Updated MacBook Air triggers price slashing to $799 on 2013 models

The new entry point for the MacBook Air is $899 -- from Apple at least. Retailers like Best Buy are selling the prior model for $799.

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The MacBook Air now a $100 cheaper, starting at $899. But prior models are now selling for $799. Apple

When Apple cut the entry-level MacBook Air to $899 on Tuesday, it drove prior models to even lower prices.

At Best Buy, an 11.6-inch MacBook Air (2013) with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB solid-state drive is now $799 (as of Wednesday evening PT). A representative at a Best Buy store in Los Angeles said the $799 price cut happened this week.

Other outlets, such as MacMall and B&H Photo, are also listing the older low-end Air at discounted prices. Apple blogs, such as AppleInsider, say the price slashing is happening in the wake of the introduction of the new models.

These deals rival the new $899 price for the entry-level MacBook Air that Apple released on Tuesday.

Why? The differences between an updated $899 Air an older one are small. The newer Air comes with a 1.4GHz Intel Core i5 -- upgraded from a 1.3GHz chip. That is a minor performance bump that is virtually invisible to the average consumer.

The problem is, supplies are limited. Best Buy is sold out of the $799 Air at some stores. B&H Photo, as of Wednesday evening, is showing stock, however.

Other prior Air models are also getting discounted. For example, the 13.3-inch model with a 256GB solid-state drive is priced at $1,099 at Best Buy, down from $1,299.

See also

By comparison, the updated 13.3-inch MBA (256GB) announced Tuesday is listed at $1,199 from Apple.

It's worth noting that the MacBook Air hasn't seen a major redesign since the fall of 2010. But that could change later this year. KGI Securities, NPD DisplaySearch, and others have gotten wind of an all-new, MacBook Air that's even thinner and boasts a 12-inch Retina display.

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As of Wednesday evening, Best Buy was selling the 2013 entry-level MacBook Air for $799. But there isn't a lot of stock. Best Buy

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About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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