Partners are applauding Tuesday's release of the new MacBook Air, which includes a lower starting price and boosted performance.
Apple, Cupertino, Calif., has dropped the price on its popular MacBook Air laptops by $100, and added faster Intel Core processors.
"Hitting that price point is excellent for us to see as resellers and makes us that much more competitive," said Michael Oh, CEO of Tech Superpowers, an Apple partner based in Boston. "Apple has very infrequently gone under that $999 price point. That has been sort of the floor [for its] laptops. In the Apple ecosystem I think that's significant."
The new laptops come in 11-inch and 13-inch models for starting prices of $899 and $999, respectively. Both laptops have gotten a boost in speed with a 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 chip coming standard, and both can be upgraded to a 1.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor.
"This shows a nice sign that the gap between the iPad and the MacBook Air is much less than it was before. This makes it very easy for someone already looking to get the iPad to get the MacBook Air [instead]," Oh said.
Oh sees the upgrades to the MacBook Air portfolio as Apple's answer to innovations from its rivals.
"Quietly, this is Apple’s response to hybrid laptops or convertibles," Oh said. "It makes Apple seem more competitive, and gets rid of that verbiage that it's a much pricier product."
PUBLISHED APRIL 29, 2014