According to recent reports, available stock of Apple’s $999 white MacBook has become quite constrained. Combine this with the rumors of other refreshes (like the MacBook Air) and OS X Lion in July, and the possibility of a new entry-level MacBook rises to the surface.
Many Apple Authorized Resellers are currently completely sold out of the entry-level polycarbonate MacBook. Amazon, MacConnection, and J&R are all completely out of stock on this model – this sounds to me like a fairly safe sign that a refresh is on the way soon. Could it come with refreshed MacBook Airs and OS X Lion? Sure, why not?
The entry-level MacBook has not been updated since May of last year, so it’s due for a refresh – adding in new Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt connectivity would be a great way for Apple to increase its value and make it seem more appealing to consumers on a budget.
If a new entry-level MacBook really is one the way, it’s extremely unlikely that we’ll see it before Lion is introduced, as Apple is expected to freeze all Mac refreshes until Lion hits the streets – a smart move, considering that customers would be disappointed to buy a brand-new laptop only to have to install a new operating system a couple weeks later.
Now that the MacBook Air starts at just $999, and the entry-level MacBook pro starts at just $1199, it’s also quite possible that Apple could lower the price even further on a refreshed model. It’s also possible that they might eliminate the entry-level MacBook entirely, and instead start promoting the $999 MacBook Air as the new entry-level Mac – The Air is the future of Macs, so I don’t think this is that far of a shot.
What are your thoughts? Would you buy a cheaper refreshed white MacBook? Or would you rather see it die and make way for the Air?