Strong sales make Apple's 'quasi-tablet' MacBook Air a $2.2B-per-year product

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
More than five months after the new thin-and-light MacBook Air was unveiled, sturdy adoption rates for the notebook have continued, positioning it as a meaningful growth driver for Apple raking in a projected $2.2 billion a year.



Analyst Mark Moskowitz with J.P. Morgan said in a note to investors on Monday that checks with Apple's supply chain indicate that the MacBook Air has continued to be a strong performer for Apple. He said the information indicates that blistering sales in the fourth quarter of calendar 2010 were not an anomaly.



Moskowitz noted that 420,000 MacBook Air units were shipped in the fourth quarter of calendar 2010, which represented growth of 333 percent year over year, and 326.8 percent quarter over quarter. The level was also three times greater than the product's previous quarterly high. The number is also much lower than an estimate of over 1 million units given by another analyst in March.



The improved features of the MacBook Air borrowed from the iPad -- including instant-on capability, thinness and ultra-portability -- have positioned the notebook as a "quasi-tablet," Moskowitz said. But the MacBook Air also offers an integrated keyboard and full computing applications environment ideal for professional work-related tasks.



"We believe that the growth rate of the MacBook Air stands to moderate, but we expect the product to exhibit increasing contribution to the overall Mac business," Moskowitz wrote. "(The fourth quarter of calendar 2010) was the first quarter in which the MacBook Air accounted for greater than 10% of total Apple Mac units. More importantly, the MacBook Air accounted for 15% of total notebook sales during the quarter, versus 5% in the prior year."



In February, sources in Apple's supply chain indicated the company was doubling orders for the new MacBook Air to meet demand. Reports have also suggested that Apple tends to refresh the product in June with Intel's latest-generation Sandy Bridge processors.



Moskowitz believes the MacBook Air will continue to be a meaningful product for Apple, with its $999 starting price competitive enough to help the company gain market share in PCs. He said that last quarter the diminutive notebook generated revenues of $559.3 million, an increase of 256.2 percent year over year and 284.2 percent quarter over quarter.



"Assuming that Apple can sustain or increase the recent quarterly run rate of 420,000 units and pricing stays stable, annual MacBook Air revenues could track to $2.2 billion or better," he said.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 51
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    What I really want is a 15" MacBook Air.
  • Reply 2 of 51
    sequitursequitur Posts: 1,910member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mcarling View Post


    What I really want is a 15" MacBook Air.



    I'll buy that.
  • Reply 3 of 51
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,228member
    Everytime I go into an Apple Store I need to look away the Air Table in fears I buy one on the spot. I am currently waiting for an update to sandy bridge CPU before I buy one. I want a 13" one but I will consider a 15" if they release it.



    Cash is ready, desk at home is setup, and everyone is waiting for it. Its going to replace an Acer windows vista pc (junk).



    To really make an homerun and see people line up for it, they should go more agressive on prices, imagine a 699$ 11" model. I hope high end models will have a graphic GPU option has lower end models are sure to use intel HD3000.
  • Reply 4 of 51
    zoolookzoolook Posts: 657member
    I really want to get a MBA for my wife... the 4GB 13inch one.
  • Reply 5 of 51
    I just bought one of the 11" Airs on ebay from MacMall and I love it. It does the extra things my iPad doesn't and is the perfect size. I'll still use my Pro for movie making but this is perfect for photos, web and email. The iPad will become a game device. I wonder what else I can't live without that Apple is working on?
  • Reply 6 of 51
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,149member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mcarling View Post


    What I really want is a 15" MacBook Air.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sequitur View Post


    I'll buy that.



    Yeah. Or if they just did away with the optical drive in the 15 and 17 inch Pro's and made it a bit thinner and lighter.
  • Reply 7 of 51
    reganregan Posts: 474member
    I wanna get one too. I'm a travel photographer, and I thought the iPad would be the perfect travel companion for what I do...but it's too closed. Don't get me wrong, it's my FAVORITE way to surf the web by far, and it does load my photos while on the road....HOWEVER...



