Apple lowers starting price on 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display laptops

Apple lowers starting price on 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display laptops

Summary: Some MacBook Pro notebooks will also get bumped to faster processors, while the 13-inch MacBook Air with 256GB SSD gets a price cut, too.

TOPICS: Apple, Laptops

Here's an early Valentine's Day gift to Apple lovers. The company has just announced some price cuts and processor upgrades for its MacBook laptops.

It's now a little cheaper to pick up a base model 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display at its new price of $1,499.  Apple also sliced the cost of a 13-inch MacBook Air with 256GB of solid state storage down to $1,399. It's a bit surprising to see a random price cut on MacBooks, so Apple fanboys will enjoy speculating on why the company felt compelled to do so at this point. Sluggish sales? New models coming?

In addition to the new discounts, other MacBook Pro models will be getting speedier CPUs. A 13-inch flavor with Retina display and 256GB SSD now gets a 2.6GHz Intel Core i5 processor (and $1,699 price tag), while 15-inch models with Retina display respectively get new 2.4GHz and 2.7GHz Intel Core i7 quad-core chips. The flagship 15-inch version also gets its memory bumped up to 16GB of RAM. 

Why do you think Apple is making these price cuts now? Do they make the MacBooks any more attractive to you as potential purchases? Let us know your thoughts in the Talkback section below.

Topics: Apple, Laptops

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  • They are still expensive

    But I doubt there are much cheaper with similar specs... if any.
    The reasons in my opinion:
    Slow sales, retina displays are becoming cheaper, surface pro (not because of competition just to make a "statement", ... new models are always coming.
    • expensive? More like overkill

      Laptops are suppose to be portable computer not replacements. Although they are capable of replacing one but a 13" or 15" is just too small of a screen to stare at for hours so for $1,399 or 1,499 plus tax is just an overkill. I just bought a HP M6-1105dx for $500 which can handle pretty much anything you would need on the road plus it has a DVD-Rom. Well, the DVD-Rom is not a plus but it's there.
      • You are right

        The same can be said about phones priced over 400, MS office when there is free office applications that are good enough.
        But if you compare design, weight, battery life, reliability, ... the reality outs that you will have a hard time finding cheaper... but yes you can do the same with a $500 laptop probably.
      • true

        I would buy this today if I were getting a laptop, the atom cpu doesn't scare me, and the battery life is tops, surface pro is even overkill, maybe if it had a 14" display and better bat life the cost would be ok.
      • I have to disagree

        A 13 inch screen is large enough to be viewed for hours at a time. For some people at least. Personally, I have an Asus netbook with a 10 inch screen that I can stare at all day and have no problem with it. But some people aren't used to small screens.
      • Just beefed up Macbook Airs really

        The current crop of Macbook Pro's are just upspeced Airs and not PRO category in my view for the following reasons:
        1. you can no longer upgrade the memory or drives to use latest technology. The ability to mod a laptop with the latest storage technology and memory and CPU to some extent was some of the attraction of having a BEAST laptop.
        2. no ethernet socket. Absolutely need the fastest wired connection. No, an adapter dongle is not a satisfactory solution. Can you imagine a network admin carting around a macbook pro to diagnose network connections with a dongle hanging off it? Sorry but Apple got this sh17 wrong. This is a Macbook PRO, not a high spec Air.
        3. no optical drive. Yes you can use an external drive, but again, Pro grade laptops should have it ALL in the machine. Being able to conveniently burn a CD or DVD to distribute HUGE amounts of data is an important feature in Pro laptops. Since video editing is one of the biggest use of beasty laptops, how can you drop the DVD burner in the machine? Also, Apple dropped the ball on supporting Bluray drives. It's the standard medium for Full HD content, GET WITH IT APPLE!
        4. removable battery. If we wanted a thin laptop, we get an Air. If we want a beast, we want removable batteries so we can keep a spare and maybe charge it externally for maximum portable duty cycle. I know of wedding videographers and photographers who will not be using macbook pros for same day on-site edits because they can't continually use it without a power source and need battery swaps. They are happy to have external charger juicing up spare battery(s) in the car or a power point somewhere nearby, but they need to be able to use the laptop ANYWHERE for long periods.

        So in the end, this is a beefed up Macbook Air, not really a Pro Laptop.
        • As usual

          Nothing but opinions masked as fact.
    • When something's not selling, you cut the price

      Which is obviously the case here. Apple (nor anyone) would voluntarilly give up profit margin on something people are willing to pay the original price for.

