MacBook release builds confidence in Apple's quarter

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
The arrival of Apple's new MacBook this month came as a surprise to analysts for American Technology Research, who say the immediate availability of the notebooks is sure to strengthen the company's current fiscal quarter.



"MacBook is shipping 1-2 months ahead of our checks (we had anticipated the June/July timeframe)," analyst Shaw Wu told clients in a research note issued on Thursday. "We thus have a higher degree of confidence that Apple is on track to hit the upper-end, if not exceed, its guidance of $4.2 to 4.4 billion in revenue and 39 to 42 cents in earnings-per-share."



Wu sees the timing of the MacBook launch as important because it comes well ahead of Apple's critical back-to-school buying season, which begins around the July timeframe. He believes the notebooks are on their way to becoming the company's second highest volume Mac computer behind the iMac Core Duo, possibly making a run for the No. 1 spot.



"Pricing and specifications appear very competitive and a vast improvement from [the] iBook, its predecessor," the analyst wrote."We believe the entry-level system from $1099 is a particularly good deal that includes a 1.83GHz dual-core Intel processor, 13-inch widescreen LCD, 512MB of memory, 60GB HDD, iSight video camera, Front Row with Apple remote, GigE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Mac OS X Tiger, the iLife suite and the option to run Windows XP through Boot Camp."



Wu says the new MacBook "screams iPod companion and portable digital media center." While it's clear that Apple is targeting students and the education markets with the notebooks, they also make "a lot of sense for mainstream consumer, particularly switchers," he said.



Unlike Apple's professional line of MacBook Pro notebooks, Wu said the availability of the new MacBook appears fairly good in its first week on the market. "Our checks indicate strong orders and pent-up demand as many customers have been waiting for this low-cost Intel mobile Mac," he wrote. "In fact, on Amazon.com, the top three selling PCs are MacBooks, beating out Toshiba, HP, Sony and Acer."



Still, the analyst has his share of concerns. He believes the the $1499 high-end version with a black matte finish may be a bit overpriced. "Apple appears to be confident that some customers will pay the $200 premium for the black color," he wrote.



Another concern is that the MacBook's feature set and attractive price points could deter users from purchasing the company's higher-priced MacBook Pro offerings. "The MacBook is so powerful that we fear it could cannibalize sales of its high-end MacBook Pro," Wu told clients. "The only difference between the models are the screen size (15-inch and 17-inch vs. 13-inch) and graphics capability (ATI vs. embedded Intel graphics)."



Overall, Wu remains bullish on Apple. He believes the risk-reward on the company's shares remains attractive, trading at 25 times his 2007 calendar year earnings-per-share estimates of $2.59. "We remain firm believers that the move to digital entertainment is a multi-year trend and that Apple is well-positioned to capitalize with its unique and defendable iPod + iTunes and Macintosh franchise," he wrote.



American Technology Research maintains its Buy rating on shares of Apple with a price target of $101.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    Just a bite overpriced?
  • Reply 2 of 36
    xflarexflare Posts: 199member
    This is the same guy that said the MacBook would not appear until June/July......... why don't they just give it up, clearly they don't know what they're talking about.
  • Reply 3 of 36
    nathan22tnathan22t Posts: 317member
    Quote:

    We remain firm believers that the move to digital entertainment is a multi-year trend and that Apple is well-positioned to capitalize with its unique and defendable iPod + iTunes and Macintosh franchise.



    I love how analysts can make nothing sound like something... just by using a certain vocabulary and sentence structure
  • Reply 4 of 36
    jivebabyjivebaby Posts: 22member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by xflare

    This is the same guy that said the MacBook would not appear until June/July......... why don't they just give it up, clearly they don't know what they're talking about.



    They usually know just a bit more then the street which is the difference between making a fortune and taking a bath on wall street.
  • Reply 5 of 36
    crees!crees! Posts: 501member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by theapplegenius

    Just a bite overpriced?



