Apple has launched new — and much more expensive — versions of its MacBook Air laptop and iPad Pro in an attempt to boost sales.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the higher-priced strategy is the same one the company used to strengthen its iPhone business. In fact, one year after raising the price of its flagship iPhone to $999, the company has increased prices for new versions of the MacBook Air by 20 percent, the Mac mini by 60 percent, and the iPad Pro by about 25 percent.
For the first time since 2010, the new MacBook Air has been given a full design upgrade, complete with a high-resolution Retina display, narrower screen borders and Touch ID. Its price starts at $1,199, compared with $999 for the existing model.
An updated version of Apple’s small Mac mini desktop computer with improved processors was also unveiled, starting at $799, compared with $499 for the current version.
And Apple showed off new iPad Pros with narrower screen borders and facial recognition technology, starting at $799 and $999, respectively.
The move comes as PC shipments have stalled at about 10 percent in the past three years, while Mac unit sales have fallen 6.5 percent. In addition, revenue for iPads has declined 40 percent from a peak in fiscal 2013 as bigger smartphone screens have made tablets obsolete for many people.
“Apple thought PCs were going to go by the wayside and iPads would rule the roost, but that hasn’t happened,” said Patrick Moorhead, a technology analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy.
A new iPad is seen as an important way for Apple to maintain its leadership position in the high-end portion of the tablet market. If it didn’t refresh the product line another player would step in and steal that market share, noted the report, citing Rob Cihra, an analyst at Guggenheim Partners. “You have to keep refreshing the product if you want to keep a hold on the high end,” Cihra said.