    It cannot transfer and edit HD video from my canon dslr. The new iPad can't even do it, and when I found out that iMovie for the iPad can only edit video from apple ios devices(iPad, iPod & iPhone).....I KNEW I needed a MacBook air.



    Got my eye on the 13" model with 4 gigs of ram and a 256gb flash drive.....but Im waiting for the inevitable update which I know is coming. The last time they were updated was back in October, so Im thinking sometime between now and this October. That's 6 months.



    I think iMacs will get updated first. But I am hoping the MacBook air gets one by the summer too.



    My wish list? Lol. Sandy Bridge of course. Perhaps thunderbolt to help future proof it...and if flash drives come down in price, a 320 or 500 gig option would be PERFECT!



    Since everything in the MacBook air is soldered on and not upgradable...I want to wait until the update. Usually I don't care, if I need it, I BUY it....but in this instance, I will wait.



    I couldn't care less about a back lit keyboard. Don't need the battery drain, and my fingers have a good touch memory. I never understood why this is so important to some people. Even if I was a hunt and peck typist...and the room was dark...the screen lights up the keyboard just fine.



    Anyway....I digress. :-)



    Come on Apple....update these babies so I can nab one pronto.
  • Reply 8 of 51
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,729member
    MacBook Air quasi iPad? How so? There's nothing quasi about the MBA.
  • Reply 9 of 51
    reganregan Posts: 474member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tipoo View Post


    Yeah. Or if they just did away with the optical drive in the 15 and 17 inch Pro's and made it a bit thinner and lighter.



    They will. Apple has hinted....not so subtly I may add....that this is the future of the MacBook line. Doing away with the optical drive WILL happen. My guess is at the next major redesign. MacBook pros usually see major redesigns in January....so maybe in January of 2012.



    They'll probably be thicker than MacBook airs so they can still hold all that pro stuff...but without the huge CD DVD drive taking up space...they could make it ALOT more streamlined.
  • Reply 10 of 51
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,787member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tipoo View Post


    Yeah. Or if they just did away with the optical drive in the 15 and 17 inch Pro's and made it a bit thinner and lighter.



    You may have something there.



    I've now owned my 15" MBP i7 for six months and the only time I have ever used the optical drive is to re rip my CDs at the higher bit rate or when some of my tracks have inexplicably shortened and only play for a short while then skip to the next track. (BTW any one else had this? ... I assume this corruption has occurred during one of the several disk to disk clones when I upgraded through several Macs since the original ripping).



    I'd therefore happily live with an external optical drive that was either wifi or USB2 or Firewire so as not to have to lug the extra weight around in the MPB. The only thing I wouldn't want to give up is the internal 1TB drive I have and the 8 GIGs of RAM.
  • Reply 11 of 51
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member
    Apple should make a 400 to 600 g MacBook Air. 7-inch. The Mac in your pocket. Always.
  • Reply 12 of 51
    markbmarkb Posts: 153member
    I am also a photographer and I love the air and have been so tempted to buy it but...I have an iPad which does 95% of my non-photog work and I have a Mac pro which does the rest. I have a 4 year old MacBook pro that I use when i tether my camera but I cannot do any real Aperture work on it unless it's a single photo or two.



    The new quad core MBPs will make Aperture just fly and they killed my desire for an Air. Essentially all of the performance of my 2.8 ghz 8 core Mac pro in a portable, tether able format. If apple hadn't done such a great job of making Apeture actually use all available processors, I guess the Air would be about the same as any other Mac more or less and way more portable.
  • Reply 13 of 51
    freshmakerfreshmaker Posts: 532member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by regan View Post


    ...It cannot transfer and edit HD video from my canon dslr. The new iPad can't even do it, and when I found out that iMovie for the iPad can only edit video from apple ios devices(iPad, iPod & iPhone).....



    Really? You can't import videos from your PC and edit them? GAH! I was just about to buy iMovie too. Was really looking forward to using it. I only wanna create movies using video from my DSLR or camcorder though, not the crappy iPhone vids.
  • Reply 14 of 51
    bertpbertp Posts: 274member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    MacBook Air quasi iPad? How so? There's nothing quasi about the MBA.



