Mac sales forecast to grow 20% on strong demand for new MacBook Pros

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple's recent MacBook Pro refresh and the newly launched iPad 3G are both strong sellers, industry and supply chain sources have told one Wall Street analyst, who believes Apple could see another quarter with more than 20 percent year-over-year growth in Mac sales.



Shaw Wu with Kaufman Bros. issued a note to investors Tuesday, in which he revealed that the iPad 3G has had a "surprising" start, with strong sales despite the $130 premium over the Wi-Fi-only model. Sources told Wu that the 3G model has sold "better than expected."



Wu has doubled his expected iPad sales for the June quarter to 2 million, up from 1 million. Of course, Wu's original sales forecast was already exceeded after just the first day of iPad 3G sales, as Apple announced the hardware sold more than a million just 28 days after it launched only in the U.S. iPad sales will expand to nine more countries on May 28.



In addition, the analyst said April's refresh of the MacBook Pro line, which equipped the high-end models with Intel's latest Core i5 and Core i7 processors, has helped to keep Mac sales at a brisk pace. Wu believes Apple's Mac business is likely to have its third consecutive quarter with more than 20 percent year-over-year unit growth, which would indicate yet another an increase in PC market share.



"Our sources indicate that Mac momentum is strong, helped by a recent significant refresh of the MacBook Pro to new Intel Arrandale processors," Wu wrote, "offering much better price-performance and an industry best 8-10 hours of battery life."



Wu has slightly increased his projected Mac sales for the quarter to 3.2 million, up from a previous prediction of 3.1 million. Last quarter, Apple sold 2.94 million Macs, helping the company achieve an 89 percent increase in profits to $3.07 billion.







Wu has also increased his gross margin assumption from 37 percent to 38 percent, leading to $14 billion in revenue and $2.90 in earnings per share. With those increases, he has upped his 12-month price target for AAPL stock to $320, up from the prior target of $315.



"Customers continue to flock to the Apple platform despite its premium pricing and still difficult macroeconomic conditions," Wu wrote. "What it confirms to us is the company's proprietary technology continues to give it a competitive advantage where customers value Apple and believe its premium is more than justified. We do not know of another technology company enjoying such a trend."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    steviestevie Posts: 956member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple's recent MacBook Pro refresh and the newly launched iPad 3G are both strong sellers, industry and supply chain sources have told one Wall Street analyst, who believes Apple could see another quarter with more than 20 percent year-over-year growth in Mac sales.






    How often are the analysts correct?
  • Reply 2 of 36
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,270member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "Customers continue to flock to the Apple platform despite its premium pricing and still difficult macroeconomic conditions," Wu wrote. "What it confirms to us is the company's proprietary technology continues to give it a competitive advantage where customers value Apple and believe its premium is more than justified. We do not know of another technology company enjoying such a trend."



    Neither do I.
  • Reply 3 of 36
    carmissimocarmissimo Posts: 837member
    Apple is doing so well because the competition is so far behind. Apple's products are decent, to be sure, but what gives the company even more of an edge is that the competition's products are generally rather poor.



    Netbooks, for example, have their strengths but if you find yourself using one for any length of time, the typical netbook is a rather frustrating beast. The main reason for this is that competitors subscribe to the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach. Throw this in, and that, and more of that, and on and on.



    The iPad, on the other hand, is an example of Apple's approach. The iPad, by not trying to be a complete desktop/laptop replacement, does several things exceedingly well. It's a nicely designed product that just works. Once you start using a product that just works, it's hard to go back to something fraught with issues and that, for all intents and purposes, does nothing particularly well.





    Apple is to computers what Japanese cars ended up being in that industry. American brands produced inefficient, poorly designed products for decades and got away with it because that's what cars were like. The Japanese came along and brought out smart, well-engineered products that raised the bar. Eventually the competition gets better but the perception that a particular company is dong it better pays dividends long after the real advantage has diminished.
  • Reply 4 of 36
    istudistud Posts: 193member
    Apple is Doomed! ⓒ
  • Reply 5 of 36
    jmmxjmmx Posts: 341member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "We do not know of another technology company enjoying such a trend."



