Apple planning lower cost MacBook Air for second quarter of 2018

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited March 3
Reports from the supply chain gleaned by Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities suggest that Apple hasn't abandoned the MacBook Air line, and will update the line at some point in the second calendar quarter of 2018 with at the least a lower price.




The research note seen by AppleInsider just suggests that a new model is coming, and advises investors what manufacturers to invest in to capitalize on the possible release. However, the analyst doesn't go into any detail about the new model, leaving up in the air if the update is just a price cut, or if there will be new internals.

Kuo also believes that the total shipment of "MacBook models" will grow up to 15 percent across calendar year 2018 in a contracting industry. What specifically the report is referring to as growing -- be it the MacBook Air, MacBook, MacBook Pro, or all three -- isn't clear.

The MacBook Air line last saw a minor update at the 2017 WWDC, with a slightly faster processor, and 8GB of RAM as a default. The present low-end price for the MacBook Air is $999 for 128GB of PCIe-based storage, a 1.8GHz dual-core i5 processor, and 8GB of LPDDR3 RAM, although third-party resellers offer additional discounts off MSRP.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 80
    tipootipoo Posts: 935member
    What makes the most sense to me - 

    -Air goes away, Macbook takes over 999 starting tier  
    -Non touchbar/two TB3 Macbook Pro just becomes the 13" Macbook, maybe introduces a non retina display as a  further budget model as this rumor. 
    -Macbook Pro is differentiated by touchbar, 4 ports, and now ULV quad cores 

    Without paring down the line like that, it becomes redundant and un-Apple with a 13" Air, 13" Pro, 13" new budget model, and 12.9" Macbook. 
    randominternetpersonlongpathAnilu_777
  • Reply 2 of 80
    deminsddeminsd Posts: 67member
    The MacBook Air line last saw a minor update at the 2017 WWDC, with a slightly faster processor, and 8GB of RAM as a default. The present low-end price for the MacBook Air is $999 for 128GB of PCIe-based storage, a 1.8GHz dual-core i5 processor, and 8GB of LPDDR3 RAM...
    Forgot to mention the crappiest display of any Apple product.  1440x900.  So 10 years ago.
    edited March 3 williamlondonlondon11
  • Reply 3 of 80
    aegeanaegean Posts: 96member
    "Forgot to mention the crappiest display of any Apple product.  1440x900.  So 10 years ago."
    Then you don't get the meaning of MacBook Air. I spend 10x more time on my MBA 11" (which is 1366x768) than my MBP 17", MBP 15" and iMac 27" combined. Every size of the notebook has its own merits and applications. One size may not be a perfect fit in one's lifestyle but it might be perfect for other. When I bought my maxed out 11 inch MacBook Air in 2013, I only had one thought. To get the smallest, most compact, lightest yet most powerful notebook, that I can even hide on me on various occasions. In other words, its my 11 inch iPhone and even my iPad and iPhone X can't do what it can. Not to mention its battery still lasts 10 hours of extensive usage.
    edited March 3 wonkothesanearthurbaracerhomie3netroxentropysbaconstangwatto_cobramagman1979repressthispscooter63
  • Reply 4 of 80
    Given that the current MacBook is smaller than the original MacBook Air, the "Air" branding doesn't make any sense.  If they make anything smaller it would have to be the MacBook nano, and I'm not expecting or asking for that. So I think there won't be a new product called the MacBook Air in the next few years at least.
    watto_cobraravnorodomLatko
  • Reply 5 of 80
    lmaclmac Posts: 149member
    I won't buy an Apple laptop with the butterfly keyboard. Never could see much difference with a Retina display, but keys that get dust under them and stop working is a major design flaw that Apple has yet to acknowledge publicly.
    williamlondonlkruppilovemomarthurbabaconstangcgWerksravnorodomaylkalbegarcEcky-Thump
  • Reply 6 of 80
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,161member
    aegean said:
    Then you don't get the meaning of MacBook Air. I spent 10x more time on my MBA 11" (which is 1366x768) than my MBP 17", MBP 15" and iMac 27" combined. 
    Why is the 11" MacBook Air a better choice for you over the 12" MacBook?
  • Reply 7 of 80
    vannygeevannygee Posts: 41member
    Crappy display or not this is excellent. I recently acquired a full spec'd 11" (i7,8GB) . These are easily the best machines to work on 90% of the time. Apple needs to bring the power/battery balance of the macbook air to newer models, I feel like the 2016mbps are good (i'm writing from one) but power hungry because, well, pixels. I'd like to see how it would perform with a 2400x1600 screen edge to edge, a tiny bit thicker to accommodate a BIG battery. Make this 14inch in a 13inch footprint for me Apple
    bigpicsrepressthislamboaudi4aylk
  • Reply 8 of 80
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,313member
    tipoo said:
    What makes the most sense to me - 

    -Air goes away, Macbook takes over 999 starting tier  
    -Non touchbar/two TB3 Macbook Pro just becomes the 13" Macbook, maybe introduces a non retina display as a  further budget model as this rumor. 
    -Macbook Pro is differentiated by touchbar, 4 ports, and now ULV quad cores 

    Without paring down the line like that, it becomes redundant and un-Apple with a 13" Air, 13" Pro, 13" new budget model, and 12.9" Macbook. 
    The Air can only go away if Apple is willing to lower the MBP 13" (without Touch Bar) by $300, which isn't going to happen.   The Air can still have a place if the lower model is reduced from $1000 to $700, but that's not going to happen either.   But if it did, I'd bet Apple would sell tons at $700.    It would be a good way to get computer users to buy into the Apple eco-system with the strategy that their next computer would be a model up the line.  

