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Apple gearing up for major product launch early as next week - sources

post #1 of 98
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With inventory of its existing MacBook Pro notebooks becoming increasingly constrained with each passing day, Apple may be evaluating the possibility of launching revised models before month's end, AppleInsider has learned.

People familiar with the matter say the Cupertino-based company late this week began briefing several of its operating segments to be on stand-by for a significant product launch that could come as early as next week. Those same people were not yet made privy to the specifics of the launch, however, which had earlier been anticipated for the following week.

The briefings appear to coincide with an impending launch of the company's next-generation MacBook Pros, which AppleInsider previously reported were in production ahead of an unveiling slated to take place by early March.

The new notebooks are expected to sport Intel's latest generation Sandy Bridge processors, and will not be affected by a widely publicized design flaw found in chipsets that accompanied the first batch of shipments.

Similarly-situated people hinted to AppleInsider earlier this week that the inclusion of Sandy Bridge processors will not be the only change in store for the notebook lineup. Additional enhancements aside from a specification bump are expected, though exactly what those changes may be -- such as a potential unibody chassis redesign and other Apple-specific features -- aren't clear at this time.

Supporting reports that Apple could potentially escalate the release of the new notebooks by a week was a report Friday by Italian blog iSpazio, which received five new part numbers rumored to represent the new notebooks. That would be a slight change from the current lineup of six MacBook Pro models: two 13-inch, three 15-inch, and one 17-inch. The alleged product order numbers are reported to be:
MC720
MC721
MC723
MC724
MC725

In addition, as first noted by AppleBitch, Apple's shipping times on its Asian online stores for MacBook Pro models have slipped from their usual 24-hour window to between one and five days. The delays are currently seen in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Taiwan and Malaysia.

Earlier this month, Apple began quoting customers a wait time of four to six weeks for replacement of special build-to-order machines. Those with a faulty custom-configured notebook were apparently warned that replacement machines could potentially take as long as eight weeks to arrive.
post #2 of 98
And when are we going to get an iMac refresh? That's what I'm waiting for in particular. Hopefully they'll come in at the same time.
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post #3 of 98
Verizon sold out again new shipping 02/21/2011 or are we getting Iphone 5?
post #4 of 98
Based on Apple's release history, it is more likely that we will see the iPhone 5 in June.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

And when are we going to get an iMac refresh? That's what I'm waiting for in particular. Hopefully they'll come in at the same time.

Apple does not have a history of releasing new iMacs and MacBook Pros simultaneously.
post #5 of 98
Quote:
That would be a slight change from the current lineup of six MacBook Pro models: two 13-inch, three 15-inch, and one 17-inch...

Haven't there been instances in the past where the 17" wasn't refreshed at the same time as the others? I hope that is not the case this time. I want a maxed 17"!
post #6 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

And when are we going to get an iMac refresh? That's what I'm waiting for in particular. Hopefully they'll come in at the same time.

Good question, the iMacs average refresh cycle is 228 days, and we are at 206 days right now. Internal components on the iMac are very similar to MacBooks, so we should expect sandy bridge to make an appearance. However, Apple in recent years has moved to a yearly product cycle on many products including iPhone, iPad, iPods, and now MacBooks. It's possible they might not update the the iMac/Mac Pro desktop line until June, around WWDC.

Personally, I would prefer Apple to move all it's products to a yearly cycle, butt much of that is dictated by Intel.
post #7 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

Based on Apple's release history, it is more likely that we will see the iPhone 5 in June.

