Apple is rumored to be planning to unveil a new MacBook Pro sometime in the fourth quarter, which could give it a much-needed boost in the PC market. Recent data suggests that the iPhone maker failed to add to its market share in the second quarter, which could very well be due to the lack of a refresh for the MacBook Pro.
What the rumors suggest about the MacBook Pro
If the rumors are correct, Apple could make the refreshed MacBook Pro available in October or November, just in time for the holiday shopping season. If this is true, it would be the first refresh of the computer in four years, note analysts at RBC Capital Markets. Analyst Amit Daryanani agrees that a refresh is needed. While some have suggested that Apple will unveil the new MacBook Pro at the iPhone 7 event, which is expected in September, he believes it will come at a later event to be held in the October to December timeframe.
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He expects the new MacBook Pro to have a number of important upgrades such as a new LED touchscreen strip to replace the function keys, a thinner form factor, and the option for a more powerful dedicated graphics processor. He expects new 13- and 15-inch models. The analyst also expects Apple to add a Touch ID fingerprint sensor and USB-C technology.
Further, he expects the new MacBook Pro to run on an Intel processor and be shipped with MacOS Sierra preloaded, meaning it would come with Siri functionality right out of the box. MacOS Sierra also features better image management software and improved iCloud Drive, plus other features.
Apple could gain share in PCs
Daryanani notes that Gartner data indicates that 64.3 million PCs were shipped during the June quarter, which is a 5.1% year over year decline. This is certainly an improvement from the deeper declines we’ve been seeing in the PC market, although he also points out that it was the seventh quarter in a row in quick PC shipments declined year over year.
The analyst notes also that Apple’s share of PC shipments remained flat year over year and sequentially at about 7.1% in June. He explains that this marks a moderation in the company’s share gain momentum and compared to last year. As a result, he states that a new MacBook Pro could be what is needed to reaccelerate Apple’s share gains in the market.
Daryanani continues to rate Apple stock at Outperform with a $117 price target. Shares of Apple stock edged upward by as much as 0.17% to $109.26 during regular trading hours on Friday.