Despite the economic climate, Apple seems to be sticking with a policy of marketing through quality rather than price. At a media event today, it announced several features from the MacBook Air will be transferred to the rest of the laptop range, but avoided major price cuts.
Both the standard MacBook and the MacBook Pro will now get slimline casings and a large glass touchpad which depresses to produce a mouse click. The standard MacBook will also get an LED backlight for the first time, which could mean a longer battery life. Meanwhile the MacBook Air is being upgraded to a choice between a 120GB hard drive and a 128GB solid state drive.
Apple also announced a new product (pictured), an external 24″ LED monitor designed specifically for laptops, complete with built-in charger.
The firm passed over the opportunity for widespread price cuts, though it did break the thousand dollar price barrier for the first time. The entry model MacBook drops from $1,099 to $999.
There had been rumors it could go as low as $899, and some financial analysts will be surprised that Apple isn’t cutting prices across the range to target cash-strapped consumers. It appears the firm is content with keeping the MacBook as a premium brand and making its money through a high mark-up rather than volume of sales.
Another recent rumor did prove accurate: Apple is opting for NVIDIA graphics chips, in place of Intel, with CEO Steve Jobs claiming the new range could be able to perform some processor-hungry gaming activity six times faster.
Jobs refused to answer questions about how the economy might affect Apple, but did reassure stockholders by slipping a slide showing his healthy blood pressure reading into the presentations. Concerns over his health had culminated in a bogus internet story last week claiming he’d had a heart attack; Apple stock briefly slumped by 5% before the firm denied the story.