I'm going to guess July solely because I don't think iOS 5 will be out before June 30th, the announced date that existing Apps must comply with Apples new stance on subscriptions and in-app purchases.
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post #8 of 98
I'd like to see updated Mac Pros, since the X5675 (6-core, 3.06 GHz, 95W TDP) is now available.
What I expect is Apple will just continue to milk customers for the old X5670. Gotta keep those profit margins above 30% if at all possible!
post #9 of 98
I hope they refresh the Air and the Mini soon, those are ones that interest me for a 2nd PC. Hoping for an sandy bridge i3 or i5

I could also consider a SSD MBP if its thin and light
post #10 of 98
VZ SOLD OUT THE IPHONES AGAIN!

post #11 of 98
iPad 2 as the one more thing? I think so. Without Steve they'll just hold one event. If this is as major a redesign as everyone seems to think (with liquidmetal and all) a "small event" would be perfect and combining in the ipad 2 would be smart.

At least I hope because I want one...
post #12 of 98
White iPhone.
post #13 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by clickmyface View Post

Good question, the iMacs average refresh cycle is 228 days, and we are at 206 days right now. Internal components on the iMac are very similar to MacBooks, so we should expect sandy bridge to make an appearance. However, Apple in recent years has moved to a yearly product cycle on many products including iPhone, iPad, iPods, and now MacBooks. It's possible they might not update the the iMac/Mac Pro desktop line until June, around WWDC.

Personally, I would prefer Apple to move all it's products to a yearly cycle, butt much of that is dictated by Intel.

I think laptops need to be updated more often than once a year. Tech moves faster than that.
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post #14 of 98
For a minute there I thought the Apple Store graphic that was shown was for the new models, and the big disappointment was the 13-inchers were still Core 2 Duo. I see now that the graphic is for the existing models. Whew! There's still hope for an i5 in a 13-inch.
post #15 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

I think laptops need to be updated more often than once a year. Tech moves faster than that.

They can give speedbumps and storage changes during the year and keep up a bit better than they currently attempt to, but Apple also knows that people will buy it so why fix what isn't broken? heh


Is it possible that one of these order numbers is actually for a standard MacBook? Maybe a 13" MacBook, 13" MBP, 2 15" MBP, 1 17" MBP? Or like I've mentioned on other threads, I think they could easily do away with the white MacBook and rely on the 11" MBA and iPad to be people's Gateway.
post #16 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wings View Post

For a minute there I thought the Apple Store graphic that was shown was for the new models, and the big disappointment was the 13-inchers were still Core 2 Duo. I see now that the graphic is for the existing models. Whew! There's still hope for an i5 in a 13-inch.

I wouldn't count on anything higher than an i3 coming standard. There's a small possibility that an i5 could come in as an optional upgrade, but I'd highly doubt it. If you need that power, I think Apple would push you to go for a 15 inch.
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post #17 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronHeadSlim View Post

White iPhone.

Very good point. They'd better do it now because the iPhone 5 is allready around the corner
post #18 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post

Is it possible that one of these order numbers is actually for a standard MacBook? Maybe a 13" MacBook, 13" MBP, 2 15" MBP, 1 17" MBP? Or like I've mentioned on other threads, I think they could easily do away with the white MacBook and rely on the 11" MBA and iPad to be people's Gateway.

I doubt they'd have that few models, but I agree on your point about knocking off the white plastic model, if only because that would leave room to lower prices a bit on the pros.
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post #19 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

I think laptops need to be updated more often than once a year. Tech moves faster than that.

It's not as important as it used to be. Computers have reached the point where they are "fast enough" for all but the most demanding customers. Even those customers aren't going to buy a new computer because the CPU was clocked up 200MHz.

Intel is on a predictable annual cycle, nVidia and AMD are settling into annual GPU upgrades and Apple always uses drops in component costs for things like hard drives to drive even higher margins.

