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The Future of the MacBook Air

Benjamin Thomas, on Twitter:

What makes you think Airs are sunsetted? To my knowledge they’re the most used Macs on the planet. Why would Apple kill a cash cow?

He’s right that the MacBook Airs are Apple’s best-selling Macs. On The Talk Show a few weeks ago, Jason Snell speculated that the MacBook Pro might be Apple’s best-selling Mac lineup. I disagreed, but thought perhaps the MacBook Pros might be Apple’s biggest money maker — lower quantities but higher prices.

I got a few emails from listeners who work in Apple retail. The gist is that price is everything. The lower-priced MacBook Airs vastly outsell the more expensive MacBooks and MacBook Pros. By any measure, the MacBook Airs are Apple’s bestselling laptops.

What I wrote in July still stands:

Something unusual is certainly going on. We have to get updated MacBook Pros and Mac Pros soon (September?), right?

I don’t think, though, that the MacBook Air will ever get another update. I think it only exists to occupy the sub-$1000 price range until Apple can sell a year-old MacBook for $899. I wouldn’t be shocked if they rolled out a minor speed-bump update to the MacBook Airs, but I don’t expect them to. The future is just MacBooks and MacBook Pros.

We might be getting that speed bump update (along with USB-C ports), but I would be very surprised if we get a major update with retina displays. I still think the future is just MacBooks and MacBook Pros.

Saturday, 3 September 2016