There have been many competing rumors about Apple’s forthcoming line of MacBooks. The latest rumor is perhaps one of the most interesting, not because it’s predicts amazing new features, but because it spells out an interesting strategy for Apple: an $800 MacBook Air!
DigiTimes reports that Apple is looking to release a new $800 MacBook Air in Q3, marking a $200 decrease in the entry-level MacBook Air pricing. The drop is reportedly intended to compete with Intel’s “Ultrabook” initiative, which has manufacturers producing ultra-thin Air-like netbooks and marketing them aggressively.
Ultrabooks aren’t selling well as it stands, however, and manufacturers are significantly struggling to match Apple’s MacBook Air pricing with their own offerings. Despite this, Intel is aiming to have devices priced at $699 in the second half of this year – a goal which they achieve mainly by lowering system specs and using cheaper materials.
An $800 MacBook Air would likely be among the final nails in the coffin for Ultrabooks. Even so, Apple usually isn’t interested in cutting their own margins just to heat up the competition, and Apple still has limited flexibility on their pricing.
Given that Ultrabook manufacturers are already struggling, and the fact that the MacBook Air is already performing very well on the market, and this agressive marketing move just doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense for Apple.