Rumored 'Low-Cost MacBook' Could Be $699 MacBook Air

Rumors out of Asia captured the attention of Apple fans last year by claiming that Apple plans to offer a more affordable 2024 MacBook for budget-conscious customers and students in order to compete with Google's popular low-cost Chromebook models.

In fact, this rumor may have already come to fruition with the news last week that Walmart has started selling the MacBook Air with M1 chip in the United States for $699.

Walmart MacBook Air M1
Apple discontinued the MacBook Air with the M1 chip earlier this month, following the launch of new MacBook Air models with its latest-generation M3 chip. But it looks as if Apple intends to continue producing the M1 MacBook Air specifically for sale through Walmart, rather than through its own stores.

It is the first time that customers have been able to purchase a Mac directly from Walmart. The U.S. retailer does not sell any other Macs. These are not refurbished Macs either – they are brand new and appear to be fresh inventory. As Daring Fireball's John Gruber notes, Apple has not kept excess stock in inventory for bestselling products for decades, as per CEO Tim Cook's favored method of Apple's operations. Prior to being discontinued, Apple sold the M1 model for $999.

The M1 MacBook Air first came out in 2020, so it is four years old at this point, but the Apple silicon chip is still more than adequate for day-to-day tasks. The configuration being sold for $699 includes the M1 chip, 256GB of storage, and 8GB of RAM/unified memory, with Gold, Silver, and Space Gray color options available. Since Walmart made its announcement, Best Buy has undercut the retailer by offering the same model for $649, but how long this further discount will last is unclear.

Last October, a rumor out of Korea claimed Apple intended to sell 13-inch MacBook models at a planned price point of around $700 or less. The rumor suggested that while Apple has yet to fully commit to mass producing the low-cost Macs, they were "more likely than ever" to make it to market because of a sharp fall in iPad and MacBook sales.

The rumors came after Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that Apple was considering launching a low-cost MacBook in 2024 to boost ailing MacBook shipments, with a target of shifting 8-10+ million units per year.

Related Roundup: MacBook Air
Related Forum: MacBook Air

Popular Stories

iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2 Colors

iPhone 16 Plus Rumored to Come in These 7 Colors

Wednesday April 10, 2024 3:52 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone 16 Plus may come in seven colors that either build upon the existing five colors in the standard iPhone 15 lineup or recast them in a new finish, based on a new rumor out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker Fixed focus digital, Apple's upcoming larger 6.7-inch iPhone 16 Plus model will come in the following colors, compared to the colors currently available for the...
apple tv 4k yellow bg feature

When to Expect a New Apple TV to Launch

Tuesday April 9, 2024 8:30 am PDT by
It has been nearly a year and a half since the current Apple TV was released, so the device is becoming due for a hardware upgrade. Below, we recap rumors about the next Apple TV, including potential features and launch timing. The current model is the third-generation Apple TV 4K, announced in October 2022. Key new features compared to the previous model from 2021 include a faster A15...
apple silicon feature joeblue

Macs to Get AI-Focused M4 Chips Starting in Late 2024

Thursday April 11, 2024 10:10 am PDT by
Apple will begin updating its Mac lineup with M4 chips in late 2024, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The M4 chip will be focused on improving performance for artificial intelligence capabilities. Last year, Apple introduced the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips all at once in October, so it's possible we could see the M4 lineup come during the same time frame. Gurman says that the entire...
iOS 18 WWDC 24 Feature 2

iOS 18 May Feature All-New 'Safari Browsing Assistant'

Wednesday April 10, 2024 6:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 will apparently feature a new Safari browsing assistant, according to backend code on Apple's servers discovered by Nicolás Álvarez. MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris confirmed that the code exists, but not many details are known at this time. Álvarez said it seems like the browsing assistant will use iCloud Private Relay's infrastructure to send relevant data to Apple in a...

Review: Six Months With the iPhone 15 Pro

Wednesday April 10, 2024 10:53 am PDT by
It's been a bit over six months since the iPhone 15 lineup came out in September, and MacRumors videographer Dan Barbera has been using an iPhone 15 Pro Max sans case since launch. Over on our YouTube channel, Dan did a long term review to demo how his phone has held up and his thoughts on the Action button, battery life, and camera features. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more ...
iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature

Alleged iPhone 16 Battery Details Show Smaller Capacity for One Model

Tuesday April 9, 2024 3:46 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 lineup will feature bigger battery capacities compared to previous-generation models with the exception of the iPhone 16 Plus, which will have a smaller battery than its predecessor. That's according to the Chinese Weibo-based leaker OvO Baby Sauce OvO, a relatively new source of supply chain leaks with an as-yet unproven track record for accuracy. The iPhone 16 ...