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Next-gen MacBook shipments begin ahead of 'sharp ramp'

post #1 of 288
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The first shipments of Apple's next-generation 13-inch MacBooks have left China ahead of a large-scale manufacturing ramp scheduled for later this month, according to investment bank Citigroup.

In a "Company Flash" bulletin issued to clients on Monday, analyst Rich Gardner said he expects the Cupertino-based Mac maker to introduce its fall line of notebooks "within weeks."

"Field checks confirm that shipments of new MacBooks have begun, with a sharp production ramp planned for September and an introduction planned for early October," he wrote. "The most distinctive features of the new MacBook appear to be a very thin aluminum casing, an LED-backlit display and an aggressive entry-level price point."

Gardner also used the bulletin to reiterate his Buy rating on Apple's badly-beaten shares, which tacked onto Friday's losses by falling another $6.44, or 4.32 percent, to $142.50 in afternoon trading.

Following his checks in Asia, the analyst said he remains comfortable with his above-consensus September quarter earnings estimates of $1.20 per share on sales of $8.3 billion.

Surprisingly robust iPod shipments combined with sharp declines in NAND flash memory, flat panel displays and DRAM pricing should allow the company to beat its gross margin guidance despite recent iPod price cuts and the just-ended back-to-school promotion, Gardner said.

"New products, iPhone geographic expansion and sharp declines in key component prices also bode well for upside [next quarter]," he added.

Gardner's MacBook predictions fall in line with earlier reports from AppleInsider, as well as a recent report which pinned an introduction for mid-October.
post #2 of 288
Sounds promising. If this is all true, they'll sell boat loads of these.

I would expect invites to go out within the next 10 days though if they are starting to ship. This would appear to contradict the previous 14th October rumour.
post #3 of 288
I wonder how "aggressive" the entry-level price will be. I'm hoping they start these at $999.
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post #4 of 288
$999 with solid state drives would be awesome. I just hope they don't skimp on the graphics again.
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post #5 of 288
It is interesting to see how Apple can continue to keep a fairly tight lid on these announcements despite the many countries involved in the mfg/production of their computers. Have been awaiting this announcement since January MW.......
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post #6 of 288
Damn I thought it is coming "within week" May the MacBook rumours bury me like the iPod ones! I have been waiting for this since February after reading some related news in AI and I can't wait to put my hands on it.

I believe it will be introduced on September 30 which is another Tuesday and a new entry level at something around $899 which meets the profit margin reduction Peter Oppenheimer said. Though very few of my predictions come true :s
post #7 of 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogue27 View Post

I just hope they don't skimp on the graphics again.

I am with you, but unfortunately I doubt it. The consumer laptop gets consumer graphics.\

I wish I could pull the optical drive out of mine and swap it for a good graphics card.
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post #8 of 288
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post #9 of 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogue27 View Post

$999 with solid state drives would be awesome. I just hope they don't skimp on the graphics again.

1) $999 may happen at this point.

2) SSD in the MB doesn't make much sense. SSD in a $999 MB makes absolutely no sense.

3) GMA X4500 will suit most consumers just fine.
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post #10 of 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by apple4life07 View Post

I wonder how "aggressive" the entry-level price will be. I'm hoping they start these at $999.

I suppose it depends on what they're packing, but $999 doesn't strike me as particularly aggressive. I'd called $899 aggressive, but also unlikely for Apple.
post #11 of 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by G_Warren View Post

Sounds promising. If this is all true, they'll sell boat loads of these.

It's all dependent on what Apple considers an "aggressive" entry-level price point. At the current prices it'll do well from its soild Mac base but amble along with the wider community at large. @ £399 it's a PC killer but that's never going to happen \

When i train newbies i give them a few days on Dell/Acer laptops running XP and then a coupe of days on a MacBook, 9 out of 10 choose the Mac. These are company purchases but in almost all cases they then go out and buy a Mac for personal use.

Prior to this they all say the same thing that they like the look of the Mac but just can't or won't justify the extra kudos. You can go all day about like for like specification but money talks. So Apple need to lure them in, even offer something real basic to start off with.

Of course we all know this so lets hope Apple get real aggressive and go for it as there's never been a better time to use the iPod effect and switch users into the Mac platform. I'm just as excited by the prospect of this as much as an upgraded MacBook
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post #12 of 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

I suppose it depends on what they're packing, but $999 doesn't strike me as particularly aggressive. I'd called $899 aggressive, but also unlikely for Apple.

