air look a bI it slow. The new ULV Penryn/ Montevina chip (announced for the MBA on this site) should provide a significant performance boost - especially when running video applications - so again many potential buyers are anticipating the Air Rev A and again won't commit until this comes out.

No, it hasn't. The 22mm Montevina/Penryn is the chip-over-chip successor to the 22mm Santa Rosa/Merom that is currently used. The chips will stay at 1.6 and 1.8xGHz, but the L2 and FSB are increased, with a lower TDP. GPU performance is better with a slightly lower TDP.

Quote:
4. Price. Price wasn't a barrier to purchase for most business users who saw the MBA as an ideal on-the-road machine. But realising that its high cost was driven by high memory prices which are rapidly coming down, again many people think it makes sense to wait.

If by memory, you mean SSD, then Intel entering the game is going to make things better, but it's still expensive.

Quote:
The processing power gap should close significantly.

The MB will be getting faster chips with a lower cost. That won't change, but the speeds of these notebooks may be fast enough to suit many people's basic needs.

Quote:
As for more ports, perhaps Apple will offer a proprietary port replicator with three USB 2.) ports, an Ethernet Port, Firewire and video options? But it means something else to lug around which kind of defeats the object of this machine.

VooDoo's Envy 133 had the ingenious idea of putting the Ethernet port into the power supply. From there the power supply transmits an 802.11b signal that the Envy 133 or any other notebook you wish to connect can access. This is great for hotels that only have Ethernet, which seems to be more common with expensive hotels where a business exec would probably be staying when carting his high-end ultra-portable. Apple's Airport Express already has a lot of these features, but with 802.11n in it. I wonder if Apple can adopt this, plus some other options to make the MBA more viable.
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post #34 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by YTV View Post

I completely disagree. In fact these new netbooks are so small, not only are they competing with the macbook air, they are competing with the iphone/ipod touch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

I disagree in an entirely disrespectful manner.

The question is portability, so they are direct competitors. Didn't you yourself buy a netbook of some sort in lieu of a MBA?

You can't really beleive that the same people who need a full size keyboard and decent size screen for work are going to be able to any real work on MID or shruken netbook.




Only one of these is usable for an 8 hour work day.
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post #35 of 110
Obviously some can't undertsand that smaller is the thing - that's why they take up so much room with thread posts.
post #36 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Only one of these is usable for an 8 hour work day.

Only one's not selling also.
Too big.
And you're ony selecting what you want to compare it to. There are so many others - and better than what you present.
post #37 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You can't really beleive that the same people who need a full size keyboard and decent size screen for work are going to be able to any real work on MID or shruken netbook.
Only one of these is usable for an 8 hour work day.

So did you buy a netbook instead of a MBA? Obviously Some people don't think the keyboard is a problem.
post #38 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You can't really beleive that the same people who need a full size keyboard and decent size screen for work are going to be able to any real work on MID or shruken netbook.


Only one of these is usable for an 8 hour work day.

Ok, then you can't really believe that the HUGE market that wants an ultra-portable laptop, really ever viewed the macbook air as a viable option. Sure a ton of us went out and bought it as we love macs, and we wanted something smaller than the macbook. Heck I bought one, but never sold my Lenovo X61 as it was just smaller and easier to carry around. I would use my macbook air while "couch-surfing" but thats about it. It just falls short in so many areas, the main one being small. That is what the ultraportable market wants. A SMALL laptop.

My macbook air is gone so now is my Lenovo X61.

If Apple comes out with a notebook/netbook. That has a 9 or 10 inch screen, has the Atom processor, or some deviation of, where the ram and hard drive can easily be swapped, and has a user swappable battery, running OS X. I will gladly pay DOUBLE what the other netbooks cost.

You can mark my words, the macbook air will be dead completely in 1 year if Apple continues it in its current form. I am so confident I will give anyone 5 to 1 odds, with a $1,000 minimum on my end.

Its usually Apple that bursts on the scene with this hot new product, but I think they really got blindsided here. As the numbers keep stacking up through the holiday, Im sure Apple will see the mistake they made.
post #39 of 110
... because the Macbook Air is completely relevant to the success of Apple Inc.

Yeah, right...

I would still love to have one, though, if I required a computer on the go.
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
  Samuel Johnson
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The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
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post #40 of 110
I'm *exactly* the market the MBA was aimed at, yet as it currently is, I can't use it.

I'm in airplanes, customer sites and hotel rooms 200+ days per year. The form factor of the MBA is great - smaller is better when it comes to going through an airport security line. I could care less about what kind of processor it has because all I need to do is e-mail, PowerPoint, surf the web, play some music out of iTunes and save a few photos. Price is no problem for me because the company buys my equipment. The deal-breaker for me? Hard disk space. 80 GB is simply *way too small*. I ran out of space on an 80 GB drive long ago, I require at least a 160 GB drive. Heck, my iTunes library is 60 GB alone.

I heard way back at the MBA's introduction that a larger hard drive would have had to have a 3 millimeter thicker case to accommodate the 160 that the iPod was using. I'd gladly have lugged around a 3 mm thicker MBA for some decent disk space.

The thing a lot of people don't get when comparing the MBA to those other manufacturer's machines - it's a Mac, there really is no comparison. The only competition the MBA has (as far as I'm concerned) is the 15" MBP. And the MBP has all this crud that I don't need - optical drive, ports o' plenty, etc. Just give me some more freakin' disk space, Apple, OK!

There, I feel much better. Thanks for putting up with me.

Joe
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