Apple reportedly to release US$799 MacBook Air in 3Q12
May 8, 2012
Apple is reportedly considering responding to the upcoming second-generation ultrabooks by launching a US$799 MacBook Air in the third quarter of 2012, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.
Although Acer has recently reduced its ultrabook shipment target, Intel continues to aggressively push ultrabooks and is aiming to have the devices priced at US$699 in the second half of the year. However, if Intel is unable to bring down ASPs to its goal, the price gap between ultrabooks and the US$799 MacBook Air may further postpone the time ultrabooks become standardized, the sources noted.
Intel has already set aside a fund of US$300 million for ultrabooks and another US$100 million for developing its own application store. In addition, with its heavy investment in product promotions, the company believes the investments will help strengthen notebook brand vendors' morale and help increase ultrabook's share in the notebook market.
However, the sources believe that ultrabooks are unlikely to achieve strong sales performance until the launch of Windows 8.
Currently, Apple's 11-inch 64GB MacBook Air is priced at US$999 with a 128GB version priced at US$1,199. The 13-inch 128GB version is priced at US$1,299 and 256GB version is US$1,599. If Apple decides to launch a US$799 MacBook Air, the sources believe the strategy will damage ultrabooks allowing Apple to continue to press its advantage.