{{ searchResult.published_at | date:'d MMMM yyyy' }}

Loading ...
Loading ...

Enter a search term such as “mobile analytics” or browse our content using the filters above.

No_results

That’s not only a poor Scrabble score but we also couldn’t find any results matching “”.
Check your spelling or try broadening your search.

Logo_distressed

Sorry about this, there is a problem with our search at the moment.
Please try again later.

Windows 8 is coming, and Microsoft isn't the only company hoping that its newest operating system is a hit with consumers.

Chip giant Intel is betting big on ultrabooks -- thin, lightweight laptops similar to the MacBook Air -- and is investing big bucks to ensure that a slew of them hit store shelves as soon as Windows 8 is released later this year. The good news for consumers on a budget: some of those ultrabooks could cost as little as $699 if manufacturers have their way.

Windows 8 contains some significant changes that could go over really well with consumers, or that could make Windows 8 a Windows Vista encore. And although some very interesting ultrabook designs have emerged, like ultrabook-tablet hybrids, there is no guarantee that ultrabooks will be the hot sellers Intel and manufacturers hope they'll be.

But even so, it appears that Apple may be concerned enough about the prospect of ultrabooks to prepare a response.

According to DigiTimes, Apple may launch a $799 MacBook Air in the third quarter of the year "according to sources from the upstream supply chain." If accurate, the timing almost certainly isn't coincidental as Windows 8 is expected to launch around the same time.

Few details are provided about the specs consumers might be able to get at the $799 price point. As DigiTimes notes, the cheapest MacBook Air is currently $999 and features an 11-inch screen and 64GB of storage. Therefore, it seems unlikely that a $799 MacBook Air would pack nearly the punch consumers will be able to get for the same price on a Windows 8 ultrabook.

But Apple arguably doesn't need to pack the same punch. The company's pricing strategy in the past few years (ensure that you have lower end models within the reach of aspirational consumers) has worked well despite the long-term risks, and it just might work here too. If Apple can offer a MacBook Air -- the first 'ultrabook' -- for $799, you can be sure at least some consumers won't care as much about what's under the hood.

Patricio Robles

Published 7 May, 2012 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

2377 more posts from this author

Comments (7)

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Avatar-blank-50x50

John

But the macbooks are not touchable, which is one of the main selling point of long-awaited win8 ultrabooks (after win8 is RTMed).

about 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Sam

I think you'll find that Apple is just doing what Apple normally does, gradually reduce the price of their lower end products. It has nothing to do with other PC makers releasing cheaper "ultrabooks".

In regards to what's under the hood. Apple have proved for some time now that the average consumer doesn't care about specs, it's about user experience. Having set a benchmark most "Ultrabooks" are yet to reach.

about 4 years ago

Panos Ladas

Panos Ladas, Digital Marketing Manager at Piece of Cake

Apple never competed other players on terms of pricing, why do you believe it's going to do that now?

about 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Sam

Apple has always got away with high prices because most (if not all) of its buyers are computer illiterate.
All they now is that their laptop looks pretty, and somehow that's enough for them.
What's sad is that PC manufacturers realized that if people are willing to pay $1000+ for a lighter more powerful laptop, then they could charge the same price too.

about 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Corey Messom, VP, Digital at FUEL

"Apple has always got away with high prices because most (if not all) of its buyers are computer illiterate. " That's funny, I think most Mac users actually think non-Mac users are simply ignorant about what their missing. Apple haters gotta hate, even if they've never used the OS before in their life. Once you go Mac, you never go back.

about 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Jon

I went Mac, I went back. There is no way I could use that horrific, over-simplified, "Apple knows best" experience that looks so dated these days.

about 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

jenson

Whatever sort of computer you are looking for, we can offer a vast range of PCs, laptops, netbooks and tablets to suit your needs and budget. We can also offer a large range of accessories.
http://www.just4laptops.co.uk

over 3 years ago

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Daily_pulse_signup_wide

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Daily Pulse newsletter. Each weekday, you ll receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.