Apple Readying Entry-Level MacBook Pro Featuring Retina Display for 2018: DigiTimes

Apple is planning to announce an entry-level MacBook variant as soon as the end of 2018’s second quarter, possibly around the company’s developer conference WWDC 2018.

According to a new report from DigiTimes, Apple is indeed looking to bring back the “affordable” MacBook after having focused on its premium MacBook Pro variants for the past couple of years. Further, according to DigiTimes Research senior analyst Jim Hsiao, shipments for this upcoming MacBook model are expected to reach four million units by the end of 2018.

Apple is sourcing screens from LG Display, with a sharp resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. This is much higher than the 1440 x 900 in the current MacBook Air and it’s even sharper than the 12-inch MacBook’s 2304 x 1440. The current MacBook Pro has the same 2560 x 1600-pixel resolution.

These laptops will be assembled by Quanta computers which have reportedly obtained 70 percent of the orders and the rest will be completed by Foxconn Electronics.

According to the report, while Apple has a shipment goal of six million units for the new notebook this year, the actual sale volume might just reach two-thirds of that, as the notebook “has not yet reached a price point that can significantly stimulate its demand.”

As for the price, DigiTimes says to expect it to be “about the same level as that of the existing MacBook Air or slightly higher.” So Apple could be readying a replacement for the Air at $1199 CAD. It’s possible that Apple could keep the Air around, too, and reduce its price, but it’s doubtful given that ultraportable’s dated components and ports.

At the same time, DigiTimes also reports that Apple is also working on the Apple 9.7-inch iPad Pro upgrade and we might see a less expensive refreshed version of the 2017 model. The new iPad is expected to release in the second quarter this year and the new iPad Pro might come in the second half of 2018.