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MacBook Airs To Generate $2.2 Billion In Annual Revenue

Since the official unveiling at Apple’s “Back to the Mac” event in October 2010, the new MacBook Air family has seen a terrific success among consumers: the incredibly thin design, combined with the durability of aluminum and faster performances have turned the new MacBook Airs into affordable, yet powerful machines that retain the small form factor of the previous line. Moreover, the new 11-inch model has set a new trend with several users considering the machine as a tablet-sized device with the capabilities of a classic desktop computer – such as a physical keyboard, trackpad support and USB connectivity. We knew the Air was selling very well, but J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz believes the MacBook Air family could become a $2.2 billion revenue business for Apple if the current pricing model and design is maintained.

Digital Daily reports today that, according to Moskowitz, the “quasi-tablet” MacBook Air is just the beginning of a trend, and if Apple manages to keep “pricing stable” and a 420,000 sales per quarter rate (as seen in Q4 2010) the possibilities for the company to turn this line into the most successful one among Mac computers are huge.

C4Q10 was the first quarter in which the MacBook Air accounted for greater than 10 percent of total Apple PC units. More importantly, the MacBook Air accounted for 15% of total notebook unit sales during the quarter, versus 5 percent in the prior year. Even with the MacBook Air’s strong performance in C4Q10, it represented only roughly 5% of total Apple Mac units and revenues for C2010. We see ample opportunity for this percentage to increase over time, given the improved tech specs and more attractive pricing of the second-generation MacBook Air.

A report by Cnet in February hinted at an upcoming refresh for the MacBook Airs in June to include new Intel Sandy Bridge processors, which should dramatically boost performances of the MBA. Since the release of the new MacBook Pros five weeks ago, many are also speculating Apple will implement the Thunderbolt technology in the next-generation MacBook Airs. A refresh in June would play nice with Apple’s WWDC announcements, although a number of reports in the past week suggested Apple won’t announce new hardware at its developer event, focusing on Lion and an iOS 5 preview. On April 20th, Apple will release its Q2 2011 financial results.

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