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Supply chain not upbeat about order prospects for new MacBook Air
Source: DIGITIMES   Editor: Helan   Update Time :2018/11/1 17:31:09

Despite Apple's recent launch of an all-new MacBook Air, supply chain partners are conservative about order momentum for the new device and they do not expect to benefit significantly from Apple orders as the tech giant has retrieved materials procurement rights from them, according to industry sources.

The sources said that Apple continues to update its MacBook Air specs. Featuring a smaller footprint, the new MacBook Air takes up 17% less volume,and is 10% thinner and a quarter pound lighter than the previous-generation model. The new device is powered by an eight-generation Intel Core i5 processor and equipped with a 13.3-inch Retina display

The updates have attracted great attention from consumers, but how strong the sales momentum for the new model will still need to be observed, as the price tags of NT$39,900 (US$1,277) and NT$45,900 for different specs are much higher than NT$31,900 for the previous-generation model and other slim notebooks with Windows operating system.

Supply chain partners are taking a wait-and-see attitude toward whether the higher-than-expected pricings for new MacBook Air will affect its sales performance.

Apple statistics indicate that sales of MacBook Air fell under 19 million units in 2017 from a high of over 20 million units in 2015. In the first half of 2018, sales reached 7.8 million units, and whether the annual shipments for 2018 can reach the 2017 level seems a hard nut for Apple to crack, industry sources said.

As Apple has decided to retrieve materials procurement rights from supply chain partners since mid-2018, the partners have seen their profit margins drop significantly as they can only earn contract production fees. Nevertheless, partners still have to rely on massive orders from Apple to bolster their capacity utilization rates.

Through product updates and price hikes for new MacBook Air model, Apple seeks to sustain its revenue and profit growths, the sources commented, adding that if shipments of the new device fail to ramp up significantly, supply chains will not pin much hope on orders from Apple to support their revenue and profit performance.

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