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The MacBook Air has gone from being Apple's priciest notebook to being its cheapest, entry-level machine. The barely-there ultraportable debuted in 2008 with a sticker shock price tag of $1,799. At the time, the 13" machine was Apple's thinnest notebook. In 2010, Apple debuted a cheaper 11" version of the MacBook Air for $999. And just this April, Apple refreshed its 11" MacBook Air for the fourth time, making it the cheapest Mac laptop in its lineup at $899.
That last price cut was unexpected, but appreciated — namely because it has driven deals prices for the MacBook Air to new lows. If you're on the hunt for a MacBook Air deal, when can you expect the best prices? We took a look at three years worth of deal data to find out.
Check out the illustration below, and read on after for a further analysis!
MacBook Air deals generally commence within days of a product launch. For instance, the 2014 MacBook Air saw its first deal just two days after its release. And it was nothing to sneeze at, either; that first deal sliced $100 off, for an 11% discount.
Despite sizable initial discounts, waiting a few more months after release will yield the best deal. Whenever Apple releases new MacBook Airs in the spring or summer, that model's best deal occurs during the winter, in November or January. This was the case with both the 2012 and 2013 MacBook Air. With the 2014 model, which debuted in April, we saw its best price thus far over the summer (which took 22% off), but we wouldn't be surprised if that repeated again during Black Friday or in January.
Typically though a shopper can save the absolute most on an Apple product once it becomes the previous generation model. At first glance, however, the MacBook Air appears to fly in the face of this theory; for the past few years, the very first deal on a MacBook Air after the next model was released has been slightly higher in price than the one that came before it. But ultimately, in all instances, another deal rolled in soon after that offered a new rock-bottom price on the model, further supporting our post-announcement theory.