updated 02:05 pm EDT, Wed May 27, 2009
Cheaper MB Air Rumor
Apple may push the cost of the MacBook Air downwards while also extending its feature set, a rumor asserted on Wednesday. Unnamed sources for SiliconRumors claim that an entry-level model will push the price down to between $1,300 and $1,500, or at least $300 less than the current model. Whether this would be a smaller model or just a price reduction isn't certain.
Simultaneously, the same tips would have Apple add at least an option for built-in 3G for wide-area wireless and may make solid-state drives standard on all models rather than a high-end option. GPS to locate the Mac is an option but is deemed "less likely."
The rumor is the first of its type and hasn't been corroborated by outside sources, possibly calling into question its accuracy. However, Apple is known to be building native internal 3G support as well as geolocation into at least Mac OS X Snow Leopard and, unless it has an interim Mac OS X Leopard update in the works, could use the major new OS release to add the new features.
Pricing on solid-state drives has also dropped quickly, though the technology still remains significantly more expensive than rotating hard disks and has mostly fallen through a new generation of SSDs using denser multi-level cell (MLC) flash that now has nearly all the performance and longevity of faster single-level cell drives but at significantly lower costs.
The MacBook Air was initially one of Apple's most popular notebooks upon its launch in early 2008 but has slid as newer aluminum MacBooks, and the appeal of netbooks, has drawn customers away from the relatively expensive design.