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Postulant View Post


    Neither do I.



    Sony used to.
  • Reply 6 of 36
    jmmxjmmx Posts: 341member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post


    Eventually the competition gets better but the perception that a particular company is dong it better pays dividends long after the real advantage has diminished.



    Good observation, but I agree only in part.



    I think there are a few companies who have tried to match Apple's quality - at least in some of their products. There are two problems, however.



    First, they find that to build quality costs money (which is why so few even try). So, when they do try to match Apple products, most of the price differential is lost.



    Second, matching the quality of an Apple product is more difficult than it seems. Apple products reflect a culture of quality that extends throughout the product, encompassing hardware and software, external appearances and internal design. This is very hard to generate.



    An example. My friend K is a very serious and software engineer at a high level in a very technical field. He is also a musician and has a great appreciation for quality and beauty in detail. For almost 20 years he resisted getting a Mac, in spite of my gentle prodding. Recently he purchased a Mac Pro (yes the big one) to do video editing. He went to add in some hard drives and when he opened the case for the first time he was actually shocked at how well laid out it was, how easy it was. The inside of the machine was actually (to an engineer) a thing of beauty. Finally he understood what I had been saying for so long - that Apple cares about every little detail! This is why people fall in love with their products.



    IMHO
  • Reply 7 of 36
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,738member
    This is where having a low market share in laptops/desktops actually helps! There is a lot of room left for growth, and hence, further value creation. The growth opportunities are even bigger outside the US.



    Obversely, where Apple's market share is high (iPhones, iPods, possibly iPads), one can thank the competition for being weak or non-existent.
  • Reply 8 of 36
    christopher126christopher126 Posts: 4,098member
    It certainly is a very strong lineup...13" to 17" screens, unibody aluminum construction, camera, glass trackpad and of course, OSX.



    I can see them obviously adding faster processors and maybe making a thinner frame around the screen. Possibly adding SSD's for 'instant-on.'



    Or perhaps removing the Superdrive on some models and making them a little lighter, thinner, and a little lower price points. And then make the battery a little bigger to add another hour or two.



    I would gladly give up my superdrive....I never use it!



    If my original intel MacBook ever breaks, I will replace it with an iPad 3G. If my original intel iMac ever breaks I most likely will replace it with the new and improved MBA!



    In the next year or two I will end up with an MBA, iPad and a 4g iPhone and the first time since Apple's were available no desktop!



    That's if things start breaking! Fingers crossed! I want new stuff!
  • Reply 9 of 36
    steviestevie Posts: 956member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jmmx View Post


    Sony used to.



    IBM too.
  • Reply 10 of 36
    spotonspoton Posts: 645member
    I was most impressed with the new anti-glare screens on the new 15¨ MacBook Pro´s at the Apple Store, nothing like the previous dull matte screens of before.



    While others were busy tilting the other glossy screens around to avoid the overhead lights reflections on the display, the anti-glare 15¨ had a perfect screen image in any position.



    That machine is certainly on my next to get list, just waiting out any hardware glitches that seem to show themselves later on. So far the new processors are running a bit hot, very hot in fact. I don´t think Intel can do any better, they have gone as far as they can.



    We might be seeing the end of powerful laptop computers here shortly or perhaps no new performance increases, just like the new 13¨ MBP is stuck on the last generation of processors.





    And it´s obvious why the MacBook Pro´s are set to have greatly increased sales, Apple all but eliminated the MacBooks except one model and introduced a line of iPads. Since the iPad needs a computer, it´s driving nearly all the MacBook demand to the MacBook Pro line.
  • Reply 11 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Stevie View Post


    IBM too.



    Anyone remember Gateway?
  • Reply 12 of 36
    psoon70psoon70 Posts: 2member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post


    We might be seeing the end of powerful laptop computers here shortly or perhaps no new performance increases, just like the new 13¨ MBP is stuck on the last generation of processors.



