KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple will release a “more affordable MacBook Air” in the second quarter of 2018. The comments came as part of a new research report released to customers.
We expect Apple (US) to roll out the new MacBook Air with a lower price tag in 2Q18. We forecast total shipments of MacBook models will grow 10-15% YoY in 2018 (vs. 0-5% YoY decline for the NB industry), up from 15.5-16mn units in 2017. While Quanta, Radiant, Catcher and SZS are likely to benefit from strong shipments momentum, SZS also stands to benefit from increased market share and a higher ASP.
Kuo doesn’t mention any details other than a lower price tag. (The base model of the laptop currently starts at $999.) The MacBook Air lineup hasn’t received any meaningful updates in three years. During that time, Apple has discontinued the 11-inch model of the ultralight notebook. The only feature update for the 13-inch model has been an improvement to the base processor.
Possible improvements to the MacBook Air would be the inclusion of a Retina display, (the current display is a 1440 x 900 non-Retina display), and perhaps a USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 upgrade to the device’s ports.