Apple is going to update the MacBook Air this year and give it a lower price tag, or so says KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
In a note to investors he said,
We expect Apple to roll out the new MacBook Air with a lower price tag in 2Q18. We forecast total shipments of MacBook models will grow 10-15 percent year-on-year in 2018 (versus 0-5 percent year-on-year decline for the Notebook industry), up from 15.5-16 million units in 2017.
It’s possible he’s right, although it doesn’t feel like Apple is interested in giving the ultra-thin laptop any love. The last notable refresh was in spring 2015 when the MacBook Air got faster processors, better graphics chips, and Thunderbolt 2. In June 2017 it got a minor processor speed bump. The MacBook Air still doesn’t ship with a Retina display.
While the MacBook Air did get a minor update last year, it’s more in the Mac mini camp which was last updated in October 2014. It’s a computer the company still sells, but doesn’t seem to care for any more.
Apple has been more focused on the MacBook as its ultra-thin laptop, although the price point is higher than the MacBook Air. The MacBook costs US$999, where the base model MacBook is priced at $1,299.
CNBC notes that Kuo doesn’t have any other details about the supposed MacBook Air refresh. It’s possible Apple plans to give the aging laptop another minor processor boost, and maybe add in USB 3 or even USB C support. Or maybe it’ll quietly fade away and Apple will walk away from the sub $1,000 laptop market.