Rumor: Apple's 12-inch MacBook Air to enter production in Q3

This is a discussion on Rumor: Apple's 12-inch MacBook Air to enter production in Q3 within the MacBook Air forums, part of the Macbook Forum category; Apple's 2014 product roadmap as predicted by KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. A report out of East Asia on Tuesday claims Apple's partner manufacturers will begin ...

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    Rumor: Apple's 12-inch MacBook Air to enter production in Q3

    Apple's 2014 product roadmap as predicted by KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.



    A report out of East Asia on Tuesday claims Apple's partner manufacturers will begin production of the long-rumored 12-inch MacBook Air sometime in the third quarter.

    Citing the usual upstream supply chain sources, hit-or-miss Taiwanese publication DigiTimes reports Quanta Computer will begin mass production of the rumored 12-inch MacBook Air in quarter three, which technically starts in July.

    According to the publication, Apple is planning to stick with the current MacBook Air design, with only minor unseen tweaks to rearrange certain internal structures and accommodate an adequately sized battery.

    Sources said Apple is introducing the new format Air to delineate a clear boundary between the 11-inch model and the iPad Air, which boasts a 9.7-inch screen. Confusingly, the same sources contradict themselves by claiming Quanta Computer was chosen to build a rumored 12-inch iPad in the second half of 2014, a move that would completely negate efforts to define product boundaries by screen size. In any case, the super-sized iPad project has supposedly been delayed.

    The timing is consistent with predictions from noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a strong track record in forecasting Apple's hardware releases, said in April that he expected Apple to launch a 12-inch Air towards the middle or end of the third quarter.

    Kuo believes the new model will be a combination of the 11-inch MacBook Air's portability and the 13-inch model's performance. He also noted that the 12-inch thin-and-light could be the first MacBook Air model to feature a Retina-quality display.





    6-24-14

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  3. #2
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    New MacBook Airs are coming, but the 12-inch Retina model might be delayed



    Apple is apparently going to launch new 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air versions in the coming months, 9to5Mac says, citing reports from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News. Furthermore, the 12-inch Retina MacBook Air – a rumored new addition to the Air family – might hit stores as late as early 2015.

    Quanta Computer is reportedly making Apple’s upcoming MacBook Air models, with Apple’s orders expected to boost the company’s laptop shipment numbers by 15% this year. The new OS X notebooks will have new chassis, new screens and new chipsets, and should be shipped in late-August. Specific hardware details for the new 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air laptops have not been revealed.

    The Retina MacBook Air may ship at the end of the third quarter at the earliest, although delays could prevent it from reaching stores this year. The 12-inch device has been detailed in various reports so far, but it looks like Apple has run into some Intel-related chip delays. The 12-inch MacBook Air is supposed to pack a 14-nanometer Broadwell chip that’s going to offer better performance and energy efficiency, but which will be in short supply this year and into 2015.

    Apple has already refreshed its MacBook Air line a few months ago, updating its two models with slightly faster and more efficient processors, and dropping the prices across the line by $100.

    Apple will launch its OS X Yosemite update at some point in fall, likely alongside new hardware. In addition to the rumored new MacBook Air models, Apple should also update its MacBook Pro family later this year.





    7-21-14

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    Intel Broadwell processors could slim MacBook Air to just 9mm thick



    The Apple rumor mill has been abuzz for months with whispers that the company plans to release an even thinner MacBook Air with a Retina display, and Intel’s new line of Broadwell processors could be the vital component that makes that makes wafer-thin MacBooks a reality.

    Intel’s Broadwell chips have been delayed b early manufacturing problems, but today Intel revealed new details on its new 14-nanometer processors that combine the high-performance of the Haswell Core i3, i5, and i7 processors, with low power improvements that may allow Jony Ive to slim the next MacBook Air down to just 9mm thick.

    Intel’s architects have managed to create a new micro-architecture that the company claims will “usher in a wave of innovation in new form factors, experiences, and systems.” Broadwell’s smaller size is one piece of the puzzle, but the Core M chips also run cooler than existing Haswell parts, which should allow Apple to make a fanless MacBook Air just 9mm thick.

    The Broadwell chips feature similar performance to Haswell, but battery life has been improved by the low-voltage design. Apple supposedly plans to launch a 12-inch MacBook Air with Retina display and thinner design later this year, but its unclear if the Core M chips would be powerful enough support a Retina display.

    Devices carrying the heat-efficient Core M processors should start hitting shelves just by the end of the year, according to Intel’s report, with wider OEM availability in the first half of 2015.





    8-12-14

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    Apple's 12-inch Retina MacBook Air given vague 15-month launch window by DigiTimes



    The latest rumor on Apple's anticipated redesign of the MacBook Air casts a particularly wide net, suggesting that a thinner model could launch either this fall, or it could miss the holiday shopping season and debut at some point in 2015.

    The alleged details, attributed to Taiwan-based supply chain makers, were reported on Wednesday by DigiTimes, which is known for an unreliable track record in predicting Apple's future product plans. The sources that spoke with the publication expressed uncertainty about the launch window for the new MacBook Air, saying Apple plans to launch the thinner model "possibly at the end of 2014 or in 2015," not even narrowing down a potential timeframe for next year.

    With what is essentially a 15-month launch window, the rumor leaves considerable room for error. Wednesday's report also claimed that production of components for the new notebook has begun in "small volumes."

    No other details on the device were included, and the report did not make note of the anticipated addition of a 12-inch Retina display. To date, rumors have consistently pegged the new MacBook Air as having an even thinner design and a high-resolution Retina display in the 12-inch range.

    Apple's next-generation ultra-portable notebook has also been rumored to sport a fan-less quiet design — something that could be possible with Intel's next-generation Broadwell chips. The first Broadwell chips, intended for ultra-low-power notebooks, are scheduled to arrive in limited quantities beginning this fall, before a wider launch of the platform in 2015.

    Finally, Wednesday's report also claims that Apple's legacy 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with CD/DVD SuperDrive is "expected to be retired by the end of 2014," or just four months from now. The notebook currently remains a part of Apple's notebook lineup, and was given a $100 price cut in July when the Retina display models were updated with newer chips.





    8-27-14

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    Retina MacBook Air could land next year in space gray, silver and gold



    Ever since the release of the PowerBook G4, and with the exception of the plastic models, Apple has exclusively released its MacBook laptops in aluminum gray. But according to a new rumor, that may not last much longer: When Apple debuts the rumored 12-inch MacBook Air with Retina Display next year, it could come in two new colors: space gray and gold.

    Citing a person familiar with the product pipeline, the rather dubious-sounding blog A Tech Website says the 12-inch MacBook Air will come in a range of colors, including gold and space gray, as well as the current aluminum color.

    According to the blog, Apple is eyeing a mid-2015 launch. But if Cupertino doesn’t make that deadline, don’t blame the generically named, disputably sourced A Tech Website! They claim Apple has pushed back the release of the Retina MacBook Air “multiple times.”

    There’s no reason Apple can’t do this, of course. The same anodizing process used to make aluminum iPhone backs gray and gold would work just as well on the MacBook unibody clamshells. Likewise, Apple is upping its game with customization options in 2015, particularly where the Apple Watch is concerned.

    Even so, let’s treat this rumor with a grain of salt. The source has no proven history, and may well just be embellishing a wave of more reputable rumors about the 12-inch Retina MacBook Air debuting in 2015. We’ll have to wait to pass judgement, but I’m skeptical, to say the least.





    9-12-14

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    Rumor: Apple's 12-inch Retina MacBook Air enters limited production, may miss holiday



    A rumor out of East Asia on Wednesday claims Apple's rumored 12-inch MacBook Air with Retina display has reached the manufacturing phase, though production will be limited to small batches until a gradual ramp in November.

    Citing sources with knowledge of Apple's supply chain, DigitTimes reports partner supplier Quanta Computer commenced manufacturing of a much-rumored 12-inch Retina MacBook Air variant in October.

