Apple has plans to release an affordable laptop and a Mac mini aimed at professionals by the end of the year, Bloomberg reported today. The releases would update product lines that have been running long in the tooth.
The Mac mini desktop hasn't been replaced since its last update in fall 2014. It currently starts at $499, but the report suggests that the new Mac will be oriented towards professionals with more storage and processor options that could drive up the price.
Apple's current cheapest laptop is the MacBook Air, which starts at $999. If a new low-cost option is coming to Apple's notebook line, this would be the computer to beat. Bloomberg's report suggests that the new laptop, which will reportedly still be called the Air, will still have a 13-inch screen, but finally, after years of speculation, get a high-resolution retina display along with thinner bezels. No word on if it will you use the same polarizing keyboard seen on the MacBook and MacBook Pro, or if it will have ports other than Thunderbolt 3. Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. and Quanta Computer, which make the existing MacBooks, will reportedly make the new laptop. Apple declined to comment to Bloomberg.
The rumor that a low-cost MacBook is coming has been around for awhile, but it gained weight today considering Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman, who shares the byline on the Bloomberg article with Debby Wu, has a long history of inside sources at Apple.
Apple is releasing the newest version of macOS, Mojave (10.14), so it's possible that if there are new machines, Apple will choose to unveil them closer to that launch.