Happy 2012 Apple! MacBook Air Sales Jump by 3 Times

MacBook Air sales have jumped by 3 times. This jump has seen Apple sell over a million MacBook Air laptops. What’s fuelled this massive jump?

MacBook Air Sales Figures

MacBook Air Sales Figures

MacBook Air Sales Figures

Here’s some important Mac sales statistics:

Apple does not release sales figures for individual Mac products. We can, however, combine the information above to estimate MacBook Air’s shipped in Q4 2011.

This an estimate that Apple will have sold 1.1 million MacBook Air laptops globally in the last quarter.

This estimate correlates with two other estimates by Ultrabook News, which put MacBook Air sales at approximately 300,000 units a month.

Dramatic Rise in MacBook Air Sales

In June 2011, MacBook Air sales accounted for 8% of all Mac laptop sales. The following month, the MacBook Air accounted for 22% in Mac laptop sales. By October, the Mac Air was 28% of laptop sales.

This dramatic rise in MacBook Air sales is mostly due to introduction of new MacBook Air models on the 21st of July, 2011. These new models use ultra low voltage Intel Core i5 & i7 Sandybridge processors, giving performance gains of 2 to 3½ times the previous models’ Core 2 Duo processors.

The new MacBook Air models have bought the MacBook Air’s processor performance up to the level of a entry level MacBook Pro (the 13 inch model). The MacBook Air retains advantages over the MacBook Pro of being considerably smaller & lighter, and coming standard with a fast solid state flash disc.

The new MacBook Air models also added a Thunderbolt port, a new connection developed by Intel. Thunderbolt enables connecting multiple external displays, high speed networks, disk arrays and other demanding peripherals, at speeds of up to one gigabyte per second. A “daisy chain” of displays & peripherals can be connected to the MacBook Air by simply plugging in a tiny connector to the laptop’s side.

The massive performance boost and high-speed connectivity has made the new MacBook Air more attractive to potential buyers than the last MBA model – enough to give a 3½ fold increase in sales over the previous models. The previous MacBook Air models, using Intel’s Core 2 Duo processors, accounted for only 8% of Apple’s laptop sales.

More MacBook Air Information

Mac Crazy has in depth, original, independent analysis of the the latest MacBook Air models, including:

MacBook Air Future

The proportion of Apple notebook sales from the MacBook Air 2011 model continues to rise. There’s conjecture that the MacBook Pro models will follow the MacBook Air, losing their DVD burners and hard disks to become more svelte. There’s also evidence in Apple’s supply chain that a MacBook Air 15 inch model will be introduced in 2012.

What do you think the future of the MacBook Air and Pro be? Will the two products merge? Let us know in a comment below.

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7 Responses to Happy 2012 Apple! MacBook Air Sales Jump by 3 Times

  1. Kristján Mathiesen says:

    I just wanted to thank you for great articles! I just recently purchased my first Mac (MBA 2011) and I´ve found your articles helpful in determining i5 vs i7, battery issues, etc. Thanks Taz :)

  2. Felice Kluger says:

    Thank you for all of your MacBook air articles Mr.Hayes. I have a really upsetting issue with my MacBook Air, the newest version, that I just received on Monday. I was perfectly happy with the unit until yesterday. I went to see if it had any software updates, and when it noted that I had 4 updates, I proceeded to install them. The unit went into a total freeze up, and after an hour on install stuck, I tried shutting the unit down numerous times to no avail. I finally brought the new MacBook Air over to a local Apple Store (I live in a very small town) where the techs are not in until tomorrow. Fortunately I have my MacBook Pro with all my info back ups and stored on my Time Machine and also remote DropBox.’
    However, i am concerned about what could be wrong with this brand new expensive unit. Have you ever encountered this issue before? Do you think it is something that can be readily repaired?
    Massive thanks for all your great articles and information. Good Karma back at you.
    Sincerely- Felice

  3. Gwendolyn Smith says:


    I currently own a 2006 17-inch MacBook Pro (the first year they were made?). I love it for “heavy work,” but it’s too heavy to lug back and forth to work (I’m a teacher).

    I considered a netbook, but I need something with more power that is also lightweight. I’m trying to decide between the 11.6-inch and the 13-inch MacBook Air. The biggest gripes I’ve seen in the reviews are no SD card and too much heat in the 11.6-inch.

    FIrst question: Is the smaller screen so much smaller that I’ll hate myself for getting it? I’d love to be able to toss the Air into my shoulder bag (the 11.6 would fit) and go.

    Second question: How necessary is an SD card to the overall quality of my life? I will be entering a few grades and doing a bit of word processing on the Air, but weekends, evenings and summer will be mainly email, surfing, and maybe watching some movies (with a superdrive). Will I be sorry not to have the 13-inch and that SD slot?

    Third question: If I go for the 11.6, do I need to get the Core i7 processor to help cut the heat? I’ve read one interview that says this will help.

    Sorry for such a long post. Thank you for any feedback you can provide.


    • Tasman Hayes says:


      Thanks for your questions! :-)

      Will you hate yourself for getting the 11 inch Mac Air instead of the 13 inch? I’d say only if you do activities that need a lot of screen area, such as big spreadsheets or video editing. If you’ve got info that doesn’t fit on the screen, and you find yourself scrolling all the time you’d go nuts. Most people, however, aren’t doing stuff that need a big screen. Like for web browsing – it’s nice to have a big screen, but not necessary. The activities you mention – entering grades, word processing, web browsing and watching movies (with the laptop right in front of you) don’t need the big screen. I have a 24 inch full HD screen for web development at work. When I go home I use an 11.6 inch MacAir to do web development, web browse and watch movies. I have never once felt cramped or wished for a big screen, even when working on stuff for hours. Still, to be sure, go to a store, bring a few of your files on a USB key, try working with them, doing some web browsing. See how the screen size works for you before buying. There’s no substitute for trying it out.

      How necessary is an SD card reader? Well, I have one on my MacBook Pro 15 inch. It’s convenient to have if you use SD cards, for example if you have a digital still camera or video camera which uses SD cards. Still, with most of these devices, you can plug a USB cable in between them. You can also get a SD card reader that plugs in via USB if you really need one. Here’s a bunch of SD card readers at Amazon. I wouldn’t buy the 13 inch just to have an SD card reader. It much more important to get the laptop size that suits your needs and lifestyle.

      Buying the Core i7 MacBook Air will not reduce heat. The i7 is a racehorse that can run faster, and therefore hotter than the i5. The Core i5 processor in the MacBook Air 11 inch has a significantly slower maximum speed, so it’s thermal output is limited. Get the i5 MacBook Air if you want a cooler Mac Air.

      I hope that answered all your questions!


  4. Gwendolyn Smith says:

    Thank you, Tas. Your info is very helpful. I was curious about the Core i7 processor on the smaller Air, because some guy on another Mac site said the 11.6″ ran hot but would run cooler with the i7. I’ve tried to find the article, but I can’t.

    Anyway, I appreciate your help. I’ve bookmarked your site for future reference. :) Thanks again.


  5. Allen says:


    Maybe it is too late, but in your case, I think it is better to buy the 2010 version of Macbook Air, used. It is cooker than the 2011 version for sure, although not too much. I have both:
    2010 13″ 4GB 256GB, and
    2011 11″ 4GB 128GB.
    I love the 11″ more due to the size and weight. I don’t feel the screen too small, because of all the great gestures to easily enlarge the font size by double tap with two fingers on Safari.

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