Digitimes is reporting that Apple is set to launch a less-expensive MacBook Air in Q3 of this year. Specifically, they will be lowering the entry price from $999 to $799. This move is reportedly in response to Intel’s push for Windows-based “Ultrabooks” which have a similar form-factor to the MacBook Air.
Ultrabooks have not taken the world by storm, mostly due to their higher-pricing compared to the MacBook Air. This is one very clear instance wherein Apple is not the highest-priced manufacture in the game. But these days, they usually aren’t.
On the flip side of this rumor, it almost seems unreasonable to assume that Apple could lower the price by $200, especially considering how the company likes to keep high-profit margins on their products. That said, what I would wager is one of the highest priced components in the machine, the solid state drives, are continuously coming down in price. Perhaps Apple could lower the price.
With all of that said, Digitimes has a spotty track record. Plus, I believe Apple needs to respond to the “ultrabook” threat as much as they did with the whole netbook craze a few years ago. That is, not at all. Apple never created something to directly compete with cheap, junky, netbooks, and they still managed to thrive in the marketplace. I think Apple will do just fine competing against ultrabooks as well. I wouldn’t bet on this rumor panning out.