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MacBook to bolster Apple\'s June quarter

updated 01:20 pm EDT, Thu May 18, 2006

MacBook good for Apple

Apple's newly launched MacBook Pro line is expected to boost its June quarter sales, according to one analyst who calls the product an "iPod companion." American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu told clients that he expects the new product to help bolster Apple sales during the current June quarter, as it hit the market a few months before the analyst expected and well ahead of the educational buying season. "We have a higher degree of confidence that Apple is on track to hit the upper end, if not exceed its guidance of $4.2-4.4 billion in revenue and $0.39-0.42 in EPS." The company cited timing of the product release as a critical factor, widespread availability, and the product's competitive specs compared to similar offerings from other PC vendors: the MacBook "screams iPod companion and portable digital media center."

"We find the timing important as it is well ahead of the back-to-school buying season that starts in July and pricing and specifications appear very competitive," Wu said in his note to clients obtained by MacNN. "To us, MacBook screams iPod companion. Outside of students, we believe the product also makes a lot of sense for mainstream consumers, particularly switchers."

The analyst also said its checks indicate pent-up demand for the new consumer notebook offering as well as strong orders. On Amazon.com, Wu noted, the top three selling PCs are MacBooks beating out Toshiba, HPQ, Sony, and Acer. The products are much more readily available than the professional line of laptops introduced in January and are priced to sell.

"Pricing and specifications appear very competitive and a vast improvement from iBook, its predecessor," the analyst said. "There are three models with prices ranging from $1099 to $1499. We believe the entry-level system for $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, FrontRow with Apple remote, Gigbit Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth, Mac OS X Tiger, the iLife suite, and the option to run Windows XP through Boot Camp."

Two notes of caution

The company, however, is skeptical of Apple's pricing on the high-end black MacBook and is cautious about the possible cannibalization of sales from its high-end laptop line. Wu said that the $1499 high-end version with a black matte finish may be a little overpriced, but that Apple appears to be confident that some customers will pay the $200 premium for the black color.

"The MacBook is so powerful that we fear it could cannibalize sales of its high-end MacBook Pro. The only difference between the models are the screen sizes (15-inch and 17-inch vs. 13-inch) and graphics capability (ATI vs. embedded INTC graphics). Then again, the MacBook Pro is aimed at professional and high-end users."

The firm maintains a buy on Apple stock with $101 price target, saying that the company is well-positioned to capitalize with its "unique and defendable" iPod/iTunes and Macintosh franchise.

"We believe Appple is well-positioned to continue above market growth rates with arguably the industry's most powerful and complete stack of hardware, software, and service addressing the digital entertainment space," Wu said.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. jwdsail

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Sigh...

    Dumb-a** "anal"ysts ..

    "The MacBook is so powerful that we fear it could cannibalize sales of its high-end MacBook Pro. The only difference between the models are the screen sizes (15-inch and 17-inch vs. 13-inch) and graphics capability (ATI vs. embedded INTC graphics). Then again, the MacBook Pro is aimed at professional and high-end users."

    What the MBP has, that the MB does not:

    Better Keyboard non-glossy (unless it's requested) screen - this prob. will matter to most working with photos/video/color sensitive areas - not just "Pros". Dual-link DVI - support for high end high res displays ExpresCard /34 slot MBP 17 also includes FW800 and DL SuperDrive

    And most pro users running Apple's Pro apps will find that the apps will not run on the MB due to the lack of graphics support.

    These guys need to stick to their day job.

    jwd

  1. I WAS the One

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    HAAA!!!

    Damn bro! you just punch the face of that guy with one opinion! Hey jwdsail when you start your own webpage about mac comments and news don't forget to tell me 'cause I will be sponsor number one!

