Sigh. Another American tech writer who loves Apple products and believes that everyone else does too. Let me give you a couple of reality checks.
Previous attempts by Apple to compete on price - the iPhone SE and the Mac Mini - didn't move the needle. Only Apple fans bought them. The only exception was the original iPad mini.
The base model MacBook Air? $1000 with an Intel i3 CPU that costs $150. Meaning that even if the CPU were free its price won't drop below $850. You can get a Dell i7 with 12 GB RAM for that. To put it another way ... a Dell with the same internals as a $1000 MacBook Air costs $450. So how much cheaper is a MacBook that uses the same SOC that is in a $1000 iPhone Pro going to be again?
But hey, when your eyes are blinded by fandom that is all you can see.
Also, I love the fact that a 5 year old iPad becomes completely useless because of planned obsolescence. Since the apps now will be controlled by Apple, this obsolescence will be thoroughly enforced. They can choose when to ban apps that still run on old equipment. You know, to make the consumer buy more of their expensive trash more frequently. Steve Jobs talked about the computing dark ages when Windows was king. He was wrong on the timing because we are entering those dark ages and they are led by no one else than Apple.
Remember the Hong Kong protests? Apple banned apps that let the protesters coordinate in their efforts to fight for their Democracy. This ban came after the Chinese govt exerted some pressure on Apple. Money Talks: Is Genius and Magical. No so much "courage" from Apple this time.
This is the biggest load of crap I've seen suggested in a while. A cheaper Macbook is not going to end my use of Surface devices or Chromebooks. I hate it when its suggested that we'd all just collapse to our knees at Apple's feet if we could just afford them.
As a sysadmin for a large school district with Chromebooks and Macs as well as iPads, I disagree. The Apple products are a pain to manage in quantity. Google has provided tools that make managing 11,000 Chromebooks relatively easy. No, a Chromebook is not going to replace a Mac or a PC for really heavy lifting, but neither is an Arm based MacBook. Besides, 95% of the content we deliver to students is web based or is moving there. Call me when Apple builds something as easy to manage as Chromebooks with a sub $250 price tag.
I have a $400 chromebook that meets my needs perfectly. I spend 95% of my time on the web and use a few Android aps as needed. I am like 99% of the users who don't use Photoshop or do video editing. I have a old windows 10 laptop(which I hate) for doing that. I don't understand why people still buy bloated Winows and Mac pc's when 99% would be better served by a Chromebook. It is light, touchscreen, 360 degree hinge, 12 hr battery and a nice keyboard. Plus I just installed the latest Chrome OS update in under a minute.
But the one product you should have included in your title was Macbook Air. A sub $500 Macbook Air will destroy the existing Macbook Air. The only way it won't is if Apple puts in old screen technology like iPhone SE. They put a small screen in a relatively large chassis in hopes it won't kill the iPhone 11 series. They could have put a 5.6" screen in a modified(smaller bezels) iPhone 8 chassis. If they did they would have destroyed their high margin phones. That is not the Apple way.