updated 07:55 pm EDT, Wed July 13, 2011
Seen as clearing inventory before new models
In yet another sign that updates to several Mac and portable Mac machines is on the way, Best Buy and other merchants have put the current MacBook Air models on sale, offering modest discounts on the 11.6- and 13.3-inch models. Best Buy, MacConnection and MacMall have also put the white MacBook model on sale, and cut prices on the MacBook Pros, CNet reports.
Discounts off the normal retail price range from between $50 and $80, depending on model. For example, Best Buy has now discounted the 11.6-inch MacBook Air to $939 from its usual $999 price, while MacConnection sells the same model for $948.49, and MacMall offers it at $938.94, just a nickel lower than Best Buy's price. All three merchants have also cut prices on the MacBook Pros, suggesting a minor refresh may be forthcoming.
Recent leaks of part numbers for refreshed models have suggested that imminent updates are due for the Mac mini, MacBook and MacBook Air. The sales on MacBook Pros suggest that perhaps an even wider refresh than previously thought could be rolling out soon, either all at once or in stages across the rest of the summer, with the MacBook Air expected to be the first announced update -- which could happen as early as tomorrow.
Apple is known to be planning a significant upgrade to the Mac mini lineup, adding Thunderbolt technology and moving to the Core iX family of processors along with the move to Lion. Any new updates to the MacBook would also add Thunderbolt and Lion. The company has also been seen adjusting international prices on apps in the Mac and iOS stores to update currency differences, and is rumored to be about to do the same for non-U.S. Mac prices.
It is in Apple's financial interests to get upgraded models out as early as possible in a fiscal quarter. The current quarter, which ends on September 30th, marks the end of the fiscal year for Apple and may also introduce most of the lineup on offer for the lucrative holiday quarter later this year, including new iPhone and iPod Touch models. [via CNet]