Apple’s Secret Holiday Weapon: A Redesigned Macbook Pro

A lot has been written about the phenomenal success of the iPhone, but another Apple product line, the Macbook, has been booming in the background. Macbook sales have skyrocketed over the last 2 years: Apple sold 1.675 million laptops in their fiscal Q4 2008, up 70% over the same period in 2006.

This holiday season, Apple appears poised to capitalize on this tremendous sales growth with a new line of Macbook and Macbook Pro computers that were launched to much fanfare on October 14.

This update marked the first ground-up redesign of Apple’s laptop line since the models were introduced with Intel processors in early 2006, and traffic has been growing over time. If online interest in October is any indictor, Apple has a runaway success on their hands with the redesigned Macbooks. Here we’re looking at traffic to Apple’s Macbook Pro pages, the model of laptop Apple offers that has gone the longest without a redesign.

  • Traffic boosts may be due in part to the halo effect of the iPod and iPhone, but it looks like the introduction of upgrades to the Macbook Pro itself has had an impact since 2006.
  • Traffic to Apple’s Macbook Pro product pages has experienced steady growth since the model was introduced in 2006, with significant increases in interest driven by hardware
  • upgrades like new screens or faster processors.
  • The complete redesign (and accompanying marketing push) was followed by unprecedented levels of interest in the Macbook Pro, with over 600,000 unique visitors checking out the new models in October.

  • Traffic declined sharply in November, but still is higher than any previous month tracked. If past trends hold, this could represent the MacBook Pro’s new "base" level of interest.

Let’s not forget that we’re talking about a computer with a minimum price point of $1999. If Apple can drive this kind of interest in such a premium product during these difficult economic times, they should expect to see their sales continue to climb as well. I’m almost starting to feel bad for poor John Hodgman!