Analysts expect Apple’s new MacBook to drive market share gains in near future

“Analysts expect Apple Computer’s new MacBook to be a significant demand driver for the company, leading to market share gains and possible earnings upside in the near future,” Maya Roney reports for Forbes. “The new product also includes a $100 price hike, with prices starting at $1099 versus $999 for the iBook. This is a positive move that should help drive margin improvement, according to Credit Suisse analyst Robert Semple, who maintained an “outperform” rating and $90 price target on Apple shares. ‘The MacBook is among Apple’s most competitively priced products and arrives just in time to meet the US education buying season, traditionally one of iBook’s best customer segments,’ wrote Semple in a note to investors. ‘We believe the MacBook is the single most important Mac to transition to Intel, mainly due to the continued secular shift to mobile computing,’ the analyst added.”

“With 80% of its Macs now ported to Intel, Semple believes Apple is once again in position to drive PC market share gains for the foreseeable future,” Roney reports. “For the June quarter, the analyst estimates Mac shipments will increase 11.5% quarter-on-quarter to 1.24 million, which he said could prove conservative if Apple has enough supply of its MacBooks to meet customer demand.”

Full article with comments from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “LinuxGuy” for the heads up.]

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16 Comments

  1. From the article: “”The new product also includes a $100 price hike, with prices starting at $1099 versus $999 for the iBook. This is a positive move that should help drive margin improvement, according to Credit Suisse analyst Robert Semple…”

    This is an incredible leap of faith by the commentator. A price hike could mean a margin increase, IF the hardware costs now were nearly identicle to what came before the hike. Yet it’s well known that the Intel-based Macs – across the board – are more expensive to make then the PPC versions were. The higher costs of Intel CPUs and chipsets are the culprit (the CPU alone is roughly $100 more expensive than the dual core G4). So this price increase is not improving Apple’s margins – it’s simply covering Apple’s costs.

    Second, any price increase on an entry level product CANNOT be considered a “positive move”. The whole point of making an entry level laptop is to make the cost of ‘entry’ less egregious than your competitors! What’s worse here is that Apple also passed an important psychological barrier to entry; by breaching the $1000 price point. When you’ve got DELL laptops floating around in the $700 range, it’s one thing to argue the merits of a $900 iBook to a cost conscious consumer – the reduced need for separate security software purchases is usually enough to win the day. But when the numbers become ‘hundreds vs a thousand or so’, the conceptual difference becomes harder to overcome than the (relatively) small increase might otherwise indicate.

    The pricing here is such a bad move that I’m convinced that Apple had absolutely no choice in making it. In fact it had to be more than just not being able to make any real money per unit without raising prices. The seemingly obvious solution would have been a MacBook with a cheaper single core CPU. A sub-$1000 price would have certainly been possible in that case, so one has to wonder why Apple didn’t do that. My guess is that, without dual cores, Intel’s integrated graphics chipset ‘solution’ is in fact quite a dud. The performance hit must have been huge for Apple to forgo even the possibility of a sub-grand entry level laptop.

    All this is really disheartening. No one with a brain can claim that increasing marketshare isn’t improtant to Apple (they wouldn’t be working so diligently at keeping iPod/iTMS such a dominant value leader if that were the case). Or that it wouldn’t be good for the company (let alone the computing world). However it’s obvious that the Intel partnership is not allowing nearly as viable a strategy to make that happen on the computer side of things.

    Oh, and I can’t wait to find out how hot a black MacBook will get!
    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”cool smirk” style=”border:0;” />

  2. Ok, A hundred dollar increase is not, for a conusmer, the best choice- if one had to choose. But, it does include an extra processor, camera, and other options not availble an the entry price-bad for an extra hundred and good that no extra money need be spent, so choose the side you like the best. Apple already has.

    Now, for schools-yes, the extra hundred is going to hurt if you think in tradiational terms. But consider this, would it be better to buy one computer at an extra one hundred dollars or buy two computers for nearly twice the price. If you are a true government employee-twice the price!

    If you look at the value of have two computers in one and can back up any failed unit, then the extra one hundered dollars is a good deal. I know this is the educational market and they do not tend to be the brightest of the bunch. Mainly because they never looked at education as a business-you need return on your dollar of investment. They merely look at the flow of students and money with expected amount of processed untis.

    But I think the price can be offset by the use of the laptops as dual OS systems-which no other company can claim.

    Good or bad-the decicision is up to you.

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  3. Apple never said the Intel partnership would produce “cheaper” Macs.

    What Apple said was that the switch to Intel was necessary because of the dismal performance-per-watt future of the PowerPC line.

    As for the $100 increase in the price of the base notebook, it is VERY reasonable considering all the stuff you get for that C-note. You get:

    * A much faster, dual-core processor
    * Integrated iSight camera
    * Gigabit Ethernet
    * Widescreen 13″ display that’s much brighter and higher resolution than the iBook’s standard screen

    And that’s not even counting niceities like the MagSafe connector, magnetic latch, nicer keyboard, the new trackpad with right-click functionality, and user-replaceable hard drives.

    All that is worth much more than $100 in my opinion, and I think a lot of other people will see it that way, too.

    Apple doesn’t need to compete with the $600 notebook because that market because that is a profit-less business. Apple is focused on profits because it is profits that is funding the development of the entire Mac and iPod ecosystems. As such, the new MacBooks are very reasonably priced. Eventually, I’m sure we will see the price drop down to $999, but I hardly think MacBooks won’t be flying off the shelves because they start for $100 more.

  4. “yes, the extra hundred is going to hurt if you think in tradiational terms.”

    People DO think in traditional terms. If an entry level computer from company A is more expensive than the one from company B, traditonally people have boaught from company B. Simple enough?

    Apple is screwing the pooch with this pricing so seriously, that I think Odyssey is on to something.

  5. “Apple never said the Intel partnership would produce “cheaper” Macs.”

    seem to be a lot of idiots on this site. Did they NEED to say that??? How about just, “we won’t be increasing our prices so much as to make our ability to gain share actually drop” – should they have said that too?

    For those who are a little slow on the uptake, it goes like this: Apple is making a $1000+ ENTRY LEVEL COMPUTER, in a market that is seeing prices in the $800-900 level for EXACTLY the same DC CPU and many of the same features. Debating the wisdom of this is stupid, because the act itself is … wait for it … STOOPID!

  6. One last thing:

    “But I think the price can be offset by the use of the laptops as dual OS systems-which no other company can claim.”

    So, in addition to spending over a thousand on the entry level noteboook, you think spending another few hundred bucks on an unsecure, money-suckng OS is what pushes ‘value’ back towards Apple?

    HAHAHAHAHA! You guys are a piece of work.

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