AppleInsider was first to report on a series of Google AdSense placements temporarily appearing in several European countries hinting at new iMacs, Mac minis, and MacBooks.
Google searches for those models in countries including the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Austria returned ads for the respective Apple Stores with new features and prices. Translations from the Dutch ads describe the new Macs as follows:
- iMac: Ultra Thin 20 & 24 inch models. From only €1099.
- Mac mini: Faster and more affordable than ever. From only €499. Order immediately.
- MacBook: Apple’s Newest MacBook. Thinner, lighter and faster! Free delivery. Order today.
While the iMac ad confirms the long-rumored redesign reducing thickness and weight, the even-longer-rumored addition of Blu-ray drives is not mentioned. In a way, this is not too surprising. If Blu-ray comes to the Mac, it seems odd that the iMac would get it first. The Pro machines would seem more likely candidates to introduce the Blu-ray drive, if for no other reason than price premium. The rumor of a price drop is not reflected in the ad, either, unlike the Mac mini.
The current price for the Mac mini at the Netherlands Apple Store is €599, the new price fitting nicely with recent rumors that the low-end model has been discontinued. A lower-priced, faster Mac mini, hopefully with more than a miserly 1GB of RAM, would be a welcome change to what is arguably the poorest price/performance Mac currently for sale.
While the MacBook ad does not specify a price, “thinner, lighter, and faster” fits in with current expectations. At $999, the polycarbonate MacBook is Apple’s answer to the netbook—despite what Apple executives say about the iPhone—but at double or even triple the price of the budget portables, it’s a tough sell. While Apple may not be losing business to Acer and Toshiba, it’s arguable that the MacBook isn’t taking business, either. At $899, or even $799, a MacBook becomes a more attractive “real notebook” upsell to the hot-selling netbooks.
It’s likely we won’t have to long to wait to find out, though. Look for that familiar sticky note at the Apple Store saying “we’ll be back soon” in the early hours of Tuesday morning.