According to various sources, Apple is expected to show its new MacBook Air this week. If rumors are correct, a new 11.6" model will make its debut as the smallest model in the MacBook Air line up.
As announced on Gather last week, Apple's Back to the Mac event scheduled for Wednesday is likely to hold a few surprises, among them a new OSX Lion and new MacBook models. Further details have come to light which hint at the possibility of both a 13.3" and an 11.6" MacBook Air to be launched.
MacBook Air is the ultra-slim, lightweight (3.0 lbs.) iteration of laptop for the Mac user. It is also touted by Apple as the world's greenest lineup of notebooks, made of several toxin-free components including a recyclable aluminum case, and meeting ENERGY STAR certification standards. So how is a new, smaller model likely to be made possible?
New technologies including a solid state drive (SSD) and a new Intel Core i7 ULV ultra-low voltage processor will allow Apple to drive down the size and cost of its new model. An LED-backlit screen will also contribute to a battery life of up to 5 hours. The 11.6" model will be priced "much lower" than the $1499 starting price of the current 13.3" MacBook Air line, possibly as low as $1199.
How will the new pricing affect the laptop market? An $1199 price tag is unlikely to threaten the sub-$1000 Windows-based laptop market leaders, who target students and home users among their customer base, but Apple's strategy with the $499 iPad has proven successful in driving the tablet platform while also taking a chunk of the traditionally sub-$300 netbook market. Similarly, a new MacBook Air at $1199 would likely gain attention from laptop customers needing the ultimate in portability and usability, who are willing to spend a few extra dollars to get it.
What do you think? Will these predictions prove to be accurate? Apple's Back to the Mac event starts Wednesday, October 20th at 10AM Pacific Time.