Piper Jaffray: Macbook Air will take 16% of Mac market by 2008 end

“Interest in the lightweight MacBook Air is high, but sales are modest, according to a survey of Apple resellers conducted by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt blogs for Fortune.

MacDailyNews Note: As any sane observer would surmise, survey or not. Of course everyone wants to see the world’s thinnest notebook and, naturally, some subset of those will have a use for it. The MacBook Pro and MacBook product lines continue to be offered despite the debut of the MacBook Air for those not covered by the MBA’s feature set.

Elmer-DeWitt reports, “‘Customers are more curious but less willing to buy the MacBook Air than they were the original MacBook,’ Munster writes in a report to clients issued this morning. ‘We believe that 16% of Macs by the end of calendar year 2008 will be MacBook Air.'”

MacDailyNews Take: 16% of all Macs! That oughta knock the “foment” right off the lips of the MacBook Air naysayers.

MacDailyNews Note: As per MacDailyNews Reader “Spark” below, in the first calendar quarter of 2007 (Apple’s fiscal Q2 07), Apple sold 1.517 million Macs. In the second calendar quarter, Apple sold 1.764 million Macs. Apple sold 2.164 million and 2.319 million Macs in the third and fourth calendar quarters, respectively. That’s a total of 7.764 million Macs in 2007. 16% of which would be 1,242,240 MacBook Air units (an average of 310,560 per quarter).

Elmer-DeWitt reports, “Munster and his team spoke to 20 Apple specialists on Monday. The impression they got was that MacBook Air sales are coming over and above the MacBook’s, and not cannibalizing Apple’s most popular model.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As Paul Venezia just wrote for InfoWorld, “If you’re looking for a desktop replacement system, get a MacBook Pro. If you’re looking for a basic laptop, get a MacBook. If you’re looking for supreme portability and more than reasonable performance, definitely get a MacBook Air.”

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


  1. Wow.
    That seems a bit optimistic to me.
    The MacBook Air seems to suffer from the “Everybody likes it, but they’re still gonna get the MacBook Pro” syndrome if ya ask me.

    I’d love one, but it would be a complete luxury. I’ll put my cash on the next MacBook Pro with a significant update.

  2. @MDN: “That oughta knock the foment right off the lips of the MacBook Air naysayers.”

    MDN – isn´t the word “Foment” a transitive verb ; however, you use it incorrectly as a noun?
    The word “fomenter” is noun (as in a person who is fomenting). The word foment is a verb.

    The word foment implies persistence in goading as in “fomenting rebellion”.

  3. Considering Apple only has 5 lines (types) of Macs currently, including MacBook Air and not counting the server, 16% by the end of the year (meaning during the holiday quarter) actually seems reasonable. By that time, Apple will have reduced the price by about $200, probably.

  4. Having seen the Air in person last week, I’m impressed. My MacBook weighs 5lbs according to the Apple tech specs, while the Air weighs 3lbs. On paper, it doesn’t sound like a huge difference, but I can tell you that my MacBook feels like I’m carrying around a set of bricks while the Air felt like a feather. I’m in the category of buyer that will wait out the second generation of the device, but I’d say it’s definitely a winner long term. Like many of Apple’s current generation of offerings, they’ve thrown their hat into the ring with an excellent first generation, and they will only improve with time. Kudos to Apple.

  5. Let’s compare:

    20″ iMac 2.4GHz+ MacBook Air = $1500+$1800 = $3300

    15″ MBP 2.4GHz = $2500

    At this price, the MBP has only half the iMac’s disk space, so figure on adding an external disk to the MBP. A 20″ external monitor isn’t an unreasonable addition, either, if the MBP is your primary machine.

    The opportunity cost of having a MBA is somewhere between $500 and $800, depending on what you need to equalize these two configurations.

    Granted, that’s a lot of money to some, but others will find the economics compelling. Instead of having one machine that’s a compromise one the desk and on the go, why not have two machines, each a bit better at what it does?

  6. Famous Grouse:

    now do that math again, except a mini does everything i need on the desktop, and i don’t have real office space so EVERYwhere is my office.

    or MBP for $2500 minus the ability to let the kids use the mini when i am on the MBA…..

    yeah, tough choice.

  7. The MacBook is still much more robust, has more features, is much more affordable and will sport a SSD at some point.

    I could probably get a SSD and put one in if I wanted to anyway.

    So it’s the MacBook for me.

    If you want to get a MacBook Air, more power to you.

    It’s your money.

  8. Apple’s approach is consistent – small, medium, large.

    Each move up is reasonable, logical, and meaningful to the individual buyer. Not every Macintosh buyer felt compelled on day one to buy a bondi blue gum drop machine. Six million units later, well, many somehow forgot their adamant predictions of catastrophe.

    When submitting your predictions of failure, please include with your genius the list of all the items of which you have profitably manufactured, marketed, and sold more than a million units.

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