  1. kw99

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    I think they are right

    about "cannibilalization" but it will be temporary, and Apple really did not have a choice in terms of product release timing and pricing. Consider, the Core Duo chips were available first and they were significantly better than the best G4's. So Apple used them in the MacBook Pro first, and priced them accordingly as the "pro" model. Now, Apple releases the iBook replacements with similar specs for a much lower cost. It cannot significantly discount the price of the MacBook Pros because they are the "pro" models. Later, when the Core2 chips are available from Intel, Apple will put them into the MacBook Pro's to better justify the price difference and distinguish the "pro" models from the "consumer" MacBooks. And moving forward after that, Apple will continue to put the one-generation-better Core(X) chips in the MacBook Pro.

    Fortunately, the PowerMac G5 machines are still very competent (especially the Quad), so Apple can keep that line going until the desktop Core2 chips are available. Imagine the outcry if Apple had done the same with laptops and released the iBook-replacement MacBook first and waited until later to release the MacBook Pro. Most of the rumors sites were even predicting it. Now that would REALLY be cannibalization (of PowerBook G4 sales).

    Some potential MacBook Pro customers may care about things like Dual-link DVI, ExpressCard slot, and dedicated graphics chips. But probably just as many want a small fast great-looking Mac OS X laptop with the Intel CPU. Given the obvious "coolness" of the MacBook, and the current specs and pricing, how could the MacBook NOT cannibalize sales of the MacBook Pro.

  1. MacGeek50

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Cannibalize?

    The MacBook is supposed to replace more than one laptop. Cannibalize is not the word here. The MacBook was meant to replace the 12" Powerbook and the iBook. Apple will have fewer laptops to choose from. I suspect some new Mac models will come out after the main lines are replaced.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: sigh

    What the MBP has, that the MB does not:

    Better Keyboard non-glossy (unless it's requested) screen - this prob. will matter to most working with photos/video/color sensitive areas - not just "Pros". Dual-link DVI - support for high end high res displays ExpresCard /34 slot MBP 17 also includes FW800 and DL SuperDrive
    Not following the wonderful world of MacBooks vs Pros, how is it a better keyboard?

    And most pro users running Apple's Pro apps will find that the apps will not run on the MB due to the lack of graphics support.

    These guys need to stick to their day job.


    At the end of his comment, he specifically says: "Then again, the MacBook Pro is aimed at professional and high-end users.". So you making a comment about pro users is kind of pointless.

    The point I believe he's trying to make is that, with the LARGE gap in price between the MacBook and Pro machines, people won't find the extras worth the $800 extra you'll have to fork over ($1600 to get the FW800 and DL drive). Thus, lost revenue.

    The biggest issue I have with the MacBooks vs. Pro machines is Apple's completely absurd decision to decide "Consumers/low-end users get small screens, Pros get big screens". Why can't a consumer get a 15" screen for consumer prices (like $1399-$1499)? And why can't pros/road-warriors, who need Express Card and better graphics capabilities (like being able to actually run Apple's pro apps), but want a smaller form factor for easy traveling, actually get something like that?

    I guess, based on Apple's computer line-up for the past 6 years or so, that we, as mac users, are just too stupid to be able to figure out what computer to get if we have more than 3 options to pick from.

  1. kw99

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Efficiency

    "I guess, based on Apple's computer line-up for the past 6 years or so, that we, as mac users, are just too stupid to be able to figure out what computer to get if we have more than 3 options to pick from."

    Interesting that you picked "6" years in your comment, because that about how long Apple has been profitable again, after amost going out-of-business (or being sold off to IBM or Sun). Your choices are not unlimited because Apple runs a tight ship. During the bad years, Apple had countless choices of LCs, Performas, Centris's, Quadras, PowerMacs (some that were not all that "power"ful), PowerBooks, Duos, etc. It was not very efficient and Apple lost millions. Since the iMac, Jobs has cut the lineup to a handful. I like the new efficient and profitable (and not "beleaguered") Apple better; I think the choices Apple offers are focused and smart; it's not because Apple thinks its customers are "too stupid." And Apple will definitely expand the laptop line-up a bit more (after the Intel transition is firmly in place) to go after the "ultra-compact notebook" and large-screen consumer areas. It would be dumb not to...

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