On Strength of MacBook, Apple Notebook Sales Surge

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Notebook sales rose 5.7% in the second quarter to 39.96 million units worldwide. Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) growth, driven by strong MacBook sales, was stronger, with unit sales up 17.1% to 3.98 million. Apple still trailed five other manufacturers, which shows how heated competition is. However, Apple products are priced above those of many other manufacturers.

According to TrendForce,

HP has retained first place in the shipment ranking for five consecutive quarters. In the second quarter, HP capitalized on getting contract bids for notebooks in North America and tapped into the demand related to back-to-school sales. HP widened its lead over second-place Lenovo by growing its shipments by 8.5% from the first quarter to reach a total of 9.35 million units.

Lenovo shipped just 8.05 million units in the second quarter, representing a year-on-year drop of 2.4%. The notebook market was relatively much slower in the Asia-Pacific region, and this has an impact on the brand’s performance.

Dell took third place in the global ranking with its second-quarter shipments increased by 21.3% compared with the first quarter and by 7.4% versus the same quarter a year ago. Successes in responding to North American tenders and growth in its Chromebook shipments allowed Dell to securely hold on to the third spot.

Asus finished barely ahead of Apple, with sales higher by 9.3% to 3.99 million.

TrendForce does expect another strong showing by Apple in the current quarter:

The updated 12-inch MacBook helped expanded MacBook shipments by 17.1% from the first quarter to 3.98 million units. TrendForce also anticipates a double-digit sequential growth for third-quarter MacBook shipments as Apple will focus on the MacBook Pro series during the year’s second half.

What TrendForce researchers did not mention is that MacBook prices are often higher than those of laptops made by rivals. For example, Dell sells a number of laptops for under $700. The basic MacBook is priced at $1,299. The 15-inch MacBook Pro is priced at $2,399. This means that Apple’s margins on its laptops are likely higher than its competition.

Apple may be among the smaller brand-name makers of laptops, but it is likely the most profitable.