Wednesday, May 04, 2011, 08:45 pm
Supply chain sources say all remaining Macs to receive update in coming monthsAccording to one analyst's check with sources along Apple's supply chain, Apple plans to refresh the rest of its Mac lineup, which would include the MacBook, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and MacBook Air, "in upcoming months."
Analyst Shaw Wu with Sterne Agee issued a note to investors on Wednesday claiming that all Mac products that have yet to see a refresh this year are "due for refreshes" soon.
Not included on Wu's list are the MacBook Pro, which underwent a refresh in February, and the iMac, which saw a new version on Tuesday. Both products saw a transition to Intel's new Sandy Bridge processors and the addition of the new high-speed Thunderbolt input/output port.
Wu believes the MacBook refresh is especially important because the entry-level notebook represents roughly one-third of Apple's portable business, which itself has grown to 73 percent of all Mac sales. The last update for the MacBook came in May 2010.
As for the other Macs, the Mac Mini was most recently refreshed in June 2010, while the Mac Pro saw an update last July and the MacBook Air received a substantial upgrade last October. Wu sees the upcoming Mac refreshes as offsetting "a very minor cannibalistic impact" that the iPad 2 could have on Apple's Mac business.
In February, a report claimed that Apple will replace the MacBook Air's aging Core 2 Duo chip with the current Sandy Bridge processors in June.
In his note, Wu told investors that Tuesday's iMac refresh stands as "a worthy upgrade" and should help "reinvigorate" Mac's desktop business, which has declined to 27 percent of Macs shipped. Sales of Mac desktops actually dropped by 12 percent year over year last quarter, compared to 53 percent year over year growth for portable Macs.
Wu maintains a Buy rating and a price target of $445 for Apple.
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