Apple Inc. has quietly reduced the price of its most expensive notebook by $500, cutting the cost of the upper-end MacBook Air to $2,598. The MacBook Air, which Apple launched in January to some fanfare, has been sold in two configurations since then: with a traditional 80GB magnetic platter hard drive and a 1.6-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, or with a 64GB solid-state drive and a 1.8-GHz CPU. Solid-state drives (SSD) are built from flash memory and, unlike hard drives, have no moving parts.
The MacBook Air with the solid-state drive is more expensive than the one with the hard drive, but several Apple-specific Web sites, including AppleInsider, noticed that Apple had dropped the price of the SSD-equipped model by 16% on Thursday, July 3. Prior to the price cut, the solid-state MacBook Air sold for $3,098. The less expensive hard-drive-equipped MacBook Air retained its $1,799 price tag, according to the Apple online store. The price cut came from changes on two of the MacBook Air options. Selecting the SSD now adds $599 to the price of the notebook, compared to $999 earlier. Also lowered was the 1.8-GHz processor option, from $300 extra to $200.