A number of photos of what are supposedly new MacBook and MacBook Pro aluminum cases have begun to surface.
Yesterday, Engadget posted a picture of a MacBook Pro case in keeping with rumors of a new production process. The photo originated at a Chinese site, which lends credence to the possibility that they are real, since Apple’s manufacturing facilities are currently based in the country. And as of today, AppleInsider is claiming that their sources “confirm” that this image is in fact of the new 15-inch MacBook Pro.
Soon after the first photos appeared, a Taiwanese site posted three pictures of what it claims are the new MacBook casing, which also show an aluminum body case without keyboard or trackpad components. The space for the trackpad is significantly larger than on the current MacBook, and the case appears to be slightly slimmed down.
In addition to pre-production photos, new price sheets have apparently been circulating at Apple retail stores. The document lists 12 price points for the as yet unreleased laptops. That would mean four more base configurations than are currently offered, although it is not clear how those extra four models will be divided among the laptop categories (i.e., MacBook, Pro, and Air) or if categories will be changed or added. Sources claim the new price points will range between $800 and $3100, which would mark the first time Apple has offered a laptop for under $1000. Previous analyst predictions had included a $999 model, but if Apple can profitably produce an $800 dollar laptop, they will be far better positioned to compete with popular Windows laptop manufacturers like Toshiba and HP. Such aggressive pricing would also make them better able to withstand deepening global financial woes, which has most industry analysts predicting decreased consumer electronic spending. It will be interesting to see what you get at the top of the range as well, since at $3100 that’s a full $300 more than the current best-spec’d MacBook Pro.
More (low quality) photos of the MacBook casing: