Apple to announce MacBook update in June?

An analyst says the tech giant may refresh the computer line sooner than expected.

By TheStreet Staff Apr 29, 2013 1:56PM

thestreet logoApple Inc. logo is displayed on the back of the new MacBook Pro David Paul Morris, Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBy Chris Ciaccia


On last week's earnings call, Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook said the company had some "really great stuff coming in the fall and across all of 2014," regarding products. Conveniently, while Cook offered a little hint about Apple's product road map, he may have left out one important detail.


KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who is as tied in with the Apple supply chain as anyone, says Apple may update its MacBook computers at its Worldwide Developer Conference event in June. Kuo previously didn't expect a refresh at the event, and given Cook's comments on the earnings call it didn't seem like Apple would be offering anything new until the September/October timeframe.


Yet in the research note, Kuo said the new MacBooks will get Intel's (INTC) Haswell processors, which should give them better battery life as well as a performance boost. Kuo also noted that Apple may be announcing a lower-cost iPad mini to compete with cheap Android tablets, with the price in the $199 to $249 range. Shares of Apple were up over 3% in Monday afternoon trading.


There's no word yet whether the MacBook Air will get Retina Display, something Apple fans and customers have been waiting for some time. The MacBook Pro currently features Retina Display, known for its sharper screen images, but the lower-end MacBook Air doesn't currently offer this feature yet.


Apple sold just under 4 million Macs, a 2% decline from the year-ago quarter. The PC market is declining sharply, as research firm IDC noted in its latest report (see TheStreet). Tablets, such as the iPad, iPad mini, and tablets running Google's (GOOG) Android operating system have been eating away at consumer's wallets as it pertains to PC spending.


Apple was able to significantly outperform the PC market, which experienced a 13.9% decline year-over-year, but a decline is still a decline. Any refresh to the Mac computing line would be seen as a sign that Apple is trying to reverse that trend, though consumers and enterprises are increasingly turning to tablets for their needs, and that trend doesn't look to stop anytime soon.


Despite the decline of the PC market, Macs were still able to contribute a significant portion to Apple's revenue this quarter. Apple generated $5.45 billion in Mac related revenue last quarter, accounting for 12.5% of Apple's $43.6 billion in quarterly revenue. That's a bigger revenue number Apple generated in the second quarter of 2012, it's not something Apple should just completely ignore.



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Apr 29, 2013 9:13PM
Apple and all Windows 8 vendors like Dell, HP and Lenovo will be refreshing their products with Intel's Haswell offering higher performance and longer battery life for Ultrabooks and tablets running all OS's.
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