With New Macs, Lost PC Market Share Sought to be Reclaimed by Apple

As Apple Inc seeks to revitalize a product line that co-founder Steve Jobs once said would be rendered redundant by the iPad, it unveiled new Mac computers.

Presented in a press conference at Apple’s Cupertino, California, headquarters were overhauled MacBook Pro laptops and a new computer monitor. Customers often spend more on films, music and apps with the iPad, making it a long-term moneymaker even while laptops are traditionally more profitable for Apple than the iPad. A Touch ID fingerprint scanner which makes it easier to buy online using the Apple Pay payments system is present in the new MacBook Pro has.

By calling the iPad a “post-PC” device after it launched in 2010, Jobs heralded tablets as laptop replacements. But surprising resilience has been shown by products like the MacBook Pro. The decline in iPad sales has been more precipitous and the laptop now outsells the tablet while Mac revenue has fallen from its 2015 peak. Services revenue from the App Store, iTunes and iCloud to offset slowing hardware sales is sought to be extended by Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook.

A 13-inch or 15-inch display options are available in the new version of the MacBook Pro. The new laptops include larger trackpads and faster chips and are lighter, thinner and narrower than their predecessors.

Replacing physical buttons is a new digital function display at the top of the keyboard called the Touch Bar which is the highlight. Based on the application currently in use, the thin organic light-emitting diode screen allows functions to change. Prices start at $2,399 for the 15 inch and $1,499 for a 13-inch version without the new Touch Bar, Apple said.

“While we don’t expect the updates to meaningfully move the needle, we believe this should return the Mac segment to growth in the near term,” Minneapolis-based Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said in a note to clients, reiterating his overweight rating.

A new TV app and a 5K monitor developed with LG Electronics Inc. that connects to the new MacBook Pro were also announced by Apple.

Apple has gradually lost customers in the intervening period after it last released new laptop computers in the middle of 2015. Researcher IDC said this month that down from 8.1 percent a year earlier, the iPhone maker’s personal computing market share fell to 7.4 percent in the three months through September.

“Apple is going to be able to regain some of the market share that they’ve lost in the higher end notebook market because so many of their products have got so long in the tooth,” Shannon Cross, an analyst at Cross Research, said before the event.

Needham & Co. analyst Laura Martin said before the product launch that if Apple is able to sell more services through Macs, they can become far more profitable than iPads.

“Then you really do want to sell more Macs, because it’s not only a higher upfront fee but then if you can get the same services revenue that’s a more powerful growth engine,” Martin said.

(Adapted from Bloomberg)

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