A new report from trade publication DigiTimes reveals that Apple has been talking to its suppliers in Taiwan to prepare for a refresh of the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lines in June 2013.Citing the usual unnamed sources in the supply channel, the hit-and-miss Taiwanese newspaper reports, “The sources pointed out that the MacBook Air for 2013 will feature a new processor platform, but its industrial design will not see any major changes.”
That’s pretty much Apple’s modus operandi, so it wouldn’t be too difficult to predict such a move. But the report doesn’t stop there.
The sources reportedly also told the paper that “pressure on ultrabook vendors mainly comes from the Air's price since Apple is likely to reduce the prices for its existing MacBook Airs before the launch of the new models which could take away demand for ultrabooks.”
This, on the other hand, doesn’t seem too plausible. While Apple doesn’t do everything by the book, history has shown that the Cupertino giant prefers to keep its premium pricing while building more value into its computers with each passing generation.
While the theory does apply to the iPhone and the iPad lines – where Apple continues to sell older generation models at lower prices – the strategy has never been applied to computers.
Theoretically, Apple could keep some existing MacBook Air and MacBook Pro configurations on board to sell for say, $100 / €75 less, but it would be a departure from the company’s current business model.
Then again, Apple is beginning to show flexibility in the pricing department. The iPad mini is regarded as a change in the company’s corporate culture.
It is known that the iPad mini has low profit margins and that Apple thought long and hard before it finally decided to introduce the low-end tablet.
The Cupertino giant may want to appeal to a broader range of consumers with sub-$1,000 laptops starting next year.