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Rumor: Apple to Launch $800 MacBook Air Later this Year

By - Source: Digitimes | B 33 comments

Is Apple prepared to lower the price of its entry-level MacBook Air in order to get a larger chunk of the ultrabook pie?

Apple's products have long been known for their high price tags. The company's MacBook Air line is priced significantly cheaper than its full-fledged notebook line (the MacBook Pro) and it starts at an already pricey $1000. It can run up to as much as $1700 if you go for the top of the line model. However, rumor has it Apple could be considering a cheaper MacBook Air that would see the base model fall to $800.

According to a report from Digitimes' sources, Apple is hoping to better compete with the Windows 8 ultrabooks launching later this year and is willing to offer a cheaper MBA in order to do it. While early ultrabooks were closer to the $1000 mark, prices are steadily coming down. These days, it's not difficult to snag an ultrabook for under $800.

The cheaper MBA is apparently going to be released in the third quarter of this year, but it's not yet clear if Apple plans to launch a whole new budget MacBook Air, or if this rumored $800 model will actually be the $1000 with a $200 price cut. The company doesn't exactly price new merchandise to sell but it's no stranger to dropping prices on older products.

CES this past January was ultrabook central and we're expecting to see another slew of super-slim extra light laptops at Computex in June. With AMD's Trinity APU launching this month, the ultrabook market is heating up fast. Will a $200 price cut from Apple be enough for Cupertino to stay competitive.

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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    or-ex , May 8, 2012 3:49 PM
    So the 1,000$ Macbook air has a 64gb ssd, and 2gb of ram. What the hell is this one going to have??? 32GB ssd and 1GB of ram???
Other Comments
  • 6 Hide
    thety6on , May 8, 2012 3:45 PM
    Knowing apple, they probably won't just cut their prices to match those of their competitor's. They'll probably make up for it with lower quality components. Maybe, just maybe, they might put an Intel atom into their new macbook air *GASP*
  • 24 Hide
    or-ex , May 8, 2012 3:49 PM
    So the 1,000$ Macbook air has a 64gb ssd, and 2gb of ram. What the hell is this one going to have??? 32GB ssd and 1GB of ram???
  • Display all 33 comments.
  • 6 Hide
    freggo , May 8, 2012 3:52 PM
    I don't see a PC type buying it even at that price.
    Nothing anti-Apple here; it is simply that they operate differently and you have to relearn everything about computers you -thought- you knew. It's not like switching from a Thosiba laptop to a Dell.
    And then there are the interoperability issues. Your investment in PC software is lost as it will not work. Making the two systems talk to each other and exchange documents can be a challenge, especially to the mass market user.
    I think it would take a much lower price point to convince the general PC public to seriously considering a market share changing switch.

  • 8 Hide
    frostyfireball , May 8, 2012 3:54 PM
    Considering how many Macbook Airs I see around compared to Windows Ultrabooks, I'd say the price the Macbook Airs are going for right now are quite reasonable. People are quite willing to buy them even if they might command a 100-200$ price premium. Because of this I can't see Apple selling a new generation Intel IB based Macbook Air at 1000$, while stocks last selling the current SB based Macbook Airs at a reduced price sounds more likely to me.

    Apple could be giving AMD another chance and going with a 17w Trinity APU now that the yield/supply issues are gone for a budget Macbook Air, that would be an attractive package.
  • -2 Hide
    Parsian , May 8, 2012 3:54 PM
    nonsense, that is a MAJOR DISRESPECT to prophet STEVE JOBS.
  • 3 Hide
    computernerdforlife , May 8, 2012 4:12 PM
    Someone had an Apple dream last night of lower prices. Welcome back to the awake world.
  • 4 Hide
    damianrobertjones , May 8, 2012 4:15 PM
    Mistake. The benefit of buying a machine with a premium arrives when your friends find out, "Oh, you bought a mac ohh you're so special as they're pricey!"

