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Analysts: $999 MacBook most significant announcement

updated 04:55 pm EDT, Tue October 14, 2008

Analysts on new MacBooks

The announcement of a $999 plastic MacBook may be more significant than the revelation of metal MacBooks and MacBook Pros, say analysts with UBS and Piper Jaffray. The former firm notes that while the metal notebooks are more attractive, and boast features such as glass trackpads and better graphics hardware, the $999 system is Apple's first notebook under $1,000, which "could be a key psychological threshold," according to UBS' Maynard Um. Many Windows notebooks are priced between $500 and $1,000.

This factor may be particularly important, Um says, in light of the overall economy, which is still suffering badly in spite of gains in recent days. By providing an affordable MacBook, Apple may be able to reach a larger segment of the public; wealthier shoppers, meanwhile, should have access to more attractive hardware combinations.

While Piper Jaffray is generally in agreement with UBS, it adds that the computers may be deliberately arranged to nudge people towards the $1,299 price point, which is actually $300 more than the cheapest last-generation option. It is because of this that Piper anticipates gross margins remaining on track; September-quarter margins are expected to be as high as 33 percent, and it is thought that FY09 margins will beat Apple's estimate of 30 percent.

UBS is predicting EPS of $1.11 off $8.1 billion in revenue for the September quarter, and has set a price target of $125. This is based on a value of 18 times the adjusted EPS estimate for FY09, which is $6.78.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. boris_cleto

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -22

    Fail

    $999 MacBook = Fail.

    Not cheap enough to get customers in the door to up-sell them.

  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +6

    didn't you hear?

    1/3 of every retail computer dollar is spent on Macintoshes, you don't get that with low margin garbage. In these economic times Apple needs to have a sustainable and profitable business, if they think $999 is the price than it be so.

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +7

    wrong

    Didn't the iBook break the $1000 barrier long ago?

    And how can this be true:

    While Piper Jaffray is generally in agreement with UBS, it adds that the computers may be deliberately arranged to nudge people towards the $1,299 price point, which is actually $300 more than the cheapest last-generation option.

    Wouldn't that make the cheapest last-generation option $999? Or are they talking about the white MacBook now selling for $999? Which would then cause one to ask the obvious question: Why did you need to say "which is actually $300 more". Isn't that obvious?

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -11

    amazing...not

    today had to have been a freaking bad joke. No 17" model update? wth? 15" in models with only glossy screens? 320gig HD's are supposed to be an improvement when everyone I know are buying Dells with 500's. You nuked yourself today Apple.

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +6

    A typo

    I'm sure he made a typo; last generation pricing was $1,100, so this is actually $200 more. The point here is, they have lowered the MacBooks they were selling for $1,100 to below $1,000, which is a three-digit figure (as they say here, a psychological barrier), and getting them to buy much cooler-looking computer for $300 more would be essentially selling the same MacBooks of before for $200 more (just in new aluminium shell).

    On the other hand, I have a feeling this lineup will change in three months (at MWSF), with the plastic MB will disappear and the cheapest Alu-MB will drop down to $1,000. I would call it the iPhone price gambit.

  1. lkrupp

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +7

    Nice

    I see the Nobel laureates in economics and Harvard Business School grads are out in force today telling Apple what it needs to do to survive.

    So funny it hurts.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -11

    available while supplies

    These ANALysts really go to the cesspool, where they belong. MacBooks were already selling for $999 before this announcement.

    When the sales tapers off, the MacBook Plastic s*** junk will discontinue.

  1. 11211

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    Rip...

    I think the most significant announcement is that Apple's selling a 13" laptop for $1600 with only a USB connection.

    I'm going to try and pretend that decent PC laptops with SATA/Firewire connections, express card slots, HDMI and optional blu-ray drives (among other features) aren't selling for half the money.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    MBP

    Buy the old MacBook Pro 15.4" for $1,399/$1,599 edu prices.

    Just like the banking disaster, this is a good buying opportunity.

  1. eddd

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    meh

    $899 would have been newsworthy. A $100 price drop for an inferior, older tech model is surprising only because it's so measurely. The biggest news, and the reason Apple might expect lower margins, is that the difference between the Pro and regular models is smaller than ever... 90% of the performance for $700 less. I'm sure these books will cannibalize Pro sales more than ever. THAT's what the analysts should be noting.

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