updated 10:30 am EDT, Tue June 21, 2011
SSD-based notebooks still industry minority
The MacBook Air could account for 48 percent of Apple's MacBook sales by the end of 2011, according to a Gleacher & Company estimate. Analyst Doug Freedman notes that while the Air accounted for only 8 percent of Apple notebook sales in 2008 and 9 percent in 2009, its share jumped to 17 percent in 2010. The 2010 boost is likely the result of a major overhaul in October, which for instance introduced cheaper 11-inch models.
Freedman notes that the Air is riding a wave of what Intel calls "ultrabooks," or notebooks based on ultra-low voltage processors. The analyst further defines them as "SSD notebooks," given that machines like the Air depend on an SSD for storage. The quantity of SSD notebooks in the overall market is expected to remain relatively small for the foreseeable future. "We expect total notebook SSD penetration at a conservative 5 percent in 2011 growing to 30 percent in 2014," says Freedman.