U.S. Mac Sales Down in June Despite Introduction of New MacBook Airs

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has released a new report covering the full June quarter Mac and iPod sales data from market research firm NPD. 

According to the data, Apple's Mac sales came in down 5% year over year, despite the introduction of the newest Haswell-based MacBook Airs at this year's WWDC. During the same time period last year, Apple unveiled both upgraded MacBook Airs and the new Retina MacBook Pro, so it seems the lack of a refreshed MacBook Pro lineup may have impacted sales for the quarter. 

As with his previous reports, Munster notes that it remains difficult to extrapolate NPD data to Apple's global sales performance, but he views the June data as "neutral to slightly negative," down from slightly positive in a May report.

 We note that we had expected an uptick in Mac sales in the month of June given updated Macbook Airs at WWDC; however, Mac units were [down] 12% y/y for the month of June according to NPD. Based on the differences between NPD data and Apple reported Mac sales over the past few quarters, we note it is becoming more difficult to draw conclusions from NPD data.

Munster stands by his belief that iPads will continue to cannibalize Mac sales and sticks with his prediction of 5% year over year decline in Mac sales for the June quarter. Macs are currently responsible for less than 15% of Apple's total revenue. 

As for iPods, Munster's analysis of NPD data suggests that units are down 32% year over year, while the Piper Jaffray estimate suggests that sales are down 23% year over year on a global basis. However, as iPods only represent 2% of Apple's revenue, the overall impact of the sales decline is minor.

Source: Mac Rumours


Apple Testing Software Update to Address 2013 MacBook Air Wi-Fi Issues

Last week, it was reported that a growing number of owners of Apple's new MacBook Air were experiencing Wi-Fi issues, with users reporting problems such as dropped connections that require a restart in order to reconnect. It was reported earlier this weekthat Apple has been replacing affected machines and collecting the defective units in order to examine them as part of the company's investigation into the issue. 

As noted by AppleInsider, Apple is now sending out invitations to certain MacBook Air owners asking if they wish to participate in the company's AppleSeed customer software seeding program for the purposes of testing a new "MacBook Air WiFi Update 1.0". While Apple does not specify in its invitation exactly what problem the software update is designed to address, it presumably focuses on the connection issues being reported by users.

 You have been selected to join our AppleSeed program. If you accept, we will provide you with a pre-release version of the MacBookAir WiFi Update 1.0 to install and use. 

While trying out MacBookAir WiFi Update 1.0, we ask that you provide us with your feedback. Our program includes a bug reporting system for our participants. If you wish to be a seed volunteer and help Apple release high-quality software, follow the instructions below.

Beyond the connection issues, Apple's OS X 10.8.4 public release and OS X Mavericks beta also appear to have a software issue that prevents machines supporting the new 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard from taking advantage of the faster speeds for file transfers. It is, however, unclear whether Apple will address this issue for current MacBook Air owners through this software update in testing or through a separate update such as the upcoming OS X 10.8.5 update.

Source: Mac Rumours


Apple Announces New MacBook Airs with Haswell Processors and 'All-Day' Battery Life

At today's WWDC keynote in San Francisco, California, Apple announced new 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Airs, which have been designed with battery life in mind. As expected, the new Airs use Haswell processors that offer enhanced performance and significantly improved battery life, but feature no cosmetic changes. 

With the new Haswell processors, The 11" MacBook Air will now have nine hours of battery life while the 13" MacBook Air will have a stunning 12 hours of battery life.

In addition to Haswell processors, the new MacBooks feature 802.11ac compatibility, with support for the "Gigabit WiFi" 802.11ac specification. Gigabit WiFi offers speeds up to three times as fast as existing 802.11n wireless networks. 

The 11" MacBook Air starts at $999 with a 128GB hard drive and the 13" MacBook Air with a 128GB hard drive starts at $1099. Apple's MacBook Airs are available today from Apple's Online Store and at retail locations.

Source: Mac Rumours


Apple Updates Retina MacBook Pro, Lowers Price – Drops Price of MacBook Air, Too

Apple announced on Wednesday that it has dropped the price of its 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display to $1,499 for the 128GB model and $1,699 for a newer model with 256GB of storage and a faster 2.6GHz processor.

