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Portables (Apple) Desktops (Apple) Apple Hardware Technology

Apple To Release a Cheaper MacBook Air Later This Year (9to5mac.com) 149

According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, Apple doesn't appear to be axing its MacBook Air line, despite it being on the market for ten years. Kuo says Apple is planning to release a 13-inch MacBook Air "with a lower price tag" during the second quarter of 2018, which should help push MacBook shipments up by 10-15 percent this year. 9to5Mac reports: Details on the new MacBook Air are sparse, but this report from KGI corroborates a similarly vague report from Digitimes earlier this year. The MacBook Air line has been largely stagnate in recent years as Apple has shifted focus towards the 12-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro. Currently, Apple sells the 13-inch MacBook Air starting at $999, and KGI seems to think it will get even cheaper this year. Despite its neglect by Apple, the MacBook Air remains a popular choice for college students.
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Apple To Release a Cheaper MacBook Air Later This Year

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  • They release a much slower laptop that just happens to be thin. It's too expensive to fill the purpose intended. I'd much rather have a MacBook Pro if I were going that route at all, but I can get a modern high speed laptop almost as thin for $800 that plays games at high resolution. The only draw is the Apple name and OS at that point.

    • Too expensive to fill what purpose, exactly? Not everyone needs an expensive and powerful MacBook Pro.

      What makes no sense to me is the MacBook. Sure it's thinner than the Air, it has a retina IPS display, but the keyboard is crap, the CPU gets throttled because it overheats because of the passive heatsink and there's only one USB-C port which makes no sense unless we were in 2028.

      I hope they make the new replacement for the MacBook Air something that will also be good enough to be sold for a decade.

    • College Kids. It's easy to cart around in a backpack. The low power draws and SSD make it durable enough and it's small enough to fit on those tiny, tiny desks and arm rests they have in classes.

      It's also not pre installed with 3000+ crapware programs to slow the thing down. Seriously, if we could just get PC manufacturers to stop doing that their computers could hang with Apple on performance & stability. I ended up buying my kid a Macbook and taking her Windows laptop because she said it kept cras
      • As stated, it's easy to carry around a lot of laptops that are similarly as thin. I do think the Mac OS is nice, and agree that the install from the manufacturer screws up Win 10 pretty bad, but still don't have a justification for a $1k plus price tag.

        • As stated, it's easy to carry around a lot of laptops that are similarly as thin.

          That will last for four years? I don't think so, from the thin Windows laptops I've seen and the reports of the Microsoft Surface (which also are not that cheap).

          I'd be pretty sure a MacBook Air could manage four years.

          With the Air dropping in price how many other thin ceraptops can survive? At $800 it starts to compete against upper tier Chromebooks because it's so much more functional even if more expensive.

          • I guess the Lenovo Yoga Book at under $600 would be comparable.

            • It is not.
              Why would it?
              it is much smaller, has no real keyboard.

              It is nice, because of the wacom digitizer in the keyboard and in the screen, but it does not compare in any way to a iPad or Mac.

              However it is 100times better than a windows laptop, unless you are so dumb and buy the windows version of the Yoga Book.

              • At least the Windows version of the Yogurt Book can be wiped and reinstalled with Ubuntu. Can the Android version have a non-crippled OS that's not handcuffed to Google?
                • Are you sure you can put an Ubunto on it?
                  That would be a reason to get a second one.

                  that's not handcuffed to Google?
                  If I would care about that I had not bought it ...

          • >I'd be pretty sure a MacBook Air could manage four years.

            My wife's did. The pro I'm typing on is a 2013 model and still going fine with no problems. It'll get replaced with some new iShiny when I start to feel the itch to upgrade.

        • The built-in spyware cr@p from MS screws up Win 10 just as much. Win 10 is screwed up, period.
    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      The only draw is the Apple name and OS at that point.

      In particular, the ability to run Xcode.

    • by DamonHD ( 794830 )

      An Air wasn't slower for my purposes when I bought it, and still now speed is rarely an issue (and maxed out RAM and SSD minimises that).

      I do a fair amount of dev work (eg make- or IDE- driven (cross-)compile toolchain). I'm quite happy to tune my build processes to speed them up if need be, rather than hoping for 20% faster silicon.

      Some of the stuff I build is built or targeted to less powerful devices such as the RPi and MCUs.

      I don't play video games.

      I haven't done 3D rendering for years.

