updated 11:55 am EDT, Mon April 4, 2011
Could reap $2.2 billion per year
Based on checks with Apple's supply chain, sales of the second-generation MacBook Air appear to be holding strong, according to JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz. The product has now been on the market for over five months. In the calendar Q4 of 2010 Apple is estimated to have shipped about 420,000 Airs, representing a growth of 333 percent year-over-year, and 326.8 percent quarter-over-quarter. The overhauled notebook was only made available on October 20th.
Moskowitz describes the current Air as a "quasi-tablet," borrowing traits from the iPad such as thinness, high portability and the ability to start up within seconds. The Air though has other advantages, such as a proper keyboard and a complete operating system which can be used for professional work.
"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 writes. He observes that Q4 2010 was the first quarter in which the Air represented more than 10 percent of Macs, also taking 15 percent of the company's total notebook sales. In 2009, by contrast, the Air managed only 5 percent of sales.
The computer is expected to stay a financially meaningful product for Apple thanks to a base cost of $999 luring people in. Last quarter the system is noted to have generated $559.3 million in revenue, up 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," Moskowitz proposes.