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Declining MacBook sales has Apple considering a budget option, says Kuo

The company thinks a budget MacBook could help boost sales.
By

Published onOctober 26, 2023

apple macbook air 15 inch lid
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Apple is rumored to be working on a more affordable version of the MacBook that would compete with Chromebooks.
  • Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the company is considering that option, but hasn’t decided yet.
  • Making a cheaper MacBook may be a move to combat declining MacBook sales.

In early September, it was reported that Apple may be working on a more affordable version of the MacBook. This cheaper MacBook model would be in direct competition with some of the best Chromebooks. Now Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the move may be motivated by declining MacBook sales.

On X (formerly Twitter), Kuo states that Apple has seen a significant decline in MacBook sales in 2023. The analyst claims that Apple attributes the drop to the M2 chip, which only provides a small upgrade compared to the performance of the M1. He also suggests that the reason Apple is holding an event at the end of the month is to launch a much more powerful M3 series MacBook Pro, in hopes of boosting shipments, despite low production volume.

To take it a step further, Kuo says Apple is currently considering introducing a more affordable MacBook, but the company has yet to decide on whether to do it or not. Apple supposedly thinks creating a laptop that can challenge Chromebooks could also help boost sales. According to Kuo, the tech giant is aiming for 8-10 million units per year or more.

The previous report mentioned this low-cost laptop would be launched as a separate lineup from the MacBook Air and Pro. The laptop would target the education sector, like Chromebooks.

To achieve the lower cost, Apple would reportedly use “different materials” for the build, but it would continue using a metal casing so people could identify it as being a MacBook. It’s suspected that the budget laptop would launch in the second half of 2024, at the earliest, if Apple chose to go down that road.