Posted in: Technology

TIP: Apple to launch $800 laptop


Update: Laptops are out. DETAILS HERE. There is a sub $1000 laptop. Details of this tip turned out to be inaccurate. The price list existed, the first item was a $899 monitor, not a laptop.

Original post:

Some Apple retailers in the United States have been given price lists for a new Apple laptop line, and there’s a big surprise: an $800 laptop. The information comes from a source we would categorize as reliable, would have access to such information, and who has been accurate in the past.

According to the source, Apple retail stores have been given price sheets that list 12 price points for the new range, with prices between $800-$3100. Current lines only have 8 price points, 3 Macbooks starting at $1099, 3 Macbook Pros and 2 Macbook Airs. According to the source, retail outlets usually get the price lists 10 days before products hit the market. Technical specs for the new laptops were not included on the price sheet.

An $800 laptop would be the first sub-$1000 laptop offered by Apple, and would signal a shift from Cupertino to target a broader range of price sensitive customers for the first time. Whether this laptop is a sub-laptop or ultra-portable we simply don’t know, it could be Apple more aggressively pricing their new Macbook range, or it could be a completely new laptop altogether, presumably utilizing the much discussed “Apple Brick” manufacturing process (pic above). What we do know is that there will be four additional price points, so unless the updated versions of existing lines are offered with more options, we would presume that Apple may actually launch an entirely new laptop.

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59 Responses to “TIP: Apple to launch $800 laptop”

  1. Paul

    Cool – while everyone is trying to keep their pants up in a volatile economy, Apple sneaks in and grabs market share.

  2. arn

    not to rain on any parades… but Apple retailers don't typically get price lists 10 days in advance.

  3. Ryo

    Hmm, lets see if Jobso is finally coming back to the ground. But I doubt it, that Apple brings a $800 Laptop with much technical goodies, other that Gadgets and lifestyle stuff. Might be a “cool” bubble again. But when it's a new, powerful netbook, small and long-life battery, it might hit the markets.

  4. tobias

    Were did you get the info that Apple retailers typically get price lists 10 days in advance? According to other websites this is not the case.

  5. Bo

    I worked for an Apple reseller for 22 years until March of this year. We often did not get the price lists until the day before. I never recall getting them ten days in advance.

  6. Martin

    If apple was giving prices to their outlets 10 days in advance WE WOULD KNOW THAT BY NOW !

    new in the business ?

    obviously they DON'T ! how can you be so naive ?., retail outlets don't have a clue about new products, they are just like anybody else, reading rumor sites.

  7. whatwhat

    Even retail Apple stores don't find out they need to and how to reorganize the store for new products that just arrived or will arrive the next day – all within a day or two. Ten days is ludicrous – UNLESS this guy with the pricelist is corporate (internal). But he definitely isn't working retail, not even at an Apple store.

  8. Kristin

    I was in a Mac store in Ireland today – we don't have a proper Apple store where I live – and the salesperson told me that I should wait until the 16th to buy a new laptop to replace my newly dead one, as there will be a new line out and 'that one there might be coming down in price' (meaning the low-end MacBook). Not sure what that means, exactly, but I'm hoping that I picked a good time to find out that iBooks don't like tea – not even Earl Grey. :(

  9. Greg

    I don't know it sure sounds fishy to me. Steve Jobs would fire anyone who leaked or even hinted at a new product. So the idea that they would give stores a heads up does not feel right.

  10. F.Phil

    There is no new manufacturing process, and the picture above doesn't indicate anything to do with fabrication at all.

    As pointed out by others, price lists don't “normally” come in 10 days, they “normally” come in under a working week (5 days). And retailer catagogues, ESPECIALLY if there is a price, include more than Mac1, Mac2 or whatever. Did the source give the product numbers? No? That's that then.

  11. brozo

    lol, apple retailers get advanced notice and price lists, lololol

  12. B.D. Gallof

    $800 sounds like a netbook killer. Expect it to be their version to compete with the Asus eee's, MSI Wind, Dell mini, etc. Some sort of melding of something they can upsell you on itune or apps, or something. Apple is looking for new niches, and pressing into the Netbook fray, whose current examples are all flawed, might be where this is aimed.

    Dual Core Atom mayhap?

  13. robinson

    To the poster who tried to criticize the article by claiming that Apple previously released a sub-$1000 notebook– yeah, for $999! You've had the wool pulled over your eyes by that old .99, 9.99, 99.99 pricing…or cars at $29,995 all trying to make the customer think they're getting something for less. It's really ridiculous, yet retailers persist in it.

