The China Times (via Macotakara) is forecasting an October launch for the Haswell-based MacBook Pros. Citing supply chain sources, which are often far more reliable on specs than they are on timing, the report notes that, based on pricing, the new MacBook Pros should remain in the same price range as present models.
Apple is widely expected to launch its new iPhones and iPads in the September-October timeframe ahead of the holiday buying season.
Haswell processors don’t offer too much in terms of improved processor speed but offer other-worldly battery savings compared to previous Intel CPUs. Battery times in Apple’s new MacBook Airs almost doubled in Apple’s spec and in real world testing.
In a report earlier this year Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI securities laid out improvements he predicted in the upcoming MacBook Pros:
Retina MacBook Pro to be slimmer slightly, along with a camera upgrade. We expect the 13” Retina MacBook Pro will have a slightly slimmer form factor for increasing its portability. Also, we think the camera spec will be upgraded from HD to full HD. This will improve Facetime and video conference quality in the high resolution Retina display.
Kuo had originally expected the Haswell Pros at WWDC and his latest forecast was for September.
Following the launch of Intel Haswell based MacBook Airs, Kuo expects Haswell-focused updates to both Apple’s MacBook Pro and iMac this year. The new iMac is said to launch at the end of August, and the new Retina MacBook Pros are claimed to launch in mid-September.
Separately, a SemiAccurate report says that Apple will use special high end versions of the Haswell processor for the new MacBook Pro.
Apple began using longer lead times for its Mac Minis yesterday perhaps indicating updates were coming soon. However, inventory blips often happen mid-cycle so it is far from a conclusive indicator.
Apple seems to be clearing out inventory of its current MacBook Pros including a significant Best Buy $200 off sale which also includes $100 off for people with an .EDU email, yielding a $1199.99 Retina Pro starting price. That’s less than some of the new Haswell Airs which are also marked down significantly and eligible for the student discount.