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New MacBooks: cheaper model coming later this year?

If your MacBook is running out of steam but you’re put off by the cost of a new one, good news: it’s looking likely we’ll see a “budget” model with improved specs later this year.

According to a report from DigiTimes, Apple is poised to announce a new entry-level MacBook in the next few months. An industry analyst expects shipments of the new model to hit around 4 million by the end of the year.

Air replacement?

The MacBook Air range has been incredibly popular with users since its launch ten years ago, though it’s not been updated in a while and it’s unclear if Apple will continue to produce it much longer. This rumored new MacBook could replace the Air, offering a more powerful machine with a Retina display for around the same cost. For reference, the current MacBook Air starts at $999/£949.

The rest of the range is made up of the 12-inch MacBook, a new design touted for its ultra-portability that starts at $1,299/£1,249, and the MacBook Pro, a more powerful model also starting at $1,299/£1,249.

No specific dates have been mentioned for this entry-level MacBook, but our money’s on an announcement at WWDC in June. Apple’s annual developer’s conference is primarily focused on software, with a first look at iOS 12 on the cards for the event, but it’s been home to new product announcements in years gone by.

New iPads

The same report also notes that information from the supply chain implies Apple will be updating the iPad Pro this year, in addition to releasing a new entry-level standard 9.7-inch iPad. Rumor has it this could retail for under $300, which would be the cheapest iPad ever made and help Apple address a whole new range of users.