It seems Apple
"Brick" isn't a very appetizing name in an industry moving toward lighter and smaller laptops. Seen the Dell
I don't know whether that will be enough to win over a new generation of converts or kick-start the upgrade cycle. With the iPod's sales growth decelerating, Apple would love to have a hot big-ticket item for the holidays. A pricey MacBook would be a mistake in this uncertain economic climate, but this is where the company's fiscal third-quarter report comes into play.
Shares of Apple took a hit this summer, when the company announced that gross margins would contract in the near term. After clocking in at 34.8% during its fiscal third quarter, Apple is guiding analysts to expect gross margins to slip to 32% for the final quarter and then 30% for fiscal 2009.
Since the fourth quarter came to a close last month, new laptops with thinner markups could factor into only the fiscal 2009 gross-margin target. Cheaper iPod touch digital-media players probably were the culprits in Q4. Will the new MacBooks cost more to make, or is Apple rolling up its sleeves to match Dell, Hewlett-Packard
It's too early to tell, of course. With IBM
Other bricks in the oven:
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz wonders whether the first wave of "brick" ads will go with The Commodores or Ben Folds Five for a brick-themed anthem. He owns no shares in any of the stocks in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.