A drop in profit depends on what the improvements are. How much does the aluminium cost over the polycarb case? I think 11% drop is good. Obviously a 22% drop would be better but that seems unreasonable to me.
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post #13 of 288
What about the MacBook PROS?
post #14 of 288
'IF this is true and 'IF' they really are being shipped in bulk, and not just a few to o Cupertino for some final testing, then I think we can expect new MB's no later than next week. If this turns out to be the case, then we should look forward to even more extraordinary at the event reported for next month.
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post #15 of 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tauron View Post

What about the MacBook PROS?

rumor is there can be only one. Pro is dead. just shiny macbooks with extra options.
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post #16 of 288
I want to be the first to predict a LOW priced, watered down Macbook. I'm talking $699-$750. Something to make people think even more about a Mac. We all know that a Mac, even with sub-entry-level specs, is better than a high end vista machine, but the general public doesn't, and when they are the same price, people will pick the machine with better harware.

I think Jobs & Co. realize this and will choose to market their MB to a wider range of consumers this time around.
post #17 of 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by ICD-EVIL View Post

I want to be the first to predict a LOW priced, watered down Macbook. I'm talking $699-$750. Something to make people think even more about a Mac. We all know that a Mac, even with sub-entry-level specs, is better than a high end vista machine, but the general public doesn't, and when they are the same price, people will pick the machine with better harware.

I think Jobs & Co. realize this and will choose to market their MB to a wider range of consumers this time around.

Yep, that is the thinking. I think they realized this with the iphone and how people were willing to experience vastly superior software if only the hardware was accessible.

The low macbook will be a killer blockbuster for sure given the insanity of Vista and the efficiency of Leopard. But what about the 15 inch macbooks?
post #18 of 288
I'm a long-time Apple-loving watcher (and user since 1984) who's never posted. Here is what I want to say: I think Apple, in its desire to produce only awesome products, sometimes misses an important point, and it is this: Virtually anyone who buys a Mac stays a Mac customer forever. That being said, I think this is Apple's time to come out with very aggressive pricing on some sort of entry-level complete Mac, even if that means cutting out some nice-to-have features. They will sell a boatload of those to what I like to call the "uninlightend PC users in the dark" who presently can't see past the sticker price. Once these people live the "Mac experience", they are ours forever (cackle, cackle), because it is as much about the whole OS/user experience as it is the hardware. Like virtually all of us, they will move up the price/performance ladder over time, loving it all the way (I don't know about you, but Santa ain't putting no skimpy Mac Mini under my tree this year). In summary, I feel that 1.the Mac is approaching that magical "tipping point", 2. once you go Mac, you never go back, so, 3. just get them in the bloody door any bloody way you can, even if it hurts margins in the short run. I am hopeful that that is exactly why Oppenheimer spoke about a product re-vamp and lower margins.
post #19 of 288
So, for people like me, waiting to buy our first Macs, should we wait or buy?

On the one hand, the current macbooks are presumably tried and trusted models with the major kinks ironed out.

On the other hand, the new models will have some nice new features, even if it's just aluminum.

When the current macbook generation was first released, were there problems?

( BTW - I'm a future switcher, with a Vista machine that I have hate, hate, hated for a year. Take me now! I'm ready!! )

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post #20 of 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by ICD-EVIL View Post

I want to be the first to predict a LOW priced, watered down Macbook. I'm talking $699-$750. Something to make people think even more about a Mac. We all know that a Mac, even with sub-entry-level specs, is better than a high end vista machine, but the general public doesn't, and when they are the same price, people will pick the machine with better harware.

I think Jobs & Co. realize this and will choose to market their MB to a wider range of consumers this time around.

The problem with producing cheaper machines is that you have to use cheaper HW, which lowers the production quality and the performance, which makes your product look inferior. You usually have to take a lose in profit too. You can certainly sell more units, but that doesn't mean you'll make more profit in the short term and run the risk of hurting your brand in the long run. Just look at Dell and Gateway.
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post #21 of 288
Meh, I gots my mac pro for the heavy stuff, I'd be happy with a watered down, very portable, very cheap macbook
post #22 of 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

So, for people like me, waiting to buy our first Macs, should we wait or buy?

