Earlier Tuesday, Apple refreshed its MacBook Pro with Retina display lineup, adding slightly faster Intel Haswell processors. But the real emphasis from Apple has been on value: The company trimmed $100 off the starting price of the top-of-the-line 15-inch configuration, and also made 16 gigabytes of RAM standard for all 15-inch models.
The entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display also comes with added value, doubling the default RAM to 8 gigabytes. The RAM upgrades alone represent a significant discount over what Apple had previously charged for those specifications.
And Apple also slashed $100 off its legacy non-Retina MacBook Pro, selling it for just $1,099.
Tuesday’s moves are not surprising: Value has been the primary focus for Apple thus far throughout 2014. In April, Apple boosted the processors on its MacBook Air lineup by just 100 megahertz, but cut $100 off the models to reach a new starting price of $899 for the 11.6-inch model.
With their current pricing, the new MacBook Air models are the most affordable mass-market notebooks that Apple has ever sold.
And then in June, Apple debuted a new $1,099 iMac with low-end hardware that serves as the new entry-level model for the company’s all-in-one desktop brand. That undercuts the previous base model by $200.
These kinds of upgrades don’t represent the bleeding-edge hardware that enthusiasts crave, which is why Apple’s 2014 updates have been met with general indifference or even disappointment by some in the tech community.
Reaction from the general public, however, has been quite the opposite: Mac sales were up 17.6 percent to a record 4.4 million units in the June quarter, which was the same three-month span in which the more affordable iMac and MacBook Air lineup launched. And with price cuts helping to drive sales last quarter, Apple is clearly hoping that lower prices and greater value on its MacBook Pro lineup will do more of the same.
SOURCE: Neil Hughes