      For me, saving w

      • by Megane ( 129182 )

        maxed out RAM and SSD

        Wait, there was a version of the MacBook Air that let you swap out the RAM and SSD? The SSD I can believe, if you got one of the first ones, but I thought they were already soldering RAM when they made the first Air.

        • He probably meant "maxed out RAM and SSD" when he bought it online.

        • by DamonHD ( 794830 )

          Had to be ordered on line or at the store, thus adding a day or two's delay, but I did so and hit the then 8GB RAM / 256GB SSD limits.

          Rgds

          Damon

    • by King_TJ ( 85913 )

      Ignoring some of the snarky comments .... The Macbook Air likely still sells well in corporate America, where there was already a big investment in the machine.

      When you look at Windows PCs? All of the big manufacturers like Dell, HP and Lenovo offer a line of laptops that don't change in design much for a number of years. They typically offer a docking station that's made to attach to any of the machines in that series, too. The price point on these always tends to be higher and they wind up with less feat

      • by Junta ( 36770 )

        Does it really sell that well in corporate? I mean apart from one notable anti-microsoft company, I've always seen corps stick to the market where they can make Dell and HP and Lenovo go into a bid war and they don't give a crap about brand value.

        Now maybe this upcoming Macbook Air will be cheap and marks Apple actually giving a damn about their share on the busniess PC, but so far they've not acted that way.

    • by Megane ( 129182 )
      It fills the purpose of a very thin, very light laptop that can be used for general web browsing and office apps. Unfortunately Apple went out of control and decided that all of their laptops need to be thin and light above all, at the expense of power, battery life, expandability, and repairability.
    • by Junta ( 36770 )

      Originally, it was about "you want a super sleek laptop, compromises ok".

      Then it lost all meaning as the mainstream went that thin, including apple's own line.

      Now taking it at face value, looks like the new meaning will be "ok, fine, we'll play in the budget space". Note their mentioning boosting units sold, this is presumably to try to up their share of the market.

      Apple may be buying into what seems to be the general perception in the market: PC market is not going to irrelevance, the relationship betwee

    • by pubwvj ( 1045960 )

      A lot of people do see the purpose of them so they buy the MacBook Airs and use them. Frankly, your comment is very self centered, along the lines of "If you don't want it then nobody should have it." Realize there are people with different needs than you and you're not the center of the Universe, no matter how massive you may be.

      • Scary Terry has a response for you. You do realize I never said no one should have them, yet you said this anyway.

    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

      I want a new macbook with M2 and SODIMMs. Yeahh I know good luck but I like apples OS a lot and I really do not like windows. Linux if fine but I need Office. BTW Do not bother with telling me about Open Office. I keep trying it but it is not as good as Office.

      • Hackintosh... still works with High Sierra.
      • I'm torn with all that too. My 2012 MacBook Pro died right before this deployment. I didn't want to spend what it costs to replace it, so went with a HP "gaming" laptop with a Radeon and fast processor, and it's pretty thin, just not MBA thin. I miss Mac OSX, but using Office 2016 on Windows is much nicer for that, and I don't have to dual boot for Steam. I wish there were better options.

      • by hoggoth ( 414195 )

        You are really deluding yourself. Apple's OS is no better than Windows in any meaningful way and the hardware is much more expensive for equivalent speeds. More to the point WINDOWS UPDATE REBOOTING NOW DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER INSTALLING UPDATE 1 of 78...

    • It's too expensive to fill the purpose intended

      I've had one, the 2013 model. I bought it with student discount for 934 euros, sold it 4 years later for 500 euros. That machine cost me 110 euros (US$ 135) per year. I found this truly incredible.

      Now that doesn't work for all models. I've incurred a huge 800 euro loss on a 15" MacBook Pro that was bought for a project that was canceled after a couple of months. So it only seems to work for the fast-moving budget MacBooks. But the Air specifically was/is hugely popular.

    • by hoggoth ( 414195 )

      The only draw is it doesn't F*ing install updates and reboot exactly when I have 15 minutes left to get that work done. It doesn't pop up a dialog asking me to do something important right in the middle of me typing away, grab a handful of my keystrokes as an answer, and go do god-knows-what with my permission based on what I was typing. It doesn't install updates when I open my laptop in front of 300 people to do a presentation. And it doesn't say "DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR MACHINE UPDATING OS" without asking w

  • Of course it won't be that useful but at least affordable.
  • And $300 more for dongles for the single USB-C port if you actually want to do something useful...
  • Long live the MacBook SE!

