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MacBook Sales may Decline in Q3 but for Good Reason

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A new report out this morning states that an estimated four million MacBooks will be shipped in the third quarter of 2013, increasing over 10% on quarter, but significantly decreasing from previous years, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers. Yet the report doesn't acknowledge the bigger context. 

The report further states that quarterly MacBook shipments usually peak in the third quarter due to the year-end sales peak, with third-quarter shipments averaging 5-6 million units in past years.


Apple revised the MacBook Pro in 2012 and then increased 13-inch MacBook Pro orders in anticipation of good sales, the sources noted. But actual sales of the 13-inch MacBook Pro fell far short of expectations, and therefore Apple cleared inventories and suspended orders in the first half of 2013, the sources said.


Apple has taken stricter control of its supply chain, including introducing new suppliers, to put pressure on existing ones, the sources indicated. In addition, order visibility has become shorter than in the past, the sources noted.


During Apple's F3Q 2013 Conference Call yesterday, Peter Oppenheimer tried to downplay the Macs 7% decline for the month by quoting IDC's statistics showing that global PC sales had declined 11% in the same quarter. So in context, Mac sales weren't all that bad. In general, Oppenheimer went on to point out that Apple's upcoming OS X Maverick and Mac Pro workstation would go a long way in boosting Mac sales overall.


Mac users always want the best value for their dollar as most techies do, and so the combination of new MacBook Pro models equipped with energy saving Haswell processors and advances in OS X Maverick are reasons enough to slow down sales until this fall. So the significant decrease in orders to supply chain suppliers appears to be justified – at least on paper and for the time being. Only time will tell if the surge in MacBook Pro sales in Q3 and Q4 will make up for the gloomy forecast that supply chain sources are now forecasting.


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