Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Despite DongleGate, MacBook Pro Demand Is Soaring

By Evan Niu, CFA – Nov 9, 2016 at 4:27PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

This could be a textbook case of a vocal minority that doesn't speak for the majority.

Image source: Apple.

People are angry and confused right now (and I'm not even talking about the election). There's been unprecedented backlash against Apple (AAPL 0.83%) over its decision to replace all ports on the new MacBook Pro with USB-C, which is a big ask since it requires Apple's large and loyal base of creative professionals to haul around a handful of dongles as part of their daily workflow. As a testament to the concern, this fan-made parody video has gone viral.

Well, the good news is that despite the controversy, demand for Apple's latest and greatest notebooks is soaring.

A second opinion

We already knew that Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller said that orders for the new MacBook Pro are already higher than any other prior notebook, so that's encouraging. But beyond taking his word for it, it's good to get some third-party data. Slice Intelligence, a third-party analytics company, says that the new MacBook Pro has already garnered over seven times the amount of revenue that the 12-inch MacBook did in April 2015.

Put another way, the new MacBook Pro has already generated nearly 80% of all revenue that the 12-inch MacBook has collected since launch, which also dwarfs the PC competition.

Image source: Slice Intelligence.

Unsurprisingly, there's also a strong correlation among buyers of the new MacBook Pro and early buyers of the first Apple Watch. Early adopters are always happy to try out the newest tech, independent of the form factor.

The time is now

What we're seeing is a textbook case of a very vocal minority that don't speak for the majority. Relative to the masses, Apple's base of creative professionals is particularly vocal about the newfound inconvenience that they're facing. Considering the fact that there's a meaningful overlap between the media and creative professionals, this voice gets magnified dramatically. What really matters is whether or not Apple has put off the mainstream consumer, which Slice's data suggests it has not.

It's true that we're now seeing a blurring of the line between consumer and professional, the same line that Steve Jobs famously demarcated when he came back to Apple. If you were to ignore branding and model names when looking at Apple's laptop lineup, it wouldn't be immediately clear which device is targeted at which segment.

This all comes at a time when Apple desperately needs a hit Mac product to reinvigorate Mac unit sales, which have underperformed the already-weak PC market for the past three consecutive quarters, implicitly losing market share in the process. Ignoring the vocal backlash, Apple may very well have produced exactly that.

Evan Niu, CFA owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2018 $90 calls on Apple and short January 2018 $95 calls on Apple. We Fools may not 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.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.