Apple to release an entry-level 13 inch MacBook later this year

According to industry sources, Apple is planning to release a new entry-level 13-inch MacBook in the latter half of this year. This rumor comes from a DigiTimes report on Tuesday, claiming that General Interface Solution (GIS) is expecting more LCD display orders from Apple for this new model, after it began supplying the models for existing MacBooks in the fourth quarter of last year.

It seems likely that this new model will replace the current 13-inch MacBook Air, Apple’s lowest costing notebook at $999. Apple’s long-term aim was to replace the MacBook Air with the 12-inch MacBook but sales of the Air have remained strong thanks to its affordability. In 2016, Apple attempted to position the 13-inch MacBook Pro with no Touch Bar as a viable MacBook Air alternative but the Pro starts at $1,299 which is $300 more than the entry-level Air model.

The MacBook Air is the only notebook that the company still sells that does not have a retina display. To keep this viable for a little longer, Apple bumped the base model’s processor from 1.6 GHz to 1.8 in June 2017 but there has only been minor updates since it’s last major revision way back in March 2015. The 11-inch MacBook Air, on the other hand, has been discounted entirely.

It remains unclear what this new 13-inch MacBook will look like but it’s likely that Apple will make an effort to distinguish it from the existing 13-inch Pro models. The company has been known to be exploring the possibility of OLED screens on future MacBook series which will see the company retain LCD display in any new-entry level machines. Of course, this is similar to the strategy we’re expecting them to take in this year’s iPhone lineup.

Apple is also reportedly looking at using ARM-based core processor chips for future notebooks, reducing the company’s dependence on Intel. The company’s interest in building it’s own core processor chips will also enable it to control next-generation display technology alongside some other key components which would eventually differentiate the company’s computers for others on the market.

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