    I didn't want my first post here to be contrary in nature, but I don't believe we will ever see the end of performance increases; not in our life times.
  • Reply 13 of 36
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,558member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jmmx View Post


    ... The inside of the [Mac Pro] was actually (to an engineer) a thing of beauty. ...



    Yes, it really is. Anyone who hasn't seen the inside of a Mac Pro really should have a look. You'll never look at a PC tower the same again.
  • Reply 14 of 36
    steviestevie Posts: 956member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post


    Anyone remember Gateway?



    They never had any real power to change/dominate the industry. Not like Palm, or Sony or IBM used to. Not like AOL used to.



    And certainly not like what Apple has today.



    Apple's current position is much less of a complete stranglehold over the relevant industry when compared to these others. Many of them had complete control of their niche, back in the day. Apple has it with the iPod, but that category is not growing fast, if at all.



    And all of these others have fallen. It will be very interesting to see what happens over the next 10 years. Apple has a very good shot at finally being a major force in several areas all at once.
  • Reply 15 of 36
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,558member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Stevie View Post


    IBM too.



    I think customers who are buying IBM hardware still feel this way. They aren't in the desktop/laptop PC business anymore, so not as visible to the average consumer, but for the hardware they do make, it is very high quality and their customers are happy to pay the cost.
  • Reply 16 of 36
    steviestevie Posts: 956member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    Yes, it really is. Anyone who hasn't seen the inside of a Mac Pro really should have a look. You'll never look at a PC tower the same again.



    I built my son's PC tower. It is a work of art. All the ugly wires are hidden, and all the cool-looking ones are lit with neon. The liquid cooler is integrated into the plexi side and looks very futuristic. It has fully functional analog heat/RPM gauges on the front.



    He's a teenager.





    Well-built PCs are, well ...
  • Reply 17 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jmmx View Post




    Second, matching the quality of an Apple product is more difficult than it seems. Apple products reflect a culture of quality that extends throughout the product, encompassing hardware and software, external appearances and internal design. This is very hard to generate.



    IMHO



    Interesting thought...and the culture of quality at Apple extends not just throughout the product but throughout all product lines and the company itself from beginning to end (just look at the agonizing detail of the retail stores!)



    Its probably harder to inculcate a culture of quality in even a single product (let alone an entire organization) when management settles for more than half the product line being crappy and cheap.
  • Reply 18 of 36
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,738member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post


    Anyone remember Gateway?



    DEC? Wang?
  • Reply 19 of 36
    spotonspoton Posts: 645member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by psoon70 View Post


    I didn't want my first post here to be contrary in nature, but I don't believe we will ever see the end of performance increases; not in our life times.



    Just performance increases in Apple laptops, because they can´t carry the elaborate cooling and power necessary for more advanced processors that generate more heat in their present form factor.



    Apple did dump IBM´s PowerPC processor because they couldn´t make a cool enough processor for laptops and now it seems Intel has also reached the end of the line in that regard.



    The new 13¨ MacBook Pro does use the last generation of Intel processors, and the new 15¨ and 17¨ using the newer processors are running very hot according to reports on Apple forums.



    So the obvious conclusion is the 13¨ doesn´t have the space for either cooling or battery to handle the newer processors.



    Of course Apple could make the MacBook Pro line thicker and heavier, but then they wouldn´t be as attractive.



    So it seems the end of the line is being reached, sure processor performance increases will continue, look at the Cell, 9 cores and hot as hell, not good for latops, it´s just Apple´s MacBook Pro laptop line might undergo a change next generation, or *gasp* elimination if they can´t get cool enough processors.



    The processor industry can pull only so many technological trick rabbits out of it´s innovation hat, eventually it will stop, at least for laptops.
  • Reply 20 of 36
    spotonspoton Posts: 645member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    DEC? Wang?



    Tandy, Commadore, Atari?
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