Apple to release new version of low-cost MacBook Air

James Titcomb
The original MacBook Air went on sale in 2008 - Apple

Apple is reportedly planning to launch a new, redesigned MacBook Air, answering fans' demands for a new low-cost laptop more than three years after the last significant update.

The company is likely to unveil the new model at an event in October, separate to its annual September launch of new iPhones, according to Bloomberg.

It comes after Apple reported a 13pc drop in quarterly sales of its Mac computers last month to 3.7m, the fewest since 2010. A series of changes to the company’s laptop line in recent years have left some customers confused over its direction and which model to buy.

Apple first introduced the MacBook Air, a thin and light laptop, in 2008. Although it has been upgraded with faster processors, its core design has not changed in years, and the model lacks the ultra high-definition “retina” screens that are standard on other products.

In recent years, Apple has overhauled its line of high-end MacBook Pros and introduced a new, smaller model simply named “MacBook”.

The MacBook Pro has been criticised for unreliable keyboards Credit: Geoff Pugh/Telegraph

However, the MacBook Air remains popular both for being cheapest Apple laptop and because it retains ports, such as the traditional USB connector and SD card reader, that have been phased out on other lines.

The MacBook Pro has also frustrated some fans due to a new keyboard design that has in some cases led to stuck keys. Apple updated some models last month with a keyboard designed to be less troublesome, among other changes.

The cheapest Air model is £949, compared to the £1,249 entry level price of the MacBook and MacBook Pro.

According to Bloomberg, the new laptop will retain the MacBook Air’s 13-inch screen but upgrade it to a Retina resolution, as well as reducing the size of the borders around the display.

The company is also reportedly planning to upgrade the Mac mini desktop computer for the first time since 2014. The £479 computer is likely to get more expensive due to improved storage and processor speeds.