    Lower the price and the illusion and marketing pizzaz vanishes.
  • 4 Hide
    Sacr , May 8, 2012 4:17 PM
    Apple has never been one to underprice the competition. Their products will maintain similar specs with very little modifications done to the standard hardware. A few software changes here and there is all it will take to make a bunch of cultish buyers to rush their outlets.
  • -6 Hide
    eddieroolz , May 8, 2012 4:21 PM
    A $800 Macbook Air would be very competitive with the ultrabook crowd, I think.
  • 3 Hide
    trumpeter1994 , May 8, 2012 4:24 PM
    Knowing apple's price for hardware habits, it will probably have like a Pentium at like 2.2ghz that gets blown out of the water buy pcs half its price.
  • 2 Hide
    nao1120 , May 8, 2012 4:28 PM
    This just in.... it already should of been 800
  • 3 Hide
    molo9000 , May 8, 2012 5:15 PM
    The 11" MB Air is crap anyway. There is just no reason to buy an "ultrabook" that small.
    Apple should not get into the business of doing cost reduced versions for the unwashed masses.

    btw: Apple rumors are a dime a dozen. This rumor sounds like some journalist thought it up during a lunch break.
  • 0 Hide
    zorky9 , May 8, 2012 5:18 PM
    It's possible they'll sell leftover Sandy Bridge versions at a discount and sell Ivys at the current level. They did the same thing with the iPad.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 8, 2012 5:30 PM
    If Ipad2 and the new Ipad is any indication, I'd assume the cheaper MacBook air will just be the current 2011 i5 McBookair with $200 discount.
  • 2 Hide
    captaincharisma , May 8, 2012 5:35 PM
    looks like intel found a way to get rid of some of those discontinued atom chips :) 
  • -6 Hide
    tom in fairfax , May 8, 2012 5:44 PM
    This HP g7-1328dx sells at Best Buy for $429.99. Unless you need to fit your laptop in your purse, it would run circles around any Airbook junk: AMD A6-Series processor; 17.3" display; 4GB memory; 500GB hard drive. Anyone who wants an 11" screen isn't serious about using their computer. I don't get all the fascination with making everything so small. It may look cute in a store, but it is so limited.
  • 2 Hide
    captaincharisma , May 8, 2012 6:24 PM
    Quote:
    This HP g7-1328dx sells at Best Buy for $429.99. Unless you need to fit your laptop in your purse, it would run circles around any Airbook junk: AMD A6-Series processor; 17.3" display; 4GB memory; 500GB hard drive. Anyone who wants an 11" screen isn't serious about using their computer. I don't get all the fascination with making everything so small. It may look cute in a store, but it is so limited.



    i am not a fan of apple products but even i would go with this airbook then any crappy HP laptop
  • 2 Hide
    Marco925 , May 8, 2012 6:55 PM
    Jane, apple doesn't play the discount game... you know that silly.
  • 2 Hide
    tom in fairfax , May 8, 2012 7:26 PM
    captaincharismai am not a fan of apple products but even i would go with this airbook then any crappy HP laptop


    I don't really care if you don't like HP (although I have had great success with their products), Apple just gives you so little value for the money. My point was that HP gives you so much more value for your money, as do Acer, Dell, Lenovo, etc. It is hard to fathom why Apple is taken seriously other than by those who are seriously uninformed. And even though I may feel negative about Acer because of a bad experience I have had, I would still rather have an Acer than an Apple toy.
  • -1 Hide
    obsama1 , May 8, 2012 8:37 PM
    It's the same thing with Android vs iOS. With MBA, there are only a few configuration options, and the $999 MBA has terrible specs. With Ultrabooks, if you want a $2000 killer Ultrabook that can run Crysis, than you can buy one. Or, if you want a cheaper $699 Ultrabook, than you can buy one. We've already been through this:
    Android vs iOS
    Windows vs Mac OS

    The Ultrabook/Ultraportable market and tablet market will be EXACTLY the same. With Apple, only a dew configuration options/1 choice and 1 price. With Windows/Android, you get 100x more options. People nowadays just want form over function, and thus, Apple is most sought after, but soon people will realize, "Why get a 64GB + 2 GB MBA, when I can get a 128 GB + 4GB Ultrabook at the same price, and has a better GPU?"

    On a side note, AMD will definitely rule the Ultrabook market. Their CPU's ain't that bad. I would definitely buy an Ultrabook with Trinity over Ivy Bridge. Why?
    1. Great graphics, and you can play games on med. settings.
    2. Great power consumption. 20 W max in an ultrabook.
    3. Cheaper.

    Yes the CPU is weaker, but it's not by TOO much. Trinity will be a lot faster than Ivy Bridge in gaming. AMD will rule the tablet/Ultrabook market and Intel will rule desktops/laptops. Also, can't wait for Kepler/Pitcairn in Ultrabooks, though it will take time to get the power consumption down. Personally if I were to buy an Ultrabook without discrete, I'd get Trinity, with discrete, I'd get an Intel with Kepler/Pitcairn.
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