Apple’s Q2 2017 MacBook Sales Increase 17 Percent Over the Previous Quarter

Apple's notebook shipments totaled an estimated 3.98 million units in the second quarter of the 2017 calendar year, representing a quarter-on-quarter increase of 17.1 percent, according to new data published by market research firm TrendForce.

Apple gained ground on ASUS at fifth place in the second quarter ranking, with a 0.7 percent increase over the previous quarter to leave both companies taking a 10 percent share of the market. TrendForce highlighted Apple's decision to upgrade its 12-inch MacBook as one of the reasons behind the gains.

Apple trailed closely behind ASUS at fifth place in the second-quarter ranking. The updated 12-inch MacBook helped expand MacBook shipments by 17.1 percent from the first quarter to 3.98 million units. TrendForce also anticipates a double-digit sequential growth for third-quarter MacBook shipments as Apple will focus on the MacBook Pro series during the year’s second half.
Global notebook shipments in the second quarter of 2017 registered a sequential quarterly increase of 5.7 percent and a year-on-year increase of 3.6 percent, totaling 39.96 million units. Sales in the U.S. and the arrival of new product models were said to be the main driving forces behind the second quarter shipments, with strong demand in the entire first half of 2017 exceeding market expectations.

Tapping into back-to-school sales, HP's market share increased by 8.5 percent, allowing the company to retain first place in the global shipment ranking for the fifth consecutive quarter, while Dell posted the largest sequential increase of 21.3 percent to take third place in the ranking. Lenovo meanwhile shipped just 8.05 million units in the second quarter, representing a year-on-year drop of 2.4 percent, with slowdown in the notebook market in the Asia-Pacific region said to have had an impact on the brand's performance.


Acer's aggressive expansion in the Chromebook market did little to fend off rival models in the U.S., causing its notebook shipments to drop by 3.5 percent from the first quarter to 3.22 million units, with Acer remaining in sixth place in the global ranking.

TrendForce noted there are worries in the market that the strong shipment result for this year's first half reflects demand pulling ahead, so shipments in the second half might be comparatively weak. Despite that, third-quarter notebook shipments are projected to increase by another 3-5 percent versus the previous quarter.

Apple updated its 13-inch and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro notebooks in June, introducing faster processors and improved GPUs just eight months after the machines were last refreshed. It also introduced a new low-price 13-inch MacBook Pro sans Touch Bar with a 128GB SSD. No other changes were made to the MacBook Pro.

According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is working on a high-end 15-inch MacBook Pro model that will include 32GB RAM, with production on this machine to begin early in the fourth quarter of 2017. Kuo claimed the MacBook Pro will be "the most significantly redesigned product this year" with desktop-class RAM to appeal to high-end users.

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Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now), MacBook (Buy Now)

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Mophie Launches $150 ‘Powerstation USB-C XXL’ Aimed at New MacBooks

Mophie today announced the release of a new high capacity mobile battery called the Powerstation USB-C XXL, which is aimed at the latest MacBook and MacBook Pro models. The accessory includes a 19,500 mAh battery, which Mophie said will provide up to 14 hours of extra battery, or "more than one full charge" to a MacBook.


The Powerstation USB-C XXL includes one USB-C port and one 5V/2.4A USB-A port, so users can simultaneously charge an iPhone or iPad as they charge their MacBook. The top of the accessory is wrapped in a soft-touch fabric, which Mophie said helps keep other devices in a bag safe from scratches when traveling.

Mophie's new accessory can charge a MacBook at full speed thanks to included USB power delivery technology in the USB-C port, which can charge a connected MacBook at rapid charging rates of up to 30 watts. While 30 watts isn't enough to keep up with a MacBook Pro under heavy load, the battery can still recharge a MacBook Pro in sleep mode or at least slow the battery drain while the computer is in use.

Like other Mophie products, the Powerstation USB-C XXL also includes priority charging, so when it's connected to a wall adapter the battery pack will send power to a connected device first, then recharge itself.


Mophie's PowerStation USB-C XXL is available to buy for $149.95 on Mophie.com, Apple.com, and in Apple retail stores beginning today, although it hasn't yet appeared on Apple's website at the time of writing.

It's worth noting that there are other options on the market if you're looking for USB-C battery packs with power delivery specifications, all of which offer higher capacities at prices lower than Mophie's accessory, although Mophie's design standards and favored relationship with Apple contribute toward its products' popularity with consumers.

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Teardowns Confirm 2nd-Gen Butterfly Keyboard on New MacBook, New MacBook Pro Designs Largely Unchanged

iFixit has posted its teardowns of Apple's new 12-inch MacBook and 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, revealing that apart from the advertised performance boosts the models are largely unchanged from the previous models.

