Rumor: Apple planning to launch $799 MacBook Air in Q3 2012

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  • Reply 41 of 85
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,464member


    Apple should be able to hit that price point and still keep their margins by that quarter of this year and they need to go ahead and do it.


     


    Everyone can say they understand the concept of you get what you pay for and Apple can even command a premium but that premium isn't 200%+. Netbooks are easily hitting under $300. I'm certain that some PC makers will be able to hit $599 soon. Will those machines be better than Apple machines? No but Apple doesn't live in a vacuum. They were just overtaken by Samsung in smartphone sales and by HP in PC sales. They need a certain number of machines pushed out just to keep the great discounts they get from their massive purchases of wholesale components.

  • Reply 42 of 85
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    trumptman wrote: »
    Apple should be able to hit that price point and still keep their margins by that quarter of this year and they need to go ahead and do it.

    Everyone can say they understand the concept of you get what you pay for and Apple can even command a premium but that premium isn't 200%+. Netbooks are easily hitting under $300. I'm certain that some PC makers will be able to hit $599 soon. Will those machines be better than Apple machines? No but Apple doesn't live in a vacuum. They were just overtaken by Samsung in smartphone sales and by HP in PC sales. They need a certain number of machines pushed out just to keep the great discounts they get from their massive purchases of wholesale components.

    Once again, I challenge you to show a product where Apple charges a 200% premium over an equivalent product.

    Most Apple products are very competitive with similar products and the few that are higher are nothing like 200% (or even 100%) higher.

    Comparing a MacBook Air to a netbook is ridiculous. That's like comparing a Ferrari to a Kia. Or a 747 to a Cessna.
  • Reply 43 of 85
    carmissimocarmissimo Posts: 837member
    Apple didn't chase the tablet market before releasing the IPad because there was no tablet market before Apple released the IPad. You can't chase what does not exist.

    When a consumer buys Apple, it's never about price in relation to specifications. You're buying into the Apple ecosystem which combines rational software with excellent design. As such a competitor could offer a cheaper alternative yet if user experience is your primary focus, what you save in dollars you pay for in terms of said user experience.

    So does Apple lose sleep over all those Air competitors? Not likely. As components become more affordable, Air models will be accordingly upgraded with no price hike. For instance, who really thinks 64Gb is enough memory in even the base Air configuration. Apple's approach to the laptop market has been to avoid a descent into progressively lower pricing. If Apple comes up with a $799 Air, competitors bring out a $699 ultra and then what? Where does it end? On the PC side when this sort of approach was applied to laptops, it ended with netbooks while Apple cleaned up going iPad instead.

    Apple is making money selling laptops, the competition not so much. Why then would Apple follow the lead of competitors in this market. I'm not saying the Air will not come down in price. It already has. Yet when there is a price adjustment it will be on Apple's terms.
  • Reply 44 of 85
    grover432grover432 Posts: 25member


    Who cares?? I need a new MacBook Pro. Can someone tell me when they are coming already?? My 2007's logic board (video card) crapped out 2 months ago!!!!

  • Reply 45 of 85
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by grover432 View Post

    Can someone tell me when they are coming already??




    Apple can. They won't, but they can.


     


    Since they haven't been released yet, I imagine this just lends more credence to my theory that the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lines will be merged. Apple would have to wait for Air processors to do the update, otherwise they'd give away half the line/surprise and people would be left in the lurch about updates.

  • Reply 46 of 85
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    grover432 wrote: »
    Who cares?? I need a new MacBook Pro. Can someone tell me when they are coming already?? My 2007's logic board (video card) crapped out 2 months ago!!!!

    I'm ready for a new laptop, too. My 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo is just getting to the end of its days. This is the longest I've ever used a computer without buying a new one - by far. Fortunately, I'll have the budget for one in a few weeks, so I hope the new ones are out.

    If there's a 15" MBA, that's probably the route I'll go. If not, I'll probably get a tricked out MBP.
  • Reply 47 of 85
    tjwaltjwal Posts: 404member


    Apple is still a niche player in the laptop/desktop market.  Offering an entry level Air at a lower price could attrack a large number of users who have been introduced to Apple through iPods, iPhones and iPads.  This could substantially increase MacOS market share, so strategically it would be a good move. 

