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Apple to Compete Against Ultrabooks With its $799 MacBook Air

Source: MacBook Air/ Apple

According to Apple’s upstream supply chain, the Cupertino-based company is planning to release a more affordable MacBook Air on the third quarter of 2012. For $799, the ultrathin notebook is aimed to compete against the second-generation ultrabooks, which manufacturers hope to price at $699.

As of the moment, the company’s cheapest MacBook Air model is the 11.6-inch unit. It is priced at $999 and comes with a 64 GB solid-state drive. The manufacturer also offers a stripped down 13-inch model on the same price for the education sector.

Intel: Pushing Ultrabooks to Hit the Market

In April, Intel stated its hopes to roll out as many as 30 million ultrabooks this year. The chipmaker designed its machine specification after seeing Apple’s success with its MacBook Air. However, if PC makers will be unable to reach the $699 price point with their upcoming ultrathin notebooks, Apple will have a competitive edge with its re-priced notebook.

As pointed out by 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 prices at $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 $799 MacBook Air may further postpone the time ultrabooks become standardize.”

Intel has already set aside $300 million worth of funds for ultrabooks in addition to its $100 million for the development of its own app store. The chipmaker believes that their heavy investment will boost the confidence of PC makers to build the ultrabooks and increase their share in the notebook market.

Introducing a Slimmer and Lighter MacBook Pro

Last April, it was reported that Apple is planning to revamp its line of Mac products with Intel’s Ivy Bridge processor. The product overhaul will begin with the MacBook Pro’s 15-inch model in order to adopt the traits of its MacBook Air.

The notebook will have ultrathin enclosures, flash memory-based solid-state drives, instant on capabilities and extended battery life. Moreover, the redesigned notebook will no longer have optical drive, which will make a thinner and light design possible.

 

Prior to this report, nothing much has been said about the MacBook Air. Most rumors are focusing on Apple’s aim to cut the fat out of its core products and its next-generation iPhone. Nevertheless, people should expect a heating competition in the notebook market once the second-generation ultrabooks become available.

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