The only really notable change comes in the 12-inch MacBook, which Apple has updated with a second-generation butterfly-mechanism keyboard, as found in the 2016 MacBook Pros, according to iFixit. As some readers will remember, Apple's 12-inch notebook debuted in 2015 with a redesigned keyboard that some users criticized for a lack of travel that they felt made it harder to type on.


Apple used a tweaked version of the same keyboard design in its 2016 MacBook Pros, which most users felt was an improvement with "better give", and the same keyboard now adorns the latest MacBook. According to iFixit:
The keyboard trigger looks like a more classic switch this go-around. The plastic butterfly mechanism appears to have thinned out to accommodate the new switch form factor. The keystroke and travel feel about the same to us, so perhaps the real change is reinforcement for repeated use.
Overall, iFixit gave both of Apple's new notebooks a 1 out of 10 on the repairability scale, owing to their soldered-down RAM, processor, and flash storage, along with glued-down batteries. The scores are in contrast to Apple's new 4K 21.5-inch iMac, which was awarded a surprising 3 out of 10 for repairability, thanks to Apple's use of replaceable memory modules and socketed Kaby Lake CPUs.

The refreshed MacBook and MacBook Pro models feature Intel's seventh-generation Kaby Lake processors, improved Intel and AMD graphics options, with the 12-inch laptop also gaining faster SSD storage. The 12-inch MacBook costs $1,299 for the base model, while the base 13-inch Touch Bar Pro costs $1,799. The 15-inch MacBook Pro pricing begins at $2,399.

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New MacBook and iMac Models Now Widely Available at Apple Stores With Pickup

Apple's latest MacBook, MacBook Pro, and iMac models are now widely available at all but a few of its retail stores across the United States, and customers now have the option to reserve a model for in-store pickup on its website.


Apple began accepting online orders for the new MacBook, MacBook Pro, and iMac models on Monday, but delivery estimates currently range between June 12 and June 22 in the United States, so customers looking to purchase a new Mac earlier than next week may have better luck visiting an Apple Store.

Apple's in-store pickup tool shows the new MacBook, MacBook Pro, and iMac models are also in stock today at select Apple Stores in Canada, but we recommend calling ahead to ensure supplies remain available.

The refreshed MacBook and MacBook Pro models feature Intel's seventh-generation Kaby Lake processors, improved Intel and AMD graphics options, and faster SSD storage, while the new iMac models received the same treatment plus Thunderbolt 3 ports and brighter Retina displays compared to the previous generation.


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iMac and MacBook Early Reviews: Iterative Updates With Welcome Performance Boosts

At the WWDC keynote on Monday, Apple announced a collection of hardware refreshes for the MacBook, MacBook Pro, and iMac, which users are already able to order on Apple.com. Across the line of Macs, Apple added faster Kaby Lake processors, faster SSD options, made a Fusion Drive standard in the iMac, introduced more maximum RAM in the iMac, and improved GPUs.

Now, the company has allowed members of the press to test out both the MacBook and iMac refreshes to see how the computers stack up in comparison to the previous generation, as well as to Apple's competition. Below we'll round up opinions on the MacBook, 21.5-inch iMac, and 27-inch iMac. As many sites noted, first impressions and reviews for the all-new iMac Pro aren't expected to arrive until later in the year, ahead of the computer's December launch.

12-inch MacBook


Apple sent reviewers the base 1.2GHz Core m3 model ($1,299) of the new 12-inch MacBook, and CNET came away largely impressed by the slightly beefed up machine. The site noted that the biggest and most welcome addition was found in the new and improved keyboard with a second generation butterfly mechanism, which has been adopted from the same keyboard on the MacBook Pro line from last year.
Now the 12-inch MacBook has adopted that improved second-gen butterfly mechanism from the Pro line. Even using it in just a few initial typing sessions, I can totally tell the difference -- there's a click and spring to the keyboard that was lacking before. As someone who has typed hundreds of thousands of words across both previous generations of the 12-inch MacBook, I'm very pleasantly surprised by how good this keyboard feels.
Otherwise, CNET liked the default Intel Core m3 CPU in the MacBook, which remains fine for activities like web browsing and streaming video but still lacks any sort of power needed for heavy multitasking or high-end video editing. Upgraded configurations of the MacBook are available with 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 ($1,599) and dual-core Core i7 ($1,749), along with available RAM bumps from 8GB to 16GB ($200), but Apple has kept review units focused on the base tier. All versions retain the MacBook's slim 2.03lb body and Retina display.

Image via CNET

Both The Verge and CNET noted that power users will remain disappointed with the MacBook, which still only has one USB-C port. But for everyday tasks and low-power activities, anyone who can get over the port and power limitations should still find a lot of usage out of the 12-inch MacBook in its third generation.

