John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

The MacBook Air: Apple’s $3 Billion Baby

When he last gauged the revenue opportunity of the MacBook Air back in April, J.P. Morgan hardware analyst Mark Moskowitz estimated it at $2.2 billion. But with a refresh of the machine in the offing and demand for it still strong, he’s reassessed and come up with a new figure: $3 billion.

Moskowitz’s rationale for this is simple: The Air’s sales rose 2.9 percent sequentially in the first quarter, significantly outpacing the Mac’s overall. Add to this the fact that Apple shipped 432,000 MacBook Airs during that period, up 412.9 percent year over year at a time when the broader PC market was down 10.1 percent, and it’s not hard to see that the machine is building up quite a bit of traction in the market.

“Our conversations with industry contacts, coupled with our team’s recent Asia tech food chain trip, indicate that the MacBook sell-in trend continues to exhibit increasing momentum,” Moskowitz says. “Over the next 12-18 months, we think that the average quarterly run rate of the device could reach 700,000 units, which implies a $3 billion-plus revenue opportunity.”

Which, frankly, isn’t that hard to imagine. Certainly not now with the impending launch of iCloud, which will temper the average user’s need for high-capacity hard drives and give the Air storage to match its performance characteristics.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik