Psst! There’s been some rumours claiming Apple intends introducing new breed ultra-thin MacBooks – now there’s a shred of evidence to back-up these claims…

As we all know, you can’t have an ultra-thin yet full-featured laptop without an ultra-thin yet effective optical drive. Granted, this may not be entirely true – the MacBook Air proves you can offer an ultra-thin sans optical drive device, so perhaps that’s the future of the MacBook.

That of course assumes MacBook isn’t the name that’s been grabbed back for use on the e-reader friendly Mac OS X application-running much speculated upon Apple tablet, but we digress.

New news from far away Taiwan claims Quanta Storage has successfully developed “super-slim optical disk drives for use in ultra-thin notebooks”.

Citing sources, DigiTimes continues to explain that these super-slim drives have already been certified by “potential clients”, with shipments expected to begin as early as Q4 09.

If reports of a “design refresh in near future” on the MacBook range are true (and, let’s face it, most every single Apple product is going to get some kind of re-tooling across the next 12-18 months), then is it possible Quanta’s new teensy-weensy optical drive could be part of the design?

Certainly, the introduction of the drive could help the Jonathan Ive-led design teams put together a MacBook with, “a slimmer, lighter enclosure and restructured internal architecture”.

At present, Apple only offers one single white polycarbonate MacBook, with previous models hosting the name now included under the MacBook Pro umbrella.

True or false, one thing’s clear – laptop sales are booming relative to the rest of the industry, with a second DigiTimes report claiming “Taiwan notebook related IC design houses all have seen orders from notebook makers increase and are expected to enjoy growth through the fourth quarter, according to market sources.”

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