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MacBook Orders Could Rise, But Shipments May Not

MacBook Orders Could Rise, But Shipments May Not

Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) MacBook is reportedly weeks away from receiving its next upgrade.

According to DigiTimes, the next MacBook will be enhanced with Intel's (NASDAQ: INTC) upcoming Haswell platform. The new laptops could be unveiled as soon as next month at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

Upstream supply chain sources claim that the new MacBook will lead to increased orders for "MacBook devices," which could grow as much as 20 percent sequentially in the second quarter. This sounds like a big win for suppliers, but there's a catch: they do not think that MacBook shipments will receive a corresponding increase.

In fact, MacBook shipments are estimated to experience no more than single-digit growth. They could even stay flat for the rest of the year.

This seems to be a bit contradictory -- why would Apple increase its supply orders if there was not going to be a corresponding increase in MacBook shipments?

It is possible that Apple had previously purchased so many supplies that it was able to cut back. It is also possible that the "flat" shipment expectation may refer to one type of MacBook -- the Pro or the Air.

Without more specific details, it is hard to paint a clear picture of Apple's future. While the MacBook Pro already received a massive overhaul last year, the MacBook Air has remained the same for roughly three years. Apple has tweaked the Air with various upgrades (more memory, more RAM, faster processors, etc.), but that is as far as the company has been willing to go.

Based on the size and shape of the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, it appears that Apple may not have much room to reduce the size of the MacBook Air. The company could add a Retina Display to the platform, but that would raise the cost substantially. Consumers may be turned off by that price hike -- especially after the 13-inch model received a $100 price cut last year.

Consumers can still get their Retina Display fix from the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod Touch, iPad 3 and iPad 4. The second-generation iPad Mini is also expected to be upgraded with a Retina Display.

Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: Apple Digitimes iPad iPad Mini iPhoneNews Rumors Tech Best of Benzinga


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