Meanwhile, it also updated its entry-level MacBook Pro with a Retina display with a faster 2.4GHz quad-core processor and updated its high-end version with a 2.7GHz processor and 16GB of RAM.

The company also dropped the price of its 13-inch MacBook Air with 256GB of storage to $1,399, which by our calculations should be a savings of about $100.

The new devices and prices don’t seem to be appearing in Apple’s online store at the time of publication, although we imagine they will be added very soon.

[Source: TechnoBuffalo]

MacBook Air, MacBook Pro refreshes expected June 2013 with same designs, new processors

Digitimes expects Apple to unveil refreshed MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models in June 2013. The report claims that Apple has already issued requests to its supply chain partners to prepare to build the revised notebooks. Digitimes frames the news as concern for Ultrabook vendors.

Digitimes also says that the new MacBook Air models will include new processors, but the computers will likely retain the current industrial design. The current MacBook Air design was introduced with the late 2010 model. Apple last updated the MacBook Airs in June 2012 with faster processors, new RAM and storage options, USB 3.0, and a FaceTime HD camera.

Separately, the report also believes that current MacBook Air models could see price drops ahead of the product refresh, but this would be unlike Apple’s typical Mac upgrade strategy. Apple’s common Mac update strategy is to succeed a current Mac model with the refreshed version without providing official price drops ahead of these refreshes.

[Source: 9to5Mac - Click here to ready the full story]

Apple Releases Firmware to Activate PowerNap on 2011 MacBook Airs

One of the new features found in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion is PowerNap. PowerNap was introduced at WWDC 2012 and allows your Mac to continue to perform tasks such as receiving email and updating software even when it's sleeping. 

Apple lists the full capabilities in this Knowledge Base document. Capabilities include getting new Mail, syncing Calendar, Contact and Reminder changes, and more. When plugged into power, your Mac can download software updates and make backups with Time Capsule. 

Apple only supports PowerNap on 2011 MacBook Airs and beyond as well as the 2012 Retina MacBook Pro. The capability should move over to more of Apple's laptops as Apple makes a full transition to SSD. Built-in flash storage is listed as one of the requirements of the technology. Apple just released a firmware update that enables this functionality in the 2011 MacBook Airs, while support for the Retina MacBook Pro is said to be "coming soon".

[Source: MacRumors]

Win a Speck SeeThru Case Every Day This Week


You all know me by now… one of the first things I do when I get a new laptop is to put some sort of case on it. With the elegance of Apple design, it is always nice if I can achieve this without too much bulk being added. For an example of how this can be acheived, check out my review below of the Speck SeeThru Case.

Every day this week I will be randomly selecting one winner, who will get to choose a Speck SeeThru case of their choice from the selection below. This giveaway will run from Monday 30th January 2012 at 1am GMT through to 5th February 2012 at midnight GMT. I will randomly select the winner the following day, with the last winner being announced on the 6th Feb. You can enter as many times as you want, max once per day. Any age is welcome to enter & available worldwide.

All you need to do to enter is copy & paste the message below into a tweet, or click THIS LINK & tweet out the resulting message.

RT Check @speckproducts http://bit.ly/speckp & sub to @geekanoids http://bit.ly/YTgeek for a chance to win a SeeThru Case every day #GeekSP 

The winner will be able to choose from the following prizes (subject to stock). 

MacBook Pro 13" See Thru case (Raspberry, Colbalt, Peacock, Clear)
MacBook Pro 13" See Thru Satin case (Aubergine, Raspberry)
MacBook Pro 15" Fitted case (SpexyHexy Purple, TartanPlaid Grey/Black, TartanPlaid White)
MacBook Pro 15" See Thru Satin case (Clementine, Peacock, Aubergine, Raspberry)
MacBook Pro 17" See Thru Satin case (Black)
MacBook Air 11" See Thru case (Raspberry, Cobalt, Peacock, Clementine)
MacBook Air 13" See Thru case (Colbalt, Raspberry)
MacBook Air 13" See Thru Satin case (Aubergine, Clementine, Black)