Apple is reportedly working on a low-cost MacBook to compete with Google’s Chromebook — which costs a fraction of the Apple device’s price and has come to dominate the laptop market.
The Chromebooks — which sell for around $149 compared to the MacBook’s $1,599 entry-level price — have been snapped up by school districts in droves for their students after COVID lockdowns prompted distance learning.
From early 2022, Google reported that over 50 million students and teachers were using Chromebooks, prompting the tech giant to release a new line of Chromebook devices — as well as a repair program — designed exclusively for education.
The prohibitive cost of MacBooks has now deterred most schools from buying them for their students.
However, according to a nonprofit education analyst, 10 million schools worldwide use Apple’s iPads great schools.
Apple’s rumored low-cost MacBook will be made from “different materials” than existing models to lower the minicomputer’s cost and make it more attractive to the education sector, it said Digitimes.
Sources told the publication that a cheaper version of Apple’s MacBook could launch as early as the second half of 2024.
Dan Ives, managing director of Wedbush Securities, told The Post that it’s “a matter of when, not if, Apple aggressively enters the Chromebook market with an affordable MacBook.”
“The education market has been a tough nut to crack because it’s really owned by Google and Microsoft, but Apple will be playing the long-term game in the next three, five, seven years,” Ives added.
“Many consumer households are Apple – they are everywhere but in the classroom. This is the final frontier for them to track consumers.”
Apple officials did not immediately respond to the Post’s request for comment.
Apple is also struggling with its best-selling iPhone as Android competitors continue to gain ground in the mature market.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant also plans to release its Vision Pro mixed-reality headset to consumers in early 2024 — more than six months after it was announced in June — and is reportedly spending more on artificial intelligence to win back sales.
For the three-month period ended July 1 – Apple’s third quarter – it was recorded revenue of $81.8 billion, down 1.4% from the second quarter and down 3% year over year.
Weaker iPhone sales were offset by strong sales in the services segment, which includes Apple TV+, and sales in China, which rose 8% year over year.
The tech giant’s chief financial officer, Luca Maestri, said at one telephone conference Last month we announced that Apple’s performance would be similar in the final quarter of the year.
If Maestri is right, another drop would mean the biggest downtrend Apple has seen in two decades.
In June, Apple became the first company in history to reach a market cap of $3 trillion.
Its stint as the world’s only $3 trillion company was short-lived, however, as the company slipped to $2.86 trillion after it was announced that it had posted a third straight quarter of declining sales.
Apple shares rose 0.1% to $189.70. The market cap is still a solid $2.94 trillion.