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Apple's new 12-in. MacBook goes back to the past in performance

Gregg Keizer | April 6, 2015
Although Apple's new 12-in. Retina MacBook won't go on sale for another week, benchmark tests confirmed that it's considerably slower than the Cupertino, Calif. company's other thin notebook, the 13-in. MacBook Air.

Analysts have argued that the 12-in. MacBook, by virtue of its price and specifications, will not be a big seller for Apple, at least not in the short term. Instead, the experts expected that the new MacBook would follow the same sales path blazed by the Air, which was initially seen as a prestige product. "They're after the heart of the executive high-end status PC," said Ezra Gottheil of Technology Business Research, in an interview last month.

Apple introduced the first MacBook Air in early 2008, but the ultra-thin notebook was widely dismissed as underpowered and overpriced. The machine remained a minor player in Apple's laptop line for several years, only selling in large numbers starting in 2010 when the company went exclusively to solid-state drives, shaved the form factor and dropped prices.

Later price cuts in 2014, which reduced the 11-in. model to under $900, further accelerated sales. The MacBook Pro, however, has retained the top sales spot for Apple, according to Stephen Baker, an analyst with the NPD Group.

Apple will begin selling the MacBook on April 10 at its retail and online stores. So far, it has given no hint that it will take pre-orders before then.


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