Apple Avoids Widespread Parts Shortage With New Macs, AirPods Released

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Apple’s latest 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros are powered by the all-new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips.

Courtesy of Apple

One of the most interesting aspects of


Apple

Monday’s announcement of new MacBook Pro laptops, an updated version of AirPods, and a few minor tweaks to the HomePod smart speaker line is that you’ll be able to buy them without delay. The updated MacBooks and AirPods go on sale next week.

As several Apple analysts (ticker: AAPL) observed in research notes on the event, lingering industry concerns about chip shortages and manufacturing capacity do not appear to be hampering the ability of the industry. company to deploy new products. This contrasts with recent reports that it has had issues getting enough parts to meet its production targets for the iPhone 13.

Apple shares are up 1.4% to $ 148.63 in the latest trade. The


S&P 500

is up 0.6%.

“Despite supply chain issues affecting multiple companies, Apple’s announcements suggest it’s significantly better at handling these disruptions than other small products [manufacturers]», Writes the analyst of Citigroup Jim suva, which maintains a buy rating and a target of $ 170 on Apple shares.

DA Davidson Analyst Tom Forte makes a similar point. “In view of the increasingly difficult environment with supply chain disruptions and logistics inflation, we have paid special attention to the launch dates and prices of new products,” he writes. “We are delighted that the new MacBook Pro and AirPods are available next week and that the HomePod Mini is due in November.” Forte repeated its buy note on Apple, while raising its price target to $ 175 from $ 167.

Forte also pointed out that Apple is “taking the price” on both the new MacBooks and the new AirPods, which could be a move to offset higher component costs. He notes that the 16-inch version of the new MacBook Pro starts at $ 2,499, up $ 100 from the base model of the previous generation of Pro laptops.

Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi also noted the company’s aggressive pricing strategy for Mac. He believes the higher MacBook Pro prices could raise average Mac selling prices by 5% or more.

But Sacconaghi still has long-term concerns about the size of the Mac market. Between 2014 and 2019, he notes, Mac revenue was roughly flat at around $ 25 billion. But Mac’s revenue jumped 11% in the September 2020 fiscal year, with a 25% jump to around $ 36 billion expected in fiscal 2021, which is due to be announced next week. He notes that Mac sales have been boosted by the pandemic – and wonders if “normalized” Mac revenues could be closer to pre-pandemic levels.

Meanwhile, Sacconaghi notes that the new AirPods were priced at $ 179, $ 20 less than the original second-gen price and “below what the blogosphere expected.” He believes the price is “indicative of widespread competition in the headphone market” and adds that he is “not convinced that the new offering is convincing enough to trigger a significant upgrade cycle”. It retains its Market Perform rating on Apple shares.

Needham Analyst Laura Martin had the most original version of yesterday’s event, which she described as “a 50-minute infomercial” for MacBooks, AirPods, and the HomePod Mini, which followed the “80-minute infomercial “for the iPhone 13 and other stuff just four weeks ago.

“One of the reasons Apple’s margins are so high is that it gets huge free advertising, which lowers its required marketing costs,” she writes. “To our knowledge, no other consumer product could attract a huge audience for 2 hours of product demonstrations in a single month. These events create awareness at minimal cost. Apple’s strong mainstream brand and rabid fandom make this possible, reducing its marketing spend needed to introduce new products.

Martin also argues that the latest, uh, infomercial underscores Apple’s commitment to producing its own chips. “For us, the importance for Apple to use its own proprietary chips (rather than using


Intelligence

) is that it will create more differentiation over time, which will make Apple harder to compete with Android or any other technology that uses standard chips, ”she writes. Martin retains his buy rating and his target of $ 170 on Apple shares.

Write to Eric J. Savitz at [email protected]


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