Apple considers launching a low-cost MacBook

Years ago, Apple graced the market with a sleek 12-inch MacBook, which, with its elegant design, won the hearts of many. However, it modestly lagged behind its high-end MacBook counterparts in performance. Since the advent of Apple’s self-designed M-series chips, their enhanced power-efficiency ratio has fostered a longing among some users for the return of such compact models.

According to Wccftech, Apple contemplates launching a low-cost MacBook next year, bearing resemblance to the previous 12-inch iteration, positioning it as a direct competitor to Chromebooks. Presently, the predominant PC manufacturers all offer Chromebooks, presenting a more economical alternative to Apple’s MacBook range. To proffer a more wallet-friendly price tag, this new low-cost MacBook might have to embrace certain compromises, possibly forsaking features inherent to the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro line.

Beyond utilizing cost-effective materials, the macOS underpinning this economical MacBook might be a streamlined version, potentially a hybrid between iPadOS and macOS. This would allow it to run applications from the App Store, mirroring Google’s provision for Chromebooks to download and operate apps from the Play Store.

Insiders attribute Apple’s anticipated sharp decline in MacBook shipments for 2023 primarily to the limited performance enhancements of the M2 chip. This has ostensibly catalyzed Apple to embark on a riskier trajectory, accelerating the developmental roadmap for the MacBook Pro integrated with the M3 chip. Earlier reports projected a mere 17 million units for the 2023 MacBook shipments, forecasting a dramatic year-over-year plunge of 35% in the fourth quarter, culminating in a 30% annual shipment downturn from the previous year.

From Apple’s perspective, the introduction of this budget-friendly MacBook could mitigate the dip in MacBook shipments and rejuvenate market demand. Indeed, for some time now, shipments across Apple’s entire Mac product line have underperformed expectations. This could perhaps be attributed to ongoing macroeconomic factors, global inflationary trends, and a perceived stagnation in product innovation, which might have dampened consumer enthusiasm. Thus, launching a competitively priced product emerges as a viable strategy.