Apple's M1 MacBook Air Finds New Life at Budget-Friendly $699 Price Point

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In a surprising move, Apple's M1-powered MacBook Air has found a new lease of life, being made available at the budget-friendly price point of $699 at Walmart. On the latest episode of MacBreak Weekly, Jason Snell, Andy Ihnatko, Alex Lindsay, and guest John Voorhees of MacStories talked about this unexpected move from Apple to allow the sale of their older M1 MacBook Air at Walmart.

While Apple had previously removed the M1 MacBook Air from its online store, suggesting its discontinuation, the hosts revealed that the company had quietly started selling the device through Walmart at a much lower price than before. This move has effectively turned the M1 MacBook Air into the first Mac ever sold at Walmart, opening up new markets for Apple's products.

The panel discussed the implications of this decision, with Voorhees expressing his delight at the M1 MacBook Air's continued availability. "I think it's really interesting," he said, noting that the M1 Air is still a "fantastic computer" that many users, including himself, have yet to feel the need to upgrade.

Lindsay echoed this sentiment, highlighting the value proposition of a $699 MacBook Air for basic tasks like web browsing, email, and even light photo and video editing. "For just doing basic Photoshop stuff, some basic video editing, I'm sure it'll do fine," he stated, calling the price point "pretty awesome."

Ihnatko, known for his enthusiasm for affordable Apple products, expressed his long-standing dream of seeing a sub-$700 MacBook. He drew parallels with his own experiences of purchasing discounted PowerBooks from Costco in the past, underscoring the appeal of budget-friendly Macs for consumers who might not have otherwise considered the platform.

Snell provided insights into Apple's potential motivations, suggesting that as the M1 Air's manufacturing process matures, the company can produce the device at lower costs and still maintain healthy margins. This allows Apple to reach new price-conscious customers who may have previously been priced out of the Mac ecosystem.

While the M1 MacBook Air may not be the most powerful machine for intensive tasks, the hosts agreed that its availability at $699 represents an excellent value proposition for users seeking a capable, portable device for everyday computing needs. As the Apple Silicon era continues to reshape the Mac lineup, this unexpected revival of the M1 Air demonstrates Apple's willingness to explore new channels and cater to a broader range of customers.

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