    I agree, and I really object to the mischaracterization by an analyst working for a bank.
  • Reply 15 of 51
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,787member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by markb View Post


    I am also a photographer and I love the air and have been so tempted to buy it but...I have an iPad which does 95% of my non-photog work and I have a Mac pro which does the rest. I have a 4 year old MacBook pro that I use when i tether my camera but I cannot do any real Aperture work on it unless it's a single photo or two.



    The new quad core MBPs will make Aperture just fly and they killed my desire for an Air. Essentially all of the performance of my 2.8 ghz 8 core Mac pro in a portable, tether able format. If apple hadn't done such a great job of making Apeture actually use all available processors, I guess the Air would be about the same as any other Mac more or less and way more portable.



    Just to reinforce your desires for a MBP but make sure it is the i7 or better I got the MBP i7 4 core (I upgraded the drive to 1TB and RAM to 8 GIGs for $200 myself) to see if it could handle my Mac Pro's work load. I went from using both Aperture and Final Cut Pro editing of HD video on the Mac Pro to the MBP i7 flawlessly. I was totally blown away by its power.



    The only thing I do notice is when it is flat out using all its 4 cores, such as rendering, it is pointless trying to do something else where as my 8 core Mac Pro can easily do several tasks at once without missing a heart beat. However, the convenience is fabulous. I have the LCD 24" to attach to the MBP when working at home and although I was used to the 30" ACD I quickly adapted and don't find this a limitation. I keep the MBP open so as to use the dual screens in FCP and it makes an excellent monitor screen. I love it!





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Freshmaker View Post


    Really? You can't import videos from your PC and edit them? GAH! I was just about to buy iMovie too. Was really looking forward to using it. I only wanna create movies using video from my DSLR or camcorder though, not the crappy iPhone vids.



    In the short term (I assume there might be a better way in the future or even via a third party app ...) but for now just get HandBrake (free) to convert anything you have on a PC or Mac first then import to iPad.



    HandBrake link here http://handbrake.fr/
  • Reply 16 of 51
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,787member
    error
  • Reply 17 of 51
    pxtpxt Posts: 683member
    If Apple would write the software for handling an ecosystem of data and programs to match their ecosystem of very nice hardware, then I'd sell my middle-aged unibody Macbook and get a Mini for home and an Air for the road.



    But the hassle of trying to keep all the right content and programs in the right places manually is just too clunky and unreliable, not to mention that Apple keep deleting people's data with MobileMe.



    Come on Apple, I *want* to pay you for your lovely hardware !
  • Reply 18 of 51
    ltmpltmp Posts: 204member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    some of my tracks have inexplicably shortened and only play for a short while then skip to the next track. (BTW any one else had this? ... I assume this corruption has occurred during one of the several disk to disk clones when I upgraded through several Macs since the original ripping).



    I've never run into this, but if you're using iTunes, you might try this:



    Right click on one of the effected songs and select info.

    Select the options tab.

    Check to make sure that the settings are correct (make sure that the stop time box is not checked off).
  • Reply 19 of 51
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,787member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LTMP View Post


    I've never run into this, but if you're using iTunes, you might try this:



    Right click on one of the effected songs and select info.

    Select the options tab.

    Check to make sure that the settings are correct (make sure that the stop time box is not checked off).



    I will do that, thanks.
  • Reply 20 of 51
    frugalityfrugality Posts: 410member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The improved features of the MacBook Air borrowed from the iPad -- including instant-on capability, thinness and ultra-portability -- have positioned the notebook as a "quasi-tablet," Moskowitz said. But the MacBook Air also offers an integrated keyboard and full computing applications environment ideal for professional work-related tasks.



    If it's a tablet, it has to have a touch-screen, and has to have a flip-over screen if it's hinged.



    The Macbook Air is no tablet, nor 'quasi-tablet'. It's simply an awesome, lightweight laptop that sheds old technology like optical and hard disc drives for flash-only storage.
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