J.P. Morgan went out on a limb today (note the sarcasm), calling for huge MacBook Air sales and retention of dominant market share despite the increase in competitors.
Analyst Mark Moskowitz:
“Ultrabooks are not a competitive threat, yet,” Moskowitz said in an investor’s note released today. “In general, we think that ultrabooks are highly discretionary devices, and pricing on competitive offerings must fall below $800 before posing a viable threat to Apple’s MacBook Air.”
If pricing is the only way for ultrabooks to beat the MacBook Air, it will be a little while before they take a meaningful chunk of market share away. The MacBook Air is so far ahead of its competitors that unless companies take a super-discount approach (see Acer from the other day), they will have a hard time putting their products in winning positions against Apple.
As MG Siegler has mentioned before, it’s a possibility that the MacBook Air may result in a consolidation of sorts with regard to Apple’s MacBook line. The MacBook Air has all but killed the MacBook in terms of functionality and portability, so why can’t it become the standard?
So let’s turn the tables another way. Could ultrabooks made by direct Apple competitors completely replace established main laptop offerings by those companies? It’s highly doubtful, and that, by itself, makes the MacBook Air stand alone.
The Air is functional enough to replace a whole category of main laptop offerings. Sure, the Air has no optical drive and it isn’t the most powerful machine out there (buy a MacBook Pro for the power), but it just works. And that’s what consumers are ultimately looking for.