Thursday, December 15, 2022

The Tepid Reception for iPhone Plus Should Be A Warning To Apple that 15” MacBook Air May Not Sell Well

 There are a lot of chatter this week about the upcoming 15” MacBook Air that will be added to the 13.3” version currently on the market. Perhaps I’m not seeing it but I am not alone judging by the number of blog posts today about it, a few think that Apple should have gone the other way - a 11” or 12” MacBook Air would be the better route to go. 

The question we have to ask is why is Apple making a 15” MacBook Air? And why is it called a MacBook Air? To be exact, the bigger MacBook Air will have 15.5” which is a mere half in from the 16” MacBook Pro. Apple probably believe that people who want a bigger screen but are not willing to pay for the professional specs will opt for a lower end laptop with a similarly sized screen.

Not a bad line of thinking. Except this is the Mac market, not the Windows PC market. I use a 15” Windows laptop for work. I think it came from Costco and cost about $700. The 13.6” MacBook Air starts at $1199. How much would a 15.5” version cost? Let’s use the Pro as a reference. The 14” MacBook Pro starts at $1999 and the 16” version starts $2499, a $500 difference.

Let’s say Apple decides to start the 15.5” MacBook Air at $1499 (but I think it’ll probably start at $1599), that is a $300 difference. At that price, maybe I start looking at the 14” MacBook Pro because by spending a few hundred more, I do get a smaller screen but I will get more memory and a much more powerful laptop.

So, I am not sure where the 15.5” MacBook Air fit and who it is really for. I hope this is not another misfire by Apple.

Another you ask? That’s right. 

Take the iPhone 14 Plus with the 6.7” screen that starts at $899. It is not selling as well as Apple is hoping. We will not know until Apple brings out the numbers if they ever do at all or when Apple cancels the Plus in a year or two entirely because of low demand. 

I opt out of this year’s iPhone upgrade but if I had wanted to upgrade or I’m happen to be a new iPhone user, I would give the iPhone Pro Max a really hard look. Starting at $1099, I would get a high-end iPhone with new camera, longer battery life, and new features such as a new chip, higher quality case, and the Dynamic Island. All that for $300 more. 

Though only Apple knows why the iPhone Plus was offered, I feel the 15.5” MacBook Air is being put on the market for the same reason. There are Apple friendly bloggers who suggest that Apple is offering the Plus for people who are not willing to pay for the Pro Max. They will likely suggest that the 15.5” MacBook Air is being offered to those who want a bigger screen without paying for the 16” MacBook Pro. 

Well, if the Plus is any indication, I think the bigger Air will have its fans but it will be a limited segment of the Mac market. Instead of going bigger, Apple should consider going smaller. And that includes bringing back the iPhone mini.

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