Apple’s MacBook Air Is a Heavyweight in This Market

new macbook airWhen it comes to the thin-and-light laptop market, Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) MacBook Air knows how to throw its weight around. According to the latest statistics from market research firm NPD Group via CNET, the MacBook Air accounted for 56 percent of the thin-and-light laptop sales in the U.S. market during the first five months of 2013. The remaining 44 percent of the market was split between various other ultramobile device makers.

The thin-and-light laptop market, also known as the ultramobile market, includes devices like the Chromebook and other thin and light clamshell designs. Market research firm Gartner noted the increasing importance of this market segment in a recent report.

“Consumers want anytime-anywhere computing that allows them to consume and create content with ease, but also share and access that content from a different portfolio of products. Mobility is paramount in both mature and emerging markets,” said Gartner research vice president Carolina Milanesi via MacDailyNews.

Apple’s dominance of the thin-and-light laptop market is likely to continue considering that the recently released new MacBook Air features Intel’s (NASDAQ:INTC) next-generation Haswell processor that uses significantly less battery power while offering an even higher workload capability. According to Apple, the 13-inch MacBook Air has jumped from approximately 7 hours of battery life to an “all day” battery life of 12 hours.

Meanwhile, Apple’s competitors continue to work on increasing their share of this important niche market. Samsung (SSNLF.PK) recently unveiled the ATIV Q hybrid tablet as a 2-in-1 alternative to Apple’s MacBook Air and iPad devices. Samsung’s hybrid tablet features a multi-functional design that lets it transform from a tablet to a thin-and-light laptop.

According to CNET, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer recently claimed that “hybrids with touch screens obviate the need for both a tablet and a laptop.” Apple shares closed up 0.70 percent, or $2.75, at $396.53 on Friday. Here’s how Apple has traded over the past week.

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