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Apple to Release New Entry-Level MacBook This Year, Replacing MacBook Air: REPORT

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New rumours suggest Apple could be planning to release a 13-inch MacBook in the second half of 2018, with the entry-level model potentially replacing the 13-inch MacBook Air, currently the cheapest Apple laptop on the market.

This rumor comes from a DigiTimes report, claiming that General Interface Solution is expecting more LCD display orders from Apple for this new model, after it began supplying the models for existing MacBooks in the fourth quarter of last year.

Some industry insiders are suggesting that these new orders – which according to sources speaking to DigiTimes will ramp up to 600,000 units a month by the end of 2018, compared to 300,000 units currently – could mean that Apple is preparing to release an entry-level MacBook without the Touch Bar.

It seems likely that this new model will replace the current 13-inch MacBook Air, Apple’s lowest costing notebook at $999 USD. Apple’s long-term aim was to replace the MacBook Air with the 12-inch MacBook but sales of the Air have remained strong thanks to its affordability.

In 2016, Apple attempted to position the 13-inch MacBook Pro with no Touch Bar as a viable MacBook Air alternative but the Pro starts at $1,299 USD which is $300 more than the entry-level Air model.

Digitimes does not mention the MacBook Air product line anywhere in the report, but if this 13-inch MacBook is supposed to be an entry-level device, it can’t coexist with the MacBook Air family, as the Air is the entry-level MacBook right now.

It’s unclear at this time what an entry-level 13-inch MacBook would have to offer in terms of design and specs, as the report doesn’t specify such details.

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  • noah

    Unless this is a slower ARM processor, I don’t see how they can have a cheap MacBook AND and expensive MacBook, without adding features to the more expensive MacBook. There’s not a lot they can remove from this device. So perhaps they’ll add a 2nd USB, TouchBar, Touch ID or Face ID to the more expensive model, and this will be a 2017 MacBook for $999.

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    They can remove the headphone jack 😉

  • raslucas

    Oh, no I think this is the same situation as the Air when it was released and the MacBook will slide into the current Air’s position as the cheaper alternative to the Pro.

    I really do wonder when we’ll see an Apple ARM powered device with a mouse and keyboard form-factor.

    Will it just be integrated into the iPad? Separate modes? I really doubt Apple would go the hybrid route (Windows), but maybe two OS’s sharing the same file system on a single is the angle they’re working on.

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