Apple might introduce a dramatically cheaper MacBook Air soon, if we're to believe the latest whispers from the Far East. DigiTimes quotes "sources from the upstream supply chain" who expect a $799 model to make its debut in the third quarter of 2012. If they're right, the machine would cost $200 less than the current 11.6" MacBook Air... and perhaps not a whole lot more than next-gen ultrabooks.
As we mentioned last week, Intel expects the next wave of ultrabooks (based on its Ivy Bridge CPUs and new composite materials) to be priced as low as $599-699. The chipmaker pointed to $699 as the "mainstream" figure and said some models might be as cheap as $599 in "selected regions," though it didn't say which regions those would be.
I hate to say it, but I find the rumor a little implausible. Apple isn't exactly known for pricing Macs very aggressively. iPads and iPhones, sure—the $99 iPhone 4 and $399 iPad 2 are good high-volume items—but not Macs. Just look at the Mac mini: it starts at $599 without a display, keyboard, or mouse... and with only 2GB of RAM.
If any MacBook Air is going to sell for $799, it'll almost certainly be an 11.6" model. The most affordable 13" Air carries a $1299 price tag right now, and I don't see a $500 price cut from one generation to the next in Apple's future. Not if Mac sales continue to grow faster than the PC industry at large, as they have.
|AMD plugs Radeon ProRender into Blender||4|
|Micron lets all memories of Lexar fade away||3|
|Ryzen Pro platform brings a dash of Epyc to corporate desktops||13|
|Corsair's Hydro GFX GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics card reviewed||14|
|Qualcomm hides a fingerprint scanner under your screen||12|
|Toshiba prepares a 96-layer 3D NAND parfait||16|
|Baidu's DeepBench can now measure inference performance||8|
|Camera Day Shortbread||0|
|Toshiba QLC 3D NAND squeezes a fourth bit into flash cells||26|
|So they're part of a fire sale?||+37|