I think the future is annual updates for all computers. Hopefully the cycle will be set by Intel's January/February releases meaning a March release for all mainstream Macs. Apple has historically spread out their releases, sometimes just for the sake of spreading them out, but they've shown willingness to keep their iDevice dates on a fixed annual schedule. Now that Macs have become a fraction of their business having one release date for all mainstream notebooks and desktops and a second date for the Air and Mac Pro should be fine.
post #20 of 98
I hope the new unibody design gets some clues from the Macbook Air:

1. No optical drive.

2. Tilted keyboard.

3. The power button as part of the keyboard.

But please keep

1. The ambient keyboard lighting. (Dropped in the Macbook Air)

2. The external battery indicator. (Dropped in the Macbook Air)
post #21 of 98
I helped y'all out by reducing the stock of current MacBook Pros by one. Needed a 15" so I got one. Am I stupid? I do income tax returns on VMWare Fusion while I build websites with Adobe. I can not believe how fast this computer is compared to Core 2 Duo. The bootcamp partition running under Fusion on C2D with 4 Gb ram was practically unusable. Now I have Fusion(running Windows running tax software, Dreamweaver, Flash(yes, Flash), Photoshop,Indesign, Acrobat, Safari, Firefox, Opera, Mail and page outs are un-noticable and can even open Premiere without coming to a standstill all with only the stock 4 Gb. Sandy Bridge should be even better. Glad I got it cause this tax season is going great so far. I'll upgrade when Ivy Bridge debuts.

Just in case anyone cares.

Still think iPhone/iPad next week.
post #22 of 98
Looking for new iPads. Would really love one with cameras on the front and back. Hopefully with more memory and faster CPU package.

While I'm making my wish list out - new content for the AppleTV would be nice. More networks, Hulu, Safari, and an app store too would be good additions.

How about iWork 11.
post #23 of 98
Light Peak, Light Peak, Light Peak...

But in reality I think we'd see info from developer seeds of OS X with drivers & such before Light Peak appears - but I can dream.

- Jasen.
post #24 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post

Light Peak, Light Peak, Light Peak...

But in reality I think we'd see info from developer seeds of OS X with drivers & such before Light Peak appears - but I can dream.

- Jasen.

And HW for LightPeak. I havent read about Intel incorporating it into chipsets, other vendors making chipsets for it, or even what the port will be like, not to mention the complete lack of devices to connect to LightPeak. Its not like you can just plug in an iPhone which has cooper ports out to LightPeak simply because they both can use the USB protocol to transfer data. You still need a convertor from cooper to optical if you are going to make them work.
post #25 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

I think laptops need to be updated more often than once a year. Tech moves faster than that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post

It's not as important as it used to be.
--------
I think the future is annual updates for all computers.
--------
Now that Macs have become a fraction of their business having one release date for all mainstream notebooks and desktops and a second date for the Air and Mac Pro should be fine.


edited for brevity


I think Macs' relatively high resale value correlates directly to the languid update policy.
post #26 of 98
post #27 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

Based on Apple's release history, it is more likely that we will see the iPhone 5 in June.

I just don't see an iPhone 5 coming this year. The development of the IP4 for Verizon had to have chewed up many resources. I see the IP5 coming next year that will work on CDMA/LTE/GMS.
post #28 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

Gotta keep those profit margins above 30% if at all possible!

In Apple's case, above 50% is more like it. \
post #29 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr O View Post

I hope the new unibody design gets some clues from the Macbook Air:

1. No optical drive.

2. Tilted keyboard.

3. The power button as part of the keyboard.

But please keep

1. The ambient keyboard lighting. (Dropped in the Macbook Air)

2. The external battery indicator. (Dropped in the Macbook Air)

Why is everyone trying to turn the MacBook Pro into a slightly upgraded MacBook Air? If you don't want an optical drive, buy an Air. I, for one, still want and need an optical drive in there for a variety of reasons. Other people have proposed that the MacBook Pros should only come with SSDs, but it's far cheaper to include a regular HD and you can't get an SSD with the same capacity. I don't want my future computers to have less -- I want them to have more. And not that it makes a difference to me either way, but what difference does it make if the power button is part of the keyboard or as it is now?

