When is Apple going to release that inexpensive laptop?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hajime, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. hajime macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #1
    Anybody knows why Apple has not released it yet given that this is a back to school period with lots of potential buyers of such inexpensive laptop? When is it going to be released?
     
  2. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #2
    I think they would rather have students buy the outdated models at full price.
     
  3. PilotWoo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    #3
    Only Apple knows, but current thinking is October, when they launch Mojave.

    Set your expectation though - a cheap Apple laptop is not the same as a cheap laptop. Apple have no interest is serving the bottom to mid section of the market. It will still be more expensive than it needs to be.
     
  4. AjTee macrumors regular

    AjTee

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2018
    Location:
    Banino, Poland
    #4
    Rumors says that maybe we will see this thing in this Wednesday :)
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #5
    Probably after 09/25 (that's when the back to school promotion ends).

    I thought you needed a fairly powerful laptop? While this is just my guess, its most likely going to have a low powered processor, and more then likely the butterfly keyboard.
     
  6. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #6
    I have been waiting for reviews on the X1 Extreme before purchasing but now it is out of stock and there is no review (very unusual given that it has been available for purchase a week ago). As for the similar P1, there is only one review but in Korean. I read that both P1 and X1 Extreme cannot be charged by USB-C external battery due to larger required wattage. From the Korean review, P1+AC adapter is over 2kg which is heavy for me. So far we don't know the real world battery life of the Extreme and P1 yet.

    Portability is important as during the summer, I carried my MBP 17" 2010 (3kg), AC adapter, cloths and shoes to work and to the gym. The total weight became heavy. It looks like it cut my circulation on the shoulder. Even an iPad PRO 12.9 + cloths + a pair of shoes is a bit heavy for me. So now I am concerned that an X1 Extreme (1.8kg) might not be suitable to me. Perhaps X1C6 of about 1kg (USB-C charging OK) might be better? I am concerned about the letter and icon size on 13.9" display of the X1C6 Thinkpad as I am used to rMBP 15" display at work. What do you think? I read that new Surface Pro and Surfacebook will be released in a month.

    The iPad PRO 12.9 is good for note taking and pdf annotation but it is not good enough to replace a laptop. One main reason is I cannot have two open windows running different apps slightly on top of each other. I guess I need Mac OS or Windows. X1 Yoga 2-1 is good but the weight is about 1.7kg.

    I guess the new requirements are: 1) cpu good enough to do basic productivity work without heat, fan and thermal issues. 2) lightweight (the lighter the better). 3) ability to connect to projector at school for presentation without hardware/software issue.

    If I need powerful machine, I may build a workstation at home.

    P.S. Butterfly keyboard is absolutely no.
     
  7. maflynn, Sep 8, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018

    maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #7
    Then I suggest you move on from Apple. That's all we'll see from them from now on.
     
  8. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #8
    If they are going to move to virtual keyboard likes the yoga book, I am interested. They probably don’t do it this year.
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #9
    Does that mean, you'll wait another year before buying a laptop?
     
  10. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #10
    That would be unusual - the September event is usually strictly iDevices, Watches and Music.
     
  11. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #11
    No. I will order a Thinkpad this month.
     
  12. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #12
    Since there's going to be so much iOS related stuff, I tend to agree. They may do a silent update, like they did with the MBP a couple of weeks after this event.
     
  13. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #13
    Hmm. Hope they hurry... The GPU on my trusty 17" 2011 MBP is starting to fail and although I've now got an iMac as a primary machine (so I don't need another MBP) I'm soon going to be laptop-less...
     
  14. teme macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    #14
    I can't decide whether to wait for that "inexpensive" laptop or to just buy that recently updated 13" MBP. Something in that new Macbook Air style laptop is intriguing, but MBP fits better to my needs.
     
  15. Rick America macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    #15
    Tim Cook made a point at yesterday's announcement event to say the new MacOS release is coming in late October. I thought it odd at the time as it did not seem to fit in with the "flow" of his other comments. Afterwards, as I thought more about it, I think he was signalling the timing of the next/upcoming Mac announcement.
     
  16. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #16
    Never. Apple will never release a truly inexpensive laptop. Apple is the #4 by volume seller of laptops. In spite of not having a single laptop under $999 for sale. And that $999 laptop being *VERY* out of date.

    The lowest end MacBook Air uses a processor from four years ago. And other than the CPU (thus also the built-in GPU,) faster SSD, and Thunderbolt 2 instead of Thunderbolt 1, it is near-identical to the MacBook Air from *FIVE* years ago. If you don't use Thunderbolt peripherals, and don't play games, a used max-spec 2013 MacBook Air would be essentially indistinguishable from the Air currently for sale. The current model would only be one CPU generation newer, with 0.1 GHz faster CPU, and a slightly faster integrated GPU.

    Every component in the $999 MacBook Air, Apple could have bought three years ago. Presuming fairly standard reduction in component pricing, the Air is probably their highest-margin computer.

    Apple has no business reason to release a truly inexpensive laptop. Right now on Amazon, the #5 top selling conventional laptop is a refurbished 2015 MacBook Air. Every other laptop in the top 10 is a brand new, current-generation-CPU model or a Chromebook. The highest-selling non-Chromebook with an older-generation CPU is #19, Acer Predator, with a one-generation-old CPU. Not a four-generation-old CPU like the MacBook.

