Rumor: Apple iPad Pro Launches Nov. 11

31 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple’s Mac Sales Continue To Grow, For Now.

Apple has been teasing the November launch of the iPad Pro and its accessories, the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, since September, but hasn’t officially narrowed down that release window.Apple’s Entry-level MacBook Air, its most popular computer, needs a replacement more than ever before as competitors are now superior in design, performance and value.

According to Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) latest earnings report (click for call transcript), Mac sales continued steady market share growth for almost a decade, defying industry trends such as the IDC’s estimated 10.8% global PC contraction. According to 9to5Mac, which is usually accurate when it comes to Apple’s product launch announcements, Apple is gearing up to sell its 12.9-inch tablet on Veterans Day.

Additionally, the Mac beat IDC’s and Gartner’s respective growth estimates of -3.4% and +1.5% with a 3% sales increase, but this figure was light compared to the 21% growth from the same period last year. But with a larger size comes a bigger price; the Pro is Apple’s most expensive iPad ever, starting at $799 for a 32GB Wi-Fi model and running all the way up to $1079 for a 128GB version with LTE built in. However, growth has slowed in the last few quarters as fiscal 2015’s Mac sales were just 6% greater than 2014 YOY compared to 2014’s 12% YOY growth over 2013.

The Smart Keyboard costs an additional $169, and the Pencil will sell for $99. iPad Pro will launch both in-store and online on the November 11th date, per 9to5Mac’s report. Investors should note that the Mac is growing to be a wonderful part of Apple’s earnings, as its revenue is now 25% greater than iPads, allowing it to act as a shareholder’s cushion against the tablet’s free-falling revenue. Going forward, there’s a huge potential to grow, as it only held an estimated 6.9% market share for the quarter, which means there’s easily room for another double or triple in the coming years, if Apple responds appropriately to slowing growth.

We won’t have much indication of how many Pros Apple sells this holiday season until the end of January, when the company reports its first-quarter earnings. Fortunately, the solution is much easier than Motek Moyen’s touchscreen Mac proposal, as a simple new MacBook lineup will work wonders, especially on the entry level. One item of interest that Apple noted was that Macs are gaining traction in the enterprise front as there are now more than 30,000 Macs deployed within IBM, with 1,900 being added each week. In my past experience at Hawaiian Airlines corporate, MacBooks are highly desirable among employees and management, and developing multi-platform systems are a priority in order to please staff while generating cost savings.

All in all, it was a solid quarter for the Mac, considering the estimated declines and industry contraction, but the small 3% growth is a concern that needs to be addressed, especially as iPad sales are free-falling. Personal computer operating systems, whether it’s El Capitan or Macintosh System 1, all rely on the precision of the tip of a mouse cursor, and for decades computer programs grew around this foundation. The alternative solution to this problem is to start with an all-new operating system and replace the notebook PC outright in the way that iPad is doing.

I’m not stating that the iPad is better than a Windows tablet PC, but if you’re looking for a touchscreen computer from Apple, it’s highly likely that the iPad will morph into just that in the years to come. Of course, Apple’s successful transition into the enterprise is excellent news, but Macs are found in cafes, not offices, and pleasing the consumer requires something new. I strongly believe that an all-new redesign of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro will restore sales to their former growth as Apple’s innovative lead has vanished with the exception of the new MacBook. The $800 Dell XPS 13 for example, is thinner, lighter, features a higher-resolution 13″ display and offers equivalent storage and RAM to the $1,000 13″ MacBook Air.

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