I'm not sure whether a titled keyboard would be ergonomic or not. Seems to me that if it was tilted up (the number keys higher than the spacebar) it would put more pressure on the wrists, no?
post #30 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr O View Post

I hope the new unibody design gets some clues from the Macbook Air:

1. No optical drive.

2. Tilted keyboard.

3. The power button as part of the keyboard.

But please keep

1. The ambient keyboard lighting. (Dropped in the Macbook Air)

2. The external battery indicator. (Dropped in the Macbook Air)

IMO, if I could get any proof that Apple was going to drop the optical drive, that would be enough for me to buy it no matter what. Taking the OD out can mean a whole lot of good things may happen to the MBPs.

First, all of them could get thinner. How much thinner depends on the size of the HDD.

If Apple is feeling generous (hint: NOT) they could also implement multiple SSD Sticks Slots like on the MBAs and get them really thin. Considering how MacBooks already have relatively low storage comparing to even cheapo Dells and etc, were Apple manage to get 256Gb on them without burning their profits they could have a real jewel in their hands.

That's not going to happen in this generation, but surely until next year. The MBA is the future of notebooks, and Apple is surely checking the feasibility of further "airing" the Pro line at all times.

Also, the 13" MacBook Pro would probably get dedicated graphics (due to extra motherboard space). This would be wonderful because I want Apple to keep pushing better graphics on their Macs (along with up-to-date OpenGL compliance on Lion of course), and the Sandy Bridge IGP is barely as good as the 320M.

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post #31 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by storneo View Post

I just don't see an iPhone 5 coming this year. The development of the IP4 for Verizon had to have chewed up many resources. I see the IP5 coming next year that will work on CDMA/LTE/GMS.

A fair amount of radio, antenna and component engineering, but hardly anything to constrain a company with all of Apple's cash and talent from longer-term goals.

And there's the whole slew of new Androids and Pres whose momentum needs blunting as their market share increases. I would expect BOTH an iPhone 5 and v5 of iOS. They might call it a 4S or something if a minor refresh in comparison to 2012's likely LTE models, but if there's an iOS 5, an iPhone 5 makes sense.

Plenty of room for improvement: dual core, maybe 8MP cam, more antenna/radio work (expect CDMA and GSM to stay forked for another year or so at least, tho', and no LTE this year), possibly 4" screen, and I understand there could be a tweak-around for the no simultaneous phone and data on Verizon. (If nothing else, an update that doesn't throw your multi-device data sessions off until you choose to take the call)

Also time for a new Ivie form factor take to make all those Galaxies and HTC's look more plastic. Given Apple's prime demos, they'll want their 2011 model to be identifiable as the "new iPhone."

Possible: another bump up the memory road if the price of chips allows it, since many Droids take memory cards and iPhone likely never will, and photo and especially vid files are so big.

Intriguing but maybe premature: the appearance of a "family" of models (like iPods). And while it runs against their aesthetic, they could opt to pick up another 20-30 M customers who would only switch if they get something resembling a physical keyboard.

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post #32 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

Why is everyone trying to turn the MacBook Pro into a slightly upgraded MacBook Air? If you don't want an optical drive, buy an Air. I, for one, still want and need an optical drive in there for a variety of reasons. Other people have proposed that the MacBook Pros should only come with SSDs, but it's far cheaper to include a regular HD and you can't get an SSD with the same capacity. I don't want my future computers to have less -- I want them to have more. And not that it makes a difference to me either way, but what difference does it make if the power button is part of the keyboard or as it is now?

I'm not sure whether a titled keyboard would be ergonomic or not. Seems to me that if it was tilted up (the number keys higher than the spacebar) it would put more pressure on the wrists, no?

Buy an external drive. Seriously. Its presence is a waste comparing to what else Apple could do to the MBPs if they were not there.

