MacBooks, MacBook Airs, and iPad Pros could see some of Apple’s best sales this year

The MacBook, MacBook Air, and iPad Pro could be especially bright products for Apple sales this year. Despite a declining PC (as in in “personal computer,” not just Windows systems) market, the ultramobile premium segment is on pace to achieve revenue growth this year — the only segment set to do so, according to Gartner, Inc.. 

It is estimated to reach $34.5 million, an increase of 16% from 2015, adds the research group. In 2019, Gartner forecasts that the ultramobile premium segment will become the largest segment of the PC market in revenue terms, at $57.6 million.

"The ultramobile premium market is also more profitable in comparison with the low-end segment, where PCs priced at $500 or less have 5% gross margins," says Tracy Tsai, research vice president at Gartner. “The gross margin can reach up to 25% for high-end ultramobile premium PCs priced at $1,000 or more.”

The segment will continue to grow thanks to replacement demand for traditional PCs (the MacBook and MacBook Air) and the touch experience that the two-in-one market (in which Gartner includes the iPad Pro) provides. While the average sales pride for the ultramobile premium segment isn’t expected to fall rapidly, it will eventually move toward $600 in constant-currency terms, predicts Garter. This situation, together with innovative two-in-one products, will entice users to not only replace their PC, but also look to upgrade to a device with more functionality and flexibility, according to the research group.

Of course, this scenario could change somewhat. I expect that Apple will discontinue the MacBook Air line and expand the MacBook line to include a 15-inch model as well as the current 12-incher.