Market Overview

Apple Making Less Money on Every Next-Gen MacBook?


According to a new report from DigiTimes (via AppleInsider), the new Retina Display featured in the next-gen MacBook Pro -- which will reportedly come from Samsung and LG Display -- will cost Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) as much as $150 per unit.

This matches up with a previous report that claimed that Apple could spend an additional $100 per MacBook if it chose to include a Retina Display. DigiTimes said that current HD displays (ranging from 13 to 15 inches) cost $40 to $45 per unit, while many newer displays that support full HD go for $90 to $100. Apple's old, lower-resolution displays likely fall within the first category.

It was assumed that Apple would pass the cost on to consumers, but by saving the Retina Display for its most expensive MacBook Pro (which retails for the same price as the most expensive standard model, $2,199), the company was able to avoid doing so. In fact, with a large (read: expensive) solid state drive, some might say that the next-gen MacBook Pro is providing consumers with more value.

But someone has to pay the price for this new technology, and it seems that someone is Apple. Reports have already come in that the next-gen MacBook Pro has sold out online, delaying shipping times for new orders by as much as four weeks. (A quick check on confirmed this report.) Thus, Apple might sell more of its new MacBook but earn less money on each machine.

One way that Apple could make up the difference is through the laptop's weight (the new MacBook Pro is lighter, making it cheaper to ship) and size (the unibody is smaller and may cost less). The new MacBook Pro also lacks an optical drive.

Apple may only save a few pennies on each of those elements, but there may be other, less obvious ways that the company is reducing costs.

In the short term, however, Apple may not care about the cost of the next-gen MacBook. As manufacturing becomes more efficient and as component costs come down in price, so will the cost of producing each MacBook. Thus, Apple may be willing to take a smaller profit today knowing that if it builds the brand and beats its competitors to the market today, it could take control of the market and enjoy larger profits tomorrow.

Follow me @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: Apple MacBookPro Next-Gen MacBook ProNews Rumors Tech Best of Benzinga


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