The MacBook Air: Apple's Stop-Gap

Posted: Apr 4 2011, 4:07pm CDT | by , in Rumors | Apple

The MacBook Air: Apple's Stop-Gap

The stars are not yet right for a full Post-PC revolution.

Apple has a long, sad history of putting all their eggs in one basket. Their recent resurgence has been characterized by (mostly successful) attempts to diversify their products and services. Since Jobs came back on board, the company has added iTunes, media players, smartphones, applications and tablets to their revenue stream. But even the iPad's wild success hasn't been enough to counter Apple's hard-won paranoia.

Which is why they're hedging their bets on the tablet market with the MacBook Air. From the beginning, the Air was conceived of as competition for the iPad. A notebook with exceptional battery life, instant-on and similar weight and profile to a tablet. It was Apple's answer to the folks who said an iPad just wasn't functional enough.

And sales of the Air have taken off ever since. Apple moved 326.8% more units in Q4 2010 than they did in Q4 2009. For the first time ever, the Air makes up more than 10% of Apple's total PC sales. It's a perfect poster child for the merger of OS X and iOS.

But the Air is more than just a "bridge" between Macs and Apple's mobile devices. It is also a stop gap, until Apple can get the rest of the world to buy into this "post-PC" thing. iPad sales have been stellar so far, but the market is young and a wider buying audience has yet to show itself. Tablets are an intermediary step towards post-PC computing. They don't yet have the power or breadth of capability to truly replace the PC.

The Air allows Apple the freedom to flesh out their tablet offerings over time, while still dangling a 'hook' for the legions of customers who demand both portability and capability in their computing experience.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/5" rel="author">Robert Evans</a>
The excitement about new smartphones, tablets and anything mobile drive Robert to unearth the latest rumors and developments in this fast moving space. He adopted 4G as soon as it become available and knows where the mobile market is going.
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