    Production will supposedly limited to small quantities for the first month due to low yield rates, but Quanta is looking for ways to boost output, insiders said. For now, the ODM will hold steady until early November, when a gradual ramp manufacturing is expected.

    Part of the hold up is blamed on the 12-inch Air's ultra-slim chassis — reportedly thinner than Apple's current MacBook Air lineup — and advanced internals which are posing a challenge for component suppliers. Aside from a slimmed-down profile, the 12-inch laptop is rumored to come equipped with a high-resolution Retina display, fan-less chassis for silent operation and a click-less trackpad. As a result of this ultra-compact design, Apple's new thin-and-light may include fewer inputs and outputs than current MacBook models.

    Pointing to low initial output, sources said Apple may not ship the 12-inch MacBook Air before the lucrative holiday shopping season, suggesting a launch in early 2015.

    Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in April that he expects Apple to launch the 12-inch MacBook Air in quarter three, but more recent rumors suggest an actual launch might not happen until 2015.

    The most recent rumblings claim Apple's 12-inch Retina MacBook Air will come in a variety of colors inspired by the iPhone product line, with choices including gold, space gray and "raw" aluminum.

    Apple last updated its 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air lineup in April, though the refresh included only minor spec bumps and price cuts.





    10-8-14

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    Rumor: Apple's 12" MacBook Air with Retina display to enter production in Q1 2015



    Apple's supply chain are said to be gearing up for mass production of the long-rumored next-generation MacBook Air with a high-resolution Retina display, according to a new rumor.

    The new 12-inch MacBook Air is alleged to begin mass production in the first quarter of 2015, according to DigiTimes. While the publication does have a poor track record with respect to Apple rumors, the timing does make sense, as Intel's next-generation low-power Broadwell processors are set to become available early next year.

    Monday's report claimed that the new MacBook Air with Retina display will indeed feature Intel's Broadwell, along with a new chassis that's expected to be thinner and lighter than ever. According to the usual unnamed supply chain sources, it was said that mass production has been "hampered by low yield rates."

    With yield issues being "gradually resolved," mass production of the ultrathin portable is expected to take place next quarter. The report said the notebook, expected to be built by Quanta computer, will target the high end and will have limited shipments.

    Reports originally suggested that Apple's 12-inch Retina MacBook Air would launch this year, but production was allegedly delayed after Intel's Broadwell chips were late to the market. The notebook is believed to be heavily dependent on Intel's next-generation 14-nanometer chips for its unique design.

    According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, the next-generation MacBook Air is expected to feature a stripped-down 12-inch form factor with a fan-less design, fewer inputs and outputs, and potentially a click-less TrackPad.

    The existing MacBook Air lineup was given a minor speed bump in April with a minor speed bump and accompanying price cut. The current MacBook Air lineup comes in two screen sizes of 11.6 and 13.3 inches.

    In addition, Monday's report also alleged that Apple's supply chain is gearing up for production of the Apple Watch. Apple has already said that its wearable device will debut in early 2015.





    12-22-14

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    Rumor: Apple's new 12-inch MacBook Air with Retina display to launch this quarter



    Apple's anticipated MacBook Air with 12-inch Retina display could launch as soon as this quarter following the start of production by Quanta Computer, according to the latest supply chain rumor out of the Far East.

    "Volume production" of the new 12-inch MacBook Air recently began, paving the way for a first-quarter launch, according to DigiTimes, which cited sources within the Taiwan-based supply chain. Quanta is said to have recently hired more workers, and could add as many as 30,000 more this quarter, as it ramps up not only for the new MacBook Air, but also the Apple Watch.

    Tuesday's report also claimed that the Retina MacBook Air is expected to replace Apple's current entry-level 11-inch MacBook Air. The report claimed that the 13-inch model, which lacks a Retina display, will continue to be available.

    The report, of course, should be taken with considerable skepticism, as DigiTimes has an exceptionally poor track record when it comes to predicting Apple's future product plans.

    Still, last week at CES, Intel officially unveiled its "Broadwell" lineup of next-generation processors. The 14-nanometer chip technology is expected to be the centerpiece of Apple's new MacBook Air, which is rumored to feature an ultra-thin design lacking even a fan for cooling.

