Apple Pundit Gruber: Everyone Is Wrong - No Cheap Laptop Coming Today (AAPL)


Professional Apple-watcher Jon Gruber is determined to spoil everyone’s fun today by announcing that he knows what Steve Jobs will be rolling out today. Not only that, he says that Steve will be announcing nothing but dull tweaks to his laptop line — he won’t even be announcing a sub-$1,000 machine. In fact, he’ll be announcing price increases, which will baffle the conventional wisdom:

The new regular MacBooks look like 13-inch versions of the new MacBook Pro. Another single-piece all-aluminium chassis, the same black border around the display, and the same new no-button multi-touch trackpads. The displays are backlit LEDs, like the 15-inch Pros. (Engadget, which is reporting that the regular MacBooks aren’t being revised, is wrong. They’re not just being announced but should be shipping by the end of the week.)

The updated Airs look the same as the current Airs, but now offer larger hard drives: a 120 GB disk in the low-end model, and a twice-as-large 128 GB solid-state drive in the high-end model…

Keep your eyes peeled for jackassery in post-event news coverage, much of which, I predict, will focus on the fact that none of these new machines sell for under $1299. The reality is that these new machines are all steps up, but the rumours that caught the most attention in the past week were the ones regarding $799 and $899 laptops. None of these “$800 new MacBook!” rumours came from anyone with any credibility, but that won’t stop some people from holding it against Apple that they didn’t pan out.

MacBook Pro prices will remain the same, at $1999 and $2499. Same for MacBook Airs: $1799 and $2499. Regular MacBook pricing is interesting, though. In the old (plastic) MacBook lineup, there were three standard configurations:

    * $1099: 2.1 GHz, white, 1 GB memory, 120 GB disk
    * $1299: 2.4 GHz, white, 2 GB memory, 160 GB disk
    * $1499: 2.4 GHz, black, 2 GB memory, 250 GB disk

In the new (aluminium) MacBook lineup, there are only two standard configurations:

    * $1299: 2.0 GHz, 2 GB memory, 160 GB disk
    * $1499: 2.4 GHz, 2 GB memory, 250 GB disk

Now. Do keep in mind that not all of the jackassery Jon is referring to comes from the likes of us — Piper’s Gene Munster, who’s a fairly well-plugged in AAPL-watcher, has predicted a $899 model. So we’re still holding out hope that Steve will pull *something* interesting out his hat. And we’ll be covering it LIVE at 1pm, regardless.

See Also: Apple rumour Roundup
More MacBook Predictions: No Tablet

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