Apple seen shipping just 450K 12" MacBooks in 1H of 2015, as radical design may temper demand

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Apple's latest notebook may need some time to meet the lofty sales bar set by its siblings, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, as the relatively high price and unconventional port arrangement could temper demand at the outset.

The all-new MacBook's single USB-C port may be a sticking point for some consumers, Kuo said in a Wednesday morning note to investors reviewed by AppleInsider, as the ecosystem surrounding the diminutive connector is still in its nascent stages and the need for expansion dongles may prove inconvenient. This, combined with its high starting price relative to the MacBook Air and expected constraints on supply, may mean that Apple could sell as few as 450,000 new MacBooks in the first half of this year.

That would represent just a sliver of Apple's overall Mac sales, which are likely to top 10 million for the first two quarters of 2015.

Apple's latest MacBook packs a single USB-C port along with a headphone jack, a 12-inch Retina display, 8 gigabytes of RAM, and a new Intel Core M processor into a package less than half as thick as the already-svelte MacBook Air. It also includes a brand new keyboard and clickless "Force Touch" trackpad that borrows technology from the Apple Watch.

The new device starts at $1,299, compared to just $899 and $999 for the 11- and 13-inch MacBook Airs, respectively. Those laptops, which were given updated internals earlier this week, do not boast Retina displays.

Despite potentially weak initial sales, Kuo believes that the new MacBook is likely to find increased success down the road as the USB-C ecosystem matures and consumers begin to refocus on buying thinner and lighter devices.


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