A revved MacBook Pro will be a big seller; Apple remains the top laptop retailer

If Apple does release a new MacBook Pro this month — and I’m 99.99% certain it will — it looks to be a big seller. According to new research from 1010data, online sales of laptops from the summer of 2016 reached $2.2 billion and grew 12% year over year.  

1010data uncovered how consumer purchases impacted the biggest players in the laptop space online from June – August 2016.  And it turns out that Apple is winning as a brand and as a retailer. This info comes from 1010data’s Ecom Insights Panel, which utilizes a number of sources of consumer spending data representing millions of consumers to provide an accurate assessment of online and offline retail sales and market share.

From June to August 2016, the top laptop brands by sales (in other words, dollars) were: Apple, Dell, ASUS, HP, Lenovo, Acer, MSI, Toshiba, and Microsoft.  

Apple preserved its spot as the number one laptop brand based on sales this summer despite a 7-point loss in market share year over year. Apple and Dell combined for 60% of online laptop sales.

 Unsurprisingly, it turns out the Apple is the number one retailer of laptops online in addition to being the number one brand, according to 1010data. Although most Mac laptop sales happen through Apple’s own website, about 20% are purchased from other online retailers, such as Best Buy and Amazon. In fact, Amazon Direct and Amazon Marketplace’s combined share of sales doubled year over year, and matched Apple’s share of sales. A side note: Apple’s MacBooks, which cost over $1000, are still the most popular laptops sold online.

When ranked by product views, Dell just edged out Apple for the top spot this year. Dell actually outranks Apple when comparing units sold, but due to Apple’s premium price for the Mac line, total sales are higher.

Speaking of Mac laptops, Apple is preparing “the first significant overhaul” of its MacBook Pro laptop line in over four years, reports Bloomberg, quoting unnamed “people familiar with the matter.”

The revved pro laptops will purportedly be thinner, include a touch screen strip for function keys, and will be offered with more powerful and efficient graphics processors for expert users such as video gamers. Echoing previous rumors, Bloomberg says the most significant addition to the new MacBook Pro is a secondary display above the keyboard that replaces the standard function key row. Instead of physical keys, a strip-like screen will present functions on an as-needed basis that fit the current task or application. 

“Apple’s goal with the dedicated function display is to simplify keyboard shortcuts traditionally used by experienced users,” says Bloomberg. “The panel will theoretically display media playback controls when iTunes is open, while it could display editing commands like cut and paste during word processing tasks, the people said. The display also allows Apple to add new buttons via software updates rather than through more expensive, slower hardware refreshes.”