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Apple (AAPL) Seeks to Boost Sales With Upgraded MacBook Pro

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Apple Inc. AAPL recently announced that it has upgraded MacBook Pro with features that include larger memory (up to 32 GB) and storage up to 4TB, better system security powered by the T2 chip, and a “third-generation keyboard” for “quieter typing.”

Apple, which is reportedly planning to replace Intel’s chips used in Mac computers with its own from 2020 has used the Intel’s 8th-generation processors in the device. This will make the 15-inch model up to 70% faster.

Moreover, the addition of the voice assistant “Hey Siri” is expected to increase its attractiveness.

Reportedly, the 15-inch model has been priced at a staggering $6,699. However, the pricing of the 15-inch and 13-inch base model has remained unchanged at $2,399 and$1,799, respectively.

Position in the PC market

Apple’s focus to strengthen the features of its Mac offerings will help it gain better market share, in our view. The iPhone-maker is currently not a major player in the traditional PC market.

Per IDC’s latest report, Apple’s “traditional PC unit market share” has declined from 7.1% in second-quarter 2017 to 6.9% second-quarter 2018. Moreover, it lags HP, Lenovo and Dell, which have market share of 23.1%, 22.1% and 18.1%, respectively.

We note that in the last reported quarter, Apple Mac unit sales declined 3% year over year to 4.08 million.

Nevertheless, Mac revenues (9.6%) of $5.85 billion remained nearly flat year over year. Latin America, India, Middle East and Africa Central and Eastern Europe showed impressive growth. Globally, active install base of Macs increased in double-digits on a year-over-year basis.

Going by the record customer loyalty that Apple takes pride in, the high sticker price of the revamped MacBook Pros may not pose to be a challenge at all.

However, it now remains to be seen whether MacBook Pro’s new upgrades can boost sales amid the socio-economic and competitive challenges that Apple is dealing with.

Zacks Rank and Other Stocks to Consider

Apple currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Some other top-ranked stocks in the broader Computer and Technology sector are Adobe ADBE, YY YY, and Verint VRNT. All three stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Long-term earnings growth for Adobe, YY and Verint is projected to be 16.20%, 26.43% and 10%, respectively.

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