Posts filed under ‘Laptop’
Richard Garner of Citigroup says that based on his “field checks”, redesigned Macbooks are on the way to the retailers. He also mentions that new Macbooks get aluminum casing, LED backlighting ( I doubt it on the base model ), and lower prices. The overall design of the new Apple notebooks will probably closely match the Macbook Air and the entry level model may get a $100 price cut. An announcement from Apple is expected on Oct. 14th.
In the last Apple Investor Conference Call held on July 21st, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer once again talked about a certain ‘product transition’ which has an effect on Apple earnings well into ’09. This isn’t the first time ‘product transition’ is mentioned by Oppenheimer: he used it in the same quarterly Investor Conference Call last year to describe an undefined period during which Apple’s profit margin may be under pressure. If you’ve been reading this blog regularly, you may remember that at the time, I interpreted this as a sign that Apple is getting ready to replace the iPods with touch screen versions as well as preparing other revolutionary products like a touch tablet. Since then, Apple has introduced the Macbook Air, which is selling briskly, and higher capacity iPod Touch models like the pricey 32GB version.
So what does ‘product transition’ mean in terms of new product surprises? You’ve read about iPod’s future on previous posts but after some interesting conversations over the summer with people in the know, I’ve learned that apparently Apple’s in the midst of introducing major changes to its notebook and desktop lineups as well which I will explain a little later.
The latest NPD Group data was just released highlighting positive trends for Apple products. Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray has done an analysis and says the data “suggest the company will sell 9.7 million to 10.5 million iPods in the March quarter”. While that figure is higher than his estimate of 9.5 million to 10.3 million units released a month ago, “the new range is below the Street consensus of 10.8 million, and his own current estimate of 11.3 million”. So the new expected unit sales numbers are above his previous prediction and below his current one. Sounds like he can’t decide whether to believe iPods will surprise or disappoint this quarter.
In the same NPD Group release, Macs accounted for a 14 percent unit share of all US computer retail sales in February. That number represents 60 percent unit growth and 67 percent revenue growth over the same period last year. Both Apple notebooks and desktop systems grew in overall retail segment shipments while US PC retail shipments grew modestly in comparison.
Apple has announced updates to its laptop lineup this morning featuring latest generation Intel Core 2 Duo Penryn processors, 2GB of RAM, NVIDIA graphics processors, and Multi-Touch trackpad previously only featured on MacBook Air. MacBooks get faster processors ( 2.1 or 2.4 GHz ), larger HDDs ( 120GB or 160GB ), and more RAM ( 2 to 4 GB ). MacBook prices start at just $1,099. MacBook Pros get faster CPUs ( up to a 2.6 GHz ), larger HDD ( up to 300GB ), more RAM ( up to 4 GB ), and Multi-Touch trackpad starting at $1999.
The new 2GB iPod Shuffles have also gone on sale in the US Apple Store listing a delivery of 7-10 days ( $69 ).
Apple is expected to update its laptop lineup this morning. Upgrades are due for both MacBooks and MacBook Pros and likely include faster processors, higher capacity hard drives and more installed RAM. MacBook Pros may also see higher screen resolutions and thinner profile. Updates coming up as soon as Apple store goes back online.
If you’re still looking for what to get that special somone for Valentine’s day, look no further. Andrew Eisner of Retrevo has a very interesting gift guide recommending top gadgets from digital audio players to photo frames and digital cameras.
Apple has posted its fiscal Q1’08 results and it’s clearly the best quarter ever for the Cupertino company. Apple sold 2.3 million Macs, 2.3 million iPhones, and 22 million iPods totaling a gross revenue of $9.6 billion and $1.58 billion in net revenue. Revenues for the quarter were up 35% year-over-year. The consensus analysts earnings per share ( EPS ) estimates was $1.63 while Apple handily beat that figure posting $1.76.
Apple, however, guided Wall Street lower for fiscal Q2’08 with revenue of $6.8 billion and earnings of 94 cents a share while analysts were expecting revenue of $6.98 billion and EPS of $1.09. Another disappointment: iPod growth year-over-year was up a mere 5%.
Twenty-four hours after yesterday’s keynote, I’m trying to objectively decide on the significance of the announcements made. As usual, the devil’s in the details:
Time Capsule – this is a wireless backup appliance that automatically backs up one or multiple Macs in conjunction with Time Machine. It’s essentially an Airport Extreme tied to a HDD in 500GB or 1TB capacities.
iPhone/Touch software upgrade – version 1.1.3 firmware ( requires new iTunes v7.6 ) for iPhone adds location-aware Maps, Web Clips, multiple home screens, multiple SMS plus iTunes upgrades. For iPod Touch, 5 new apps: Mail, Maps, Stocks, Weather, and Notes as a $20 upgrade for existing users. SDK in late February.
Apple TV Take 2 ( new software ) – AirTunes support allows direct streaming to device with SD and HD ( High Definition ) content, adds Dolby Digital 5.1, partnership with 9 movie studios, rent movies and watch as many times as you want within 24 hours after which it times out, plus lower price of $229.
