Apple kills $999 MacBook Air and 12-inch MacBook

Apple just raised the starting price of buying a Mac.

Oscar Gonzalez Staff reporter
Oscar Gonzalez is Texas native who covers video games, conspiracy theories, misinformation and cryptocurrency.
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Oscar Gonzalez
2 min read
Apple Macbook 12-inch 2017

The 12-inch MacBook is no more. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple upgraded its newest MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops on Tuesday, but it looks like two notebooks have vanished from the company's site. The smallest of the MacBooks and the cheapest MacBook Air are now gone.

The $999 MacBook Air and 12-inch MacBook are no longer available on Apple's website as of Tuesday. It appears the company's $1,099 MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro are the new entry-level notebooks. 

That effectively raises the entry cost of buying a Mac by $100, part of a broader trend by Apple to hike up prices throughout its product lines, from the iPad to the iPhone. The removal of the two laptops also streamlines the Mac lineup, offering a simpler, albeit more expensive, set of options for consumers. 

Watch this: Apple cuts new MacBook Air price, but kills off $999 classic edition

Apple says the $999 MacBook Air will still be available via its Education Institution store. 

Though the iPhone continues to generate the vast majority of Apple's revenue, the Mac in its various guises has grown to be the company's No. 2 hardware line, having surpassed flagging sales of the iPad. 

First released in 2015, the now "classic" 13-inch MacBook Air was the default low-cost option and a favorite of college students and young professionals. The thin laptop received annual updates until 2017, with improvements to its Intel processor, while Apple maintained the sub-$1000 price tag. 

But the MacBook Air received few design changes over the years even as PC makers raced to build thinner, sleeker laptops. The computer still lacked a Retina Display as other PCs rocked high-definition and 4K screens. 

The new MacBook Air, like the refreshed MacBook Pro line, hasn't been without its controversies. Its new keyboard, with its more shallow "butterfly switches" were more prone to damage and didn't offer the same tactile experience as previous iterations. Apple said new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro units would come with a new third-generation keyboard that will supposedly address those issues. 

Apple's 12-inch MacBook, meanwhile, also made its debut in 2015 and received updates for the following two years. The laptop served as a tweener, smaller and less powerful than the Pro line but more expensive than the Air lineup. It controversially was the first to incorporate just a single USB-C port, forcing most people to use a dongle if they wanted to connect multiple peripherals. 

The more powerful 2018 MacBook Air effectively rendered the MacBook irrelevant. 

Google searches for either MacBook still show the laptops available on Apple's site. However, clicking on the search results for the discontinued notebooks redirects you to the company's Mac landing page

Originally published July 9, 6:23 a.m.
Updates, 7:38 a.m.: Adds MacBook Air info; 7:53 a.m.: Includes background details; 8:16 a.m.: Adds more details.