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Rumors point to cheaper iPads and MacBooks this year

Rumors point to cheaper iPads and MacBooks this year

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MacBook and MacBook Pro 2017
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

An influx of rumors suggest that we should expect cheaper iPads and MacBooks this year. First, we know that the MacBook Air may be getting a less-expensive refresh, as hinted by multiple reports. The latest comes from DigiTimes, which today reported that Apple will launch a new 13.3-inch “entry-level” MacBook late in Q2 this year.

While the report refers to the new device as a “MacBook,” its screen size suggests it may be an updated version of the Air, since the MacBook only comes with a 12-inch display. The timeline also matches with WWDC in June. DigiTimes indicates that the MacBook will have a Retina Display with a 2560 x 1600 resolution.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said earlier this month that Apple would release a cheaper 13-inch MacBook Air during the second quarter of this year and that the lower price could help boost Apple’s laptop sales. A few days later, a report from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News claimed that the new MacBook Air would cost between $799 to $899, matching up with Kuo’s report. The current 13-inch, mid-2017 MacBook Air costs $999.

We’re expecting cheaper iPads this year, too. The DigiTimes report mentions we can anticipate an updated 9.7-inch iPad in the second quarter of this year, and a new iPad Pro in the second half of the year.

Last December, the outlet similarly reported that the new 9.7-inch iPad could cost around $259, down from the $329 iPad Apple released last March, and Taiwan’s Economic Daily News recently reported the same thing. In late February, Apple won regulatory approval for two mystery iPads in Eastern Europe, which suggests new iPad models could be coming.

As competitors slash prices during the holidays and Apple mostly abstains from cutting prices, perhaps having lower base prices to begin with will be the company’s strategy for selling more units this year.