Apple's MacBook Air projected to reach sales of 1.6M per quarter

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Sales of Apple's ultraportable MacBook Air notebook continue to grow, and are expected to reach an average of 1.6 million units per quarter over the next 12 months.



Analyst Mark Moskowitz with J.P. morgan sees the MacBook Air becoming a $7 billion-plus revenue driver for Apple with continued growth over the coming months. He noted that unit growth for the thin-and-light notebook accelerated for the fourth straight frame last quarter.



In the third quarter of calendar 2011, Apple sold 923,000 units of the MacBook Air, representing 838.6 percent year-over-year growth. On a sequential basis, the MacBook Air grew 43.8 percent, outpacing total Mac unit growth of 17.1 percent.



Another potential boost for the MacBook Air is China, where Moskowitz believes Apple's expanding presence could be a boon for Mac sales. He noted that in the last quarter, MacBook Air units grew 339 percent year over year in China, versus 76.5 percent for the rest of the Mac lineup.



Moskowitz also doesn't see notebooks based on Intel's Ultrabook specification as posing a significant threat to the MacBook Air. He said the first run of Ultrabooks lack the features and price necessary to compete with Apple.



"In general, we think that Ultrabooks are highly-discretionary devices, and pricing on competitive offerings must fall below $800 before posing a viable threat to Apple's MacBook Air," he wrote in a note to investors. "In our view, Apple's first mover advantage and optimized feature set and form factor command a higher price that early adopters, productivity users, and Apple enthusiasts are willing to absorb."







Numerous reports have indicated that the initial lineup of Ultrabooks have failed to gain traction on the market, and PC makers are set to lower their retail prices this holiday season in an effort to boost sales. Those lower prices are also expected to be aided by a $100 marketing subsidy from Intel.



Ultrabooks have struggled while the MacBook Air continues to grow. Last month, Morgan Stanley revealed that the thin-and-light notebook now represents 28 percent of Apple's notebook shipments.



There are expectations that Apple will expand the MacBook Air lineup in 2012 beyond its current offerings with screen sizes of 11.6 inches and 13.3 inches. The company is rumored to build a new model with a 15-inch screen, and reports have claimed the new, larger MacBook Air will debut in early 2012.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    If the analyst is comparing the mba to netbooks, when stating that "Apple's first mover advantage and optimized feature set and form factor command a higher price that early adopters, productivity users, and Apple enthusiasts are willing to absorb.", then he would correctly be pointing out why a $1000-$1500 mba is doing well compared to netbooks.



    But if the comparison is related to ultrabooks, as it should be in comparing apples to apples, or as close as possible (and no pun intended), then it's off base given pricing on comparable ultrabooks is not coming in under the mba (apples to apples).



    Like with the iPod, Apple is ruling the category that they defined - and those trying to compete head to head will find it difficult to impossible to beat Apple at their own game. The Apple haters will point out the one or two units that come close to competing and how pricing is better - but from a business standpoint, Apple is able to do what they're doing while making margins that no other company can do - making it a sustainable long-term model. That's just not what most other companies have been able to do and I don't see any of them really having any impact on Apple's model going forward.
  • Reply 2 of 34
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jmgregory1 View Post


    If the analyst is comparing the mba to netbooks, when stating that "Apple's first mover advantage and optimized feature set and form factor command a higher price that early adopters, productivity users, and Apple enthusiasts are willing to absorb.", then he would correctly be pointing out why a $1000-$1500 mba is doing well compared to netbooks.



    He's specifically comparing the MBA to other ultrabooks in that same category. His comment about Apple commanding a higher price is regarding Apple's mindshare in this market segment. Meaning, between a $999 MBA and an $899 Acer Aspire S3 customers are going to choose the MBA. For customers to seriously consider the competition in this segment they will have to be priced another $100 less, or 20% below the MBA.
  • Reply 3 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    He's specifically comparing the MBA to other ultrabooks in that same category. His comment about Apple commanding a higher price is regarding Apple's mindshare in this market segment. Meaning, between a $999 MBA and an $899 Acer Aspire S3 customers are going to choose the MBA. For customers to seriously consider the competition in this segment they will have to be priced another $100 less, or 20% below the MBA.



    Do you think that laptop/tablet units like the Asus Transformer Prime will eat into the ultralight laptop category?



