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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new research report encouraging investors to keep their eyes on three products for 2018: the rumored 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, AirPods, and a "more affordable MacBook Air." The first two in that list have been widely discussed in recent weeks and months, but this is the first we've heard about an update to the MacBook Air.

We expect Apple (US) to roll out the new MacBook Air with a lower price tag in 2Q18. We forecast total shipments of MacBook models will grow 10-15% YoY in 2018 (vs. 0-5% YoY decline for the NB industry), up from 15.5-16mn units in 2017. While Quanta, Radiant, Catcher and SZS are likely to benefit from strong shipments momentum, SZS also stands to benefit from increased market share and a higher ASP.
Kuo doesn't offer any details on what to expect in an updated MacBook Air beyond a lower price tag, but the current models are certainly outdated as they haven't had any substantial updates in three years. Since that time, Apple has cut back on available models including a complete discontinuation of the 11-inch model. The only recent upgrade to the 13-inch model has been a bump to the base processor option last June, but it's still a Broadwell chip from the 2014-15 timeframe.

Aside from obvious internal upgrades like processors and graphics, another area that could see improvement is the display, as the MacBook Air currently offers a 1440 x 900 non-Retina display. We'll likely also see some USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 upgrades and perhaps an overall redesign given the age of the current design.

Kuo's claim of a second-quarter introduction points to the April-June timeframe, which could mean an announcement at WWDC in June, and we'll likely hear more rumors as the time gets closer.

In a separate report, Kuo predicts that AirPods and the rumored high-end over-ear headphones are the future of Apple's artificial intelligence and augmented reality ambitions. Kuo believes that compared to HomePod, Apple's headphones offer more opportunities for reaching users quickly, personalization, and complementing rumored augmented reality glasses. Kuo is extremely optimistic about AirPods demand going forward, but less enthusiastic about HomePod given "mediocre" demand so far.

Article Link: KGI: Apple to Launch Cheaper MacBook Air in 2Q 2018

Andres Cantu

macrumors 68040
May 31, 2015
How can technologies like Thunderbolt 3 push forward if Apple keeps selling products with obsolete technology? And a 900p non-IPS display in 2018?

Just lower the price of the Retina MacBook (they’re on sale all the time, anyway), add a second USB-C port, and be done with it. People buy the Air only for it’s affordability, anyway.

And while they’re at it, update the Mac mini as well.
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macrumors regular
Jun 25, 2012
I doubt they will be significant updating the MacBook Air.

Most likely the rumor mill means the MacBook, which certainly will be updated and could stand to be significantly cheaper. At its current price it isn’t a very good value, even by Apple standards. I’ll bet they hope to get it down to $800-$1,000 to make it more appealing to consumers, and so they can finally stop selling those ancient Airs.

Apple Knowledge Navigator

macrumors 68040
Mar 28, 2010
If they do just give the Air a spec-bump, I think that says a lot about how people are voting with their wallets.

There is no reason that Apple couldn't lower the price of the standard MacBook; but they're refusing to simple because it's priced as a more premium product. They ought to just give the MacBook a 13-inch screen, lower the price and be done.


Jun 25, 2009
OMG this lineup is so confusing that Apple got confused itself.
Current MacBook => Air
Current MBPro => MacBook
Redo the MBPro with nominal ports
Stop all the flimsey keyboards
Move Cook out of this, as "PostPC" hailers shouldn't be in this industry.
(Hire M. Dell if necessary)
Replace Phill the Shill => Gil the Fill
(Amelio, that is)
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Sep 15, 2016
Berlin, Germany
why keep the Air even around? They got rid of the iPad Air line. Just make the MacBook cheaper.

Just spit balling here but I wouldnt mind seeing:

iPad (one size)
iPad Pro (different sizes)

MacBook (one size)
MacBook Pro (different sizes)

iPhone (one size)
iPhone X (different sizes)

iMac Pro

Mike MA

macrumors 68020
Sep 21, 2012
The MacBook Air currently is the most affordable MacBook, so I don’t quite get it. Yet fore sure it’s completely outdated. So maybe I can finally update my late 2010 which is running out of macOS support.
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macrumors 68030
Feb 11, 2007
Make the 13 inch MacBook Pro as cheap as the current Air and get Rid of the air.
that's what everyone wants. Apple won't put a retina in the air as it would destroy sales of the other models. Also I've read the air can't get enough battery to support a retinas screen


macrumors 6502
Dec 29, 2010
Reason is simple: Apple's K-12 education market is being eaten by Chromebooks. They need a super low-end model to compete against $300 laptops.
Apple doing a ‘super low end model’? Lol
that's what everyone wants. Apple won't put a retina in the air as it would destroy sales of the other models. Also I've read the air can't get enough battery to support a retinas screen
But I thought the MacBook is thinner? So that can’t be true surely


macrumors 68020
Jun 13, 2016
Why is everybody complaining about this, instead saying that Apple should instead lower the price of the MacBook/MacBook Pro?

If they are lowering the price of the Air, then what do you think will happen to the price of certain other models?

All this means is that they would be keeping around the Air as an entry level product, which isn't much of a surprise because it's a cash cow and Tim Cook is CEO.
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