The Verge:
The big question a lot of people are asking is whether the little MacBook is finally over that power hump that’s kept users from switching over to it. I sadly cannot answer that for you, but my hunch is that the basic calculus isn’t going to change. If you need speed, get a MacBook Pro or a Windows PC or maybe even a MacBook Air.
CNET:
The improved keyboard and the faster CPU options feel like a real step forward, although the system is still not quite as updated as we'd like.

You're still stuck with the same not-great 480p webcam, and there's just that single USB-C port for all your power and connectivity needs, which will be a deal-breaker for many. But if you can work with those limitations, this is the best version of the 12-inch MacBook yet.
Continue reading iMac and MacBook Early Reviews: Iterative Updates With Welcome Performance Boosts

Apple Registers New Macs and iPads in Eurasia Ahead of WWDC on June 5

Just five days ahead of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, where it is widely expected to announce new Macs, French website Consomac has discovered a new Russian-language regulatory filing, in the Eurasian Economic Commission database, that points towards at least five new models running macOS Sierra launching soon.


The five new Macs, identified only with the model numbers A1289, A1347, A1418, A1419, and A1481, are likely to be new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros alongside a new 12-inch MacBook, with the outside chance of a new upgraded MacBook Air also in the frame. At the same time, it's worth noting that these numbers differ from the AXX prefixes attributed to current MacBook models, so nothing is completely certain until Apple makes its announcements.

As well as spare parts for the Macs, the discovered numbers also include a possible new wireless keyboard (model A1843) and four numbers classified under iOS 10 (A1671, A1709, A1670, and A1701), pointing to the possible launch of a rumored new iPad Pro model.


Earlier this week on Memorial Day, MacRumors reported that MacBook Pro orders placed on Monday on Apple's online store had estimated deliveries of between June 6-8 in the United States, suggesting Apple was in the process of restocking ahead of WWDC, when the new Macs are expected to be announced. The notebooks are expected to thought to be receiving internal improvements only, including an upgrade to Intel's faster Kaby Lake processors.

Apple last refreshed the MacBook Pro in October 2016, after the notebook went 527 days without being updated. In contrast, only 220 days will have passed if Apple launches new MacBook Pro models on June 5, which is below the average timeframe of 320 days between any two MacBook Pro generations.

The new notebooks are likely to be announced at Apple's June 5 WWDC keynote, which is set to kick off at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Rumors also suggest Apple could use the event to introduce a new Siri smart speaker.

The EEC filing, published today, satisfies Russia's requirement for companies to register all products containing encryption and/or cryptographic tools.


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Intel’s Upcoming Coffee Lake Processors Up to 30% Faster Than Kaby Lake Chips Coming to Mac Notebooks

Intel today said one of its eighth-generation "Coffee Lake" processors delivered more than a 30 percent performance boost over an equivalent seventh-generation "Kaby Lake" processor in recent testing. Both generations of chips are suitable for Apple notebooks, such as the 12-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro.


"We will have more to say about the 8th Gen Intel Core processor in the future but it's exciting to share that in the latest testing, we're seeing a performance improvement of more than 30 percent over the 7th Gen Intel Core processor," said Gregory Bryant, a senior executive at Intel.

Using the benchmark tool SYSmark 2014 on Windows, Intel compared an unreleased Core i7 quad-core processor with an unspecified base clock speed, and Turbo Boost up to 4GHz, against its Core i7-7500U dual-core processor with a base clock speed of 2.7GHz and Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz. Both are 15W chips.

Intel aims to make its "Coffee Lake" lineup available to computer makers in the second half of this year, and the eighth-generation processors should provide the usual benefits of faster performance and longer battery life in future Macs.

Apple has yet to update its Mac lineup with Kaby Lake processors in the first place, but the company reportedly plans to announce new 12-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro models equipped with the seventh-generation chips at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference next week.

It's still too early to say when we'll see the first Mac with Coffee Lake, but it likely won't be until at least late 2017 or early 2018 given Intel's roadmap.

Earlier this year, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple plans to launch a nondescript "15-inch MacBook" with 32GB of desktop-class RAM. He said the notebook will enter mass production in the early September quarter, but it's uncertain if Coffee Lake processors will be readily available by then.

Intel today also unveiled its Core X-series processor family for desktop computers, ranging from quad-core options to the high-end Core i9 Extreme Edition with 18 cores. The processors, codenamed "Basin Falls," are "coming soon." More details and tech specs are listed in this fact sheet and slideshow.


Apple has promised to release a high-end iMac for professional users later this year, and Intel's new Core X-series processors appear to be appropriate for the desktop computer if the company wishes to use them.

Apple's current Mac lineup uses a mix of Intel's fifth-generation Broadwell and sixth-generation Skylake processors.


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Apple Sees Notebook Shipments Increase Year on Year in Q1 2017

Apple's notebook shipments totaled an estimated 3.4 million units in the first quarter of the 2017 calendar year, compared to an estimated 2.9 million in the previous quarter, according to new data published by market research firm TrendForce.

