Apple's New MacBook Air Could Be a Winner

Set to go into production next quarter, Apple's next MacBook Air revision could be a real winner.

Jun 24, 2014 at 5:40PM


Apple's MacBook Air. Source: Apple. 

Digitimes recently reported that a 12-inch, potentially Retina, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) MacBook Air is set to go into high-volume production during the third quarter of this year. This suggests that Apple may launch these new machines early in the fourth quarter in an attempt to capitalize on the Christmas shopping season. Will this new MacBook Air be a game-changer?

Don't forget that the Mac is strategic
if you look at Apple's MacBook sales, they're not exactly big top- or bottom-line movers. Apple's crown jewel is the iPhone, with the iPad in distant second. To illustrate this point, in the most recent quarter, Apple sold 4.14 million Macs, which generated revenues of about $5.5 billion. At the same time, Apple sold 43.72 million iPhones and took in a whopping $26.06 billion in sales from that. The iPad wasn't too shabby either, selling 16.35 million units and netting $7.61 billion in revenue.

The Mac isn't a huge part of Apple's top line, and it's likely that the gross margin profile of the Mac versus, say, an iPad or an iPhone is much lower given how commoditized the PC business is.

But even though Mac isn't directly the biggest contributor to Apple's top and bottom lines, it is strategic. The more Apple can get people into its software ecosystem, and the better that all of Apple's devices work together, the less likely that a current Apple customer will defect to alternative platforms. Apple already brought out a lower-cost iMac and reduced the price of the entry-level MacBook Air by $100 to $899 to that end.

The new MacBook Air could drive further share gains
A new 12-inch MacBook Air (particularly with a Retina display) could further win share against Windows-powered notebooks and convertibles, as customers looking for a notebook with a "PC first" focus have nowhere else to go thanks to Microsoft's Windows 8 strategy. With an updated physical design (perhaps even a fanless one), the Mac OS X Yosemite operating system, and a launch roughly coincident with the next-generation iPhone and iPad, such a device could be even more successful than the prior iterations of the MacBook Air were.

Foolish bottom line
With production beginning in Q3 per Digitimes, it won't be too long before we see what Apple has up its sleeve with the next-generation MacBook Air. With all of the improvements and ecosystem features that Apple is bringing to Mac OS X Yosemite and iOS 8, it's hard not to be excited about the products launching this fall. The new MacBook Air may not be the flashiest of Apple's new products, and it may not be a game changer, but it's an integral part of the Apple product family and ecosystem.

Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning -- it may shock you)
Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee that its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out, and some early viewers are even claiming that its everyday impact could trump the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts that 485 million of these devices will be sold per year. But one small company makes this gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and to see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!

Ashraf Eassa has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and owns shares of Apple and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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