Apple to launch lower priced MacBook Air later this year?

Apple is looking to significantly lower the price of its base model MacBook Air with a new launch later this year, according to reports.

DigiTimes cites "sources from the upstream supply chain," to suggest that the company will introduce a more affordable notebook, perhaps as soon as the third quarter of 2012.

The new model would reportedly knock $200 (£120) off the cheapest model which currently stands at $999 (£849).

Intercepting the Ultrabook

Apple's idea, according to the report, could be to mute the impact of the Intel's Ultrabook drive, which aims to reach an average $699 (£431) asking price.

With Windows 8 expected to give that sector a massive boost, a lower-priced MacBook Air could help to keep Apple's original ultra-slim offering on top of the pile.

Whether the new model will feature downgraded components or will just be a straight-up price cut, was not revealed.

Rumours have also persisted that Apple plans to launch a 15-inch MacBook Air later this year.