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Old May 7, 2012, 08:32 AM   #1
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Apple Looking to Launch $799 MacBook Air in 3Q 2012?




Digitimes reports that Apple is planning to launch a cheaper MacBook Air in the third quarter of this year, dropping the entry-level price to $799 from the current $999. The move is reportedly being made to take on Intel's "Ultrabook" initiative that is pushing low-cost, ultra-thin notebook PCs.
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Although Acer has recently reduced its ultrabook shipment target, Intel continues to aggressively push ultrabooks and is aiming to have the devices priced at US$699 in the second half of the year. However, if Intel is unable to bring down ASPs to its goal, the price gap between ultrabooks and the US$799 MacBook Air may further postpone the time ultrabooks become standardized, the sources noted.
Ultrabook manufacturers have so far struggled to match or beat Apple's MacBook Air pricing, leading to weak shipments. But Intel remains committed to the initiative, and is working with manufacturers to continue to bring prices down.

It is unclear just how Apple would achieve a $200 price cut on the MacBook Air, given the company's focus on maintaining high profit margins. Certainly pricing on the solid-state drives used in the MacBook Air will continue to fall, but Apple likely has only limited flexibility to bring down pricing. And given the strong performance of the MacBook Air as Ultrabooks continue to struggle, it is not immediately obvious whether Apple would even see a need to lower pricing on its models.

Digitimes has a spotty track record with regard to Apple rumors, although it has on occasion offered accurate insight based on sources in Apple's supply chain. The publication's recent claims regarding Apple's notebook plans including a report of production being underway on slimmer 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models, as well as a suggestion that Apple is considering a 14-inch MacBook Air for Asian markets.

Article Link: Apple Looking to Launch $799 MacBook Air in 3Q 2012?
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:34 AM   #2
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:36 AM   #3
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Sounds like complete nonsense.
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:37 AM   #4
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It would be nice but I doubt it.
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:37 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by The Economist View Post
Sounds like complete nonsense.
As much as I want to believe this, I must agree with you. Can't see them dropping the price 200 clams on this one.
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:37 AM   #6
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I'm not sure I believe it, but exciting! It would really mean another break into the education market, which I think Apple need to continue doing to get more students being brought up on Macs.
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:38 AM   #7
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It doesn't sound like there is much to back this up. But a $799 Apple laptop is nice to think about... And of course by comparison starting prices at $799 looks much more affordable than $999, especially when you are comparing PCs. (similarly specked or not)
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:40 AM   #8
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Too many compromises for Apple to reach that price-point IMO.

But you never know. An 11 inch using Sandy-bridge left overs at high discount from Intel ?
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:41 AM   #9
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Why would it be nonsense? If it were to be offered I would expect it to be educational only and only in bulk. Apple already offers a $999 ( 5-pack ) of a bare bones 13" air, I could see them dropping the disk down to 32gb and offering another Edu-only 10 pack of 11" air's for $800.

EDIT: Remember many k-12 systems are run on network mounted/portable home directories, you don't need an excessive amount of local disk space.
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:44 AM   #10
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No way. That would reduce iPad sales.
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:44 AM   #11
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It's never a good sign when the subject is a question.
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowmoon View Post
Why would it be nonsense? If it were to be offered I would expect it to be educational only and only in bulk. Apple already offers a $999 ( 5-pack ) of a bare bones 13" air, I could see them dropping the disk down to 32gb and offering another Edu-only 10 pack of 11" air's for $800.
A hard drive that small would be pushing it. 64GB should be the minimum SSD size. With the prices dropping as it is bringing the size down from 64gb to 32gb wouldn't be that smart of a move to make, I think.
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:45 AM   #13
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No way. That would reduce iPad sales.
Why ? Different form factors. People that want tablets aren't suddenly going to buy laptops.
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:46 AM   #14
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Has any rumor from Digitimes ever been correct?
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:46 AM   #15
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32gb is awfully small. How much is left after the OS?
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:47 AM   #16
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They'd make up for it by getting people into the ecosystem.
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:48 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by KnightWRX View Post
Why ? Different form factors. People that want tablets aren't suddenly going to buy laptops.
I agree... and Apple said that if anybody is going to be cannibalizing sales of their devices, it might as well be them.
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:49 AM   #18
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This rumour is obviously true. Apple has always "raced to the bottom" with the rest of the PC manufacturers. They always want the lowest prices.
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:50 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by mrobit View Post
A hard drive that small would be pushing it. 64GB should be the minimum SSD size. With the prices dropping as it is bringing the size down from 64gb to 32gb wouldn't be that smart of a move to make, I think.
Most k-12 system I know have network mounted/portable home directories and need little in terms of local disk space. The base OS take up 10-15 before apps.
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:50 AM   #20
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Apple is able to have cheaper items as long as they minimize cannibalization by giving those cheaper products a noticeable disadvantage. Like, not just less RAM or something, but a difference you can really SEE right in the store.

In other words, selling the iPhone 3GS doesn't hurt iPhone 4S sales...they just pick up people who would never have bought a 4S, but it doesn't tempt the people who wanted a 4S with that nice sharp display.

In the past the iMac/eMac relationship worked the same way.

So this could work, but there has to be a hook that keeps most buyers in the higher models. Just a guess, but these new high-resolution displays I keep hearing about could be one such thing. If the stores are stocked with amazing-looking high-res Macbooks they can be sure most folks will still spring for that once they get a look at it.

Then, in addition to having older screens, make these cheap Macbooks with less SSD space as the only option and you start to have a computer that will pick up lower-end buyers without tempting the regulars.

Not saying it's gonna happen, but if they want to do it that's how they could.
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:51 AM   #21
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Why ? Different form factors. People that want tablets aren't suddenly going to buy laptops.
I disagree.
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:52 AM   #22
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It would be the perfect student computer if you only take notes and work with text and simple media, but it sounds unlikely that apple would like to cover that "low end market".
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:52 AM   #23
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No way. That would reduce iPad sales.
no it would not, the two are not from the same camp.
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:52 AM   #24
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As long as it doesn't have 2GB....
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:54 AM   #25
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Discounting whether there is truth to this or not, surely the current bottom spec Macbook Air is now $200 cheaper to manufacture than it was last July? Apples new strategy seems to be to keep on the base model of the last generation at a discounted price... at least for iOS products
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