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Report Claims Apple will Debut Cheaper HomePod and MacBook Air This Year

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A new report by Taiwan’s Economic Daily News (via MacOtakara) has claimed that in addition to releasing new iPhones and iPads this year, Apple will also debut cheaper HomePod and MacBook Air models in the second half of 2018. The source believes the HomePod will cost around $150-$200, while the MacBook Air will be priced between $799-$899.

Below is the full breakdown of the translated report (via MacRumors):

  • 9.7-inch iPad for $259: This lines up with a DigiTimes supply chain report from last December that said Apple is considering releasing a cheaper 9.7-inch iPad for $259 in the second quarter of 2018. The current 9.7-inch iPad was released in March 2017 for $349.
  • 6.1-inch iPhone for $649 to $749: This lines up with a prediction from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who expects Apple to launch a mid-range 6.1-inch iPhone with Face ID, but with some design compromises like an LCD rather than OLED display to achieve the lower price point.
  • MacBook Air for $799 to $899: This lines up with another prediction from Kuo, who said Apple will launch a more affordable MacBook Air in the second quarter of 2018. The estimated price range comes from WitsView researcher Yubin Qiu. The current MacBook Air starts at $999.
  • HomePod for $150 to $200: Today’s report cites industry sources who expect a more affordable HomePod to launch in the second half of 2018. It’s hard to decipher details from the loosely translated report, but Mac Otakara’s coverage seems to suggest it will be a smaller speaker.

While the current price of HomePod is certainly higher than the Amazon Echo and Google Home, Apple’s speaker does offer better sound quality than its rival smart speaker, which puts it on par with some other high-quality speakers. In order to reduce its price however, the iPhone maker may release a smaller HomePod mini instead of compromising on sound quality.

In other news, Apple is expected to debut its next generation iPad Pro with Face ID at this year’s WWDC in June.

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  • Olivier

    updated and cheaper Macbook Air would do great with students.

  • Olley

    a cheaper version of an apple device seems unlikely, maybe a new improved HomePod 2 with better sound quality and faster apple chips and a discounted Homepod 1 on the side.

  • sukisszoze

    We are still waiting for HomePod 1 and there’s a 2 coming..ha.ha.

  • FragilityG4

    What about a mini version like their competitors? This would fall in line as a cheaper version.

  • Olley

    Yeah but it’s Apple. They never put out cheap stuff just to compete. Their definition of cheap is last years models with maybe 100 dollars off.

  • FragilityG4

    iPad Mini, Mac Mini, MacBook Air, iPod Shuffle, iPhone SE etc all lower cost products to compete.

  • Chrome262

    Also don’t forget the Gen 8 intel chips, it will bring quad core to the smaller laptops like the pro 13 inch. With the MacBook Air, though, I have a feeling it might end up being a more affordable MacBook perhaps.

  • Chrome262

    if its a small one, like the eco, then could launch here in tandem with the version one

  • Chrome262

    seems weird that they wouldn’t just go ahead and discontinue it and make a cheaper MacBook.

  • Chrome262

    I actually, after 7 years, am thinking of getting an new MacBook, the pro I have works great still but I can see a few subtile slow downs, especially interns of graphics cards. So this is great news, because 3k for a new pro 15 to replace this one is crazy, thats over 500 more then what I paid 7 years ago.

  • Reggie Young

    Well, yes, reducing prices is the only real way out of the stagnation Apple has foun itself in. they are barely doing anything new, their hardware is not developing in any signigficant way – so why not sell the old ones?
    This will not concern the new releases, unfortunately, I strongly believe that. The market won’t let it happen.

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