Apple to release affordable MacBook with Retina Display in second quarter

A MacBook Air laptop is pictured on display at an Apple Store in Pasadena, California July 22, 2013. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Apple is reportedly preparing to launch a new entry-level 13-inch MacBook with a Retina Display at the end of this year’s second quarter.

The upcoming MacBook will reportedly be entering mass production at the end of May. Given this timeframe, it is expected that Apple will be unveiling this new MacBook at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

The new MacBook will include the famed Retina Display technology of higher-end MacBook models. Apple has partnered with South Korean manufacturer LG Display to provide the 13.3-inch screens, which will boast a resolution similar to the MacBook Pro at 2,560 by 1,600 pixels.

As far as pricing is concerned, the upcoming product is expected to come at around the same price range of the current MacBook Air, which is listed at $999. This means that the new model could be the cheapest MacBook to offer the Retina Display.

Currently, the most affordable MacBook with Retina Display is the vanilla 12-inch MacBook, which costs $1,200.

The arrival of the new MacBook model and its release window has also been confirmed by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI securities. Kuo has had a great history of accurately predicting Apple’s future releases based on market and supply chain trends.

It is not yet known if the rumored new MacBook with be a cheaper version of that would replace the MacBook Air line of laptops as the entry-level model or if it would actually be a new MacBook Air model. Apple has not updated the MacBook Air line for a number of years, as it shifted its focus to the 12-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro models.

If Apple decides to release the new laptop as part of the MacBook line, it may have to substantially cut the prices of existing MacBook Air products to keep them the more affordable entry-level option for consumers.