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First Estimates of MacBook Air Sales Are High, But Will It Cannibalize iPad Sales?

Cometh the Air, cometh the sales estimates. This week, Steve Jobs launched the new MacBook Air, describing it as a hybrid between the iPad and a conventional laptop. And two days later, the first analyst is making predictions about sales figures. Mingchi Kuo, VP of the research department of Concord Securities, reckons Q4 2010 should see around 700,000 units shipped.

But which size is going to be more popular? Mr Kuo reckons that the 11.6-inch model will win out, due to its low price, shifting 60%—around 420,000 units—of all Airs. The larger model will have to be content with just 40%. It will be interesting to see how the smaller model affects sales of the iPad—over 4 million of them were sold in the last quarter, Apple reported earlier this week.

Apple, presumably, is not expecting the Air to take a huge bite of its iPad sales—after all, they are two very different products, for two very different markets. Anyway, if it does start denting the firm's tablet sales, there will be an iPad refresh (hopefully next year). At that point we will, hopefully, see a more impressive version, perhaps with the same Retina Display that the iPhone 4 possesses—meaning that even skeptical late adopters such as Fast Company's Gina Trapani, will be tempted.

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  • Gibson Epiphone

    Gonna get a whole load of hate mail here, but here it goes....
    Mac, Mac, Mac, look great, they do very well designed pretty boxes for their stuff, but I have had the worst nightmares with them.
    I have had 3 Macs and used many more and I had to leave the religion, so many crashes so much lost work and so underpowered.
    I recently worked on a big Design show on TV and Apple gave the designers on the show the latest greatest most powerful Macs for free advertising, they could not cut it, the real work had to be done in secret on PCs and then faked for the show to make it look like the Macs did it.
    If they work for you fine, but please don't be fooled by Jobs, he is more evil than Gates and has made the cool set think they are rebels using Macs, sorry to say you are not, they are the same as all the other corporations but even worse they pretend to be your friend, never again.
    You would do better with a smokin' Linux PC if you are not too scared of course that you may have to learn how to really use a computer?

  • hdoug

    The cheapest AirBook costs more than the most expensive iPad so if AirBook sales cannibalize iPad sales I guess that will really hurt Apple? Well duh, guys. If the iPad had cannibalized MacBook sales -- well, that would have been a problem, but not the other way around.