The figure represents a 15.8 percent decline against the last quarter of 2016, reflecting a somewhat similar decline for the overall notebook market over the same period, however the company's Q1 2017 numbers also indicate a year-on-year increase in overall MacBook shipments.


Apple shipped 3.4 million units of MacBook devices this first quarter and claimed fifth place in the ranking. The latest generation of MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, which was released in last year's fourth quarter, was well-received by consumers and contributed significantly to the overall MacBook shipments. As a result, first-quarter MacBook shipments, while representing a 15.8% decline versus the prior quarter, also showed a year-on-year increase of 15.4%.
HP, Lenovo, Dell, and Asus all suffered marginal market share declines compared to Q4 2016, but Apple's share stayed level over the last two quarters, enabling it to maintain fifth place in the shipment rankings. However sixth-placed Acer gained 0.8 percent ground on Apple over the same period, which TrendForce put down to expanded stocking of notebooks by channel distributors in anticipation of increased device production costs.


TrendForce estimates that MacBook shipments for the second quarter of 2017 will grow by more than 10 percent compared with the first quarter. The firm attributes this projection to suggestions that Apple will update its 12-inch MacBook with a new processor and the possibility of promotional pricing for some older models.

Recent rumors suggest Apple could be planning to announce refreshes for both the MacBook and MacBook Pro at June's Worldwide Developers Conference. The notebooks are expected to be updated with faster Kaby Lake processors, an update from the Skylake processors in the current machines. Apple is also said to be considering updating the MacBook Air with new internals, as sales of Apple's most affordable notebook have remained surprisingly strong.


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Apple to Announce New MacBook, MacBook Pro, and Possibly MacBook Air at WWDC

Apple is planning to announce refreshes for its notebook lineup at its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference set to take place in June, reports Bloomberg. New versions of the MacBook and MacBook Pro are expected to be announced, and Apple is also considering updating the MacBook Air, its most affordable notebook.

The MacBook Pro, which was just updated in October with a slimmer design and a Touch Bar, will be refreshed with a faster Kaby Lake processor, an update from the Skylake processors in the current machines. It will look the same as the current model, adopting only internal updates.


Apple has been working on a custom-designed ARM chip that could handle low power features in the MacBook Pro, but the chip may not be ready for the June MacBook Pro refresh.

Apple's MacBook, last updated in April of 2016, will gain an updated processor, also likely to be in the Kaby Lake family.

Apple has not updated its MacBook Air since March of 2015 and has been phasing it out in favor of the MacBook and the MacBook Pro, both of which are now thinner than the "Air" model, but Bloomberg suggests Apple is thinking about refreshing it with an updated processor, which would mean the MacBook Air could stick around for at least another few years as a low-cost notebook option. Sales of the MacBook Air "remain surprisingly strong" due to its affordability.

The new notebooks are likely to be announced at Apple's June 5 keynote, which is set to kick off at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Rumors also suggest Apple could use the event to introduce both a new Siri speaker and the long-rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro, which is said to feature slimmer bezels for a nearly edge-to-edge design.

Today's report makes no mention of the iMac or Mac mini, two of Apple's desktop machines that have not been updated in some time. It has been more than 580 days since the iMac was last updated in October of 2015, and more than 940 days since the Mac mini was updated in October of 2014.

Apple has said it has updated iMacs in the works, but it is not clear when the machines will debut.


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New 15-Inch MacBook Pro With 32GB of Desktop-Class RAM Coming Later This Year

Apple will release updated Mac notebooks with Intel's next-generation Kaby Lake processors later this year, according to the latest research note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

2016_macbook_pro_lineup
Kuo said a new 12-inch MacBook will enter mass production in the early second quarter, which starts in March, and noted a 16GB of RAM option could be added—presumably as a high-end or built-to-order configuration. The two current 12-inch MacBook configurations include 8GB of RAM.

Likewise, Kuo said new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models will start mass production in the early third quarter, which starts in July.

Interestingly, Kuo also mentions a "15-inch MacBook" that will include 32GB of RAM and enter mass production in the early fourth quarter, which starts in September. He said this model will be "the most significantly redesigned product this year," and he believes it will adopt desktop-class RAM to satisfy high-end users.

Given the high-end specifications, it is likely that this 15-inch MacBook would be part of the MacBook Pro lineup, but Kuo did not specify.

Kuo believes the new Kaby Lake notebooks will be power efficient, which may positive affect shipments. He estimates that Mac notebook shipments will resume year-over-year growth at about 10% on the strength of the new models.

Kuo also expects Apple to discount the 13-inch MacBook Pro sans Touch Bar this year as it gradually replaces the 13-inch MacBook Air.


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