    No, Apple is doing quite well with their current lineup.

    I'm sure they'll update the MacBook Air with more modern tech (mostly to bring it up to quad-core CPU on the higher-end model, probably a Retina screen,) but it will stay $999. They might even bump it to $1099.
     
  17. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #17
    I think the OP is looking for an inexpensive model for Apple. They won't ever release a truly inexpensive computer
     
  18. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #18
  19. ivnj macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    #19
  20. Yvan256, Sep 14, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018

    Yvan256 macrumors 603

    Yvan256

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #20
    Look at the new iPhone lineup and see how the older iPhones have taken the place of the "budget" iPhone models.

    The same thing could happen here.

    Take the now-retired 11" MacBook Air and bring it back with the following changes:
    • Reduce the bezels and use the same LCD as the iPad Pro. This lowers the number of custom parts Apple needs for the laptop. The rumours keep saying "around/near 13 inches" which fits with the 12.9 inches of the iPad Pro display.
    • Keep the current yet older keyboard since it's probably cheaper to manufacture than the butterfly mechanism with its thin membrane. Same thing goes for the trackpad, and the newer trackpads would be too big for the 11" MacBook Air case anyway.
    • Keep the current ports, except maybe replace both magsafe and thunderbolt with USB-C ports.
    • Upgrade the CPU to the latest but cheapest Intel CPU that fits the watts per hour and cost requirements.
    • Keep the RAM to 8GB, add 16GB BTO.
    • Stay with the current SSD sizes, 128GB standard and 256GB BTO. Maybe add 512GB BTO.
    Same price as the 11" MacBook Air before it got retired, or somewhere in the middle of the 11" and 13" MacBook Air.
     
  21. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #21
    I think sub-$1000 is the best that can be hoped for - if you’re really lucky that might not mean “useless base model starts at $997”.

    Prices are not going down again until Apple finds the tipping point at which falling sales outweigh rising margins. Probably the hard way (and probably with the iPhone, where the factors locking people in to the ecosystem are more ephemeral).
     
  22. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #22
    Apple is a trillion dollar company, not because they produce inexpensive products. Just look at the price increases we're seeing in the Apple Watch and iPhone. They may rollout a cheaper laptop, but its not going to be inexpensive, at least not using the definition that most of hang our hat on
     
  23. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #23
    Apple is a "trillion dollar company" because they are last quarter's winners of the Wall Street popularity contest... and while that "trillion dollars" can be leveraged in various ways, no significant portion of it can ever be cashed in - its not a gold-filled swimming pool*, If Apple don't keep turning in impressive looking growth quarter after quarter, that trillion could rapidly vanish - and the markets won't care about sustainability because they know how to make money off a falling share price, too. It's very, very dangerous to assume that because you're Wall Street's darling today then you must be doing everything right.

    So if Apple's results in the last year came from hiking prices rather than finding new business, they have a long-term problem - because its not far along that path before your product becomes a niche status symbol for millionaires. If you make designer handbags then it doesn't matter whether you sell 1000 units at $1,000 each or 100 units at $10,000 because handbags don't need a third-party software/support ecosystem - if you're the only one at the Ambassador's ball with an Apple handbag, that's perfect - if you're the only one at the conference with a Mac that could start to be a problem.

    I'm sure that Apple (the brand) could survive by selling $10,000 MS Surface clones encrusted in Swazwhatnot crystals, but I think most people here would have lost interest by that stage. However, they'd probably still be advised to do some $100 T-shirts or rose-gold styluses that little people could afford in order to maintain the brand image.

    Meanwhile, low-cost machines make money, too. Part of the original plan of the "Mac Mini" back in the day was to produce a low "sticker shock" item that would at least get people in the door (either literally, at an Apple Store, or figuratively) so you could up-sell them. The reason I'm currently using a Mac as my main machine rather than a PC is that back in 2005-ish I got a Mac Mini to "play with" - and upgraded to a Mac Pro six months later (well, the fact that I like Unix also contributed - but that's probably not such a big seller).

    I don't see Apple ever producing a $400 laptop or Mini to compete with commodity PCs and Chromebooks (you need some margin if you're going to roll your own OS) but I think it would be a huge mistake if they didn't keep a credible sub-$1000 offering (...and then its the job of Apple staff to make sure that a fair proportion of customers who walk in the door for a $900 Air walk out with a $2000 Pro).

    (* although Apple have one of those as well, but that will just make them a juicy asset-stripping target if their shares have a bad hair day...)
     
  24. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #24
    I disagree, they're on a roll selling and being successful. Regardless, they're a hugely successful company built on the premise of making premium electronic products.

    Yes, but apple markets itself as a premium brand, and while we we will see a less expensive model, we'll not see a cheap model. Mercedes offers a less expensive car, but they don't seem a cheap car, the same thing with apple.
     
  25. Oldmanmac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2012
    #25
    When Hades has a snow storm! You think a $45B company gives a thought to anything? I want some of your drugs!
     

Share This Page