Think about this, if they take the drive out you can just buy an external for the rare moments you will use it. If they don't, other people won't be able to buy thinness, a better battery or a dedicated GPU (for the 13"s)

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post #33 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

Why is everyone trying to turn the MacBook Pro into a slightly upgraded MacBook Air? If you don't want an optical drive, buy an Air. I, for one, still want and need an optical drive in there for a variety of reasons. Other people have proposed that the MacBook Pros should only come with SSDs, but it's far cheaper to include a regular HD and you can't get an SSD with the same capacity. I don't want my future computers to have less -- I want them to have more. And not that it makes a difference to me either way, but what difference does it make if the power button is part of the keyboard or as it is now?

I'm not sure whether a titled keyboard would be ergonomic or not. Seems to me that if it was tilted up (the number keys higher than the spacebar) it would put more pressure on the wrists, no?

Couldn't agree more. If someone wants a slow, featureless MacBook that's of little use outside of updating your Facebook status, get the Air.

How about blu-ray and Quad-core processors? Even the fastest MacBook Pro money can buy is way, way behind a Mac Pro in terms of performance. It'd be nice to see that gap closed considerably.
post #34 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukeskymac View Post

Buy an external drive. Seriously. Its presence is a waste comparing to what else Apple could do to the MBPs if they were not there.

Think about this, if they take the drive out you can just buy an external for the rare moments you will use it. If they don't, other people won't be able to buy thinness, a better battery or a dedicated GPU (for the 13"s)

I agree Lukeskymac...The MBA is the future of laptops. I could see Apple introducing a 15" MBA and letting the "Market" decide.

I'm inclined to suggest the same for the iMacs. Thinner, less moving parts and cheaper too.



Best

Ps. I'd like to see the frames around the screens of both the MBA's and MBP's to be way thinner. Perhaps just as thick as the camera lens
post #35 of 98
Five new model numbers.

That's three new 15" models. and two new 17" models.
The 13" MacBook Air is the "new" 13" model.

(...as people scream bloody murder...)
post #36 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

That's three new 15" models. and two new 17" models.
The 13" MacBook Air is the "new" 13" model.

(...as people scream bloody murder...)

The pro's are refreshed on a different cycle than the Air, maybe it will be 2 13's, 2 15's, and 1 17.
post #37 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

Why is everyone trying to turn the MacBook Pro into a slightly upgraded MacBook Air? If you don't want an optical drive, buy an Air.

Not a wise statement. You are suggesting that the only difference between the MBAs an MBPs is the removal of the optical drive, but not of other major things like the processor performance/TDP, storage capacity and number and types of ports.

If you want/need an optical drive then choose a machine that has one but optical drives will be going away like floppy drives and serial ports and parallel ports did. Have you not wondered why Apple hasnt added Blu-ray by 2011 or did that fact slip your mind?

Face it, the number of people who use an optical drive has dropped significantly, and the number of people who are realizing they havent used one in a long time are rising every day. Its a waste of space for most people. I certainly dont want 25% of my MBP to be taken up by a optical drive I simply dont need inside my machine so dont push your agenda on the world simply because you cant deal with inevitable change.
post #38 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

Why is everyone trying to turn the MacBook Pro into a slightly upgraded MacBook Air? If you don't want an optical drive, buy an Air. I, for one, still want and need an optical drive in there for a variety of reasons. Other people have proposed that the MacBook Pros should only come with SSDs, but it's far cheaper to include a regular HD and you can't get an SSD with the same capacity.

There is clearly a place for both a full featured (with optical drive and high performance) and super-light weight systems. I don't see any need for the Pro to look any more like the Air.

I would, however, like to see at least a 15" MBA model. It would obviously have to be built a little stronger and thicker than the 13" MBA, but could still be much thinner and lighter than the 15" MBP. I'd buy one in a heartbeat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by storneo View Post

I just don't see an iPhone 5 coming this year. The development of the IP4 for Verizon had to have chewed up many resources. I see the IP5 coming next year that will work on CDMA/LTE/GMS.

