Apple has left the MacBook Air mostly untouched for years, including its price. Ever since the 11-inch model disappeared in 2016, you’ve been looking at $999 or more for Apple’s ‘starter’ laptop — a tough sell given the aging design. It might become a better value before long, however. KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (who has a mostly solid track record for Apple leaks and rumors) has claimed that Apple is preparing a MacBook Air with a “lower price tag” for release this spring.
What does the report say?
According to 9to5Mac, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects that Apple will release a 13-inch MacBook Air “with a lower price tag,” later this year, and that the lower price could help boost Apple’s laptop sales.
This doesn’t mean that Apple will redesign the MacBook Air. It gave the system just a modest spec bump in June 2017, and then only by using an older processor. Apple may have reasons to make a more substantial update this year, however. It might not have much choice but to upgrade to a modern processor thanks to Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. There’s also the question of ports. While plenty of people still rely on USB-A peripherals, it’s hard to see Apple keeping the connector on laptops for much longer when the MacBook Pro and 12-inch MacBook both rely exclusively on USB-C. The big question is whether or not Apple can move past the Air’s old 1,440 x 900 display, which isn’t very competitive when many newer laptops have 1080p displays with richer colors.
While the line celebrates its tenth year in 2018, the line has largely only received incremental updates, the last of which came last summer, when Apple updated it with a faster 1.8GHz Intel processor. Apple currently sells the MacBook Air for $999.
The report also says that Apple will likely refresh its AirPods, and that the HomePod has been met with “mediocre” demand.