Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

The MacBook Air lands in China - and takes off

August 26, 2011: 7:40 AM ET

Greeted with long lines and stock outs when it arrived in Hong Kong this week

Image: Apple Inc.

In a note to clients Friday, Ticonderoga's Brian White reported that the new MacBook Air -- which was launched in the U.S. more than four weeks ago -- was greeted with long lines and stock outs when it finally arrived in Hong Kong this week.

Not only did stores run out of certain MacBook Air models, but also some iPads and iPhone 4s, presumably through a Chinese version of the halo effect. This, White says, bodes well for the launch of the Air in mainland China, perhaps as early as next week.

"Based on our field checks," he writes, "we believe the new MacBook Air is poised to be a big hit in the Greater China region as more consumers can increasingly afford to own a PC, Apple fever is gaining momentum in the region and there is no laptop product on the market with the characteristics of the new MacBook Air. Recall, Greater China accounted for approximately $3.8 billion of Apple's 3QFY11 sales (up over six-fold Y/Y) or 13% of total revenue. With IDC naming China the largest PC market in the world this week based on 2Q11 shipment data, we believe investors should increasingly think about the Mac opportunity for Apple in China over the next few years."

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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