    Exactly.. grrrrrrrrr.
  • Reply 6 of 36
    kim kap solkim kap sol Posts: 2,987member
    Quote:

    The arrival of Apple's new MacBook this month came as a surprise to analysts for American Technology Research, who say the immediate availability of the notebooks is sure to strengthen the company's current fiscal quarter.



    Oh yeah...the MacBook was one HUGE surprise. NOBODY expected this release.



    Who is this analyst and from what rock did he crawl under from? Was it really a surprise to him or is it a deformed interp.
  • Reply 7 of 36
    amac4meamac4me Posts: 282member
    "The MacBook is so powerful that we fear it could cannibalize sales of its high-end MacBook Pro," Wu told clients. "The only difference between the models are the screen size (15-inch and 17-inch vs. 13-inch) and graphics capability (ATI vs. embedded Intel graphics)."



    WRONG ... there is no ExpressCard Slot for the MacBook, it only exists in the MacBook Pro. That's a major difference between the systems.



    On the timing of the release, I think the MacBook release was Strategic and Just In Time as it will help Apple's current quarter numbers and Mac unit sales.
  • Reply 8 of 36
    rinninrinnin Posts: 22member
    The graphics on the new Macbook are gonna suck bigtime!!

    Doesnt enen have a proper video card and video memory is shared with system memory!? Phil Schiller said its not suitable for games like Doom3. What students dont want to play the odd game or two?

    If it had dedicated graphics instead of that Intel junk it might cannibalise MBP sales but this is where Apple crippled them. I'm surprised there isnt a bigger debate about this issue.

    I definitely wont be in a hurry to buy till I read some reviews.
  • Reply 9 of 36
    eckingecking Posts: 1,588member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rinnin

    The graphics on the new Macbook are gonna suck bigtime!!

    Doesnt enen have a proper video card and video memory is shared with system memory!? Phil Schiller said its not suitable for games like Doom3. What students dont want to play the odd game or two?

    If it had dedicated graphics instead of that Intel junk it might cannibalise MBP sales but this is where Apple crippled them. I'm surprised there isnt a bigger debate about this issue.

    I definitely wont be in a hurry to buy till I read some reviews.




    What students only game on a computer and won't buy a next gen console or don't own a current gen console?



    I mean if they "play an odd game or two" isn't is way more likely it'll be a console?
  • Reply 10 of 36
    mark2005mark2005 Posts: 1,158member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rinnin

    The graphics on the new Macbook are gonna suck bigtime!!

    Doesnt enen have a proper video card and video memory is shared with system memory!? Phil Schiller said its not suitable for games like Doom3. What students dont want to play the odd game or two?

    If it had dedicated graphics instead of that Intel junk it might cannibalise MBP sales but this is where Apple crippled them. I'm surprised there isnt a bigger debate about this issue.

    I definitely wont be in a hurry to buy till I read some reviews.




    First, the Macbook with integrated graphics beats the iBook with graphics card hands down (per Macworld benchmark). And over a million iBooks were sold. Maybe those students didn't want to play the odd game or two?



    The Macbook beats the latest Powerbook in everything except possibly games where it lags but not by that much (per Macworld Unreal Tournament benchmark). And only fools buy a Celeron or cheapie laptop to play games. And why PC people buy premium-priced Alienware computers to play games.



    And that so simply explains why there is little debate about it.
  • Reply 11 of 36
    mark2005mark2005 Posts: 1,158member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by mark2005

    First, the Macbook with integrated graphics beats the iBook with graphics card hands down (per Macworld benchmark). And over a million iBooks were sold. Maybe those students didn't want to play the odd game or two?





    To be exact, the benchmarks showed that the iBook beat the Macbook at running ... Photoshop. But there's little doubt that when Photoshop becomes Universal, that the Macbook will clobber the iBook at that too.
  • Reply 12 of 36
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,642member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by xflare

    This is the same guy that said the MacBook would not appear until June/July......... why don't they just give it up, clearly they don't know what they're talking about.



    Because, during the conference call, all Apple would say about the delivery when repeatedly asked, was that it would be in time for the July quarter back to school buying season.
  • Reply 13 of 36
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,642member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kim kap sol

    Oh yeah...the MacBook was one HUGE surprise. NOBODY expected this release.