    And you're not going to see a 2TB machine in this price range from Apple for a long time.   Apple charges a $1200 differential to get from 512GB to 2TB and $1400 to get from 256GB to 2TB.   These prices are only made possible by Apple's choice to not use standard storage modules that are plug and play.   This and the inability to replace batteries and memory as one used to be able to do in MBP's gets me so angry that my current late-2016 MBP is probably going to be my last Apple computer.   And for my money, the Touch Bar is a complete waste - I'm sorry I opted for that as it accomplishes almost nothing.  
    dtoubfotoformat
  • Reply 9 of 80
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,161member
    zoetmb said:
    tipoo said:
    What makes the most sense to me - 

    -Air goes away, Macbook takes over 999 starting tier  
    -Non touchbar/two TB3 Macbook Pro just becomes the 13" Macbook, maybe introduces a non retina display as a  further budget model as this rumor. 
    -Macbook Pro is differentiated by touchbar, 4 ports, and now ULV quad cores 

    Without paring down the line like that, it becomes redundant and un-Apple with a 13" Air, 13" Pro, 13" new budget model, and 12.9" Macbook. 
    The Air can only go away if Apple is willing to lower the MBP 13" (without Touch Bar) by $300, which isn't going to happen.   The Air can still have a place if the lower model is reduced from $1000 to $700, but that's not going to happen either.   But if it did, I'd bet Apple would sell tons at $700.    It would be a good way to get computer users to buy into the Apple eco-system with the strategy that their next computer would be a model up the line.  

    And you're not going to see a 2TB machine in this price range from Apple for a long time.   Apple charges a $1200 differential to get from 512GB to 2TB and $1400 to get from 256GB to 2TB.   These prices are only made possible by Apple's choice to not use standard storage modules that are plug and play.   This and the inability to replace batteries and memory as one used to be able to do in MBP's gets me so angry that my current late-2016 MBP is probably going to be my last Apple computer.   And for my money, the Touch Bar is a complete waste - I'm sorry I opted for that as it accomplishes almost nothing.  
    1) I hope the Air doesn’t go away. I see an opportunity to make the Air a low-price Mac with modern HW.

    2) You really don’t use Apple Pay or Touch ID on your Mac?
    edited March 3 watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 80
    dtoubdtoub Posts: 13member
    zoetmb said:
    tipoo said:
    What makes the most sense to me - 

    -Air goes away, Macbook takes over 999 starting tier  
    -Non touchbar/two TB3 Macbook Pro just becomes the 13" Macbook, maybe introduces a non retina display as a  further budget model as this rumor. 
    -Macbook Pro is differentiated by touchbar, 4 ports, and now ULV quad cores 

    Without paring down the line like that, it becomes redundant and un-Apple with a 13" Air, 13" Pro, 13" new budget model, and 12.9" Macbook. 
    The Air can only go away if Apple is willing to lower the MBP 13" (without Touch Bar) by $300, which isn't going to happen.   The Air can still have a place if the lower model is reduced from $1000 to $700, but that's not going to happen either.   But if it did, I'd bet Apple would sell tons at $700.    It would be a good way to get computer users to buy into the Apple eco-system with the strategy that their next computer would be a model up the line.  

    And you're not going to see a 2TB machine in this price range from Apple for a long time.   Apple charges a $1200 differential to get from 512GB to 2TB and $1400 to get from 256GB to 2TB.   These prices are only made possible by Apple's choice to not use standard storage modules that are plug and play.   This and the inability to replace batteries and memory as one used to be able to do in MBP's gets me so angry that my current late-2016 MBP is probably going to be my last Apple computer.   And for my money, the Touch Bar is a complete waste - I'm sorry I opted for that as it accomplishes almost nothing.  
    Completely agree. I’m still using my late-2013 MBP that has MagSafe, a big much of useful ports and a 1 TB SSD. No dongles. And the keyboard is reliable. 
    MplsPbaconstangaylkEcky-ThumpBrianJewettLatko
  • Reply 11 of 80
    dtoubdtoub Posts: 13member

