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Apple Laptop Refresh Could Include $800 Model

If the reports are accurate, the updated MacBook would close much of the price gap with low-cost PC laptops.
Apple's reported plans to introduce new laptops next week are seasoned with a particularly titillating rumor that the company will unveil an $800 laptop that would close much of the price gap with low-cost PC laptops.

On Thursday, Apple sent out an announcement stating, "The spotlight turns to notebooks," and inviting recipients to a launch event on Oct. 14.

An $800 laptop -- allegedly crafted from single pieces of aluminum using a laser and water jet process known by the code-name "brick" -- would be a dramatic price drop from Apple's current lowest-price standard laptop, which carries a $1,099 retail price point. That's a $300 price cut and, while still substantially higher than low-cost PCs, would bring a Mac machine into the affordability price range of a whole new wave of users.

Reports of the $800 laptop have been making the rounds of Apple online chat rooms and independent Web sites, and there are enough reports to give them credence. Unless, of course, they are all regurgitating the same bad rumor. Apple doesn't comment on rumors, which tends to fuel the publicity build-up.

The Inquisitr's Duncan Riley began discussing the $800 laptop on his Web site, and similar reports have appeared on other sites that follow Apple activity. Reports say that 12 new Mac laptops will be presented at next week's official announcement event.

As for the aluminum manufacturing process, it eschews some screws and fasteners, making the end product studier and more reliable and, of course, cheaper to produce. The 9 to 5 Mac Web site noted that Apple has been experimenting with a new manufacturing process utilizing aluminum.

An inexpensive laptop, too, would be in line with Apple's $199 pricing for its new low-end iPhone model, a move than has sent tremors throughout the handset industry that must now compete with the iconic phone on price as well as innovation.

Although an $800 Apple laptop would open new markets for the company, the price is still above some full-featured PCs, which often sell for $450 and even occasionally for $399.

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