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: