Mac shipments to increase in the wake of new MacBooks
Apple recently announced aluminum unibody refreshes of its 13" and 15" MacBook Pros at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). The new laptops' highlights include Apple's aluminum unibody design and new high performance batteries which offer up to 7 hours of battery life on a charge, and a 5 year reported lifetime.
Notable downsides include the hardware specs being lowered slightly in the base models and the battery no longer being user replaceable. The base models of the 13" and 15" notebooks retail for $1,199 and $1,699 respectively, down from $1,299 and $1,999 for the previous base models.
According to Kathryn Huberty, a financial analyst at Morgan Stanley, the new MacBook Pros have helped propel Apple sales to grow at a faster rate than PC sales. Apple reportedly posted a 25% month-to-month increase in Mac shipments in May, while the entire market only saw modest 1 percent growth.
Ms. Huberty cites Apple stepping up its shipping, its new models and a recovering economy as factors in the company's revived growth. She now predicts a quarter to quarter growth rate of 12 percent, having upped her estimates from sales of 2.5 million units to sales of 2.4 million units.
The previous quarter Apple had experience an uncharacteristic drop, seeing sales dip 3 percent from the previous year. However, it should be noted that the PC market as whole dipped 3.1 percent, so this drop was not unusual. Apple's better-than-average turnaround has been helped greatly by offering lower base-priced systems with slightly lower hardware specs. Apple has cut up to $850 off its older systems, which are also selling well.
There are estimated to be over a billion PCs in the wild compared to approximately 30 million Macs, giving Apple an estimated 3.5 percent marketshare. Despite posting better growth than PC manufacturers, as a whole, Apple still trails them in quarterly shipments and was only the fourth place manufacturer in terms of unit shipments in recent market studies, with HP, Dell, and Acer accompanying the top three spots.