Apple on Tuesday introduced refreshed versions of its MacBook Air laptops aimed at consumers and also said that from now on the most affordable Apple notebook will cost starting from $899/ £749/€899. Previously it was expected that the company would introduce 12″ MacBook Air model, but the company decided only to refresh the existing lineup by installing improved microprocessors into 11″ and 13″ models.
“With MacBook Air starting at $899, there’s no reason to settle for anything less than a Mac,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Macs have never been more popular, and today we’ve boosted the performance and lowered the price of MacBook Air so even more people can experience the perfect everyday notebook.”
The most affordable Apple MacBook Air comes with 11.6” display with 1366*768 resolution, dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with 1.4GHz default frequency (2.70GHz turbo speed, 3MB L2 cache) and Intel HD Graphics 5000 integrated graphics engine, 4GB of LPDDR3 1600MHz memory, 128GB PCIe-based solid-state storage, 720p webcam, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, stereo speakers, two USB 3 ports, a Thunderbolt port as well as Mac OS X “Mavericks” operating system.
Those, who demand higher performance out of their MacBook Air laptops can configure them to include dual-core Intel Core i7 1.70GHz chip with 4MB cache, 8GB of memory and 512GB of solid-state storage.
It is noteworthy that instead of introducing an all-new 12” MacBook Air with improved display Apple decided to slightly upgrade performance of existing models and even lower the price of the entry-level model. Since actual improvements of the MBA are negligible, the new lineup will hardly attract attention of those, who currently own similar laptops released in 2012 or 2013.
However, considering the popularity of Apple brand in general, the introduction of an $899 option should positively affect sales of Apple’s MacBooks in general over the long term. Keeping in mind that that Apple clearly wants to boost its market share (but does not want to sacrifice its profitability for that purpose), introduction of such model was more important than a launch of an all-new version of the MacBook Air.
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KitGuru Says: Since Apple is not known to introduce products often, do not expect 12” MacBook Air to substitute the current models any time soon. While Apple can still offer a new MBA model this year (which is unlikely, but hypothetically possible), the positioning of the 12” version will probably be slightly different compared to the existing 11″ and 13″ models.