    You also forgot tax! Which would bring it well above $1,000.

    An $800 notebook, even with tax, would be the first–and would generate sales like crazy. I mean if people fall for the $999 price tricky, they'll flock to an Apple laptop costing ONLY $800!!

  14. rick

    This is great news. Reminds me of when Next Computer had their huge JIT facility in Redwood. Too bad they never sold that many. Old Next Cubes are *serious* collector's items now.

  15. paul

    there's no sales tax in Oregon. So $999 is still less than $1000. Or are you doing math on some other platform?

  16. Scott

    I am thinking the new Notebook might just be a “Net Book”.

    These Netbooks seem to be attracting a lot of attention lately.

    Now that we can Pay Bills Online, Shop, Email, Play Games etc., it only seems logical to me that a Netbook might be on the horizon.

    I guess time will tell.

    Can't wait for Tuesday…


  17. schmidt

    Methinks you're protesting too much! (Oregon has no sales tax?! One of the few lower 48 w/o it, right?) robinson makes a good point. I, too, am tired of Sneaky Pete pricing, putting it just below a rounded, sensible amount. Leads to such tom-foolery as people claiming that Apple's already released a sub-$1000 notebook. Plus, they don't have a laptop at the price in the line up now!

  18. Mo

    At $800, an Apple laptop is still overpriced, targeted to a niche market, and will not spark sales by a monumental difference (except with the usual fanboys and people who buy laptops to match their new shoes or designer purse). As much as I hate certain aspects of Vista, I don't hate it enough to pay double the price for half the laptop. And before anyone calls me a PC fanboy, I'm a dual owner folks. I own an iMac and a PC. I like my iMac but I do think I overpaid for what I got. On top of that, Apple released a new version of my model a few months later causing the price of the one I bought to drop three hundred dollars less than what I paid. That makes me VERY hesitant to purchase their products in the future. The only reason they made good after doing the same thing to early iPhone users is because they had so much to lose. Times are much too hard to throw away $300. If people feel otherwise, well that helps explain how our economy got in this predicament to begin with. Especially those who pay the premium for nothing more than the “hip factor”. It's a computer, not a fashion accessory. On top of that, I bought the iMac primarily on the strength of iMovie (I do a lot of home editing), only to have them totally mess that up with version '08. I drank the Kool Aid once but never again. If Apple truly wants to take over the market, it's time to ditch the price gouging and be more upfront about pricing and impending new releases. Also, because of software and compatibility and familiarity, I use my PC 99% of the time.

  19. Chris

    Well you kind of said it all at the end. You are familiar with your Windows environment so you use it 99% of the time. You never allowed yourself to learn much about the Mac (both OS and hardware) and now you think you paid too much. That's too bad and I know many people feel the way you do. But there's no way on Earth you'll get the performance or compatibility of a Mac at $400 for your Windows PC. How can I say that? Peformance-wise, it's obvious. You get what you pay for. A $400 laptop or desktop isn't going to get you very far. And compatibility-wise you can run Mac OS X, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and any flavor of Linux on the Mac. Either virtually or through the hardware itself using Boot Camp.

    I can never talk a person out of their beliefs but most people do very direct math. I pay $400 for a Dell laptop or $1000 for an Apple laptop. Apple sux! But it's not so simple. I have one computer to run all of my OS's and when I go to sell it, and believe me I've sold a lot of Apple computers on eBay, I'll get a much more decent price than you'll get for your $400 laptop. Also, I've had my iMac for 3 years and it's still going strong. I feel no need to upgrade because it was built well in the first place.

    You get what you pay for.

  20. Joe Public

    Some years ago I was tasked with finding a new laptop for our company to standardize on, and it had to be Windows. I researched, test drove a few models and settled on Toshiba. We bought one, put it through a little over a weeks worth of testing, got the green light to buy more and found we couldn't buy that model anymore. It hadn't been replaced with a better version of the same machine, the product line was replaced with similar but different models; that screen size was on a lesser machine, but the processor was in a bigger product, and the network and media options were completely different. We researched, settled on another configuration, bought one new one and put it through another week of testing. Got the green light, tried to order more and the same thing had happened again.

    Macs on the other hand, stick to a basic form factor, incrementally improve upon it over time (sometimes radically), but basically I can always get the low, middle or high end laptop or tower for roughly the same price, I just get more for that money over time.

    Your iMac didn't stop working because that model dropped in price, nor did it become less capable of doing what you bought it for. When was the last time you bought anything that wasn't worth less the next day? Nobody complains about cars doing this, and they lose a lot more than $300. You will always get more or pay less, sometimes both, if you wait until tomorrow. The question is do you get value for your purchase in the time between now and the price drop? If you know there's something new coming, wait, otherwise buy what you need when you need it and don't complain if the price drops after the return period has expired.

