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Apple to sell 420,000 11.6in MacBook Airs this quarter

Analyst weighs up the new portable

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Apple's 11.6in MacBook Air will be the most popular model of the company's new skinny laptop line-up, which, in toto, will amount to 17 per cent of Apple's Mac sales in the current quarter.

So says one Mingchi Kuo, head of investment house Concord Securities research team, according to a report from Chinese-language paper Commercial Times by way of DigiTimes.

Kuo reckons Apple will sell 4.1m Macs this quarter - it sold 3.9m in the last one, the fourth quarter of its 2010 financial year.

So that's just under 700,000 MacBook Airs sold between now and the end of the year. Kuo believes 60 per cent of them will be 11.6in models - just under 420,000 - which sets up an interesting dynamic with iPad sales.

Ownership of an 11.6in MacBook Air and an iPad aren't mutually exclusive, but arguably one of the two is suffcient as a second computer for comms duties and media consumption.

This is the first time Apple has had two such closely competing offerins, and it will interesting to see how the numbers play out through Q4. Will the two products canibalise each others' sales, or will Apple - as presumably it hopes - neatly command both segments of the market by covering all the bases? ®

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