The lack of any exciting new MacBook laptop computers from Apple in recent months apparently took its toll on third-quarter shipments. Market research firms Gartner and IDC each released their third-quarter PC shipment estimates on Wednesday and as noted by Fortune on Thursday morning, both sets of numbers show an on-year drop in Apple’s U.S. Mac shipments. According to Gartner, Apple shipped 2.16 million Mac computers in the U.S. last quarter, down 2.3% from the 2.21 million units it shipped in the same quarter last year. IDC’s figures show a much more considerable drop, from 2.15 million units in Q3 2012 to 1.91 million last quarter. In either case, Fortune notes that this was the first back-to-school quarter since 2002 that Apple shipped fewer Macs than it did a year earlier. More →
As computer vendors continue to see growth slow or even reverse in many cases, Apple has been among the few PC makers that have managed to keep its hardware business somewhat stable. According to a report from Digitimes though, Apple may see shipments of its popular MacBook line of notebook computers decline between 2012 and 2013 as the lack of exciting new models takes its toll. The site claims Apple’s manufacturing partners have shipped
MacBook sales traditionally surge in the third quarter thanks to back-to-school sales, however a new report suggests that Q3 shipments of Apple’s laptops this year likely won’t be as strong as they have been in years past. According to Digitimes, MacBook shipments are expected to reach 4 million units in the third quarter, up 10% sequentially but down year-over-year. Digitimes notes that MacBook sales have averaged 5 million to 6 million units during the third quarter in previous years. Sales of the 13-inch MacBook Pro are said to have fallen short of Apple’s expectations, forcing the company to clear inventories and suspended new build orders in the first half of 2013. Apple has reportedly “taken stricter control of its supply chain,” and even introduced new suppliers in an effort to pressure its existing partners.
Apple may be looking to adopt a new display technology in an attempt to improve battery life in various devices. According to a report from ET News, the company is in talks with LG and Sharp to use indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) displays. Apple is reportedly interested in the technology for its iPad and MacBook devices to help them deliver longer battery life. IGZO displays have forty times more electron mobility than amorphous silicon, a key layer in LCD displays, and allow for higher screen resolutions, better reaction times and less power consumption. Apple will reportedly include a IGZO display in its next-generation MacBook computers in early 2014. It is unclear if the technology will debut in the company’s new iPad, which is expected to be announced this fall.
Apple recently filed an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a new type of computer port that combines a memory card reader with a standard USB port. The move seems somewhat innocuous on the surface, but Digitimes’ unnamed supply chain sources say rival computer makers are very worried over this new filing. According to the report, notebook vendors believe the new technology will give Apple yet another edge over their laptop computers in terms of design and thinness, because Apple will be able to make its new MacBook line of computers even slimmer by combining these ports. Apple already has design patents that cover the MacBook Air’s wedge design, the report noted, and this allows Apple to make notebooks that are slimmer and lighter than the competition. More →
It has been reported that Apple’s next-generation MacBooks will support gigabit Wi-Fi connectivity, evidence of which was discovered in a recent OS X developer build. The 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, also known as “5G Wi-Fi,” is capable of delivering theoretical speeds of up to 1.3Gbps and is considered a major leap forward. An earlier report claimed Apple was teaming up with Broadcom to bring the technology to its 2013 Mac lineup, and now Tonymacx86.com points us to a leaked image of a Broadcom BCM94360CD PCI-E mini custom combo WLAN and Bluetooth card that supports IEEE 802.11ac, the same standard Apple is reportedly looking to incorporate into future computers. The card is similar to those found in current Mac models and is expected to be the one Apple uses in its upcoming computers. Apple is expected to announce new Mac computers at its Worldwide Developers Conference on June 10th in San Francisco. Images of the Broadcom card follow below. More →
