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MacBook Air to remain dominant ultrabook next year, analyst says

December 12, 2011 |  2:01 pm

Macbookair

Apple's MacBook Air is poised to remain the dominant player in the ultrabook market next year, despite a wave of new ultra-thin notebooks slated to debut in the coming months, one analyst predicts.

Apple's super-thin, super-light laptop has been a hit with consumers, and its momentum "is sustainable and likely has upside potential," JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz said in a note to investors Monday.

Previously, "we highlighted the MacBook Air as potentially becoming a $2-[billion to] $3-billion-plus revenue opportunity," he said. "Our latest view is that this ultra-thin notebook PC appears on track to becoming a $7-billion-plus revenue driver at Apple."

Moskowitz said that ultrabooks continue to be highly discretionary devices and that pricing for rival offerings must fall below $800 before posing a real threat to the MacBook Air. And beyond price, he said, other devices simply don't look as good or offer as much.

"In our view, Apple's first mover advantage and optimized feature set and form factor command a higher price that early adopters, productivity users, and Apple enthusiasts are willing to absorb," he said. "In contrast, we think that the first round of ultrabook offerings lacks the right blend of features and attractive price points to grab market share from Apple."

The MacBook Air costs $999 to $1,599. 

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-- Andrea Chang

twitter.com/byandreachang

Image: Apple's MacBook Air. Credit: Apple

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