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View Full Version : Macbook Air will grab 16% of Mac market


MacBytes
Feb 13, 2008, 07:21 PM
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Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Macbook Air will grab 16% of Mac market (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20080213202139)
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BenRoethig
Feb 14, 2008, 07:01 AM
16 percent? Either They're expecting all the other Mac sales to nearly grind to a halt or CNN got a pretty significant dose of the reality distortion field. 16% is far beyond optimistic.

Tosser
Feb 14, 2008, 07:05 AM
16 percent? Either They're expecting all the other Mac sales to nearly grind to a halt or CNN got a pretty significant dose of the reality distortion field. 16% is far beyond optimistic.

I absolutely agree. If they do hit that percentage, they must be axing the mini, and crippling the MacBook Pros (or simply not update them much). Perhaps they'll ax the top Macbook?

wordmunger
Feb 14, 2008, 07:09 AM
Well, that's not what the article said. It said the 16 percent would come from new sales, not cannibalize other products. I suppose the article could be wrong, but it appears to be based on actual conversations with retailers.

Tosser
Feb 14, 2008, 07:11 AM
Well, that's not what the article said. It said the 16 percent would come from new sales, not cannibalize other products. I suppose the article could be wrong, but it appears to be based on actual conversations with retailers.

Hehe, if you ax product a, product b can't cannibalise the sale of product a.

wordmunger
Feb 14, 2008, 07:23 AM
Hehe, if you ax product a, product b can't cannibalise the sale of product a.

I just don't see any of those things competing with the MBA. Why would you axe the Mini to promote the MBA? Anyone in the market for a mini wouldn't be in the market for an MBA (except perhaps as a second computer). Even the top-of-the-line MacBook doesn't really compete with the MBA. I get the MacBook if I want more HD space, a DVD player, and more ports. I get the MBA if I don't need those things.

Tosser
Feb 14, 2008, 07:45 AM
I just don't see any of those things competing with the MBA. Why would you axe the Mini to promote the MBA? Anyone in the market for a mini wouldn't be in the market for an MBA (except perhaps as a second computer). Even the top-of-the-line MacBook doesn't really compete with the MBA. I get the MacBook if I want more HD space, a DVD player, and more ports. I get the MBA if I don't need those things.

The way I see it, is that the mini is certainly a powerhouse compared to the MBA. And at the same time, it's the slowest desktop apple has. Just like the MBA: Rather limited, slow (compared to others like it) and so forth. The ideal desktop for someone not needing much, but prefer size/weight reductions over anything else. You know, just like MBA-buyers. In other words, I think that if the mini was axed, someone contemplating going portable would do so. And if they don't want features or speed (not necessarily CPU-speeds only), then the two of them are certianly a match.

What do you mean "even top of the line Macbook doesn't really compete with the MBA"? Why are you saying "top of the line"? Seriously, on specs and usefulness, the bottom of the MBs are outclassing the Airbook by a mile.

However, size-wise, any Macbook is competition they have the same footprint and more features. The only reason one can say that there aren't direct competition is by saying it's a different segment buying into the Airbook. And it certainly is. But many other people will go "Hmm, what do I need? What do I want? Will all the crippling* be worth paying ekstra for" and so on. So, yes, all their notebooks compete with each other. I don't know anyone that goes to buy something, and not look, at least somewhat casually at what else is out there. And with Apple being the only hardware manufacturer with OS X, it's rather quick to look over the various products being offered.
Most people I know go "what do I need?" And if they look at the specs, assuming they don't need much, the two laptops that pop up is the Airbook and entry-level MacBook. Because it's aluminium doesn't mean it's a toplevel machine, or even a MBP.

*I say "crippled", because it seems the gimmicky shape has meant that they couldn't even fit a decent (i.e. a non-mechanical one) USB-port on the thing, let alone most any other port. Hell, the shape meant they couldn't even fit a somewhat normal Magsafe and have it stand on a table.

BenRoethig
Feb 14, 2008, 07:48 AM
Well, that's not what the article said. It said the 16 percent would come from new sales, not cannibalize other products. I suppose the article could be wrong, but it appears to be based on actual conversations with retailers.

Its basically based on talking to Apple store employees on sales of a new product. First, Every product has an initial sales boost. The Mac users who have wanted an ultra-portable are going to put their money down fairly quickly. Second, just because everyone is looking at it doesn't mean everyone will buy it. Take the cube for example. When it first came out everyone was gaga over it. When the initial buzz wore off the sales dropped off the table. Third, considering how small the ultraportable market is to get that 16% either sales of other Macs would have to slow significantly or they'd have to convert like 60% of the windows ultraportable market or there would have to be a bunch of existing users willing to drop down $1800 on a second computer. It will be an successful machine, but at maybe half to two-thirds of what this guy thinks it will sell.

wordmunger
Feb 14, 2008, 07:57 AM
Hmmm...

It sounds like the two of you just don't like the MBA. That's fine, but clearly many people do like it.

That said, I can think of at least one anecdotal example of the MBA cannibalizing sales. My wife currently has a 15-inch AlBook for work and she's going to be replacing it with an MBA. If the MBA hadn't been available she probably would have gotten a 15-inch MBP. Of course she's also going to be buying 7 iMacs and 2 Mac Pros for her lab, so I'm still not sure how much this one anecdote will affect the overall Mac market.

BenRoethig
Feb 14, 2008, 08:01 AM
Hmmm...

It sounds like the two of you just don't like the MBA. That's fine, but clearly many people do like it.