MacBook Air – world’s thinnest notebook, features multi-touch gesture support using trackpad, 1.6 GHz or 1.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of memory, 80GB 1.8-inch hard drive, the latest 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1, 13.3-inch LED-backlit plus full sized backlit keyboard, iSight, 1 USB port, Micro-DVI and headphone ports, battery not user replaceable ( $129 ), retails for $1799.
So what’s the reaction been like? UBS analysts have said Apple’s MacWorld keynote was a bit disappointing. That feeling has been echoed more or less by other analysts as well. As a result, Apple shares yesterday closed at $ 169.04 down 9.74 %.
As for me, I have to admit Time Capsule was a surprise, although not a very exciting one. There are many wired third-party back up devices already available and I don’t really see major demand for wireless backup. I mainly see Time Capsule as a relatively fat profit margin device that Apple needs to maintain high revenues. The iPhone/Touch software upgrade was timely although I was expecting a 3G announcement to be made and platform SDK to be finally revealed ( maybe even games ). Apple TV Take 2 is an attempt by Apple to finally shift this product from a hobby to a viable business, but I have my doubts whether renting ( as opposed to subscription model ) works better. MBA is an engineering marvel but I’m put off by the high price. BTW, MBA uses a new software called ‘Remote Disc’ which allows a MBA user to share optical drives of other Macs or PCs to wirelessly transfer files, obviously as long as Remote Disc is installed on those machines as well. That begs the question how are you supposed to install Remote Disc on another computer in the first place? Well, you either have to bring the install DVD along or carry a copy for each operating system on a portable USB drive. Overall, it was a bit dissapointing but I’ll assure you it WILL shape up to be a very exciting year for Apple.
Today Steve Jobs revealed what could easily be called a marvel of engineering, the new MacBook Air. Apple teamed with Intel, about a year ago it seems, to have the CPU firm deliver a Core 2 Duo chip in a 60% smaller package specially for the ultra thin Apple notebook. MBA is beautifully designed inside and out, featuring a complete Mac on a circuit board the size of a pencil ( which Steve Jobs proudly showed off ) and clad in an all aluminum shell. It’s an unbelievably small and thin package with revolutionary features like multi-touch track-pad and wireless file installs. Here are the features in case you missed the announcement:
3 lbs, 13.3 inch LED backlit display
full backlit keyboard
multi-touch gestures track-pad
Remote Disc ( a software for wireless optical drive sharing with other Macs and PCs )
2GB RAM, 80GB HDD, 64GB SSD (optional)
802.11n standard Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
USB 2.0, Micro-DVI, and headphone jack
5 hour battery life
environmentally friendly circuit boards, display, and packaging
optional USB powered optical drive just $99
$1799, pre-order today, ships in 2 weeks
Watch this space from 12:00 PM EST for live coverage of Macworld 2008 keynote address by Steve Jobs.
Apple Store has been down for the past three hours, so expect new hardware!
9:16 Steve Jobs takes the stage and talks about the positive year 2007 was for the OS, Macs, iPods, and iPhones. 4 main things to talk about.
Apple has shipped over 5 million copies of Leopard in the first 3 months! Over 20% of the OS X install base has upgraded.
Apple releases Time Capsule: a companion product to Time Machine ( a backup appliance ) with AirPort Extreme and a hard drive. You can back up all your Macs in your home to one Time Capsule wirelessly. Sold in 2 versions.
9: 20 iPhone has been selling for exactly 200 days, 4 million to date sold, 20K per day on average! iPhone SDK in late February, Demonstrates maps with location feature on iPhone, multiple party SMS, up to 9 home screens. iPhone software v1.1.3 available today.
9:37 iPod touch gets five new apps: Mail, maps, stocks, notes, and weather, for a price! $20 upgrade for existing users.
9:39 iTunes: 4 billion songs to date, 20 million alone on Christmas day. Apple introduces iTunes Movie Rentals in partnership with Touchstone, MGM, Miramax, Lions Gate, Fox, WB, Walt Disney, Paramount, Universal, Sony. Rent a library title for $2.99 or a new release for $3.99. Once you dowload a title, you have 30 days to start watching it, it times out after 24 hours of starting. Rent in either DVD or HD quality, download to Apple TV, or transfer to iPod. Over 100 HD quality titles available today with more to come.
9:52 Apple TV with simpler, beautiful interface. You can now buy 6 million s0ngs or 600 TV shows directly on your Apple TV. New price just $229 with a free software upgrade for existing users.
10:10 Apple introduces MacBook Air, world’s thinnest notebook! 0.76 inches at thickest point – 0.16-inches at thinnest! So thin it fits inside a manilla envelope. Priced bet/ Macbook and Macbook Pro. Full sized keyboard and display ( 13.3 inches ) with backlit display and keyboard and trackpad with multi-touch gesture! Ships with 80GB HDD or optional 64GB SSD. It’s a total wireless machine with 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR. USB Optical drive is an accessory for $99. You can install software wirelessly! Order now and shipped in 2 weeks for $1799.
10:27 The new MBA is enclosed in an all aluminum case, has mercury and arsenic free display, circuit boards are bromide and PVC free, and comes with 50% less packaging.
So that’s it! Not a bad keynote, as a matter of fact, the new MBA is totally awe inspiring. What do you think?