AppleInsider is reporting that Apple is working on refreshing the $999 white MacBook that’s its cheapest portable computer–and, AppleInsider, reports, still a best-seller. Makes sense to me. I’m assuming we’ll see one with new (but economical) specs, a better display, a sealed battery with longer battery life, and an SD reader. Timing? Probably early next year, whenever Apple decides to announce the products it’s not going to be rolling out at Macworld Expo.
It’s also only a matter of time until Apple ships a non-Air MacBook with no DVD drive–in part to save money, in part to make the system thinner, and hey, maybe even to encourage consumption of movies and music from the iTunes store. It wouldn’t stun me if the next-generation plastic MacBook were that machine–or if Apple knocked $100 or so off the pricetag to make it into an upscale alternative to a netbook. (No matter how cool an Apple tablet might be, some folks are going to want a traditional portable system at a relatively low price.)
One thing I hope Apple doesn’t do is to give the white MacBook’s replacement an aluminum case. As I wrote recent, I’m not so sure that plastic-clad notebooks don’t preserve their good looks better than their aluminum cousins, at least if you drop computers as often as I do. (Hey, I used to own a Saturn car, in part because of the plastic body.)
And yes, I know I illustrated this post with a photo of the black MacBook, which is already gone. Apple, which invented the idea of selling computers in different colors, doesn’t offer any model in more than one hue at the moment. But if black came back, I’ll bet Apple would once again find people who’d pay a premium for it.