    Who is this analyst and from what rock did he crawl under from? Was it really a surprise to him or is it a deformed interp.




    Apple hinted strongly, during the conference call, that it would be ready for the July quarter. While they wouldn't say, they brushed aside any idea that it would be available sooner. Analysts can only go by what they are told. If Apple had said that they were trying to get it out as soon as possible, it would be different, but they didn't. Wolf, and others, pushed them on that, but they stuck to the ready by July quarter, and can't...competitive reasons.
  • Reply 14 of 36
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,642member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by mark2005

    To be exact, the benchmarks showed that the iBook beat the Macbook at running ... Photoshop. But there's little doubt that when Photoshop becomes Universal, that the Macbook will clobber the iBook at that too.



    When Merom comes out, if Apple moves to that on the MB's, as they likely will on the MBP's, that will make a big difference as well.
  • Reply 15 of 36
    minderbinderminderbinder Posts: 1,703member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rinnin

    The graphics on the new Macbook are gonna suck bigtime!!



    And why did you choose to post this on the article about an analyst, instead of one of the *many* articles about the computer...?
  • Reply 16 of 36
    scavangerscavanger Posts: 286member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ecking

    What students only game on a computer and won't buy a next gen console or don't own a current gen console?



    I mean if they "play an odd game or two" isn't is way more likely it'll be a console?




    Not all games are availble on the consoles. WoW, and many other MMO's aren't availble on the consoles. I also disagree with the benchmarks quoted concearning graphics. Dedicated cards are better then intergrated even when they are a bit behind.
  • Reply 17 of 36
    rinninrinnin Posts: 22member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by mark2005

    First, the Macbook with integrated graphics beats the iBook with graphics card hands down (per Macworld benchmark). And over a million iBooks were sold. Maybe those students didn't want to play the odd game or two?



    The Macbook beats the latest Powerbook in everything except possibly games where it lags but not by that much (per Macworld Unreal Tournament benchmark). And only fools buy a Celeron or cheapie laptop to play games. And why PC people buy premium-priced Alienware computers to play games.



    And that so simply explains why there is little debate about it.




    Here's a vid to prove how the video lacks behind and stutters while loading a simple iMovie theme:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnO5uJIvZG8

    The user also performs an Xbench test and shows that the video card sux.

    Still the machine itself is pretty sweet.

    Just a pity about the graphics card (if it can even be called that).
  • Reply 18 of 36
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by amac4me

    WRONG ... there is no ExpressCard Slot for the MacBook, it only exists in the MacBook Pro. That's a major difference between the systems.



    That's barely usable at the moment. Apart jpennington's report of using the SIIG flash reader adapter, I haven't heard of anyone having an ExpressCard and putting it to productive use. Even then, the report is that the MBP won't sleep properly with the reader installed.



    The MacBooks don't have a backlit keyboard either. That was one of the deciding factors for me, I assumed the MacBook would not get that feature.
  • Reply 19 of 36
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,642member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rinnin

    Here's a vid to prove how the video lacks behind and stutters while loading a simple iMovie theme:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnO5uJIvZG8

    The user also performs an Xbench test and shows that the video card sux.

    Still the machine itself is pretty sweet.

    Just a pity about the graphics card (if it can even be called that).




    If you read what he said in his video, he said that the graphics chip was fine for everything except heavy gaming, and he, correctly, attributed the stuttering to the lack of RAM, which can be a problem. 1 GB certainly does help.
  • Reply 20 of 36
    rinninrinnin Posts: 22member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by melgross

    If you read what he said in his video, he said that the graphics chip was fine for everything except heavy gaming, and he, correctly, attributed the stuttering to the lack of RAM, which can be a problem. 1 GB certainly does help.



    So does everyone then agree that the video capability of this new MacBook is far superior to that of the previous iBook with its dedicated video card which it replaces?

    I was led to believe that intel shared graphics would suck under pressure especially using Quartz Extreme and CoreImage.
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