  • Reply 48 of 85
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    If PC makers are unable to reach the $699 price point with their second-generation Ultrabooks, Apple could have a significant competitive advantage with an aggressive $799 price point for a new MacBook Air, the report claims.


     


    And even if the Ultrabook makers actually do hit that magical second-gen $699 price point, their products will be plasticky and cheap.  They'll be slim netbooks.


    And we all know how that whole netbook concept worked out.


     


     



    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    In fact, one report even suggested that Apple could merge the two product lines, "effectively killing the Pro" and having all of its notebooks like MacBook Airs.





     


     


    When Steve Jobs first pulled a MacBook Air out of that manila envelope on stage at Moscone Center, he said "We think it's the future of notebooks."


    That future is now.

  • Reply 49 of 85
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by grover432 View Post


    Who cares?? I need a new MacBook Pro. Can someone tell me when they are coming already?? My 2007's logic board (video card) crapped out 2 months ago!!!!



     


    Maybe they'll be announced at WWDC?  Could be the "one more thing"?  I have to believe some iOS 6 features will be saved for when they announce the new iPhone.

  • Reply 50 of 85
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,464member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by trumptman View Post



    Apple should be able to hit that price point and still keep their margins by that quarter of this year and they need to go ahead and do it.



    Everyone can say they understand the concept of you get what you pay for and Apple can even command a premium but that premium isn't 200%+. Netbooks are easily hitting under $300. I'm certain that some PC makers will be able to hit $599 soon. Will those machines be better than Apple machines? No but Apple doesn't live in a vacuum. They were just overtaken by Samsung in smartphone sales and by HP in PC sales. They need a certain number of machines pushed out just to keep the great discounts they get from their massive purchases of wholesale components.




    Once again, I challenge you to show a product where Apple charges a 200% premium over an equivalent product.



    Most Apple products are very competitive with similar products and the few that are higher are nothing like 200% (or even 100%) higher.



    Comparing a MacBook Air to a netbook is ridiculous. That's like comparing a Ferrari to a Kia. Or a 747 to a Cessna.


     


    I'm not saying they are currently charging that type of premium. The point is that they can charge a premium but if PC makers undercut their prices to the degree being discussed here, then Apple won't have to match price, but they will have to be competitive. Apple can easily command $999 when an equivelently equipped PC is $799. They could not command $1099 when the similar PC is $599. I never stated that Apple had to meet netbook pricing but merely used it to note that PC makers might be able to hit a $599 price point for an ultrabook.


     


    Articles like this are noting PC makers hitting the $599 price point in the second half of this year, likely near the Christmas season. Before these PC makers couldn't even produce an ultrabook. Now they can and are doing so at Apple price points. They will try to move quickly to lower price points. Apple can command $799 when the others hit $599 (perhaps even with some $499 lose-leaders for Black Friday deals) Apple cannot command $999 when they are at that price point.


     


    As for Apple charging 200% over an equivalent product, just look at their headphone and charging cable prices. They are insane.image

  • Reply 51 of 85
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

    Maybe they'll be announced at WWDC?  Could be the "one more thing"?


     


    I doubt they'll be doing that anymore.


     


    Quote:


      I have to believe some iOS 6 features will be saved for when they announce the new iPhone.



     


    Of course. WWDC should be the iOS 6 preview, like we see every year.

  • Reply 52 of 85
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,378member


    Yeah, I agree with you if that's what "apple tax" means. 


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    Exactly.

    You're confusing margins with "Apple tax". The latter phrase implies that the consumer is paying more money for something with an Apple label - which as I've shown (and you are agreeing) is incorrect. Apple's products tend to have a price comparable to the market price of competitive products.

    The fact that Apple is able to obtain sufficient efficiencies to improve their margins is irrelevant to the consumer. As far as price is concerned, the consumer only cares about the price of product A compared to product B.

