Apple could launch cheaper new laptops next year

Last week Apple unveiled the new MacBook Pro, and it’s turned out to be one of the most controversial, divisive products the company has released in ages. There’s certainly much to like about the new MacBook Pro, because it brings stunning new features such as Touch ID, an OLED Touch Bar and a great new keyboard to the mix. But other aspects have left many prospective customers and CTOs looking towards the Microsoft Surface Book instead.

In addition to a total removal of regular USB ports, the main issue with the new MacBook Pro is its astonishing price. The new MacBook Pro starts at $2199, but you have to pay at least $2699 to get four USB Type-C ports and the new Touch Bar, too. As for the 15in version? That starts at an eye-watering $3599. That’s pretty expensive for any user, and it looks like Apple understands, because new rumours suggest the company is preparing cheaper, more powerful MacBook Pros for late 2017.

According to a report by the respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will announce price cuts for the existing MacBook Pros next year, along with a refresh that adds support for up to 32GB of RAM. Kuo points to the original MacBook Air and MacBook Pro as precedents for his prediction, as they were priced high after their major upgrade, but then received price cuts the following year. When you combine the lower price with a possible increase in the amount of USB Type-C products available, the new 2017 MacBook Pro should be a far more attractive proposition.

As for the 32GB rumour? Kuo says that largely depends on whether Intel is able to release its new range of Cannonlake processors in a sufficient timeframe. Although it’s possible to make a machine with 32GB of RAM now, Apple’s marketing chief Phil Schiller explained to a MacRumors reader that it would be far too power-hungry. Instead, it’s likely Apple will wait for Intel’s more power-efficient chipsets.

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