Apple defies price war with iPad Air, says Deutsche Bank

As many laptops dip below $400 to combat the popularity of tablets, Apple isn't falling prey to price wars yet, says Deutsche Bank.

iPad Mini Retina (front) and iPad Air.  Apple is able to 'command premium pricing' during this holiday season, says Deutsche Bank.
iPad Mini Retina (front) and iPad Air. Apple is able to 'command premium pricing' during this holiday season, says Deutsche Bank. Brooke Crothers

While a holiday price war is breaking out among laptops, Apple is staying comfortably above the fray with its iPad Air, according to Deutsche Bank.

About 60 percent of the 80 best-selling laptops at retailers that Deutsche Bank recently monitored cost less than $400, while 30 percent are below $300.

Deutsche Bank did a "series of online checks" that included Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart over cyber Monday.

"We believe this reflects the need for [laptop] vendors to close the pricing gap with tablets which continue to exhibit strong market momentum," analyst Chris Whitmore said in a research note published Monday.

"Tablets are bifurcated between Apple, who commands a premium, and everyone else," Whitmore said.

He continued. "Apple is a best seller and everyone else is playing for scraps at significantly lower price points. Overall, it appears there is little margin in the Android ecosystem but volumes are robust due to very low price points."

The pricey MacBook Pro also made it into the top 15 best-selling laptops at Best Buy on Cyber Monday.

The $1,050 13.3-inch MacBook Pro (non-Retina) was No. 5 and the $1,400 13.3-inch MacBook Pro Retina was No. 10.

Last year during the fourth quarter, tablets outsold laptops by 10 million units. "We expect that spread to expand to [about] 20M units in 2013 despite massive discounting...among [laptop] offerings," according to the note.

Best-selling laptops at Amazon on Cyber Monday.
Best-selling laptops at Amazon on Cyber Monday. Deutsche Bank

Best-selling tablets at Target on Cyber Monday.
Best-selling tablets at Target on Cyber Monday. Deutsche Bank

Best-selling tablets at Best Buy on Cyber Monday.
Best-selling tablets at Best Buy on Cyber Monday. Deutsche Bank
About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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