Singh said she expected Apple would release new stand-alone displays and MacBook Pro models this quarter. Neither have been refreshed for some time: Apple last updated its display line in September 2011, and its MacBook Pro in February 2013.
If, as some analysts and multiple Apple-centric blogs have posited, Apple releases new MacBook Pros this month to incorporate the Intel Haswell processors, sales in the fourth quarter, usually Apple's strongest, could get a bump.
Also at play for Apple, as with all personal computer makers, is the cannibalization, especially of lower-end notebooks, by sales of tablets. There Apple is in an enviable position, as it also deals out the iPad, and is thus better able than most OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to at least keep the dollars rather than see them flee to a competitor.
CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly embraced cannibalization for that reason.
"I see cannibalization as a huge opportunity for us," Cook said in January when reporting 2012's fourth quarter results. "Our base philosophy is to never fear cannibalization. If we do, somebody else will just cannibalize it, and so we never fear it. We know that iPad will cannibalize some Macs, [so] that doesn't worry us."
"Apple's Mac shipments and revenues have been going down and down each quarter," said Singh, reflecting on the cannibalization impact by the iPad on Macs sales.
Mac sales have stagnated over the last four quarters as Apple's personal computers have also been hit by the transition to tablets. (Data: Apple.)
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