For anyone that’s been waiting for a reasonable excuse to upgrade their MacBook Air, now is the time as Apple recently not only upgraded the ubiquitous super-light, ultra-portable laptop but also lowered the starting price for their 11 inch model, down to $899. Frankly, the upgrades aren’t going to blow anyone away but they are definite improvements.
First they upgraded the Air to a new Intel Haswell chip that increases its power a good bit. Not only has this made it more efficient but quite a bit faster too. They also improved the baseline options for storage and, from the base model to Apple’s top end model, processors have been improved so that no matter which you end up purchasing you’ll be getting more processing power for your hard-earned money.
Frankly, the improvements that Apple makes to every one of their Mac laptops, notebooks and desktops is designed to do one specific thing; keep sales going strong year after year. Considering that, in a market where consumers are starting to wonder whether they even need a traditional computing device like a laptop or desktop at all, and more and more are flocking to smart phones and tablets, the fact that Mac sales were up 5% in the first quarter of 2014 is an amazing feat. When you take into account the fact that the rest of the PC industry fell about 4% during the same time period, it’s even more impressive.
If you’re still not impressed, consider this; in 31 of the last 32 quarters, 8 years in total, the only category of computer to actually have gained a share in the PC industry are Apple’s Macs.
What’s even more impressive is that the MacBook Air, when it was first introduced, was a bit of an oddity and not exactly one of Apple’s bestsellers. After a significant redesign in 2010 however, and the introduction of their 11.6 inch model, that changed completely and today the Air is arguably Apple’s flagship model.
Once prices fell below $1000 the Air became the basic replacement for everyone’s MacBook and, rather than an exotic, ultraportable laptop, became the de facto replacement option for most users.
With the WWDC conference just around the corner in June, the thinking among industry analysts is that the new hardware upgrade was put into place now in order to accommodate the next generation of OS X that Apple will be announcing at the conference.
Whatever the case may be, the newest iteration of the MacBook Air is still impressive and still selling strong.