Following a forum post from a Chinese website, Digitimes is reporting that Apple will indeed ship a brand new MacBook Air with Retina display in the second half of this year.

The Digitimes article offers no specifics on what the new MacBook Air will feature, aside from the Retina display. A forum poster (who has a track record of accuracy) from last week said that the new model of laptop would feature a fan-less design in an even thinner form factor than the current MacBook Airs’ enclosure.

The person also claimed that the trackpad will also lose the mechanical tactility of a physical button, presumably to allow the laptop to be made even thinner.

9to5Mac previously covered a KGI report from October that predicted similar specifications — KGI said a 12-inch Retina MacBook Air was in the works. Like Digitimes, KGI stated a mid-to-late 2014 release window.

With multiple sources saying pretty much the same thing, all the signs indicate that a new Retina display Air is coming in the pipeline.

The Digitimes report also mentions that Quanta Computer is ramping production of a 12 inch iPad in the second-half of this year but the likelihood of this product is much less certain. The report today directly contradicts what Digitimes said earlier this month: “Apple has also been said to shelved its large-size tablet project”.

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23 Responses to “When is Apple going to release a Retina MacBook Air? More signs point to ‘soon’”

  1. themis333 says:

    I’m really looking forward to this.

  2. alphabetize1 says:

    I’m very happy I got the 2013 MacBook Air, I specifically didn’t want a Retina model. I usually sit far enough away from my MacBook Air’s display that it is near the Retina threshold anyway. Not happy with the performance of the retina MacBook Pros.

    • I`ve got the same one, and also think that. Retina Display will have an impact on battery life, plus when home I always use my Air connected to a 24″ external monitor. Although its not a 27″ ATD (they`re extremely pricey here in Brazil, at around 2.500 dollars) its a nice IPS Dell panel, so I don`t really look at the built in display that much. The smaller bezel, however, would be appreciated.

    • PMZanetti says:

      Do you own a Retina MBP? Otherwise you have no idea what you’re talking about.

      • alphabetize1 says:

        I don’t personally own a Retina MacBook Pro, but I’ve used them quite thoroughly and I don’t think they perform as smoothly as the MacBook Air.

    • I couldn’t agree more. I do think the air should get a resolution bump but not retina. A 12 inch screen at 1080p would be good enough. I want to see oled in a macbook air before retina.

  3. At the cost of battery life? “All day battery” seems to be one of the most important selling points.

    • More efficient CPU architecture will help a lot. If its true the thing doesn’t need a fan, then its likely Apple will be able to stick closely to the battery life of the current Airs.

    • PMZanetti says:

      Oh yeah you hit the nail on the head that would be SO Apple to dramatically improve battery life on the MBA in 2013 and then reverse in 2014 for the sake of Retina.

      Why even comment?

      • alphabetize1 says:

        Apple claimed the 2010 MacBook Pro’s had 10 hours of battery life, then the Sandy Bridge models the following year had 7 hours.

      • Re:alphabetize1: because there was a battery life reduction across all models, I suspect Apple changed their battery life tests, probably to something more realistic. 2010 MBP 15″ most certainly never actually got 10 hours; mostly browsing and Word, maybe 15 to 20 minutes of YouTube, was probably closer to 6 and a half hours.

  4. rettun1 says:

    If they actually did shelve the larger tablet idea, I’m glad. Not because I don’t think it would be good/useful, but because it shows apple still has standards and isn’t going to put just anything out.

  5. I want mac mini “SOON” !!!

  6. Thinner = even more unusable keyboard. I have a late 2013 MB Pro 15″ Retina and the keyboard is the worst I have ever used, (fingers hurt after typing a few lines), so I have to rest one of my Logitech keyboards on top. Form over function here. No need for thinner, just add a touch screen, make it modular and I’m sold.

  7. CJ Sheets says:

    I’m interested in replacing my 13 inch 2011 Macbook Pro with this. But I better pay off this iMac I just bought. Damn you Apple for making me want to buy your stuff!

  8. hmurchison says:

    Apple’s using IGZO in the iPad air and it seems like everything is fine. It could be time for an IGZO MBA/MBP display. The battery hit by going Retina could be negligible

  9. Disagree.

    All the rumours about the new laptop lean much more towards it being a new “MacBook” not a new model of the “MacBook Air.” It’s more likely to be a tech platform for their next-gen laptop ideas, not a new model of an already existing line.

  10. late 2015 is soon (compared to late 2050) :)

  11. I wonder if they’re going to offset the potential battery life loss of a Retina display by using a quad-core Pentium (cedar point, what the current Atom CPUs are) instead of a dual-core i5 (haswell/broadwell). That could also be where the fanless rumor is coming from. With the price and specs of the 13″ MBP, I’m not sure the 13″ Air has much of a place anymore. So a new Pentium-based 12″ might allow a new design at (or even $100 lower than) the 11″ Air’s price point and draw clearer lines between the product categories.

  12. Digitimes is Taiwanese website…