KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has released a new research report which, while it is optimistic about the future of Apple’s MacBook lineup, also notes demand for the new MacBook Pro models seems “tepid.” Kuo expects price cuts in 2017, on both new and existing MacBooks. He also believes a new MacBook Pro with support for 32GB of RAM or more will be released next year.
Kuo remarked initial demand for the new MacBook Pro models “seems tepid” in the days following the introduction of Apple’s newest MacBook Pro models. He puts the blame at least partially on the new model’s higher prices, as well as consumer disappointment about some of the new laptops’ design changes, such as the switch to USB-C, the removal of the SD card reader, and their lack of support for memory configurations over 16GB of RAM.
AppleInsider notes Kuo sees demand for older MacBooks to remain steady in the first quarter of 2017, but forecasts a 15 to 25 percent a decline in overall shipments quarter-on-quarter due to slower uptake of the new models. This will result in three million MacBook shipments for the first quarter, flat from the same time last year.
Kuo is optimistic for the future of the MacBook line, as he expects price cuts for both existing and new models in 2017, as well as a maturing ecosystem for USB-C devices and software that takes full advantage of the notebooks’ new Touch Bar feature. Kuo says all of this adds up to devices that are more enticing to users.
Kuo sees new MacBooks in the second half of 2017 that will offer support for 32GB of RAM. That is dependent on whether Intel launches their new Cannonlake processors on time.
(3) the new MacBook to be launched in 2H17 may support 32GB DRAM, eventually attracting more core users; this depends on whether or not Intel ships Cannonlake CPU on time in 2017, which features 15-25% less power consumption of LPDDR 4, versus the existing LPDDR 3. If Cannonlake doesn’t enter mass production as expected, the new models launched in 2H17 will adopt Coffee Lake, which continues to adopt LPDDR 3, and maximum DRAM support will also remain unchanged at 16GB.
While a number of customers have voiced their dismay that the new MacBook do not support memory configurations of more than 16GB of RAM, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller explained in an email to a customer that if Apple did make a notebook that supported over 16GB of RAM, current technology would require it to use too much power.