While we've been hearing about a possible fall update to the iMac line, including Blu-ray options, for a couple of weeks now, the online rumor mill has now consigned itself to expecting new MacBook laptops as well. And not just any laptops, but the mythical, long-awaited, low-cost MacBooks that true believers hope will usher in a new age of Apple-based computing for those who find laptops over $1,000 to be out of reach.
AppleInsider says: "The new models, which appear as if they could make their debut alongside a family of more versatile iMacs in the coming weeks, are expected to arrive as the most affordable notebook offerings in the Mac maker's history." The site adds, "One person familiar with preproduction units indicated to AppleInsider several weeks ago that models awaiting certification were seen in white polycarbonate shells, consistent with the sole $999 model currently available."
Other references around the Web make similar claims, saying a less-expensive version of the polycarbonate MacBook would pave the way for a low-cost touchscreen Apple tablet early next year--but each of these reports ultimately leads back to the original rumor posted by AppleInsider.
We've heard nothing from Apple about an upcoming press event to reveal new models, but that's not unusual for the consistently secretive company. We have, however, been under the impression for some time that Apple prefers to stay out of the low-margin sub-$1,000 part of the laptop market, leaving the high-volume, but less profitable, cheap Core 2 Duo laptops and Atom-powered Netbooks to others. CNET Network blogger Brooke Crothers however, takes a stab at speculating what could be in a lower-cost MacBook here.
Should Apple get into the lower end of the laptop market? What MacBook features could you do without for a lower entry price? Sound off in the comments section below.