|Apple today introduced modest upgrades to the Retina MacBook Pro, while simultaneously lowering prices at its online store. The cheapest 13-inch model is now $200 less at $1,499; paying $1,699 gets buyers a new 2.6GHz dual-core Core i5 CPU, plus a 256GB SSD. 15-inch systems now start with a new 2.4GHz quad-core Core i7; the top-end model has been upgraded to a 2.7GHz quad-core chip, and 16GB of RAM. In a related shift, meanwhile, a 13-inch MacBook Air with a 256GB SSD has been reduced to $1,399.
The adjustments are presumably meant to keep pace with new Intel processors, and keep costs competitive with typically less expensive Windows notebooks. They may also be reflective of improvements in component costs, especially if one of the most expensive parts of the Pro -- the Retina display -- has become less expensive to manufacture. Third-party retailers have also been offering dramatic discounts on the computer, which if not made possible by Apple may have forced the company's hand.