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A prediction by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that Apple would be launching an all-new 12-inch MacBook Air model in Q3 have been supported by supply-chain rumors cited by Digitimes.

Apple’s new 12-inch MacBook Air will enter mass production in the third quarter, filling the gap between the 11- and 13-inch MacBook Airs as well as enhancing Apple’s leadership in the small-to-medium-size ultra-thin notebook market, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.

Digitimes is not always the most reliable of sources, and its suggestion that Apple’s motivation is to establish a clearer differentiation from the 10-inch iPad Air makes little sense, but a fall launch would seem credible.

The typically-reliable Kuo suggests that the 12-inch model will have the same external size as the current 11-inch MacBook Air, and will have a Retina display. It has also been suggested that the machine might be made without a fan or mechanical trackpad button – perhaps by using a new Core M Broadwell processor announced by Intel.

(Image via notebookcheck.net)

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14 Responses to “Supply-chain rumors support analyst prediction of Q3 launch for 12-inch MacBook Air”

  1. At that point, why even have the disctionction between Air and Pro? Apple likes simplifying stuff. So this could be it. iPad and iPad mini in the 7.9″ (any maybe larger, 11″?) consumer category.. And the MacBook 12, 13, 15 line for Pro-users. At this point, there would be no non-retina product left in this lineup.. Makes sense to me!

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  2. I’m in growing need to replace my MacBook Pro and I’m tempted to hold out to try this new rumored trackpad and see if it makes its way to the pro line in the near future.

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  3. patstar5 says:

    Still no touchscreens? I thought they were make some convertible device. I love my dell venue 11 pro, super fast and screen size is perfect. I think it’s time to upgrade my macbook pro to ssd.

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    • When OS X is a touch screen OS with touch screen optimised apps. They’ll make a touch screen. Until then, we have iOS which is a touch screen OS with touch screen optimised apps. It’s almost like Apple made it this way from the get go… oh wait, they did.

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  4. Bryan Martin says:

    I’m betting on Apple dropping “Air” from the current airs and thus they are simply the MacBooks. Really they are not state of the art light or thin anymore if that is what Apple means by Air. The new 12″ Air will be made of new material (aluminum is durable and light but polycarbonate is lighter). Even lighter material, no fan, Retina display? A6, 7 processor? Sapphire trackpad?

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    • NO.

      Please. Everyone who thinks they’re going to put a god damn A series CPU into their Mac line up. IT WON’T HAPPEN!

      The ONLY way this could ever happen is if they drop the Mac OS as we know it and replace it with iOS and rename the iPad the iMac Pad or something. As good as the SoC’s are in iOS devices they’re absolutely anaemic compared to even the lowest power Intel CPU found in any current Mac. They do NOT have the power to run desktop software and would require a huge rewrite again. The ONLY reason the switch to Intel worked was because they were drastically faster chips to the ones they replaced so had the overhead to handle the code translations.

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  5. jb510 says:

    The thing that surprises me about this rumor is that a 15″ MBA isn’t part of it.

    If the 12″ is real, I think next years line up is a 12″ & 15″ MBA, and I’m frankly WAY more freaking excited about a 15″ MBA than a 12″. That would mean I could finally step down from MBPs.

    I find it highly unlikely Apple would keep an 11, 12 & 13″ MBA all on offer.

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    • Ben Lovejoy says:

      I’ll be surprised if the 11/12/13 range is anything but a temporary overlap. I don’t think we’ll see a 15-inch MBA, but I do think the Air and Pro ranges will gradually converge.

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      • jb510 says:

        I disagree, but it’ll be interesting to see how it does work out. I think the MBP offers significant performance enhancements over MBA’s. That performance (more ports, GPU, faster CPUs) necessarily requires a slightly larger form factor to accommodate the battery needed to power it all.

        I once upon a time I needed a GPU and faster CPU for my work along with the 15″ screen. My work has changed and I really don’t need the GPU/CPU, just still want the 15″ retina screen. I’m sure though that many video/photo/compile heavy folks do indeed still need that performance boost.

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    • Richard In says:

      I cannot see why Apple would continue with both the MBP and MBA format; there has to be some rationalisation. Now the MBP range has moved to SSD technology (bar one offering) a case for value engineering the range is probably already being discussed in Apple. My guess is that there must be some manufacturing case to reduce the Al real estate carried in the MBP (and save costs) however against this there will be a mkt case to protect the brand appeal of the MBP. An interesting product line discussion.

      I have a personal interest currently running a 2011 11inch MBA i7. I value the 11inch portability but am conscious of the relatively old screen compared to retina. Now if Apple were to release an 11 inch retina screen MBA…….

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