    I don't buy Mac's because they're 'hip', and I take offense to that remark. I run a business, and our business runs on Macs. We do run Windows – several flavours actually, but we run them via Parallels on our Macs, and being able to do so means I don't need 2 machines, I don't need to dual or triple boot a PC, and I get to do all my testing in the environment I develop in. There's no 'hip' factor – it's a tool that simply outperforms the other options by a wide margin. I'm also ahead of the game in terms of cost because of what the Mac can do on its own.

    If you 'drank the kool aid', then you already had a problem, and purchasing the Mac didn't cause it, it simply helped exasperate it, giving you a sense of entitlement over the belief you already had. Honestly you're probably happier working on your PC, and you should continue to do that. If that makes you happy, then why fight it?

  21. AMG

    What typical BS…. First of all, as has been previously mention with regard to your iMac – Was it somehow less capable or afflicted in anyway with the release of a new model? Was the machine any less useable? Absolutely NOT… Even if it was something to get that seriously bent over, how can you possibly lay fault on Apple simply because you FAILED to do even a modicum of research before you bought your computer – Apple is typically very regular with their product refreshes and it's fairly easy to anticipate one. You dropped the ball pal. Regardless, I never knew that other manufacturers never, ever update their product lines… Give me a break.

    Part 2 of your typical BS concerns the overpriced comments… Overpriced compared to whom? Companies that build hardware only and license their operating system from another company? Why is it people like you consistently fail to acknowledge the fact that Apple spends tremendous sums of time and money developing not only their operating system, but a full featured suite of applications that is included on every machine they sell? Once again I apologize because I never realized that Apple was able to develop such things completely free of charge.

    And finally… How many $400 budget laptops run all of the bloated features in Vista? Hmm… That's what I thought.

    You should learn how to ride the horse before you sit high on top of it…

  22. Mike

    You can get a brand new Apple laptop on eBay for less than $800.. I know because I purchased one, just make sure that it's a qualified seller and not someone with a zero rating.

  23. Dan_Knight

    I worked for an Apple dealer a long, long time ago, and they did provide price lists a couple weeks in advance. They had code names for the new products, and store managers were given enough information so they could preorder inventory and have it available on the release date.

    How else are dealers supposed to be able to get their orders in the pipeline?

  24. dill

    we all have to keep i mind that whatever apple rolls out has to be completly awsome. ive never seen any crappy product from apple. windows on the other hand…

  25. Dennis O'Connor

    it just goes to show that you don't have any more idea of what Apple is going to do than my cat!
    It is too bad that you can spread your ignorant guesses as fact.

  26. airrob

    Nice going ass wipe. Way to rain on a parade by setting expectations at an impossible price point so that everyone picks it up and cuts Apple at the knees when it is launching it's most improved laptop in years. You suck balls and should be consequenced for your unsubstantiated ass poor reporting.

    Countless hours go into the innovation and development of these ground breaking products.

    Nice going numb nuts. You fairy. “Where did you ever learn your trade you stupid f-ing idiot, who ever you told you could report to men ,,, anyone who writes editorials lives on their wits … what you are hired for is to help us, not to f-ck us, is that clear to you. To help us not to f-ck us up. You fairy, you company man. You want to learn the first rule, you would know if you ever spent a day in your life. You never open your mouth till you know what the shot is. You f-ing child.

  27. airrob

    I posted a negative comment and it was taken off. Nice censorship Fidel. There were several complaints about your lack of reporting skills and ethics. You are a hack. There will be consequences.

  28. Raphael

    You're so lame, just accept that you had no idea, and were completely wrong. Then have to good grace to retire from the rumour mill in shame!

  29. daniel Koeppel

    Duncan –

    Reread your explanation. Parsing that a $999 laptop equals a sub-$1000 laptop equals an $800 laptop equals an $800 display is silly. You were wrong. Your source was wrong. You made a mistake. A lot of people picked up on your mistake and printed it as the truth, but that's not really your problem, that's theirs, and I think that you probably are feeling defensive about that (hence the hoop jumping.) You don't have to be.

    Just say that you were wrong, promise that you'll try to do better next time, and we'll all still love you. For reals.

  30. Karthick Watson

    found a lot with the macbook. "pro &air". in the mood of getting used with it.

  31. Karthick Watson

    found a lot in macbook "pro & air". in the mood of getting used with it.

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