That's ridiculous. Apple can easily product an iPhone 5 without even breaking a sweat. The Verizon phone didn't require all THAT much in the way of resources.

Apple has released a new phone every year since the start. It would be foolish not to do so this year.
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post #39 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by clickmyface View Post

Good question, the iMacs average refresh cycle is 228 days, and we are at 206 days right now. Internal components on the iMac are very similar to MacBooks, so we should expect sandy bridge to make an appearance.

The iMacs use desktop chips so the components could have been upgraded and they could use the lower powered 65W chips like the i7-2600s.

In fact, with the lower power chips, they could possibly go back to the lamp design. Imagine if they got a super thin and light 24" touch-enabled OLED display on the arm with a silver base that had the same footprint as the Mini.

I'm not a fan of the iMac but I'd probably get one of them if they went back to that design. The latest design has very little character about it.

In addition, the display would fully detach and leave just a mini. This means you can buy a Mini with/without a screen and change it into an iMac whenever you wanted.

Anyway, as to the update rumour, it makes perfect sense. Intel are launching their new chips tomorrow and the soonest Tuesday after it is the 22nd next week. The MBP line is a very important one and this will possibly be the longest refresh gap it's ever had so it needs to come ASAP.

I suspect that this is when the white Macbook is killed off to be replaced by the Air with bumped up storage capacities and probably why Apple will continue to use the 320M.
post #40 of 98
I think people are taking my comments to extremes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

Couldn't agree more. If someone wants a slow, featureless MacBook that's of little use outside of updating your Facebook status, get the Air.

How about blu-ray and Quad-core processors? Even the fastest MacBook Pro money can buy is way, way behind a Mac Pro in terms of performance. It'd be nice to see that gap closed considerably.

Really? Taking out the DVD drive would make it slow and featureless? Just because taking out the DVD drive would take away ONE less feature and allow it to be thinner it becomes exactly like an Air?

In fact, in my comment I suggested that Apple would increase performance because the extra space could be used for a larger motherboard and/or battery to contrast with the "compact no matter the cost" Air.

Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

I agree Lukeskymac...The MBA is the future of laptops. I could see Apple introducing a 15" MBA and letting the "Market" decide.

I'm inclined to suggest the same for the iMacs. Thinner, less moving parts and cheaper too.

If Apple does take out the OD a 15" Air would be unnecessary.

Also, the iMac DOES NOT need to be any thinner. When Apple stopped compacting the iMac and switched to desktop-grade parts I considered it a great step forward. Going back to notebook parts would be just stupid IMO (unless there was an "xMac"... but we know that's just a dream )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

In fact, with the lower power chips, they could possibly go back to the lamp design. Imagine if they got a super thin and light 24" touch-enabled OLED display on the arm with a silver base that had the same footprint as the Mini.

Agree about the lamp design, but disagree with the Mac mini-ish part.

But that's because I don't want the iMac to go backwards performance wise. The good part of the behind-the-screen current design is that it is much easier to actually have a computer back in there. With the spherical design things get a bit complicated... If they manage to make a base that is both elegant and allows for desktop parts...

Besides, wouldn't a slightly modified iMac lamp design allow a multi-touch iMac like in the patents?

Quote:
I'm not a fan of the iMac but I'd probably get one of them if they went back to that design. The latest design has very little character about it.

Agreed

In addition, the display would fully detach and leave just a mini. This means you can buy a Mini with/without a screen and change it into an iMac whenever you wanted.[/quote]

errr...

Quote:
Anyway, as to the update rumour, it makes perfect sense. Intel are launching their new chips tomorrow and the soonest Tuesday after it is the 22nd next week. The MBP line is a very important one and this will possibly be the longest refresh gap it's ever had so it needs to come ASAP.

I suspect that this is when the white Macbook is killed off to be replaced by the Air with bumped up storage capacities and probably why Apple will continue to use the 320M.

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