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Apple planning to cut cost of MacBook Air in Q2

The device last saw a minor update at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June 2017

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Top apps using Siri Shortcuts to make daily tasks easier: Apple. Pixabay
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  • Apple is planning to launch a new MacBook Air
  • This one will be more affordable
  • This move will increase the shipments of the Apple company

Apple is reportedly planning to launch a more affordable variant of the 13-inch MacBook Air in the second quarter of 2018, the media reported.

Apple
New MacBook will be more affordable.

Apple is likely to release a new MacBook Air “with a lower price tag” during the second quarter of 2018, meaning we should see it sooner rather than later, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities was quoted as saying to 9to5mac on Saturday.

The analyst expects the more affordable MacBook Air will help push MacBook shipments up by 10-15 percent this year. MacBook Air, launched by then Apple CEO Steve Jobs at the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco in 2008, has not been updated since 2015 as Apple has shifted focus towards the 12-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro.

Also Read: Apple takes top spot in global wearables market

The 13-inch MacBook Air, a popular choice for college students, is currently sold starting at $999 for 128GB of PCIe-based storage, a 1.8GHz dual-core i5 processor, and 8GB of LPDDR3 RAM.

The device last saw a minor update at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June 2017, with a slightly faster processor, and 8GB of RAM as a default. Kuo says that KGI is “positive” on shipments of AirPods and predicts the refreshed model will come in the second half of the year, driving strong year over year growth.

This step will laos increase the company's shipments. VOA
This step will laos increase the company’s shipments. VOA

Further, Kuo predicts on the entry-level 6.1-inch model of iPhones this year.

Kuo also notes that demand for HomePod has been “mediocre” thus far. Overall, demand for the smart speaker based on “shipping time” is “neutral”, the report said. IANS

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Apple Appoints Ashish Chowdhary as its India Operation Head

Apple is currently assembling iPhone 6S in India with its partner Wistron

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Apple appoints Nokia veteran Ashish Chowdhary to lead India operations. Flickr Commons

In a fillip to Apple CEO Tim Cook’s big future plans for the Indian market, Apple has appointed Ashish Chowdhary, Chief Customer Operations Officer at Nokia Networks, as its India operation head, reliable industry sources told IANS on Tuesday.

Chowdhary will join as Apple India head from January next year, the sources confirmed.

The decision to hire Chowdhary is a testament to the fact that Apple is aiming for a really long-term growth in a price-sensitive market where Apple is an aspirational brand and usually bought by those who have high spending power or can go for older generation phones for affordability.

In line with the development, Nokia also announced on Tuesday changes in the composition of its group leadership team, declaring that Chowdhary will “leave Nokia at the end of 2018 after 15 successful years.”

“Chowdhary will continue to lead Customer Operations and remain a member of the Nokia Group Leadership Team until the end of 2018. He will then leave Nokia to take a leadership position in another company,” said Nokia.

According to industry sources, Apple has roped in Chowdhary — who has a sound global as well as local knowledge of the industry — to get a bigger slice of a market that has nearly 450 million users and is one of the fastest growing, after China and the US.

Apple India is currently under Michel Coulomb who took over from Sanjay Kaul in December last year.

Chowdhary has 25 years of international experience in the enterprise and telecom sectors. As Chief Business Officer, he was responsible for Nokia Networks’ sales and operations globally.

He has held various leadership positions, including Head of Asia Middle East and Africa and prior to that, Head of Global Services Business Unit.

Both these units contributed nearly half of the company’s revenues and were key to the successful transformation of Nokia.

Apple
An Apple store in Woodbridge, Virginia. (VOA)

The appointment comes at a time when the iPhone maker is seeking tax relief and other incentives from the government to begin assembling more handsets in the country and its proposal to set up a manufacturing unit is also being evaluated.

Breaking his silence on Apple’s India presence, CEO Tim Cook admitted on November 1 that his business was flat in the country in the fourth quarter amid weak currency trends.

Cook, however, stressed he is still a big believer in the Indian middle class.

The Apple CEO also said that he has had really great productive discussions with the Indian government.

“We’ve had really great productive discussions with the Indian government, and I fully expect that at some point, they will agree to allow us to bring our stores into the country,” Cook responded to a question during the analysts’ call.

Apple is currently assembling iPhone 6S in India with its partner Wistron.

Also Read- Google Probing ‘Malicious’ Attack on its Internet Traffic

“I am a big believer in India. I am very bullish on the country and the people and our ability to do well there,” Cook said.

Cook is also aware of the tremendous growth opportunity in India.

“There’s a huge number of people that will move into the middle class. The government has really focused on reform in a major way and made some very bold moves.

“I applaud them for doing that and I can’t wait for the future there,” Cook told the analysts over call. (IANS)