Cut-price Apple MacBook Air to battle Windows 8 Ultrabooks?

Could Apple be ready to knock $200 off its cheapest MacBook Air?

With Ultrabooks breathing down its neck, Apple may be ready to offer a significantly cheaper MacBook Air to allow OS X to offset the threat of Windows 8

While the Apple MacBook Air is unquestionably one our favourite pieces of tech objet d'art, it doesn't come cheap. At £849 for the least expensive model, its beauty and convenience sure packs a mighty premium.

However, faced with renewed toe-treading from Intel's Ultrabook drive, Apple may be preparing an aggressive price-cut with the new MacBook Air model as soon as Q3 2012, according to reports on Monday.

DigiTimes has received information from supply chain sources, which say a new model may knock $200 (£120) off of the base-level price-tag bringing it from $999 to $799. With that in mind, we could probably expect to see £100 knocked-off the £849 in the UK too.

The price cut, something Apple has not been known for down the years, would come as a direct reaction to the impending launch of Windows 8 Ultrabook's featuring Intel Sandy Bridge processors, and similarly-slimmed down hardware.

Intel wants Ultrabooks, from the likes of Samsung, Acer, Asus and more, to level out at an average of $699 (£431) and that may bring more of a challenge to the MacBook Air's superiority than Apple would have hoped.