Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Will Apple Release New Macs This Year?

It is well-known that Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) Mac products are powered by Intel (NASDAQ: INTC  ) processors. In fact, looking at Intel's direction over the last several years, it seems likely that the chip giant's products are very heavily influenced by Apple's exacting requirements. But with the widely publicized delay of Intel's next generation processor codenamed Broadwell, the prospects of new Mac products this year are in serious question.

What could come this year?
According to a leaked Intel roadmap from VR-Zone, it seems that the only next generation Broadwell processors that will come to market this year are the ultra-low power ones aimed at fanless designs/convertibles.

This means that Apple could launch a fanless, thin-and-light MacBook Air based on these very low power variants of Broadwell. This chip is unlikely to offer a huge performance boost from the current MacBook Air, but the potential fan-less selling point could be huge. 

What's not coming this year?
Though Apple could conceivably launch a Broadwell-based MacBook Air late this year, the Intel roadmap suggests that the faster, higher power chips -- the ones suitable for MacBook Pros and iMacs -- aren't coming until 2015. The chips more suitable for a 13-inch MacBook Pro look as though they'll be ready in early 2015.

The investment implications for Apple
Truth be told, the Mac isn't a giant part of Apple's revenue base -- iOS devices are what make or break Apple's financials. But Mac sales are still large enough that a material year-over-year drop could take some of the shine off of any potential iPhone/iPad successes.

The current Mac products seem to be doing a good job taking share against Windows machines, particularly for folks looking to buy new systems. Additionally, If OS X Yosemite requires additional horsepower that the older supported Macs don't have, then this too could be added incentive for users of older Macs to upgrade even in the absence of a new model this year.

The point is this: Apple doesn't need new Mac models in order to gain share, but of course having new models to catalyze that upgrade cycle would have been better. At the very least, though, if consumer PCs are beginning to pick up again as some suspect, Mac sales should at a minimum track that rebound (if not outpace it due to share gains).

What about for Intel?
It may now be tempting to believe that Intel's Apple business is now at risk due to the slip of Broadwell. But it's not as though Apple could have gotten a Broadwell-equivalent product manufactured elsewhere for a product launch during the second half of this year.

Moving to next generation semiconductor manufacturing technologies is simply getting harder for everybody, and even Intel isn't immune to severe technical challenges. 

Foolish bottom line
The delay of Broadwell on Intel's part is unfortunate and will very likely force Apple to push the bulk of its new Mac goodness into 2015. But if the PC market as a whole rebounds, then Apple -- which offers some of the most compelling systems on the market, differentiated with Mac OS -- is still poised to benefit, new Macs or not. Ditto for Intel. 

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

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 3023716, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 8/31/2015 4:58:35 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Ashraf Eassa

Ashraf Eassa is a technology specialist with The Motley Fool. He writes mostly about technology stocks, but is especially interested in anything related to chips -- the semiconductor kind, that is. Follow him on Twitter:

Today's Market

updated 2 days ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,643.01 -11.76 -0.07%
S&P 500 1,988.87 1.21 0.06%
NASD 4,828.33 15.62 0.32%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

8/28/2015 4:00 PM
AAPL $113.29 Up +0.37 +0.33%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****
INTC $28.42 Up +0.70 +2.53%
Intel CAPS Rating: ****