    There is talk that the iPad is reducing sales of the Air already, and it is not as versatile as the new Transformer, given that it is only a tablet, and not a tablet/notebook. Will other manufacturers come out with similar products? Will the tablet/notebook eat into the ultralight laptop category?
  • Reply 4 of 34
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    That's because the MacBook Airs are awesome. Best laptop I've ever owned. 15" would make it perfection- at least for me (my wife prefers the 11")
  • Reply 5 of 34
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    don't get the excitement



    saw the MBA and MBP in the store next to each other and bought the MBP without a second thought. the MBA screen looks like crap compared to MBP
  • Reply 6 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    There are expectations that Apple will expand the MacBook Air lineup in 2012 beyond its current offerings with screen sizes of 11.6 inches and 13.3 inches. The company is rumored to build a new model with a 15-inch screen, and reports have claimed the new, larger MacBook Air will debut in early 2012.



    If they removed the border around the screen and went with an edge to edge display they could probably fit 13" and 15" screens in the current models.



    I would love it if they made the MBA in a range of colours similiar to the iPod Nano. The current silver and black MBA just looks so bland.
  • Reply 7 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post


    don't get the excitement



    saw the MBA and MBP in the store next to each other and bought the MBP without a second thought. the MBA screen looks like crap compared to MBP



    Really? I looked at the MBP in my local AppleStore, could hardly see a thing on the screen because the reflection was so bad. The MBA has a fantastic antiglare screen. Makes such a difference when you're using it all day. I know you can get an antiglare option on the MBP but it's very expensive. I also love how light the MBA is. The MBP is really heavy, especially when you have to carry it around a lot.
  • Reply 8 of 34
    I presently have a 17" PowerBook G-4 that I love and use constantly. If the MacAir ever expands to the 17"screen, I will certainly be a ready and willing buyer. That extra screen space really comes in handy.
  • Reply 9 of 34
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post


    Really? I looked at the MBP in my local AppleStore, could hardly see a thing on the screen because the reflection was so bad. The MBA has a fantastic antiglare screen. Makes such a difference when you're using it all day. I know you can get an antiglare option on the MBP but it's very expensive. I also love how light the MBA is. The MBP is really heavy, especially when you have to carry it around a lot.





    saw them in best buy



    in the galaxy picture on the desktop or whatever it's called the MBA colors were all washed out compared to the MBP



    then there is the issue of storage. i have close to 100GB of photos i'll be importing into iphoto, something like 1500 apps and other data



    for the price of the MBA i can buy a MBP and install the momentus hard drive in there that's a hybrid SSD/platter drive and get faster performance
  • Reply 10 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post




    for the price of the MBA i can buy a MBP and install the momentus hard drive in there that's a hybrid SSD/platter drive and get faster performance



    Ya man! I can get a ford F150 for the price of a Mazda Rx 8! The F150 can hold tons of cargo in the back, and can haul way more then the Rx 8 could ever hope too!



    Who would ever buy a Mazda Rx8 when they can buy a ford F150 for the same price!
  • Reply 11 of 34
    irelandireland Posts: 17,747member
    As an ex-Macbook Air owner I can wholeheartedly recommend one.
  • Reply 12 of 34
    irelandireland Posts: 17,747member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post


    saw them in best buy



    in the galaxy picture on the desktop or whatever it's called



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andromeda_Galaxy
  • Reply 13 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Andysol View Post


    That's because the MacBook Airs are awesome. Best laptop I've ever owned. 15" would make it perfection- at least for me (my wife prefers the 11")



    Not sure I see the 15-inch version as a good option. The biggest advantage of the Air is its weight and it's simply impossible to go to 15 inches without a significant weight penalty.



    Just going from the 11 to the 13 in the existing model means a leap in weight from 2.38 points to 2.96 pounds. A 15-inch Air would not be that much lighter than a 13-inch Macbook Pro and as such you start to lose the reason for going with an Air over a Pro.



    What I do see happening, though, is that there will be weight improvements made in the Pro line which in turn will further erode the difference between the two lines, hence making the 15-inch Air a rather curious product. If, for example, the next generation of Pros check in at let's say 3.9 pounds, 4.9 pounds, and 5.9 pounds for the 13-, 15-, and 17-inch models, respectively, a 3.6-pound 15-inch Air would be a hard sell. After all, if the choice were between a 3.9-pound 13-inch Pro priced at $1,249 or a 3.6-pound 15-inch Air starting at something like $1,700 with similar performance, few would value the additional two inches in screen enough to spend more money and wind up with a marginally lighter device.



    If the 15-inch model does materialize, then there will be minimal changes to the form factor of the Pro line but I do think Apple is more inclined to shave weight off the Pros than to introduce a 15-inch Air instead.
  • Reply 14 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post


    saw them in best buy



    in the galaxy picture on the desktop or whatever it's called the MBA colors were all washed out compared to the MBP



    then there is the issue of storage. i have close to 100GB of photos i'll be importing into iphoto, something like 1500 apps and other data



    for the price of the MBA i can buy a MBP and install the momentus hard drive in there that's a hybrid SSD/platter drive and get faster performance



    Storage is a problem I agree, especially if like me you have a large iTunes collection. I got a portable external hard with 1TB to get around that. Not ideal but it's ok.



