Apple appears set to release new versions of its MacBook Air notebook computer at next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference, according to information provided by a source. Earlier this week, we reported that Apple is planning to release four new Mac models at WWDC, and we narrowed this down to either new MacBook Pro with Retina display models or MacBook Air models.
Today, we have received specific pricing for the aforementioned SKUs, and the price-points correspond to Apple’s current pricing for the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air models. We have yet to receive pricing information that points to the imminent availability of new MacBook Pros (as some had hoped), but perhaps the next refresh to Apple’s Pro portables will arrive in the coming months. Supply constraints to the Retina MacBook Pro line seems to imply that…
As for what the new MacBook Airs will feature, Intel’s new Haswell chipsets were officially announced earlier this week. Notably for Apple’s thinnest and lightest computers, these new processors focus on battery life improvements:
Delivering Intel’s largest generation-over-generation gain in battery life enablement in company history, 4th generation Intel Core processors can bring an 50 percent improvement in battery life over the previous generation in active workloads when watching movies or surfing the Internet, and two to three times improvement in standby battery life. For some systems coming to market this year, over 9 hours of active use battery life or 10 to 13 days of standby with fresh data on a single charge is expected.
Besides new chips, an analyst previously reported that the next MacBook Air update will include a dual-microphone system.
The new audio-input setup will match Apple’s MacBook Pro with Retina display.
To go along with the possible new processor and microphone, we speculate that this new machine will carry the faster 802.11ac WiFi chips. Earlier this year, we discovered that OS X 10.8.4 carries support for the new Broadcom chipsets that allow for improved file downloading, transfers, and high-definition movie streaming. Coincidentally, this new OS X version was released yesterday, about one week prior to the upcoming MacBook Air refresh.
Adding to that, Apple will be releasing three new models of accessories within the next week, as we noted in our previous report. The pricing for these SKUs does not exactly line up with Apple’s current AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule models, but is not too far off. We are also told that there are supply channel constraints for the AirPort Extreme and both Time Capsule configurations. We purely speculate that these SKUs could be for 802.11ac-compatible AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule models, which would go along nicely with an 802.11ac-compatible MacBook Air.
We are also told that Apple could drop the price slightly of the high-end MacBook Air in some countries. Some of the new MacBook Air SKUs are already shipping to stores around the world, so it is likely that they will go on sale soon after the announcement.
In addition to this new MacBook Air, Apple will announce iOS 7, OS X 10.9, and a Pandora-competitior at its developer conference. Apple’s keynote begins at 10 AM Pacific / 1PM Eastern. We will have a full roundup for WWDC tomorrow.
- WWDC 2013: Slimmer Retina MacBook Pro w/1080P camera and MacBook Air microphone improvements expected (9to5mac.com)
- Leaked SKUs likely point to MacBook refresh at WWDC as inventory tightens (9to5mac.com)
- Intel officially launches 4th gen Haswell processors bound for next-gen Macs just in time for WWDC (9to5mac.com)