    2) You really don’t use Apple Pay or Touch ID on your Mac?
    TBH I use Unlox (fka MacID) which unlocks and locks from my phone. Works well. 
    repressthis
  • Reply 12 of 80
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,535member
    Makes absolutely no sense to me to keep the MacBook Air around. Apple doesn't need a "value" Mac. Since when has Apple been in a race to the bottom? There's no room for a MacBook Air in Apple's lineup IMO. 
  • Reply 13 of 80
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,535member
    lmac said:
    I won't buy an Apple laptop with the butterfly keyboard. Never could see much difference with a Retina display, but keys that get dust under them and stop working is a major design flaw that Apple has yet to acknowledge publicly.
    Because you're making it out to be a bigger deal than it really is. I use one all the time on my 12" MacBook and I've never had any issues with it. Its one of those you see 50 people with this issue and think its a much bigger deal than it really is. Apple has tens of millions of these out there through various models and I don't see millions complaining...hell not even hundreds of thousands. 
    edited March 3 williamlondonhummerchinechiaRayz2016NotsofastStrangeDaysMisterKitwatto_cobrarepressthisrandominternetperson
  • Reply 14 of 80
    macxpress said:
    lmac said:
    I won't buy an Apple laptop with the butterfly keyboard. Never could see much difference with a Retina display, but keys that get dust under them and stop working is a major design flaw that Apple has yet to acknowledge publicly.
    Because you're making it out to be a bigger deal than it really is. I use one all the time on my 12" MacBook and I've never had any issues with it. Its one of those you see 50 people with this issue and think its a much bigger deal than it really is. Apple has tens of millions of these out there through various models and I don't see millions complaining...hell not even hundreds of thousands. 
    Fully agree with macxpress.  I'm typing this on my first-gen 12" MacBook which has been an absolutely STELLAR machine for me.  I also use it more than any of my other computers...of which I have many.  
    chiawatto_cobrarepressthispscooter63albegarc
  • Reply 15 of 80
    Interesting! My mid-2009 13-inch MBP is getting a service battery warning, although it still lasts hours. I chiefly use it to take notes at government meetings and occasionally write at home, as well as to run MAME. I’ve mused on a MB, or using wireless keyboard with iPad Air 2, or a procuring a 12.9-inch iPad Pro. I’ve also considered boosting current MBP’s RAM to 8 gig, swapping for SSD, and replacing batteries. I guess this rumor has gained me several months of procrastination.
    watto_cobraGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 16 of 80
    karmadavekarmadave Posts: 291member
    The Air is by far the #1 Apple notebook sold to corporations. It makes sense they would keep it in the line with an upgraded Intel processor. I personally don't think they need a 4K display, on this machine, since most people doing that kind of graphics have other options. Why not just make gradual improvements while keeping the price the same?
    entropysbaconstangcgWerksracerhomie3repressthisaylkBrianJewett
  • Reply 17 of 80
    xamaxxamax Posts: 121member
    Makes sense as part of the merging of iOS with macOS strategy, MacBooks need to be more and more like the iPads until they are exactly the iPad on steroids - but the iPads will also evolve to be more computer like in what computers have that’s good. It’s a great future ahead, pity it is taking such a long time in baby steps... but that’s what they deem necessary...
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 18 of 80
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 569member
    I still have my 2011 MacBook Air and it's a fine machine for basic tasks (the type of stuff most people do most of the time.) I finally upgraded to a 15" MBP a couple weeks ago because I needed a higher resolution, larger screen. It's a great computer, but the price was hard to swallow, since I have no need for a Touch Bar, and the lack of UBA ports and a MagSafe connector makes it less convenient for me to use.

    No, Apple has never been about racing to the bottom price-point, but there is definitely a market for a good quality, reasonably priced laptop, and many people outside of the sycophants that tend to populate sites like AI see USB C as a liability (I actually had a coworker ask me about it a couple days ago. "Yeah, I just paid $2500 for my laptop and I have to use a dongle for most stuff I plug in." doesn't sound so great...) Taking the existing MBA, putting in some minor upgrades to the screen and processor would make an outstanding entry-level Mac.
    bigpicsentropysfrankeedbaconstangcgWerksmuthuk_vanalingamGeorgeBMacaylk[Deleted User]
  • Reply 19 of 80
    Best news in ages (if it doesn't have a butterfly keyboard, that is)  Waiting for ages for a decent Macbook. Was planning to buy a MacBook Pro 15 inch retina 2015, since that's the only decent Macbook around now (again, the crappy keyboard of the 2016/2017 models)  i wait for the new Macbook Air now...
    bigpicscgWerksBrianJewett
  • Reply 20 of 80
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,195member
    I owned three MacBook Air machines over the years and while I enjoy using my late 2017 MacBook Pro, I LOVED using my MacBook Airs.  They were the perfect combination of thin and light, with decent horsepower.  The only reason I got an MBP was because I finally outgrew the 8GB RAM limitation, and I have grown fond of using a Retina screen.  

    Had Apple updated their MBA's to have 16GB RAM, and a retina screen, I'd be right in line to get one.  I loved how light and powerful the MBA's were, given the kind of work (Software engineering) I do.  I travel a lot, and ride a motorcycle almost every day and the light weight made a huge difference.

    It's a shame that Apple is essentially letting the MBA rot on the vine.  While I understand the market that the lower-priced MacBook is meant for, many others don't want the heavier, and more expensive MBP.  The MBA was perfect for folks like us.

    I hope todays Apple gives the MBA the attention it deserves - and earned - especially considering the fanfare the MBA got when Steve Jobs first unveiled it back in the day. 
    bigpicsbaconstangcgWerkssuddenly newtonBrianJewett
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