      If say retina displays are becoming cheaper, and people are still lining up to buy at the current price, Why not just keep the additional profit if loweing the price won't raise sales?
      William Farrel
      • Like?

        Perhaps like Bestbuy cutting the price of Surface? Your "logic" would indicate that sales of them are at best "flat" if not falling.

        Why did I bother replying? I'm sure there's more sense to be had having a conversation with a sparrow.
        • I See What You Did!

          You snuck Best Buy in as the cost cutter. You did not find a Microsoft cut, but good substitute???? I wonder if the Best Buy cuts impact the Microsoft or Best Buy profits????
          • If you have to wonder you are pretty clueless

            It cuts into Best Buy's profit but if they need to drop the price to move product then the lower margin is much better than no sale and a lose.

            As far as Apple, I would guess the 13" Airs are the lowest selling version so they are testing the waters to see if the lower price will drive sales.
      • or

        You might just decide to make it impossible for your competitors to enter the market, by providing higher spec at the same price, while still keeping your margins - because you happen to have sourced new tech components are bargain prices.
  • MicroSoft Surface

    I think Apple is really concerned about the Surface. Before everyone starts quoting how much of a fail they are consider this. MicroSoft is known to be doggedly determined to promote a product.

    Just before Surface RT was released Apple released a new ipad with a faster processor. Would they have done this if there was no Surface?

    Just before Surface Pro was released Apple released a 128 gig ipad. Again would they have if there was no Surface?

    Now when Surface Pro is being compared to Macbooks and Macbook Airs they cut their prices.

    To me this this looks like quick responses to a perceived threat. I don't think Apple has any answer to Microsoft's whole Windows 8's two OS's in one package move. Operating systems are hard to make and deliver and I don't think Apple has a handy counter to Win 8 and Win RT.
    • 'Handy Counter'

      Macbook and iPad - two different OS'; two different form factors - the 'handy counter' was actually there before MS' releases.... as to one (hardware) package - there are significant differences between RT and Pro - from weight to battery yo processor.

      Why Apple cut prices? Whon knows - competitive move, lower costs - whatever. It's a fool's mission to try and scope out why -any- company does what it does on pricing....
      • I would wager the price cut is due to low demand for the new models

        That doesn't mean MacBook Pros are bad, but if I recall right Mac sales were down about 20% year over year. PC's are not the only computers losing sales to tablets.

        As for your Ipad + Mac being a handy solution I disagree.

        It is the same situaiton with smarts phones. Much more handy to carry around a phone than a phone, gps, mp3play, camera, etc.

        Having one device that runs a single unified operating system and performs all the functions of two devices that run different operating systems is more handy than the alternative.

        Not that Windows has delivered perfection in that area, but it is a good first start. Apple will most likely head that direction as well.
        • Down over the quarter but why

          Yes, Mac sales were down in the last quarter but we should wait to see how it plays out in this quarter. Sure the last quarter should have been a good one but when you factor new models being introduced early in the quarter but not available until late in the quarter only to run into supply constraints and you are bound to have slower sales. Not saying that these are the only possible factors but are extremely valid reasons for the drop.
    • You are absolutely correct.

      Microsoft Surface is indeed the reason why Apple lowered its prices. What other reason could there be. Think about, in the past all Apple had to do is make very small incremental changes to any of its iProducts, and the mindless fanboys would snap them up like ants at a picnic.
      • So,

        you think that the Surface has caused Apple to lower its prices, but that Apple users are mindless fanboys. Too bad you can't see that humor in that.
      • Got anything to back it up?

        I realize that all your hopes and dreams fall on Apple being scared of the Surface but is there anything what so ever to back this up? Here is something that kind of blows your little fantasy out of the water. Why didn't the 11" Air, you know the closer spec device to the Surface, get a price reduction? If they are afraid of a 10.6" device why lower the price on their 13" device when they have a more direct competitor at 11"?
    • Apple worries

      Good observation. Forget these Apple fanboys and silly bloggers. Microsoft got Apple good. They need better strategy. Microsoft has sweep the rug off Apple, those people bad mouthing Surface RT and Pro are fighting a losing battle. I made a good observation at work, everybody that have iPad always log into PC. This where the battle is lost, with any Surface, you don't need PC at work or at home! It doesn't take a blogger to work this out that you need Surface not iPad + laptop.