Apple will be bringing back one of its more popular laptops, the MacBook Air, in a more attractive price package.

Apple is apparently planning to launch a cheaper variant of its popular MacBook Air, according to a new report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via 9to5Mac). A cheaper variant of the MacBook Air could arrive sometime in the second quarter of 2018.

Kuo believes a new variant of the MacBook Air is expected to arrive ‘with a lower price tag’, a move that will help the company to push MacBook shipments up by 10-15 per cent this year. If the new MacBook Air will be priced on a lower side, it should help Apple to increase its laptop sales. According to TrendForce, Apple has overtaken Asus in global laptop shipments, moving up from fifth to the fourth position. In the third quarter of 2017, the company shipped 4.43 million MacBooks.

Currently, Apple sells the 13-inch MacBook Air starting at $999, and KGI seems to think it will get even cheaper this year. Despite its neglect by Apple, the MacBook Air remains a popular choice for college students.

Along with this, Kuo also gave new details on the supply chain of the upcoming iPhones. According to Kuo, the entry level 6.1-inch upcoming iPhone will make a strong year for suppliers such as Unimicron, Wistron as well as Pegatron.

Kuo reiterated that Apple will be coming out with a refreshed model of the AirPods and there are positive signs on the shipments of the current gen AirPods.

Speaking about HomePod, Kuo said that the demand for it was ‘mediocre’ so far. He hasn’t offered any additional view on the HomePod shipment related chatter, opting to have a ‘neutral’ view of the smart speaker segment.

”We expect Apple (US) 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% YoY in 2018 (vs. 0-5% YoY decline for the NB industry), up from 15.5-16mn units in 2017. While Quanta, Radiant, Catcher and SZS are likely to benefit from strong shipments momentum, SZS also stands to benefit from increased market share and a higher ASP.”

Details on the upcoming MacBook Air is thin at this point, but a new report from KGI Securities analyst corroborates a similar report from DigiTimes. Apple currently sells the 13-inch MacBook Air for $999 (or approx Rs 65,131). The base model offers an older 1.8GHz dual-core Intel i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, and Intel HD Graphics 6000. The MacBook Air does not feature a Retina Display, unlike the 12-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro.

Many believe that Apple will discontinue the MacBook Air in 2018, however, it seems unlikely. It appears that there is still a market for the aging MacBook Air. After all, the MacBook Air is still the most popular macOS machine in the market. The MacBook Air is also a popular choice among college students.

Since 2015, Apple hasn’t updated the MacBook Air lineup. In 2016, Apple officially discontinued the 11-inch MacBook Air. Last year, Apple updated the 13-inch MacBook Air with a modest spec bump. Steve Jobs unveiled the MacBook Air at MacWorld Expo in San Francisco on January 15, 2008.

What do you make of Kuo’s latest report? Would you be interested in a more affordable 13-inch MacBook Air? Let us know down in the comments.



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