Apple planning a 13-inch MacBook for 2018; HomePod, AirPods to be revamped

Apple to finally launch a new MacBook.

    Apple hasn't focused more on its ultra-thin MacBook Air in past few years, apart from trimming down the size of its other products. But a new report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the company is planning to launch a cheaper variant in the second quarter of 2018, reports 9to5Mac.

    Apple planning a 13-inch MacBook for 2018 with new HomePod, AirPods

    The analyst expects that the Cupertino-based tech giant will unveil a 13-inch MacBook Air 'with a lower price tag,' later in 2018, and expects this will boost company's laptop sales.

    While the lineup celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2018, it has only received incremental updates. The last update was when the company updated it with a faster 1.8GHz Intel processor. The company currently sells the MacBook Air for $999.

    The report further suggests that the company might refresh its HomePod and AirPods since the devices have seen a mediocre demand from the consumers.

    Why now?

    The move seems necessary for the company as its rivals such as Microsoft's Surface Pro is swiftly taking over the market. According to a study conducted by Creative Strategies on a panel of 1,300 US consumers, shows no less than 72 percent of the users who make do with a Microsoft Surface actually want it as their personal device as well, compared to 65 percent in case of the Apple MacBook.

    The survey also shows that the Surface Pro is the popular choice among the users who want to replace their laptops with 2-in-1 devices. The Surface Pro outclasses the Apple iPad by 11 percent.

    New design?

    Back in March 2017, the company filed for a patent that disclosed a possible future design where an iPhone could be used as a "Brain" to power a MacBook-liked device. Similar to many others, this patent is also extensive and unclear. The report proposes a thin laptop-like shell without a processor. The thin laptop-like processor is referred to as the accessory device.

    Although Apple's patent was first filed in September last year, it doesn't necessarily mean that this type of product would ever make it to the market. The company is likely to be experimenting with a number of various ways for enhancing the flexibility of the iPad.

     

    Wearable market growth

    According to a new report by International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, Apple has become the leader in the global wearables market, shipping eight million units in the fourth quarter of 2017.

    The report said that 4Q17 was the first quarter that Apple held the market leader position all to itself after spending several quarters close behind Fitbit or Xiaomi.

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