Now how much would you pay? When the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro shipped last Summer, it cost $500 more than a comparable non-Retina models. Yes, Apple’s “best MacBook ever” is very nice, indeed, but the required cash outlay can be off-putting. The company has reduced the Retina Mac price premium on lower end models while bumping specs at the top of the range — welcome to the middle of the beginning of the future.

Apple has cut Retina MacBook Pro prices by up to $300 and bumped some specs:

Cheaper, Faster…
• 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro w/ 2.5GHz, 128GB, $1,499 (1699)

• 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro w/ 2.6GHz, 256GB, $1,699 (1999)
— Was 2.5GHz

• 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro w/ quad-core 2.4GHz, $2,199 (nc)
— Was 2.3GHz quad-core

• 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro w/ quad-core 2.7Ghz + 16GB RAM, $2,799 (nc)
— Was 2.6GHz quad-core + 8GB

Additionally, Apple has cut the 13-inch MacBook Air with 256GB SSD price by a Benjamin to $1,399.

Retina Mac Future?

What does all of this portend for the future? Apple is driving down the end-user cost of its premium Retina MacBook Pro models while maintaining prices on non-Retina portables — the twain shall n’er meet, but will come close enough so that anyone but a fool will willingly pay more.

Today’s spec bump/price cut also tells us that Apple has significantly reduced the effort and cost of making Retina MacBook Pros. It might take Cupertino a little more time to bring out 21.5 and 27 inch Retina iMacs, but the job now seems a little more doable…

What’s your take?

via Apple