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Why Apple Needed to Upgrade Its Mac Computers

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Macs are getting the Kaby Lake chip

At its Worldwide Developer Conference early this month, Apple (AAPL) took the opportunity to announce upgrades to its Mac computer line-up. The company said that its iMac desktop computers and MacBook laptops were all getting faster processors. Apple has adopted Intel’s (INTC) Kaby Lake processor in its newest Mac computers.

When Apple updated the MacBook Pro last year, it skipped Kaby Lake and used Intel’s other processor, Skylake, instead.

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Sparking growth in Mac business

Apple sold 4.2 million Mac computers in fiscal 2Q17, a rise from 4.0 million units sold in fiscal 2Q16. Mac sales contributed 11.0% of Apple’s total revenue in 2Q17, as we can see in the chart above. The iPhone, as usual, contributed the bulk of the company’s revenue.

Apple’s upgrade to its Mac computers could fuel interest in its products and lead to more sales and revenue for its business. Boosting Mac sales could help Apple mitigate the negative effect on its top line caused by weakness in the tablet market. According to the company, its iPad sales fell to 8.9 million in fiscal 2Q17, compared to 10.3 million a year earlier.

Apple’s iPad woes can be linked to strong competition from the likes of Samsung (SSNLF), Microsoft (MSFT), and Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google as well as general weakness in the tablet market.

Fending off competition from Surface

Apple’s upgrading its Mac line-up could also help it to fend off competition from Microsoft’s Surface devices in the laptop market.

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