    Shame they can't come up with a hybrid screen which has bright vibrant colours but no glare. Not sure if that is technically possible. Who knows maybe if they do eventually merge the MBP and MBA they will come up with a solution.
  • Reply 15 of 34
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    i was thinking about that but then it's $1500 or more for a laptop, in 2011, with no discrete GPU



    i was originally going to buy a early 2011 refurb MBP but couldn't come up with a plan to sneak it in the house and surprise my wife. the retail box easily fit into my backpack
  • Reply 16 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    [...] Moskowitz also doesn't see notebooks based on Intel's Ultrabook specification as posing a significant threat to the MacBook Air. He said the first run of Ultrabooks lack the features and price necessary to compete with Apple. [...]



    And, if you really must run Windows for some reason, you can install and run it on any MacBook Air.

    Ultrabooks thus lack any compelling features. The only way to compete is by undercutting the MacBook Air in price.

    Which, as we all know, leads to the inevitable race to the bottom.



    Good luck with all of that, Ultrabook makers.
  • Reply 17 of 34
    mhiklmhikl Posts: 471member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jmgregory1 View Post


    . . . Like with the iPod, Apple is ruling the category that they defined - and those trying to compete head to head will find it difficult to impossible to beat Apple at their own game.



    Exactly, jmgregory1.



    So goes the iPad along with the iPod and MBA. Apple did define the personal computer but failed to rule that category while learning valuable lessons, nonetheless. And in categories it does not dominate by units sold, it does dominate in profits which allows it the time and encourages its efforts to design and innovate.



    Hard to argue with dollars and sense.
  • Reply 18 of 34
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member
    With the MacBook Air 11-inch outselling the 13-inch model 10 to 1. That is why Apple should make also a MacBook Air 7-inch to outsell them all. Because true portability is the number one feature in this case!
  • Reply 19 of 34
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post


    then there is the issue of storage. i have close to 100GB of photos i'll be importing into iphoto, something like 1500 apps and other data



    I guess you figure that makes you pretty much average, right? Not on the thin part of the bell curve at all, right?
  • Reply 20 of 34
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post


    don't get the excitement



    saw the MBA and MBP in the store next to each other and bought the MBP without a second thought. the MBA screen looks like crap compared to MBP



    The air screen does have very poor color reproduction at angles. That's definately true.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post


    saw them in best buy



    in the galaxy picture on the desktop or whatever it's called the MBA colors were all washed out compared to the MBP



    then there is the issue of storage. i have close to 100GB of photos i'll be importing into iphoto, something like 1500 apps and other data



    for the price of the MBA i can buy a MBP and install the momentus hard drive in there that's a hybrid SSD/platter drive and get faster performance



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jhende7 View Post


    Ya man! I can get a ford F150 for the price of a Mazda Rx 8! The F150 can hold tons of cargo in the back, and can haul way more then the Rx 8 could ever hope too!



    Who would ever buy a Mazda Rx8 when they can buy a ford F150 for the same price!



    Jhende said it perfectly. You're saying the air isn't good because it doesn't have the storage. You might not "get" it for your application, but others definately can see the benefit.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post


    Not sure I see the 15-inch version as a good option. The biggest advantage of the Air is its weight and it's simply impossible to go to 15 inches without a significant weight penalty.



    Just going from the 11 to the 13 in the existing model means a leap in weight from 2.38 points to 2.96 pounds. A 15-inch Air would not be that much lighter than a 13-inch Macbook Pro and as such you start to lose the reason for going with an Air over a Pro.



    What I do see happening, though, is that there will be weight improvements made in the Pro line which in turn will further erode the difference between the two lines, hence making the 15-inch Air a rather curious product. If, for example, the next generation of Pros check in at let's say 3.9 pounds, 4.9 pounds, and 5.9 pounds for the 13-, 15-, and 17-inch models, respectively, a 3.6-pound 15-inch Air would be a hard sell. After all, if the choice were between a 3.9-pound 13-inch Pro priced at $1,249 or a 3.6-pound 15-inch Air starting at something like $1,700 with similar performance, few would value the additional two inches in screen enough to spend more money and wind up with a marginally lighter device.



    If the 15-inch model does materialize, then there will be minimal changes to the form factor of the Pro line but I do think Apple is more inclined to shave weight off the Pros than to introduce a 15-inch Air instead.



    I doubt the 15" air would jump that much in price or weight. The main weight jump from 11 to 13 are because of the batteries (which give significant improvement). The 15" would have slightly larger batteries. But not as drastic. And a 3.3 lb 15" sounds awesome vs a 5.6 lb MBP (if portability AND screen size is a plus)
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