Apple: New Macs Coming Soon?


Is Apple (AAPL) about to unveil updated Macs?

Research firm Wedge Partners thinks so. They assert in a note today that the company will release both new iMacs and new MacBooks “in the next several weeks.”

Wedge sees a redesigned iMac witjh a “thinner, organic design, likely with smoothed or rounded edges. The MacBook redesign “is likely to be limited,” Wedge asserts.

Meanwhile, the firm also expects “new, lower price points to drive demand and create a meaningful competitive threat” to coming PCs based on Windows 7 as well as to the booming netbook segment. “We believe these new designs and price points will help Apple achieve a 3 million unit quarter for Macs in [calendar] Q4.”

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Despite iMac boost, Mac sales still set to decline


On the good side, Apple's new iMacs, Mac Minis, and Mac Pros that are now shipping were not included in Piper's earlier analysis, and should help offset February's decline. Apple's desktop group was a source of weakness in an otherwise strong first fiscal quarter, and although desktops aren't strong for anybody these days the new systems appear to have been well-received by consumers. Piper says the financial community as a whole is expecting Apple to post about 2.2 million Mac shipments in the quarter, which would be a 4 percent decline and the first quarter Mac shipments have declined year-over-year in a long time. So, in their thinking, the situation could be a lot worse: if Apple makes the Wall Street estimates the fallout could be minimal because of the overall poor health of the economy, even though Mac growth has come to a halt.

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