Piper Jaffray says new MacBooks could be priced from $899

article thumbnail

AppleInsider is supported by its audience and may earn commission as an Amazon Associate and affiliate partner on qualifying purchases. These affiliate partnerships do not influence our editorial content.

The stars are aligning for Apple to transition its 13-inch MacBook family into more of a premium product while simultaneously slashing prices on new models by as much as 18 percent, according to investment bank Piper Jaffray.

Reacting to Apple's announcement that it plans to hold a special notebook event on its campus next Tuesday, analyst Gene Munster told clients he believes the big news will surround a revamp of the company's entry-level MacBook line with prices starting at $899 or $999.

"We expect the new MacBooks to be cheaper. However, it is likely that the new MacBooks will be a more premium product (with new aluminum casing and gesture-based touchpad)," he wrote. "In other words, we expect the new MacBooks to be a meaningful upgrade with an average selling price 9 percent to 18 percent lower [than today's models]."

Similarly, Munster is also expecting a complete redesign of the 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros, which are likely to carry an $1899 entry-level price tag. Among the new models' selling points will be a thinner design and more sophisticated gesture-based touchpad, he said.

While the analyst isn't expecting Apple to add a new product to its MacBook family, he believes the company will also use the event to update the specs of its ultra-thin MacBook Air. Expectations for a Mac with touchscreen technology should be sidelined for a later date, however.

"While we are confident that Apple will eventually bring its touchscreen technology from the iPhone to the Mac, we do not expect to see a touchscreen Mac this year," he told clients.

Munster maintained his Buy rating and $250 price target on shares of Apple, saying next week's event should serve as a catalyst for the company's stock price.