There's a difference between not liking the MBA (I'd buy one if I could swing it) and being realistic about how big its market is. 16% of Apples sales would instantly make it the best selling UP on the planet. Considering that most UP users are in the business world, which is still wary of the Mac, I just don't see it happening.

wordmunger
Feb 14, 2008, 08:07 AM
There's a difference between not liking the MBA (I'd buy one if I could swing it) and being realistic about how big its market is. 16% of Apples sales would instantly make it the best selling UP on the planet. Considering that most UP users are in the business world, which is still wary of the Mac, I just don't see it happening.

I think this product is going to make a lot of UP users out of people who never thought they'd be UP users -- like my wife. And like this blogger (http://scienceblogs.com/intersection/2008/02/blogging_on_air.php).

Lots of UP people say it's not really a UP anyway, so there's that...

Tosser
Feb 14, 2008, 08:17 AM
Personally, I don't like it, but that doesn't mean that that dislike is all one is basing one's opinion on. In other words, in this context is rather irrelevant whether I like it or not. 16 percent basically based on asking sales staff hom much "buzz" this thing gets seems rather unprofessional, to say the least. If for nothing else, then because it's the "new and shiny object" the sales staff are eager to push out the door.
My guess is 8 percent maximum –*in the current form. If they make some changes in a MKII-version, then certainly, they could up that percentage.

Added: I wouldn't buy it, even if I had millions in the bank. On the other hand, even if I had that amount of money I wouldn't buy a Mac Pro either.

Silencio
Feb 14, 2008, 10:03 AM
Lots of UP people say it's not really a UP anyway, so there's that...

Funny how a lot of people said similar things about the iPhone ("It's not a real 'smartphone'"), but that product in typical Apple fashion blazed a new trail that defied conventional product niches and found a big audience.

That's one of the reasons why Apple is such an innovative company: they are not hemmed in by others' definitions of what a market segment should be.

I don't see the MBA being an off-the-charts hit, but I do expect it will sell far better than the detractors think it will.

BenRoethig
Feb 14, 2008, 10:56 AM
Funny how a lot of people said similar things about the iPhone ("It's not a real 'smartphone'"), but that product in typical Apple fashion blazed a new trail that defied conventional product niches and found a big audience.

That's one of the reasons why Apple is such an innovative company: they are not hemmed in by others' definitions of what a market segment should be.

I don't see the MBA being an off-the-charts hit, but I do expect it will sell far better than the detractors think it will.

I agree, but what is being argued here is numbers. To make that rumor true, the Macbook Air would have to sell between 1.2 and 1.5 million units in 2008. I can definitely see between 750-900,000, but I don't think there is a big enough market for over a million. It would have to heavily cannibalize sales of the 13" Macbook. I would like to add that the iPhone was a smartphone done in a completely different way that was more usable to the consumer. The MBA only really differs from its competition in that its slightly thinner, has fewer ports, and runs Mac OS X.

IJ Reilly
Feb 14, 2008, 11:02 AM
I agree, but what is being argued here is numbers. To make that rumor true, the Macbook Air would have to sell between 1.2 and 1.5 million units in 2008. I can definitely see between 750-900,000, but I don't think there is a big enough market for over a million. It would have to heavily cannibalize sales of the 13" Macbook. I would like to add that the iPhone was a smartphone done in a completely different way that was more usable to the consumer. The MBA only really differs from its competition in that its slightly thinner, has fewer ports, and runs Mac OS X.

Where are you coming up with these numbers? It's one thing to find fault with the methodology used to derive the projections made by the analysts, but it seems to me that your alternative is to simply pick numbers out of the air (so to speak).

BenRoethig
Feb 14, 2008, 11:21 AM
Where are you coming up with these numbers? It's one thing to find fault with the methodology used to derive the projections made by the analysts, but it seems to me that your alternative is to simply pick numbers out of the air (so to speak).

Average 2 million Macs per quarter, multiply that by four quarter and then multiply by 0.16 and you'll have a rough estimate at how many Macbook Airs would have to be sold to get 16% of Mac sales. It comes out to just under 1.3 million. Assuming a 60/40 laptop to desktop slit that also averages to roughly 1 in every 4 Apple laptop sold being an Air.

IJ Reilly
Feb 14, 2008, 12:29 PM
Average 2 million Macs per quarter, multiply that by four quarter and then multiply by 0.16 and you'll have a rough estimate at how many Macbook Airs would have to be sold to get 16% of Mac sales. It comes out to just under 1.3 million. Assuming a 60/40 laptop to desktop slit that also averages to roughly 1 in every 4 Apple laptop sold being an Air.

Yes, but this does not justify your estimates. Apparently, you simply assume they will be lower by an arbitrary number.

BenRoethig
Feb 14, 2008, 03:11 PM
Yes, but this does not justify your estimates. Apparently, you simply assume they will be lower by an arbitrary number.

Yes, by an arbitrary method that the zealots don't comprehend get called "common sense". One look around is going to tell you that there is going to be enough people to get 16% of Mac sales without something else being very wrong or a nice big chunk of corporate types trading in their Thinkpads. For most people buying one, it will be a second computer. Exactly how many people do you know that are going to drop down $1800 on a second computer? I'd very much like to replace my G3 iBook with one and that $1200 economic stimulus check isn't enough. Its going to sell very well, but everyone and their mother is not instantly going to buy one and it is never going to sell more units than one of the existing models which would have to happen.

wordmunger
Feb 14, 2008, 03:19 PM
Exactly how many people do you know that are going to drop down $1800 on a second computer?

Everyone I know who is in the market for a new notebook either already has an MBA or is planning on getting one. But maybe we travel in different circles.

IJ Reilly
Feb 14, 2008, 03:25 PM
Yes, by an arbitrary method that the zealots don't comprehend get called "common sense".

Sigh. Look, if you can't answer my question, fine. Just say so. Insults are not the answer.