Apple Doubles Orders for MacBooks
At a time when notebook sales are flat or declining, Apple is increasing orders for new MacBooks from its suppliers... in some cases doubling
production to keep up with demand. That's the word from suppliers in East Asia, as reported by the Taiwan publication DigiTimes
. The news comes as CNET reports that the new MacBook Air is expected to get a refresh in June with a speed bump courtesy of new Sandy Bridge processors from Intel.
Along with the ongoing economic slowdown and increased demand for smartphones and tablets, computer makers worldwide have seen slumping demand for notebooks. DigiTimes reports
that apart from Apple, only Samsung has increased orders to the notebook upstream supply chain, possibly for its new MacBook Air-like 9 Series
superlight laptop. Apple credited the Air for much of its record 4.13 million Mac sales increase in the first fiscal quarter of 2011 (which, for whatever obscure financial reason, ended on December 25, 2010), while all other manufacturers saw sales decrease. Acer, for example, reported its lowest notebook shipment numbers in six quarters in the fourth quarter of 2010.
The DigiTimes report did not specify which models are getting the increase. Speculation centers around the MacBook Pro, however, which is expected to be radically redesigned for 2011 with a solid state drive like the MacBook Air's, and a next-generation Core processor based on Intel's Sandy Bridge architecture. Also in the pipeline is a 2011 update to the MacBook Air: CNET quotes "a source familiar with Apple's plans" as saying that this year's model will also get a Sandy Bridge CPU
. That would be a welcome upgrade, as currently-shipping models come with CPUs in the same Core 2 Duo family that MacBook Airs originally shipped with in early 2008.