MacBook sales might blow up in 2018

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MacBook sales rising
An analyst predicts increasing demand for the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.
Photo: Apple

The number of MacBooks shipping in 2018 will grow by double digits, if a reliable analyst’s prediction proves correct. That would give Apple’s laptops stronger annual growth than iPhone or iPad.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that MacBook shipments will grow 13 percent to 16 percent this year. That’s up slightly from his thoughts from just a few weeks ago.

He’s also bullish on the iPad, predicting 7 percent to 10 percent growth in iOS tablet shipments. The analyst isn’t as optimistic about the iPhone, as he expects only 4 percent to 6 percent growth.

A majority of Apple’s shipments will come in the second half of the year, according to Kuo. That’s after the company releases its new 2018 products.

Kuo’s note to investors (obtained by StreetInsider) says he expects increasing demand for the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar to help the company’s fortunes.

Cheaper MacBook Air won’t hurt

The KGI analyst also referenced the less-expensive MacBook Air that’s been in so many rumors lately. Kuo is actually the original source of the reports on the budget MacBook Air, and his note treats the device as if it’s definitely coming. Kuo isn’t indulging in hubris, though. He has a stellar reputation when it comes to unannounced Apple products. His predictions are certainly far more reliable than many other sources.

He has so far stopped short of discussing the price of this unannounced laptop, but a separate rumor indicates that it will fall between $799 and $899. That’s down from the current MacBook Air, which starts at $999.