$799 MacBook Air: It's that Apple supply chain again

In the end, Apple's MacBook Air pricing has everything to do with its supply chain.

Apple is rumored to have a $799 MacBook Air in the works and you can thank the company's supply chain clout should that price come to pass.

According to DigiTimes, Apple is eyeing a $799 MacBook Air in the third quarter. DigiTimes, which has a so-so track record, cites sources in the "upstream supply chain."

DigiTimes noted that Apple's move would be designed to close any ultrabook encroachment.

However, it's more likely that Apple would lower MacBook Air prices because it can at a nice profit margin. Prices of ultrabooks haven't come down fast enough. The Windows 8 launch may change that equation.

In the end, Apple's pricing has everything to do with its supply chain. MacBook Air rides with solid-state storage and Apple has those supplies locked up. After all, the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch use a lot of Flash supply. Meanwhile, Apple can call its shots with screens too.

It's quite possible that Apple is just passing along some of its savings on the MacBook Air bill of materials. In any case, a less expensive MacBook Air is going to squeeze the ultrabook market.