MacBook Air laptops are pictured on display at an Apple Store in Pasadena July 22, 2013. (REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)
Apple’s developer conference in June is fast approaching, and the rumor mill keeps churning about what the company plans to start during 2018. A report indicates that the company is working on an entry-level MacBook, which will ship by the end of 2018 from the second quarter. A “cheap” of the 9.7-inch iPad is also in the works for the second quarter along with the new iPad Pro models targeting the second half of 2018.
Arrival sometime in the second quarter, Apple’s alleged entry-level MacBook has the same price tag as the current MacBook Air models on the market, if not slightly lower. Apple was originally created from the reduction of total costs by dealing with a China-based manufacturer, but Apple faced with “problems” with the company and decided to rely on South Korea-based LG Display instead.
According to the report, the entry-level MacBooks will sport 13.3-inch amorphous silicon panels packing a 2,560 x 1,600 resolution, similar to what Apple offers on the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro. LG Display will begin supplying these panels in April, making the first batch of the entry-level MacBooks to enter production by the end of May or beginning of June. Quanta Computer will be 70 percent of Apple’s orders, while Foxconn will handle the remaining 30 percent.
Apple is reportedly targeting 6 million units of its entry-level MacBooks sold in 2018, but the company can only hit the 4 million mark due to the end of the costs. The current MacBook Air has a starting price of $999, and that is not super expensive, but customers looking for an entry-level unit can be found for Windows 10 solutions at a cheaper price. That said, Apple focuses on a starting price range between $799 and $899.
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As for the “cheap” of the 9.7-inch iPad scheduled to arrive in the second quarter, it will be a renewal of the unit introduced in 2017 and will cost only $259. Apple’s upstream supply chain of suppliers are already shipping components for the revamped tablet-as for the upgrade of iPad Pro focused on the second half of 2018.
News of Apple’s entry-level MacBook turned up in January after sources said touch panel maker General Interface Solution (GIS) has been an Apple supplier for MacBooks in the fourth quarter of 2017. After that report, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks at the beginning of March that Apple would be the introduction of an entry-level MacBook Air, the increase of Apple’s MacBook sales year-on-year to 15 percent.
Reports also indicate a mid-range 6.1-inch iPhone packaging facial recognition for a price between $649 and $749, possibly in September of this year. A more affordable HomePod is scheduled for the second half of 2018, with a price ranging between $150 and $200.
Unfortunately, these prices are all speculative based on information about the supply chain, and not etched in stone by Apple. We expect more information in June during Apple’s developer conference.