Is Apple’s laptop reboot still on for next week? If the velocity of leaked photos is any indication, it seems possible.
The latest: Three photos of Apple’s supposed new aluminium-frame MacBooks, published by MacRumors. They look pretty real to us — Apple’s gradually been moving the cases of its computer to metal, and these case rumours have been around for months.
Different story: Whether or not you believe the supposed story behind these — that Apple has invented some sort of laser carving technology in a secret Apple factory that fashions computers out of single blocks of aluminium. We don’t buy it, primarily because we don’t think even secrecy-obsessed Apple can hide a new factory from prying eyes.
Either way, in this economy, price is just as important as looks. So how much will these cost? Potentially as low as $800, if you believe former TechCrunch scribe Duncan Riley, now writing for his own site. Apple has hinted at lowering its prices — and already lowered iPod touch prices this year — and it makes sense that they’d try to target the $1000-or-less segment of the laptop market. So while $800 is a steep cut — 27% less than Apple’s current cheapest laptop — it’s not out of the question if they want to grow market share.
When will we find out? The rumoured date is still next Tuesday, Oct. 14. We haven’t heard about any reporters getting invitations to an Apple event yet, so it seems that if that date is still launch day, it will just be a press release announcement. This doesn’t strike us as odd, as Apple doesn’t always have a Steve Jobs keynote to announce redesigns of existing products — they often come in the form of press releases and an update to their Web site.
Update: AllThingsD reports that invitations have been sent out for an Oct. 14 media event, titled “The spotlight turns to notebooks.” And Piper’s Gene Munster predicts the low-end MacBooks will start at $899.
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