Rumor mill has it steady. At present, a 13-inch MacBook Air sells for $999 or $1,199 – also depending on the specifications. But according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple plans to offer a more affordable 13-inch MacBook Air, at some point during the second quarter of 2018.
In addition, Kuo also reiterated that Apple will be launching new AirPods and a 6.1-inch iPhone this year. Over the past few years, there have been few rumblings from the rumor mill pointing to Apple’s plan to discontinue the venerable MacBook Air. But it still remained alive and well for good 10 years since its initial release back in January 2008.
Apple hasn’t also done much with its ultra-thin MacBook Air in recent years though, opting to slim down some of its other offerings instead. With that Kuo’s claim, the company is reportedly planning to release a cheaper model at some point this year.
According to a note handed over to investors, Kuo believes that a new MacBook Air “with a lower price tag” will arrive during the second quarter of the year, with the move expected to improve MacBook shipments by anything up to 15%.
First and foremost time, Kuo has made a suggestion of Apple launching a more affordable otherwise a cheaper MacBook Air. He also claims that this new MacBook Air with a lower price point will launch in Q2, 2018. Unfortunately, there have been no insights on the details in regards to improvements. Kuo notes that the launch of a cheaper MacBook Air will boost its selling point by 10-15 percent. This will also benefit Apple’s shipment supply chain partners like Quanta, radiant, Catcher, and SZS.
There’s no concrete information on the new MacBook Air at this stage though, the notoriously hit and miss DigiTimes had previously hinted to a MacBook Air refresh. The whole MacBook Air lineup has found itself the victim of a shift in focus for Apple, with the 12-inch model proving to be the computer that the firm has pushed as its ultra thin and light device. In the time being, the already ignored MacBook Pro received more attention than the MacBook Air of late, fueling rumors that the line is not long for this world.
The last updated 13-inch MacBook Air model was made available in 2017 with faster Broadwell chips from Intel. The company had bumped the minimum amount of RAM across the line to 8GB a few years ago. And the company also has not made other significant changes to its MacBook Air lineup in years, and given the position, it now grabs in ApplesA lineup, which is unlikely to change. It was only expected Apple would announce a price cut for the 13-inch MacBook Air and maybe throwing in a refreshed processor while at it.
With the current 13-inch MacBook Air, Kuo believes that Apple will push the updated model at a cheaper price tag, although just how much cheap remains to be seen. Kuo also mentioned in his notes that demand for the HomePod appears to be “mediocre” so far, so it is still early days for the smart speaker to join the bandwagon.
There are some key features such as AirPlay 2.0 still missing from the device, although it’s possible some are holding off for a full set of features ahead of splashing the $349 needed to get Apple’s first smart speaker into their homes.
Given the fact that the new 13-inch MacBook Air will come with a lower price tag, and it’s unlikely that Apple will make the main refresh in terms of specifications, design, or even the display which has long been criticised for its poor viewing angles.
If everything read to become accurate, then we all Apple fans will be witnessing the launch of an all-new 13-inch MacBook Air at a cheaper price point at WWDC 2018. Apple is also gearing up to announce some software at the event, alongside a new 6.1-inch iPhone, a cheaper iPhone X model and will be in addition to a 5.8-inch iPhone X successor and a 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus variant.
Update x1: We will see the introduction of the new AirPods, which are expected to be sweat proof and feature a newer wireless chip for further improved performance and always-on “Hey Siri” detection. Stay tuned for more!