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Apple cuts price of high-end SSD MacBook Air by $500

Unannounced drop lowers solid-state drive config's cost by 16%

July 4, 2008 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Apple Inc. has quietly reduced the price of its most expensive notebook by $500, cutting the cost of the upper-end MacBook Air to $2,598.

The MacBook Air, which Apple launched in January to some fanfare, has been sold in two configurations since then: with a traditional 80GB magnetic platter hard drive and a 1.6-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, or with a 64GB solid-state drive and a 1.8-GHz CPU. Solid-state drives (SSD) are built from flash memory and, unlike hard drives, have no moving parts.

The MacBook Air with the solid-state drive is more expensive than the one with the hard drive, but several Apple-specific Web sites, including AppleInsider, noticed that Apple had dropped the price of the SSD-equipped model by 16% on Thursday, July 3. Prior to the price cut, the solid-state MacBook Air sold for $3,098.

The less expensive hard-drive-equipped MacBook Air retained its $1,799 price tag, according to the Apple online store.

The price cut came from changes on two of the MacBook Air options. Selecting the SSD now adds $599 to the price of the notebook, compared to $999 earlier. Also lowered was the 1.8-GHz processor option, from $300 extra to $200.

Traditionally, Apple announces price reductions -- which in themselves are relatively rare, since the company often retains earlier models' prices but changes the configurations to, for instance, add more RAM -- when it rolls out refreshed or new hardware.

The price cut means that the SSD-equipped MacBook Air is no longer Apple's most expensive notebook. That honor has now passed to the 17-in. MacBook Pro, which continues to sell for $2,799 in its default configuration.

Read more about Macintosh in Computerworld's Macintosh Topic Center.



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