    Purported details about the anticipated 12-inch MacBook Air have also begun to surface ahead of the rumored launch, including claims that Apple will rely on the new, smaller, reversible USB 3.1 Type-C connector, eschewing established full-size USB plugs. The new MacBook Air is also rumored to feature a "click-less" trackpad, and fewer physical inputs and outputs.

    Faced with delays for Intel's Broadwell processors, Apple last April opted for a minor speed boost on its existing MacBook Air lineup. The CPUs were increased by just 100 megahertz, but Apple also increased value, cutting $100 off the models to reach a new starting price of $899 for the 11.6-inch model.





    1-13-15

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    Supposed 12" MacBook Air display assembly shown off in new photo set



    A fresh set of photos from the Far East popped up online Friday purporting to show an assembled display belonging to Apple's rumored 12-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, complete with "polished" Apple logo ala the latest iOS devices.

    The images come from Chinese language Apple blog iFanR, which claims the "spy shots" depict an unreleased Apple laptop's display — with pre-production identifiers obscured — thought to be a 12-inch MacBook Air model.

    If the pictures are legitimate, they are the first extensive look at Apple's much-rumored 12-inch ultraportable, which is shaping up to be the thinnest laptop ever designed by the Cupertino company, according to industry rumblings.

    Along with closeup shots, a number of images show the alleged display unit laying on what appears to be a 13-inch MacBook Air for purposes of comparison. As expected, the display is smaller than the 13-inch model, but looks to be a bit taller than Apple's existing 11-inch MacBook Air. This could bode well for future buyers worried about keyboard size and key pitch.

    A side view illustrates an extremely thin design, which appears to be a few millimeters thicker than the iPad Air shown for comparison, in line with expectations.

    The top cover is conspicuously missing a translucent glowing Apple logo, long a staple of Apple's laptop lineup that distinguishes Macs from look-alike PC brands. The report claims Apple swapped out the plastic part due to an overly thin surrounding metal chassis, but the statement is somewhat suspicious considering the smaller 11-inch Air makes no such concessions.

    Also modified from current MacBook Air models is edge-to-edge cover glass with underlying black bezels, a design suggesting a laminated LCD arrangement indicative of Apple's other Retina quality components. For many, the change from silver bezels is a welcome one and fits well with the MacBook Pro with Retina display series.

    Not much is known about the alleged 12-inch Air aside from industry scuttlebutt. Earlier this month, rumors swirled over Apple's purported plan to drop all external ports save for a single USB 3.1 Type-C connection in a move to thin the device's chassis by cutting down on internal components.

    According to the most recent rumors, Apple could launch its 12-inch thin-and-light by the end of the first quarter, though an exact timeline remains elusive due to a distinct lack of leaks from the supply chain.














    1-23-15

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    Apple’s slimmest MacBook Air yet launching by the end of March



    In addition to posting mind-blowing iPhone sales expectations for the Christmas quarter, KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note to investors seen by Apple Insider that Apple’s redesigned MacBook Air, a 12-inch device that should to be even slimmer and lighter than any of its predecessors, is supposed to be launched by the end of March.

    Kuo, often accurate about unreleased Apple products and future plans, did not reveal an actual release date for the rumored 12-inch Retina MacBook Air, but he did say the laptop will be launched this quarter and should help Apple increase Mac shipments by 2.6% this quarter, compared to the December period.

    Apple is expected to sell some 6 million Mac units in the first three months of 2015, slightly up from the 5.9 million forecast for the fourth quarter of 2014. Apple on Tuesday will announce its sales performance for the December quarter.

    The 12-inch MacBook Air has appeared in a variety of leaks so far, including a detailed report mentioning its main specs and design elements, and actual images showing purported MacBook Air parts.

    The laptop is expected to pack a display of Retina-quality resolution, and Intel’s newest Core M processor, that actually allowed Apple to employ a fanless design for the 12-inch MacBook, making it thinner and lighter than other Air versions.





    1-26-15

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