FLOGGER OF SHINY TOYS Apple has managed to elevate its ultra-portable Macbook Air laptop into taking 28 per cent of its overall laptop sales.
Figures from Morgan Stanley and NPD were used by analyst Katy Huberty to come up with the impressive 28 per cent sales share for Apple's Macbook Air ultra-portable. According to the figures there was a sharp increase in the share of laptop sales taken by Macbook Air laptops after July, when new models appeared.
Now Apple's Macbook range of laptops is a big chunk of the firm's system sales, which itself has enjoyed healthy growth in recent years, consistently outpacing the industry average. When the Macbook Air came out in 2008, although eye-catching it was far from a sales hit, but now things have changed with two Macbook Air models and several SKUs.
Apple's success with the Macbook Air has led some to question whether the firm will drop its Macbook Pro line-up completely. Apple's recent history has shown an urge to move on before a product line loses favour, but it is hard to see how the Macbook Air, which tops out at 4GB of RAM and 256GB of disk storage, can replace a workhorse Macbook Pro at this point.
Eventually there is every possibility that Apple will introduce a 15in version of the Macbook Air, and when even larger SSDs become commercially viable, the Macbook Pro might turn into something of a niche product.
Huberty's figures are available through October, and it will be interesting to see if Apple remains the go-to firm for ultra portable laptops. Intel and its partners are pushing Ultrabooks, machines that for the most part look and feel like the Macbook Air but, crucially for Apple, are priced about the same as its machines.
With Apple's fifth iteration of the Macbook Air, the firm has seemingly managed to crack the ultra-portable laptop formula. Whether Ultrabooks manage to follow Apple's lead will largely depend on whether other thin and light laptop makers can significantly undercut Apple's prices. µ