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

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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.

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RIP Mac optical drives? Rumor suggests Apple to drop last non-Retina MacBook Pro this year

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DigiTimes is claiming that Apple will cease production of the non-Retina version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro this year as it prepares to launch refreshed Retina models toward the end of the year.

Apple is expected to stop production of the 13-inch MacBook Pro in the second half of 2014 and will replace the product line with thinner models equipped with a Retina display. Meanwhile, Intel will offer second-generation ultrabooks in the fourth quarter of 2014, pushing the notebook industry further into the ultra-thin era, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers …  Read more

Analysts estimate iPad sales up 10 percent year-on-year, to 25M last quarter

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A couple of days after Fortune did its roundup of analyst estimates of iPhone sales, it has now done the same for the iPad, with the average forecast coming out at 25M sales in the final quarter of last year (Apple fiscal Q1) – up 10 percent from the previous year.

iPads were a more challenging market to forecast, observes Fortune‘s Philip Elmer-Dewitt:

The iPad Air didn’t ship until Nov. 1, missing one third of the quarter; the new iPad Mini (with Retina display) showed up 12 days later and was in short supply all the way through Christmas …  Read more

Opinion: What approach will Apple take to deliver a larger-screen iPhone 6?

Concept image: Nikola Cirkovic

Concept image: Nikola Cirkovic

I wrote in an earlier opinion piece that 2014 is the year when I expect Apple to finally give in and opt for a larger iPhone display. Assuming I’m right, the question then becomes: what approach will Apple take?

There are two ways of increasing the size of a display. First, you can keep the resolution the same and simply use larger pixels. That’s what happens when a manufacturer makes a 1080P HD TV in both 40- and 50-inch sizes, for example. Both have 1920×1080 pixel displays, it’s just that the 50-inch display has larger pixels.

That would be by far the simplest approach for Apple to take. Provided it keeps the aspect ratio the same as the iPhone 5/c/s, then it can continue to use an 1136×640 display. All existing apps continue to work as-is, developers don’t have to do any work to support the larger display and everyone is happy . Or are they…  Read more