  • Reply 53 of 85
    macky the mackymacky the macky Posts: 4,801member


    If we look at Apple's new strategy, the current MBA could be moved down to $799 and the New MBA (with double pixel density and new CPU) could slide in at $999. 


     


    This will give Apple a price point for the education market and a MBA for the rest of the users with a screen resolution the competition can not offer. Apple has years of lead on the market with SSD and double density displays coupled with an incredible pipeline between components --> market.

  • Reply 54 of 85
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member


    Just for comparison's sake, here are the current MBA processors and all the potential ones coming w/Ivy Bridge.  These are all still listed as June 2012 on wikipedia, but whenever they get out the door, this is what we have to look forward to.  The variable power (none of the 14W speeds were known, so any listed ranges are for the normal 17W to the faster 25W) allows for much faster top end speeds and the Turbo modes are all generally faster.  The current models list 2 Turbo speeds and I think that is for single core and multi-core.  The new Turbos don't list different speeds, so I think that would be for all cores at once.  Someone please correct me if I am mistaken.


     


    Current MBA:


    i5-2467M 17W CPU 1.6               - 2.3/2GHz Turbo      Graphics: 350MHz 1150MHz Turbo 3MB cache

    i5-2557M 17W CPU 1.7               - 2.7/2.4GHz Turbo   Graphics: 350MHz 1200MHz Turbo 3MB cache

    i7-2677M 17W CPU 1.8               - 2.9/2.6GHz Turbo   Graphics: 350MHz 1200MHz Turbo 4MB cache


     


    New Ivy Bridge processors:


    i3-3217U 14-17W CPU 1.8GHz      - no Turbo           Graphics: 350MHz 1050MHz 3MB cache OEM

    i5-3317U 14-17W CPU 1.7GHz      - 2.6GHz Turbo   Graphics: 350MHz 1050MHz 3MB cache OEM

    i5-3427U 14-25W CPU 1.8-2.3GHz - 2.8GHz Turbo   Graphics: 350MHz 1150MHz 3MB cache

    i7-3517U 14-25W CPU 1.9-2.4GHz - 3.0GHz Turbo   Graphics: 350MHz 1150MHz 4MB cache OEM

    i7-3667U 14-25W CPU 2.0-2.5GHz - 3.2GHz Turbo   Graphics: 350MHz 1150MHz 4MB cache


     


     


    Apple could consider a cheaper MBA sporting the i3 processor if they wanted, but I would think the other processors are much more enticing to them.  Limit the 11" model to the 3317, save the 3427 for the 13" and the 3517 or 3667 for BTO options.   With no Turbo mode the i3 may be inferior enough Apple wouldn't use it, even to produce an $800 model, but one of those w/64GB SSD would certainly be easier on the wallet.  I wouldn't want only 64GB of storage on a modern system personally, but there may be people that would be suited for it.  They'd be better off saving another month or 3 and getting a better system, but the option would be there.

  • Reply 55 of 85
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    ssquirrel wrote: »
    Just for comparison's sake, here are the current MBA processors and all the potential ones coming w/Ivy Bridge.  These are all still listed as June 2012 on wikipedia, but whenever they get out the door, this is what we have to look forward to.  The variable power (none of the 14W speeds were known, so any listed ranges are for the normal 17W to the faster 25W) allows for much faster top end speeds and the Turbo modes are all generally faster.  The current models list 2 Turbo speeds and I think that is for single core and multi-core.  The new Turbos don't list different speeds, so I think that would be for all cores at once.  Someone please correct me if I am mistaken.

