Digitimes’ Aaron Lee and Joseph Tsai report that Apple MacBook shipments may only see single-digit growth in 2013, since related upstream component suppliers still have not yet seen any major increases in orders, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.
Lee nd Tsai suggest that orders may increase slightly after Apple releases its new MacBook products at the end of the second quarter.
They note that while Apple was confident about its 13-inch MacBook Pro’s performance for 2013, the device’s actual sales have turned out to out to be weaker than expected, leaving the company still sitting on large inventories in the first quarter.
Lee and TSai’s sources point out that Apple’s MacBook Pros have strong attraction to consumers, but the devices’ high prices are instead pushing consumers away, but Apple still shipped 13.03 million MacBooks in 2012, up 7.98% on the year.
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Sluggish Sales Indicate Retina MacBook Pro IS Still Overpriced
Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Pro was the bestselling Mac model for some time, but reportedly its putative replacement, the 13.3-inch Retina MacBook Pro, still isn’t selling in numbers that would indicate the price is right.
CNET’s Brooke Crothers notes that even with recent price cuts, the Retina MacBook Pro is still plagued by inventory problems, according to an Digitimes report, which noted that component suppliers in Asia haven’t seen a major increase in orders, and slow sales are forcing Apple to sit on unsold inventory indicating that Apple still has a price problem with the 13.3-inch Retina MacBook Pro even thought its base price was cut from $1,699 to $1,499 after only three months in production.
Crothers notes that Apple is facing new competition from Google’s Chromebook Pixel, which trumps the MBP in a few key hardware areas including higher pixel density (239 pixels per inch versus the MBP’s 227), has a touch screen, and can be configured with internal 4G and the base Pixel model is priced at $1,299.