Apple’s MacBook lineup is no slouch. From mighty M2 Max-powered Pro workhorses to affordable Air counterparts, MacBooks offer almost everything you could want from a modern laptop. In fact, there’s only one device that Apple hasn’t directly gone head-to-head with yet — but that’s apparently set to change.
A fresh report from Digitimes claims Apple is currently working on a low-cost MacBook with one goal in mind: conquer the Chromebook.
A modest MacBook?
Google’s Chromebooks have effectively cornered the educational market — undercutting the competition with their budget-friendly prices while offering a full suite of apps and tools that are ideal for students.
Apple, not typically known for its budget pricing, has instead targeted students with its more affordable MacBook Air lineup. However, even a last-gen, 13.3-inch, M1 MacBook Air will set you back north of $749, making it a hard sell in comparison to a Chromebook’s typical ~$200 price tag.
If Apple truly wants to challenge the Chromebook, it’s going to need to take an entirely different approach. And, according to Digitimes’ sources, that’s exactly what they’re doing.
Apple’s new MacBook will apparently focus on keeping costs to a minimum — making use of less premium materials and components in construction and tailoring its specifications to ensure it remains competitive with the Chromebook in price and performance.
Sources claim that the new MacBook could be released at some point in the second half of 2024, lining it up nicely for a WWDC 2024 unveiling.
For a company often criticized for its liberal sprinkling of the Apple tax, it remains to be seen if the Cupertino brand can truly compete with Google’s Chromebooks on price. However, there’s no arguing that an Apple-backed netbook would be an attractive prospect to many.
That being said, with Apple’s history of premium design and quality, how much can this new MacBook lineup afford to truly sacrifice before it no longer feels worthy of the moniker?