Australian Website Hints at New Macs, Higher Prices

An Australian tech website has started running ads featuring Mac Pros (s aapl) and MacBook Pros whose entry-level prices are noticeably higher than those in the current Mac lineup.

So what, right? The ads are probably incorrectly labeled, or something. But the word on the street (well, the word on Engadget, anyway) is that these might predict the much-anticipated Mac refreshes that we’ve been waiting for.

From Engadget:

Apple’s Australian online store lists the most affordable versions of the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac Pro at A$1599, A$1999 and A$3599, respectively, but the ads show significantly higher “starting at” prices of A$1899, A$2399, and A$4499.

Following the ads to Apple’s Australian online store reveals the same Mac models at the same old prices, so either these ads are terribly wrong or they’re been released a little early…

It has been over a year since Apple released a major update to its high-end Mac Pro computer. I know very well because I bought one last April at an astronomically high price, and as such, guard it with my life. (No one else is allowed near it. No one!) If history has taught me anything, it is that I am not allowed to have the best and brightest kit for long. Therefore, an update is imminent. As for the MacBook Pro, we can probably expect to see Apple upgrade it with Intel’s (s intc) powerful i7 Chipset.

But why so much more expensive? Engadget’s Vladislav Savov suggests:

The rise in MacBook Pro pricing could be attributed to the cost of the i7 chipset, but it seems unlikely that in a recovering economy Apple would increase their prices significantly without having a cheaper baseline model available.

I am hoping to see something more than just a chipset upgrade this time around; support for Blu-Ray is one of those things I want (even though it’s something most people don’t need) and who wouldn’t like to see high-capacity SSD’s as-standard?

I know only this; I’m a weak-willed slave to Apple’s hardware. I was the same way with PC’s, but let’s face it, a tech-obsessed geek with a weakness for shiny new toys will usually spend far less on generic PC equipment than on the latest newness from Cupertino.

At a time when the entry-level iPad would more than easily meet my needs, I know for a fact that, instead, I’ll be ordering the most expensive model available when we Brits can (finally!) get our hands on them. The same thing happened a year ago when I bought my painfully-expensive Mac Pro — truth is, I could have gotten by with an iMac. And even now, despite having twin 30” HD Cinema displays, I feel like I’m missing out not owning a 27” iMac as well. Thankfully, I’m in a tiny minority of crazy people.

Are these ads correct? If they are, will we have new Macs before the end of the month? Apple’s New Zealand online store also displays odd pricing inconsistencies along similar lines to those on the Australian store. Perhaps we’re reading too much into it (as Apple crazies want to do) but let’s face it, one of two things will happen from here; either the ads will be replaced with ‘corrected’ prices, or, one day very soon, that little yellow sticky note will appear on Apple’s online store and insane gadget freaks like me will reach for our credit cards…

Am I as crazy as I think? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below.