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Apple planning low-cost MacBook Air?

Apple is planning to drastically reduce the cost of its basic model MacBook Air when a new device is introduced later this year, reports have suggested.

We’ve heard some crazy rumours about the Cupertino-based company in our time, but this one about Apple brining down prices, from tech site DigiTimes, takes the biscuit.

But with all tech coming down in price overall, as manufacturers find cheaper and cheaper ways of bringing the cutting edge to the masses, Apple’s high pricing could leave it out in the cold.

Of course, people are always going to buy Apple products no matter what price they are. But Apple is reported to be keen to compete at the (slightly) lower end of the market.

According to DigiTimes, the US tech giant is readying its bargain-basement device, which will still cost around $799, for release in the third quarter of this year.

Apple response to ultrabooks

The move comes in response to the wave of second-generation ultrabooks due out in this year, with the likes of Acer planning to drop prices in an effort to boost sales.

Sales of the Windows-powered ultrabooks have been less than amazing, but it’s fair to say they show a lot of market potential. And Intel is clearly keen on sticking with them.

The ultrabook manufacturer has set aside a $300 million fund for ultrabooks, with a further $100 million for developing its own app store.

Windows 8 a boost for ultrabooks

It’s also planning a heavy advertising and marketing drive later this year, with Intel buoyed by the impending release of Windows 8 – which is sure to boost sales across the board.

The reports suggest that Apple will launch an 11-inch MacBook Air as an affordable alternative to the range of MacBook Pros, which are expected in the summer.

There’s no word yet on when we’ll see the new Air, although some expect to see at the Worldwide Developer Conference in June.

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