Apple's macbook air in postApple’s smallest Macs are now a bit more competitive as Apple lowers the MacBook Air price and drops in a faster Intel processor.

The new models now start at $899 from $999 in the US and £749 from £849 in the UK for for the 11-inch model, and $999 from $1,099 in the US and £849 from £949 in the UK for the 13-inch model.

Apple’s new MacBook Airs gain processor improvements, using new Intel Haswell chips that push power up a notch, which should make for even faster, more efficient operation over the models introduced last year at WWDC in June. Storage options also get tweaked, with better baseline options. Everything from the base model to the top end gets improved processors.

Mac sales were up 5 percent last quarter when compared year over year, while the rest of the PC industry actually fell about the same amount over the same period (roughly 4 percent), as measured by IDC. Macs are the only category of computers to have gained share in the PC industry for 31 out of the past 32 quarters, too (that is eight years).

The MacBook Air has arguably become Apple’s flagship Mac in recent years, after a debut as somewhat of an oddity and outlier device. When Apple introduced its significantly redesigned MacBook Air in 2010, introducing an 11.6-inch model alongside the 13.3-inch version, that changed and the device became a strong seller. Eventually, the price point for the entry-level models fell below $1,000, and it became the defacto replacement for the basic MacBook. Which means the ultraportable was no longer exotic, but was instead the natural option for most users.

Source: TechCrunch