Apple today updated MacBook Air, adding True Tone to its Retina display for a more natural viewing experience, and lowering the price to $1,099, with an even lower price of $999 for college students. In addition, the entry-level $1,299 13-inch MacBook Pro has been updated with the latest 8th-generation quad-core processors, making it two times more powerful than before. It also now features Touch Bar and Touch ID, a True Tone Retina display and the Apple T2 Security Chip, and is available for $1,199 for college students.
This simplifies the lineup dramatically. No longer are there three similar yet purportedly different computers within $200 of each other; now, there’s a simple choice of consumer models and professional models, and at respectably lower price points to boot.
What goes unmentioned in this press release, however, is that Apple has seemingly discontinued the MacBook. Visiting
apple.com/macbook redirects to the Mac section, where the model does not appear in the navigation bar at the top. It was last updated two years ago. Despite that, it was easily one of my favourite Mac models — a light, simple, fan-less portable Mac sounds ideal for travelling — so I’m a bit saddened to see it go, even though it conceptually overlaps the MacBook Air considerably. I have to wonder whether the name will be recycled for use in that future ARM-powered Mac.1
Also starting today, Apple no longer sells the legacy non-Retina MacBook Air. They’ve nearly achieved an entirely Retina lineup, with just a single non-Retina iMac model remaining.
Update: As noticed by Mitchel Broussard at MacRumors, Apple has dropped SSD prices pretty much across the board. Also, Jordan Kahn of 9to5Mac obtained an internal memo stating that today’s new MacBook Air and Pro models will be eligible for free keyboard repairs. Just terrific news all around, as far as I can tell, apart from the keyboards themselves.
For what it’s worth, the redirect from
apple.com/macreturns the permanently moved status code, meaning that this redirect will be cached in users’ browsers and would be harder to revert. ↩︎