Shipments of Apple’s various MacBook laptop computers are expected to grow 10% sequentially in the second quarter this year. Digitimes on Thursday reported that unnamed sources in Apple’s supply chain anticipate new orders from Apple beginning in mid-May as the company finishes “digesting its excess inventory.” Apple reported earlier this week that it sold 3.95 million Mac computers during the first calendar quarter of 2013. More →
Retailers offered heavy discounts on laptops from various manufacturers over Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Thanksgiving Day, but it wasn’t enough to entice consumers. According to numbers from NPD Group, overall sales of consumer electronics during the holiday season dropped 7% from November 18th through December 22nd. The hype around the launch of Windows 8 did little to boost sales, with notebook purchases falling 11% year-over-year and holiday revenue dipping 10.5%. The low-end market was hit even harder, with sales of laptops priced under $500 falling by 16% as the market transitions to a post-PC world. More →
Tensions between Apple (AAPL) and Samsung (005930) are running at an all time high, and the foes are embedded in an ongoing patent lawsuit that has put a strain on their once peaceful relationship. Now, the South Korean company has stopped supplying Apple with batteries for its iPad and MacBook lines, forcing the iPhone-maker to switch to Amperex Technology Limited and Tianjin Lishen Battery, according to China Business News. More →
Apple (AAPL) is unlikely to hit its 2012 growth target for MacBook sales, according to a new report. Citing sources within Taiwan-based supply chain companies, Digitimes on Wednesday reported that shipments of Apple’s new MacBook laptops this quarter will not make up enough ground to hit Apple’s 2012 goals. The company had targeted 30% growth in 2012, but actual growth is expected to be just 7% year-over-year. More →
Rumors surrounding a host of next-generation Mac computers with Retina displays have been swirling for months and most expect the rumors to come screeching to a halt on Monday when Apple finally takes the wraps off its new line of Macs. Reports from a dozen or more sources suggest Apple plans to unveil new MacBook laptops and iMac desktop computers with high-resolution displays, and now Apple itself is hinting that high-definition Macs are on the horizon. As The Next Web notes, Apple recently approved an update in its closely guarded Mac App Store for an app called FolderWatch. The app, which was recently featured as an Apple staff favorite, lists “Retina graphics” among its most recent added features. If all goes according to plan at WWDC we can expect hundreds of Mac apps to be updated with “Retina graphics” in the coming weeks, but nothing is certain until Apple executives take the stage on Monday at 1:00 p.m. Eastern, 10:00 a.m. Pacific. More →
Strong orders of Apple’s next-generation MacBook laptops are causing labor shortages within the Cupertino, California-based consumer electronics company’s Asian supply chain, a recent report claims. Citing multiple unnamed sources, Digitimes on Monday reports that heavier than expected MacBook orders have created labor shortages so serious at some Apple suppliers that they have been forced to outsource orders to meet shipment schedules. The report notes that May and June are typically slower months among PC component suppliers in eastern China, however Apple’s orders have caused recent labor shortage issues to grow more serious. New MacBook laptops and iMac all-in-one PCs will reportedly launch this summer. Apple’s new notebook computers are expected to be thinner than previous models, and both the MacBook Pro and iMac lineups are expected to include new high-definition Retina displays. Apple’s next-generation MacBook Air laptops may be updated with Retina displays as well, recent reports claim. More →
Unreleased versions of Apple’s MacBook Pro and iMac computers have appeared in a Geekbench database maintained by benchmark testing software provider Primate Labs. Designated as “MacBookPro9,1″ and “iMac13,2,” a number of preliminary specifications for each model have been revealed in the publicly available test results, which were first uncovered by forum members posting to MacRumors. Apple’s upcoming laptop and all-in-one desktop computers have long been expected to feature new Core i5 and Core i7 Ivy Bridge processors from Intel, and the Geekbench results indeed show a quad-core 2.7 GHz Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7-3820QM processor in the unannounced MacBook Pro, and a 3.4GHz Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7-3770 quad-core processor in the iMac. The new models may be unveiled during the keynote at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference, which will take place on June 11th, and it is unclear if the laptop model referenced in the benchmark results is the new ultra-thin 15-inch MacBook Pro model expected to be released this summer. More →