On the one hand, the current macbooks are presumably tried and trusted models with the major kinks ironed out.

On the other hand, the new models will have some nice new features, even if it's just aluminum.

When the current macbook generation was first released, were there problems?

( BTW - I'm a future switcher, with a Vista machine that I have hate, hate, hated for a year. Take me now! I'm ready!! )

I'd wait since apparently it's only going to be a couple of weeks. Applecare will take care of you if there's any kinks
post #23 of 288
I am buying the macbook 15 inch as soon as it comes out.
post #24 of 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

So, for people like me, waiting to buy our first Macs, should we wait or buy?

On the one hand, the current macbooks are presumably tried and trusted models with the major kinks ironed out.

On the other hand, the new models will have some nice new features, even if it's just aluminum.

When the current macbook generation was first released, were there problems?

( BTW - I'm a future switcher, with a Vista machine that I have hate, hate, hated for a year. Take me now! I'm ready!! )

I think the answer is always the same: If you can wait, do so. If you can't, don't. The twist here is knowing that a new MacBook is coming really soon.

If I recall correctly the early white MacBooks had some issues with yellowing or something with the skin oil messing up laptop case. I think that was fixed somehow. It will likely only take days for the Apple community to find out any kinks in the new MacBook if there are any. Not much of a wait if you ask me.
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post #25 of 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by belunos View Post

Meh, I gots my mac pro for the heavy stuff, I'd be happy with a watered down, very portable, very cheap macbook

http://wind-osx86.wikispaces.com/
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post #26 of 288
macbooks - entry level price point at $899 and Custom built chip set with good graphics processing power ...

imacs - intel CPUs leads the power consumption but chipset always power hungry (where AMD scores) ...

if this true we may see redesigned iMac (as well) with quad core all the way - better CPU and better Chipset which can fit quad core in all the imcas

so there will be transistion in both laptop and desktop machines which COO described as profit margin drop to 30%, oct 14th is just month away

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Nov '09 | iMac 21.5" C2D 3.06 Ghz | Intel 330 240GB SSD | ATI

Sep '12| Toshiba 14" 1366 x 768! | i5 3rd Gen 6GB| Intel x25-m 120GB SSD | Win 7|  Viewsonic VX2255wmb 22" LCD
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post #27 of 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The problem with producing cheaper machines is that you have to use cheaper HW, which lowers the production quality and the performance, which makes your product look inferior. You usually have to take a lose in profit too. You can certainly sell more units, but that doesn't mean you'll make more profit in the short term and run the risk of hurting your brand in the long run. Just look at Dell and Gateway.

Methinks some here are wanting a "Harbor Freight" Mac, just to get the a lower price. They seem not to be aware that such a price connotes lower quality. \
post #28 of 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandau View Post

rumor is there can be only one. Pro is dead. just shiny macbooks with extra options.

I think that's where the price drop comes in. I just don't see them going for the low end Dell pricing. I could see a £599 ($999) entry point and the Macbook Pros all drop onto the end. At the top end you get a £1499 model and no higher. This 17" could even have the QX9300 quad in it.

13" = £599 - dual core, integrated x4500 <- £100 drop
15" = £999 - dual core, 8600M GT <- £300 drop
17" = £1499 - quad core, 8700M GT <- £300 drop

There could be CPU bumps in between. The refurb prices will be awesome after this if the drop is this significant.

I would love to see a dedicated card in one of the 13" models. I'd actually like to see the back of integrated graphics for good but it's probably a must for reaching the absolute lowest price. Same deal when it comes to combo drives.

Consumers certainly don't need much more than integrated graphics now but once OpenCL hits the scene, they won't see much benefit without one. But perhaps that would be the time to make the move to all dedicated.

This is why I'm concerned for the Mini though. If a Macbook with a display is £599 and a Mini with a display at the cheapest is £399 + £100 = £499, would they just stop making it? What if they make a £499 Macbook?

I know that they are different products and I think there should be both but it doesn't make sense to have both at those prices. When my relatives buy PCs, they get laptops now instead of desktops because they are the same price but you can take a laptop anywhere as well as use an external 20"+ display.

The Mini is without doubt my favorite computer of all time but if they make a Macbook at those prices with dedicated cards, easily replaceable HDs and Ram like the current models, the choice between them is fairly easy.

Unless they make a Mini for £299 <- there's your PC killer. Of course it's an ATV killer too. Not sure how you kill something that's already dead though. \

One big concern I have is if they do make one lineup, does this mean all glossy or does it mean all models get a choice like the current MBPs get?
post #29 of 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tauron View Post

I am buying the macbook 15 inch as soon as it comes out.

even without a DVD drive?
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post #30 of 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinfella View Post

Methinks some here are wanting a "Harbor Freight" Mac, just to get the a lower price. They seem not to be aware that such a price connotes lower quality. \

I was thinking of the Macs that come off the back of a truck and include a carton of cigarettes. Fagetaboutit!
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post #31 of 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I was thinking of the Macs that come off the back of a truck and include a carton of cigarettes. Fagetaboutit!

l contadino non far sapere quanto è buono il cacio con le mela.
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post #32 of 288
"...and an aggressive entry-level price point."

Apple is going in for the kill.
post #33 of 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

So, for people like me, waiting to buy our first Macs, should we wait or buy?

On the one hand, the current macbooks are presumably tried and trusted models with the major kinks ironed out.

On the other hand, the new models will have some nice new features, even if it's just aluminum.

When the current macbook generation was first released, were there problems?

( BTW - I'm a future switcher, with a Vista machine that I have hate, hate, hated for a year. Take me now! I'm ready!! )

You are not the only Vista user waiting to switch. A few years ago, XP was a pain but I did not have a choice because XP software would not run on Macs. Last year, I was forced into Vista with a new notebook purchase (I know I could have downgraded to XP but who would not try the "new" product? Once you tried it for a few weeks and reinstalled all your software, it would take at least a full day to switch back to XP...). My daily work (mostly in MS Office applications) is considerably slower than it was in XP. Also, the time it takes to awake my notebook from sleep mode is based on luck. Sometimes it takes 20 seconds, sometimes a few minutes. My friends and colleagues on Macs are ready to go within a few seconds...
post #34 of 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandau View Post

l contadino non far sapere quanto è buono il cacio con le mela.

"Don't let the peasant know how good cheese is with pears."?

I have no idea what that is suppose to mean but I like it.
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post #35 of 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandau View Post

rumor is there can be only one. Pro is dead. just shiny macbooks with extra options.

That would be a pretty good idea. Three screen sizes, integrated or discrete GPU options on all three sizes, many different processor options.

If I wanted a Macbook with a relatively slow CPU and integrated graphics, but a 17" screen and a big hard drive, shouldn't I be able to order that?
post #36 of 288
Could we see a $799 entry-level MacBook? It's unlikely. Even $899 is iffy. I'm predicting $999.
post #37 of 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galley View Post

Could we see a $799 entry-level MacBook? It's unlikely. Even $899 is iffy. I'm predicting $999.

$999 is not agressive.
post #38 of 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The problem with producing cheaper machines is that you have to use cheaper HW, which lowers the production quality and the performance, which makes your product look inferior. You usually have to take a lose in profit too. You can certainly sell more units, but that doesn't mean you'll make more profit in the short term and run the risk of hurting your brand in the long run. Just look at Dell and Gateway.

Maybe not. Apple did say that they would be taking a hit. Maybe (hopefully) they'll continue with decent hardware, and just lower the price. Then maybe they would make up some of that "less profit" by selling more machines.

I know that I'm ready for one. I sold my MB a couple of weeks ago, hoping that they would bring out new ones soon. I miss it!
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post #39 of 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The first shipments of Apple's next-generation 13-inch MacBooks have left mainland China ...

I still think it was so much nicer when we didn't know every single thing about every product being released before it was released.
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post #40 of 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The problem with producing cheaper machines is that you have to use cheaper HW, which lowers the production quality and the performance, which makes your product look inferior. You usually have to take a lose in profit too. You can certainly sell more units, but that doesn't mean you'll make more profit in the short term and run the risk of hurting your brand in the long run. Just look at Dell and Gateway.

I don't believe it for a second that Apple would do what you say. They have a standard, and they keep to it no matter what. I have faith that they are smart enough to know how to find that medium of cutting-edge tech/performance and value without looking like they are making an inferior product or damaging their brand.

You say to look at Dell and Gateway, but I don't think these companies run anything like Apple. No one in their right mind would compare these manufactures, and no one would expect Apple to make any of the mistakes that they have made.
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