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Apple is reportedly considering low-cost MacBooks to rival Chromebooks

The new line of budget-friendly MacBooks could come as soon as late 2024.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer on
The side of the Apple MacBook Air 15-inch with a red background
June Wan/ZDNET

Apple MacBooks are notoriously pricey as premium laptops, making them unattainable for many buyers. Affordability is how Chromebooks have gotten so popular, and Apple is reportedly taking this into account and considering launching a line of low-cost MacBooks to rival the Chromebook.

According to sources that spoke to DigiTimes, the new MacBooks would be made of different materials than the MacBook Pro and Air lines. They would be built with more affordable mechanical components, though they would still use a metal casing to maintain the MacBook aesthetic.  

Also: Why some people are buying MacBook Pros with broken displays

There are already many affordable Windows laptops and different tiers of Chromebooks, but this is a market that Apple hasn't taken advantage of yet. In the US, 58% of young adults aged 18-34 are iPhone users. Affordable MacBooks could help more of these consumers expand their Apple product collections. 

If Apple decides to launch these low-cost MacBooks to rival the Chromebook, it may also entice other buyers outside of the Apple ecosystem. Right now, the cheapest MacBook, the M1-chip 13-inch Air starts at $999, or $899 with student pricing. That's a lot for many buyers, considering they can get a Chromebook with a simple setup for under $200.

Also: I traded my MacBook for a Dell XPS 15 for a month, and didn't regret it at all

There are no reports that the purportedly new MacBooks are in production. In fact, the DigiTimes sources out of Taiwan are speculating the launch date may be late 2024 specifically because suppliers at Quanta Computer and Foxconn are showing no signs of related activity yet.

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