Early this month notable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo published an investor note that claimed Apple was at work on a new lower cost MacBook Air. Analyst Jim Hsiao has now published research that says Apple will ship a large number of the new entry-level notebooks this year, but they won't be lower cost. Hsiao says that Apple will move 4 million units of the new MacBook Air in 2018.
While Kuo didn’t offer any pricing details in his previous note, Hsiao believes that the new MacBook Air will sell for the same price as the current entry-level Air, or perhaps even a bit more. This means we are looking at a refreshed entry-level machine, not necessarily a lower cost notebook. The price remaining the same or even being a bit more expensive is
Hsiao says that originally Apple planned to source the display panel from a Chinese maker but has now opted to source the panels from LG Display of Korea due to some issues with the Chinese supplier. The screens in question are said to be 13.3-inch a-Si units and will have the same 2560x1600 resolution that the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro offers.
Panels from LG are reportedly going to be ready for Apple in April with the new MacBook Air entering mass production as early as the end of May. Manufacturing will reportedly be handled by Quanta Computer and Foxconn Electronics at 70% and 30% of production respectively. Hsiao says that Apple has an internal shipment goal of 6 million units for 2018, but the analyst predicts only 4 million units will ship due to the price point not being at a level that will stimulate demand.
Hsiao also notes that the supply chain has begun to ship components for an updated iPad Pro and a cheaper 9.7-inch iPad. That new 9.7-inch iPad is expected to ship in Q2 2018 and the new iPad Pro is tipped to ship in the second half of 2018.