Although it seems inevitable that the MacBook lineup will see some significant changes this year, as a major upgrade has been due for a while, the rumor mill is yet to close in one particular design or release date. Earlier in the year, Digitimes was reporting new MacBooks (intended to supplant the MacBook Air) are due sometime before July, resembling 13 inch and 15 inch versions of the 12 inch Retina MacBook.
A new report from Digitimes today says otherwise, suggesting the new MacBooks will not be available until the second half of this year, although an announcement at WWDC still seems possible if Apple met the earlier side of that release range.
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The new ultra-thin MacBooks will apparently feature a new hinge design, created by metal injection molding. According to the report, this specialized process is a requirement for Apple to achieve its thinness goals. Digitimes names Amphenol as the supplier of this component, which currently makes components for Microsoft’s Surface tablets — which also feature a special hinge part.
Other reports have suggested that the new MacBooks will have a major change in connectivity ports. Not as drastic as the one-port Retina MacBook, it is rumored that the new MacBook (Pro’s?) will only feature USB-C ports on both sides. Again, this is to enable Apple to make the sides of the case as thin as possible for a stunning new design. The new MacBooks are also likely to come with gold and rose gold color options.
In terms of branding, it remains unclear whether Apple will name these new products like bigger versions of the Retina MacBook or as true replacements for the current MacBook Pros.