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By | Joe Fay 1st May 2009 11:40

Apple ponders quantitative easing for hard-up customers

Macbook and iMac to offset Intel's Air for all plan

Apple looks set to bite the bullet and drop its price bands, even going so far as making its products "affordable".

Apple Insider reports that the vendor is putting the final touches to a brace of lower price products - to wit, an iMac and a Macbook. The site takes its cue from the 20 inch Aluminium iMac which the vendor is touting to the education market at $899, suggesting it could still make a healthy 100 to $150 markup on a similar product through retail.

The site also reports that the vendor has absolutely no intention of playing in the netbook market, despite this being the one area of the PC market that is delivering growth, and despite Apple seeing its own unit shipments crimped in the most recent quarter.

So, the thinking goes, the vendor would rather lower the price bar on its lower end products to grab the attention of more budget conscious buyers, while maintaining pricing on its premium products. The wallet easing products could pitch up as early as this Spring, Apple Insider reports.

The vendor might also have on its mind the fact that Wintel notebook vendors will be able to target its Air product line as Intel overhauls its notebook line.

Montevina Plus, Intel's latest mobile platform, starts rolling out this quarter. Back in March the vendor's mobile marketing director, Karen Regis, promised that it would encompass ultra low voltage technology, allowing PC vendors to produce systems that were in the Macbook Air zone.

Such machines could be priced in the $599 to $1,000 range, she predicted. With the Air shipping in the $1,800 and up range, this could be a much bigger incentive for Apple to woo sub $1100 customers than concern over netbooks. ®

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