    Current MBA:
    i5-2467M 17W CPU 1.6               - 2.3/2GHz Turbo      Graphics: 350MHz 1150MHz Turbo 3MB cache

    i5-2557M 17W CPU 1.7               - 2.7/2.4GHz Turbo   Graphics: 350MHz 1200MHz Turbo 3MB cache

    i7-2677M 17W CPU 1.8               - 2.9/2.6GHz Turbo   Graphics: 350MHz 1200MHz Turbo 4MB cache

    New Ivy Bridge processors:
    i3-3217U 14-17W CPU 1.8GHz      - no Turbo           Graphics: 350MHz 1050MHz 3MB cache OEM

    i5-3317U 14-17W CPU 1.7GHz      - 2.6GHz Turbo   Graphics: 350MHz 1050MHz 3MB cache OEM

    i5-3427U 14-25W CPU 1.8-2.3GHz - 2.8GHz Turbo   Graphics: 350MHz 1150MHz 3MB cache

    i7-3517U 14-25W CPU 1.9-2.4GHz - 3.0GHz Turbo   Graphics: 350MHz 1150MHz 4MB cache OEM

    i7-3667U 14-25W CPU 2.0-2.5GHz - 3.2GHz Turbo   Graphics: 350MHz 1150MHz 4MB cache


    Apple could consider a cheaper MBA sporting the i3 processor if they wanted, but I would think the other processors are much more enticing to them.  Limit the 11" model to the 3317, save the 3427 for the 13" and the 3517 or 3667 for BTO options.   With no Turbo mode the i3 may be inferior enough Apple wouldn't use it, even to produce an $800 model, but one of those w/64GB SSD would certainly be easier on the wallet.  I wouldn't want only 64GB of storage on a modern system personally, but there may be people that would be suited for it.  They'd be better off saving another month or 3 and getting a better system, but the option would be there.

    No 17W i7? Looks like there's a chip missing.
    ETA: I think I found it. This site lists your i7-3517U as a 17W TDP:
    http://www.guru3d.com/news/intel-released-ivy-bridgecore-i5s--core-i7-specs/

    I could picture Apple offering an i3 in an $800 MBA, but as stated earlier, I think it's more likely that they'd leave the Sandy Bridge CPU in it and simply sell it as 'last year's model at a reduced price'.

    One of the big targets of such a device (just like the previous times that Apple continued to sell the prior year's model) is likely to be education. For the high volume education applications, 64 GB is plenty.
  • Reply 56 of 85
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    For this to be possible I'd think an Atom starting point would be the only way to shave off enough cost to make it viable.
  • Reply 57 of 85
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    For this to be possible I'd think an Atom starting point would be the only way to shave off enough cost to make it viable.

    Not at all.

    When the current entry level MBA was introduced, the retail price was $1000. If we use Apple's average margin of around 40%, that means that the cost of sales were $600. In order to sell it at $800 with the same 40% margin, the cost would be $480. They would only need to take $120 (20%) off the manufacturing cost to leave the margin untouched.

    In the past year, CPU prices have dropped significantly. In particular, when Ivy Bridge was released, the price for Sandy Bridge dropped. SSD prices have dropped significantly. And they've probably fully amortized the tooling and manufacturing lines. Heck, if they do nothing else but replace the i5 with an i3, that alone would save them $100 - or most of the money they need to save.

    And that, of course, assumes that Apple will get the same margin. They might well accept a slightly lower margin to open up a higher volume educational channel for the MBA. It's really no different than the fact that they sell the iPad 2 for 20% less than the new iPad and 20% less than its introduction price of only a year ago.
  • Reply 58 of 85
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,776member


    Dont' believe it. Apple is more likely to add more features to justify the $999 price point. They aren't going lower than that. They might as well get an iPad at the $799 price point. Now people want a 8" macbook air. *rolls eyes*

  • Reply 59 of 85
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,776member


    It may make more sense to release the new MBA and price the old ones at a lower price than they were before. 

  • Reply 60 of 85
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    adonissmu wrote: »
    Dont' believe it. Apple is more likely to add more features to justify the $999 price point. They aren't going lower than that. They might as well get an iPad at the $799 price point. Now people want a 8" macbook air. *rolls eyes*

    Why not both? They did it for the iPhone. They did it for the iPad. They did it at least once in the past for a MacBook.

    Updating the 2012 MBA to include more features and/or better specs at the same price point would be typical Apple behavior. I don't think anyone expects them to introduce their 2012 model at $799. But what's to stop them from keeping the 2011 model and selling it at $799 (possibly with some reduction in specs like swapping the i5 for an i3) for educational markets?
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