Macs may get a bit cheaper in the coming weeks

— 4:40 PM on April 30, 2009

Maybe the recession is to blame, maybe it's the meteoric rise of netbooks, or perhaps Microsoft's ads are simply getting to Tim Cook (Steve Jobs' temporary stand-in). In any case, AppleInsider claims Apple plans to slash the prices of its more popular Macs in the near future.

Folks "familiar with the matter" say Apple will mainly attempt to counteract the netbook invasion until it can release a product to compete in that market—supposedly a web tablet that's "taking considerably longer to complete than once anticipated." Cook has openly criticized netbooks for having limited hardware and software, so a cookie-cutter Mac netbook (even a very pretty one) may be out of the question.

What kinds of cuts are we looking at? AppleInsider's sources apparently haven't provided hard numbers, but they say Apple will reshape the 13.3" MacBook and iMac lines. The firm recently unveiled a low-end $899 20" iMac for education customers, so it could reach lower portions of the consumer market with similar offerings. (For the record, the cheapest consumer iMac still starts at $1,199 with a dual-core processor and a 20" display.)

Keep your eyes peeled for a "restructured MacBook line" and perhaps new iMacs "as early as this spring," AppleInsider says. Whether Apple slashes prices sooner or later, though, we'd be inclined to expect at least some price changes before the back-to-school rush.

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