Jun 29, 2011
Retailers have begun to report dwindling stock of Apple’s entry-level white MacBook, with the computer apparently being completely sold out at some locations. Apple last updated the white MacBook on May 18, 2010, making it the most stale computer in Apple’s lineup. That almost certainly means that it will be part of the Sandy Bridge refresh that Apple is expected to put the MacBook Air, Mac Pro and Mac Mini through — or does it?
Some are now speculating that Apple intends to drop the white MacBook altogether, and make the upcoming 11-inch Sandy Bridge MacBook Air its new entry-level computer, perhaps at a new price of $899. The prevailing opinion among these people seems to be that the white MacBook is having a much tougher time competing in the low-end market, while the 11-inch MacBook Air has much more “wow factor” in the sub-$1000 price range.
However, there is speculation on the other side that Apple is not about to kill the iconic white notebook, and that a price drop to $799 may be in order.
Our take: We believe that Apple will update, not kill, the white MacBook. However, we do not believe that the MacBook will receive the 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 found in the 13-inch MacBook Pro. We expect to see the Sandy Bridge MacBook with either a Core i3 processor or the same low-voltage 1.7 GHz Core i5 that Apple is expected to use for the 11-inch MacBook Air. Either should be an upgrade over the current model, and with the Core i5, the white MacBook would be able to boast killer battery life. Don’t hold your breath for a price drop.