We expect Apple (US) to roll out the new MacBook Air with a lower price tag in 2Q18. We forecast total shipments of MacBook models will grow 10-15% YoY in 2018 (vs. 0-5% YoY decline for the NB industry), up from 15.5-16mn units in 2017. While Quanta, Radiant, Catcher and SZS are likely to benefit from strong shipments momentum, SZS also stands to benefit from increased market share and a higher ASP.
Currently, Apple only sells the 13-inch MacBook Air. The base model features an older 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD, and Intel HD Graphics 6000 for $999. The notebook does not have a Retina display.
Presumably, the new model would feature an upgraded processor, better graphics, a Retina display, and more storage. Given the purported 2Q18 launch, we could see the MacBook Air unveiled at WWDC.
MacRumors notes that in a separate report, Kuo predicts that AirPods and Apple's rumored over-ear headphones are the future of the company's AI and AR ambitions. Compared to the HomePod, Apple headphones are seen to offer more opportunities for quickly reaching users, personalization, and complementing the company's rumored AR glasses.
Kuo is extremely optimistic about the future of AirPods but less enthusiastic about HomePod given 'mediocre' demand thus far.
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