Does the huge MacBook Air price drop suggest an imminent revision?



A slightly larger, higher-resolution display to set it apart a little more from the basic Macbook, even just the most basic and cost-insignificant tweaks to the ports (a second USB2 port, or even a third, presents neither technical nor design problems and sources at Infinite Loop have repeatedly confirmed this; the existing USB2 controller supports three separate busses/ports and there’s plenty of room on the sides of the enclosure….just changing this will not harm its elegant, uncluttered lines) to go with the faster processors at 2.1 and 2.5GHz — and we’d have a machine that instantly erases the issues which have held it back thus far.

Why has Apple attached so little attention/fanfare to this price drop?

Several reasons, according to the usual sources in Cupertino; primarily, the biggest difference only impacts potential buyers of the SSD-based model and as many readers already know, recent benchmarking & power-draw testing has shown that SSD drives, while relatively fast, don’t really save on battery life and in many cases, the performance benefits aren’t in proportion with the added cost.

So, in truth, these price drops are really only bringing the high-end Macbook Air configuration more into line with a realistic price-performance equation.

Also, the wait for the second-generation Air may be a somewhat long one — not because the Intel/chipset components aren’t in place; they most definitely are, and have been for a good solid two-plus months now.

First & foremost, the delay is a combination of Apple not wanting to change the Air until the Macbook and Macbook Pro have been correspondingly updated (or until those updates are imminent) — and also, several non-motherboard components, as well as the new version of the Air’s uniquely thin and strong enclosure with an even tougher ribbed-frame reinforcement design intended to save even more weight (helping to offset the grams added by the new components/ports/chips), are expected to take at least another two months before being ready to ship in volume.

Continue on to the next page of this article for more dirt!


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  • http://neekolas.tumblr.com Nicholas Molnar

    The only thing that would make a big difference in the air, for me, would be built-in 3G; preferably, as a low-cost add-on to my iPhone plan.

  • http://flossyourmind.com raffi jamgotchian

    i would only wish for more memory at this point. A bigger drive would be great but i would be ok without it.

  • ya

    a 15 inch model would sell me on this laptop. i’m fine with all the other specs.

  • Booyah

    I wouldn’t buy this stripped down piece of rubbish at any price. If anything I would buy a new Macbook pro.

  • http://www.connectmenetworks.com Brian Hayashi

    I see something closer to the inexpensive netbook format popularized by companies like Asus and Everex. Asus is one of Apple’s contract manufacturers and has tremendous insight into this emerging category.

    Given some of Oppenheimer’s comments in Apple’s 3Q conference call, I’m thinking the price is going to be the same as netbooks from HP but with dramatically better functionality…say $499?

    I previously worked for Dynamac, the first manufacturer of portable Apple computers. For projected hardware and software specs, along with an analysis of pricing drivers see http://tinyurl.com/57fgm9

  • admin

    Brian,

    You’re somewhat close to the mark…..the big hint dropped during the recent quarterly financial results conference call regarding Apple planning to shrink its margins to make an ever more aggressive assault on the rest of the computing/tech/device world has stirred up a whirlwind of speculation; much of it fairly well thought out and based in reality, but when it comes down to the details, most are getting it wrong.

    There is definitely a new portable product, with an emphasis on bridging the Multi-Touch iDevice world to the emerging Multi-Touch portable computer (e.g. laptop, tablet, other portable form factors of otherwise “full blown” computers rather than pure-bred iDevices — a line which will only be getting fuzzier as time goes by!) offerings such as its latest laptops…..but a lot of the juiciest details are under firm embargo by our sources — much as many other rumor-mongers are now holding the cards close to their chests, hedging their bets and trying not to compromise their sources.

    Nonetheless, this new bridge between Macs & iDevices will be only the beginning of a huge move on Apple’s part to compete aggressively on value and further diversify its offerings.

    Expect several new products this year, along with aggressive revisions of its high-end systems like the Mac Pro & Xserve to start pulling in major large-scale projects that can help offset its aggressive margin-shrinking moves.

    As for the Macbook Air….Steve and everyone in the Executive Suite know better than to let this become another PowerMac G4 Cube fiasco. The upcoming revision will be, I suspect, even more aggressive and exciting than we have thus far predicted….

  • admin

    Brian…..P.S.!

    I forgot to mention the original purpose of opening up this comment reply to your posting: I checked out the site you added to the link section of your comment and it’s very nicely done! Wanted to compliment you on that and wish you well in your future endeavours in Web publishing 🙂