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Affordable Apple MacBooks: A Solution to Current Woes

According to a recent leak from Korea, Apple is actively working on two new MacBook models with 12- and 13-inch screens, expected to be priced at ‘$700 or less.’ If you, like me, find Apple’s high hardware costs frustrating (even the M2 MacBook Air seems overpriced), this news should pique your interest.

Affordable Apple MacBooks: A Solution to Current Woes

However, we should approach this information cautiously. The leak originated from a user named yeux1122 on the Korean blogging platform Naver. They claim that supply chain sources have spotted signs of production for budget MacBook models with these screen sizes.

As is often the case with leaks and rumors, it’s wise to take them with a grain of salt. Despite yeux1122’s mixed track record, well-known Apple insiders like Mark Gurman and Ming-Chi Kuo have offered partial confirmation. Moreover, Apple discontinued the 12-inch MacBook earlier this year, but there have been persistent rumors about the company reviving its compact laptop.

In fact, my colleague Allisa James reported on yeux1122’s prediction of a 12-inch MacBook’s return in February. A DigiTimes report from the previous month also suggested Apple’s work on affordable MacBook models. Kuo mentioned on X (formerly Twitter) just this week that Apple is contemplating more cost-effective MacBooks, though no final decisions have been made.

Apple could address its current issues with more affordable MacBooks

Processor production problems and a global laptop sales decline, impacting MacBook sales, may drive Apple towards budget-friendly laptop options.

MacBook prices have remained high for a while, deterring budget-conscious buyers. Both Kuo and yeux1122 suggest that budget MacBooks could help Apple regain its footing in the laptop market, especially against economical education laptops like Chromebooks. The $700 price target aligns with premium Chromebook costs.

Apple’s upcoming event on October 30 promises to unveil “Scary Fast” new hardware, possibly the M3 chip, but cheaper MacBooks might not be the focus. The 12- and 13-inch MacBooks’ chip choice remains uncertain, possibly using unused M2 chips.

These more affordable MacBooks would be a welcome change from Apple’s expensive image in today’s economy. The question remaining is what they will be named. Leakers haven’t mentioned the Air or Pro labels, so it might return to a simple ‘MacBook 12-inch’ or something entirely different like MacBook mini, MacBook Nano, or MacBook Lite. The possibilities are numerous.

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