    At least one USB 3.0 type A port, if they ditch magsafe then one USB-C for power/etc. Same headphone/microphone port, better display (1080p, IPS would be nice but is too costly), more recent CPU, 8GB RAM standard with a 16GB option, same 128GB SSD, same keyboard as before (no butterfly 1 or 2), SDXC card reader would be nice.

    Lower price on top of that?

    Sold.

    • Since the MacBook is now thinner than the MacBook Air, it makes no sense to try and remove ports to make it thinner, but a name change will be needed since it could very well change the form factor. A return of the 11" display to lower the cost even more, maybe?

    • At least one USB 3.0 type A port, if they ditch magsafe then one USB-C for power/etc. Same headphone/microphone port, better display (1080p, IPS would be nice but is too costly), more recent CPU, 8GB RAM standard with a 16GB option, same 128GB SSD, same keyboard as before (no butterfly 1 or 2), SDXC card reader would be nice.

      Lower price on top of that?

      Sold.

      Unless they pull something very good out of the hat or if you're really only interested in OSX, there are easily better options out there at the moment.

  • probably they are going to ship a quite old processor with just 4gb of ram (lucky if you get 8) for $899.

    • 4gb of SOLDERED IN RAM, because Apple is too courageous to allow mere peons to upgrade their hardware.
  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Sunday March 04, 2018 @02:19PM (#56206265)
    It's been unmodified for 3 years. 2015 was the last major update [everymac.com] (CPU upgraded from Haswell to Broadwell, faster PCIe bus for SSD, Thunderbolt upgraded to Thunderbolt 2).

    The "2017 update" [everymac.com] actually just replaced the Broadwell CPU with another Broadwell CPU that's 0.2 GHz faster (and was available in 2015). You'd think they could've at least updated to Sky Lake (available late 2015) or Kaby Lake (available late 2016/early 2017). But apparently they didn't want to go through the effort of designing a new mainboard for a newer CPU, so they did the cheap and easy thing and just swapped one Broadwell CPU for another and called it a "new" model.
    • Maybe they didn't bother because they already had this new upcoming upgrade/replacement in the pipeline?

      I don't mind the non-powerful CPU, I'm still using a mid-2010 Mac mini with a 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo after all, but sometimes I'm wondering if Apple is using outdated CPUs on purpose and/or has a deal with Intel so they keep making those old CPUs half a decade later.

  • I love the current MacBook Air. Just the right size screen, good resolution, enough USB3 slots, a card slot for camera cards.

    If they could just update the processor, solid state drive, and ram every year or so, that would be all I would ask for.

    • If they could just update the processor, solid state drive, and ram every year or so, that would be all I would ask for.

      That’s how I felt about the 2015 13” MacBook Pro... but you saw what they did to that product line.

      Based on recent history - if they do update the Air, you’ll probably see

      - Newer generation processor, but clocked the same
      - “Upgraded” to the new crap keyboard they’re putting in every Mac laptop now
      - One Thunderbolt 3 port
      - No SD Card slot
      - No headphone jack
      - A four-minute Jony Ive video telling you how great it is that they’ve removed most of the functional ports and

  • in a time where one can by 500 gig memory cards, it is really time also to have larger harddrives into the macbooks (I have two of those and the lack of harddrive space space is the main complaint for those things). Also nice would be two USB C ports. There are still almost no USB C hubs which allow to attach USB C devices and charge at the same time.
  • You can pay $1,000 for Apple's bottom-of-the-line MacBook Air, or for just $150 more, you can get an Alienware 13 [dell.com].

    Besides being a beast of a (small) laptop, the Alienware...has a headphone jack! And an RJ45, 3 USB 3 ports (type A and C), Thunderbolt, and HDMI.

    If I were to buy a small laptop for around $1,000, I know which one I'd pick!

    • That's not even remotely aimed at the same audience. That Alienware box looks like it's as thick as three MacBook Airs, stacked one on top of another.

      The XPS 13 [dell.com] is designed more along the same lines as an Air - and still has an SD slot and a headphone jack.

      • You're right about different audiences! One audience is willing to pay for beauty, the other is willing to pay for raw power.

    • Me too,
      I would pick the Mac.
      Would save me more than $1000 to figure how to get OS X running on the Alienware.

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