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MacBook Pro gets updates and lower prices

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(Read caption) How much better would this MacBook be if it was solar-powered?

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Apple announced Tuesday a series of updates to the cheapest models of its MacBook Pro line of laptops focusing on improving processor speed and boosting memory. 

These updates include a high-resolution Retina display, faster processors, and more memory for a starting price of $1,299. 

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That's in addition to boosting the processor up to a 2.6 GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor from 2.4 GHz, and eight gigabytes of RAM, up from four gigabytes.

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The 15-inch Retina model will also see minor upgrades. With a starting price of $1,999, it moves to a 2.2 GHz quad-core i7 processor, up from two GHz previously. The more expensive 15-inch model, however, which offers enhanced graphics, has lowered its price from $2,599 to $2,499

The tech giant also announced that it is lowering the price of its older 13-inch MacBook Pro by $100 to $1,099. Still, that's not as low as the MacBook Air, which has a starting price of $899. 

These updates come at a time when Apple is gearing up for the fall release of the new OS X operating system. The update is called Yosemite and is currently in a public beta testing version. 

Apple's Mac computers performed well in sales in the company's reported third-quarter earnings, generating $5.5 billion in revenue, up from $4.8 billion a year earlier. Revenue resulted from what Apple reported was 4.4 million Mac shipments, a new record for the June quarter, according to The Wall Street Journal

When customers are increasingly migrating to mobile devices for their computing needs, it came as something of a shock that Macs outsold the iPad, Apple's tablet. That device saw a decrease in devices shipped and revenue generated from the 2013 June quarter. This dip in sales was likely a motivating factor in prompting Apple to partner with IBM in an attempt to market mobile devices such as iPhones and iPads directly to business clients. 

-Material from Reuters was used in this report.