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Suppliers gearing up for Apple's launch of new MacBook Air models

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
Apple's overseas supply chain is said to be anticipating the debut of a refreshed MacBook Air lineup, which was last updated in July of 2011.

The anticipated MacBook Air update was mentioned by DigiTimes, which said that assembler Quanta Computer is expected to see its revenues grow thanks to the new product launch. It was said that Apple is "set to launch a new MacBook Air model," but a specific timeline for its release was not given.

Apple's next MacBook Air lineup is expected to sport Intel's next-generation Ivy Bridge processors. Leaked documents from Intel shows that its "Ultra" U-Series Processors will have a TDP of just 17 watts, and will run at clock speeds of 2GHz and 1.8GHz.

There have also been numerous reports that Apple is planning to expand its MacBook Air lineup with a new 15-inch model, joining the existing 13.3-inch and 11.6-inch screen sizes available. More options in its ultraportable category could help Apple ward off growing competition from Windows-based "Ultrabooks," which mimic the thin-and-light design of the MacBook Air.

Apple most recently updated its MacBook Air lineup last July, when it added high-speed Thunderbolt ports and backlit keyboards to both the 11.6- and 13.3-inch models. The MacBook Air starts at $999, and replaced Apple's now-defunct white polycarbonate MacBook at that price point.




The success of the MacBook Air since it was redesigned in late 2010 has inspired Apple to revamp its entire notebook lineup this year. New MacBook Pro models from Apple are expected to have a radically redesigned exterior that will share many traits with the MacBook Air.

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post #2 of 46
So it looks like a low profile role out then? No big show and tell. My hope is there will be 1+ TB solid state drives at affordable prices in the near future, at least in Apple equipment even if in nothing else. That's when MBP's days are numbered.
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post #3 of 46
Lots of updates due soon... I think the Macs are waiting on Intel. iPad will be first.
post #4 of 46
Ethernet port, please.
post #5 of 46
Looking at those images in the title post reminded me of the thread I started on here in which I submitted (along with a crude mockup) that I had fixed Apple's MacBook Air by getting rid of the "hatch-port-door" and replacing it with a design where the ports were flat along the side. So pretty much everyone laughed at me and told me it was the worst idea ever, but when the new MacBook Airs were released I was proved right. Was 100% vindication for my idea.

I'm not a genius. That's not what I'm claiming at all. I'm not gloating either. It was just nice knowing that my theory was correct, is all; especially considering the unwarranted abuse and mockery I received from some of the insecure fanboys on this forum.

Think different, bitches.
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post #6 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Ethernet port, please.

I remember those ...
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post #7 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Ethernet port, please.

If you have a MBA and often find you need an ethernet port, I can understand your criticism.

If you don't yet have a MBA and think you will often need one, you may find you don't. When I got my MBA, I bought the USB-ethernet adapter at the same time. When the adapter remained in the package for a few months, I got rid of it. I like the current arrangement that keeps the MBA nice and light and small and elegant. The USB-ethernet adapter ought to be fine for people who need to get wired in, I suspect the majority of owners never need to.
post #8 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Looking at those images in the title post reminded me of the thread I started on here in which I submitted (along with a crude mockup) that I had fixed Apple's MacBook Air by getting rid of the "hatch-port-door" and replacing it with a design where the ports were flat along the side. So pretty much everyone laughed at me and told me it was the worst idea ever, but when the new MacBook Airs were released I was proved right. Was 100% vindication for my idea.

I'm not a genius. That's not what I'm claiming at all. I'm not gloating either. It was just nice knowing that my theory was correct, is all; especially considering the unwarranted abuse and mockery I received from some of the insecure fanboys on this forum.

Think different, bitches.

Hey I can top that ...For gloating ... I was berated by a certain Global Mod on AI a decade ago for an anti Microsoft comment. He then went on to remark to someone that agreed with him that this Digitalclips guy had a problem (his words were stronger) and wished people would get off thinking Apple had a snowball's chance in hell of ever competing against Microsoft and should just be happy being a niche player.
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post #9 of 46
Apple should release a 400 to 600 g MacBook Air, as small as possible. Because here the number one priority is mobility, for Keynote and PowerPoint presentations. The Mac in your pocket. Always. For power, just get a MacBook Pro.
post #10 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Ethernet port, please.

I seriously doubt they will include Ethernet port.
post #11 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Ethernet port, please.

And while they're at it, how about adding a floppy drive.

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post #12 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

So it looks like a low profile role out then? No big show and tell. My hope is there will be 1+ TB solid state drives at affordable prices in the near future, at least in Apple equipment even if in nothing else. That's when MBP's days are numbered.

Keio University and Toshiba claim to have developed a technology that allows for SSDs with a capacity of 1TB to be made "with a footprint no larger than a postage stamp." Toshiba expects to be able to produce a proof of concept version in 2012.

Hopefully as Apple sources some of its NAND flash memory chips from Toshiba, Apple maybe able to provide Macs with 1TB SSDs in the near future.
post #13 of 46
Presumably if the iPhone updates move to Sept/Oct they will need something else big to announce at WWDC in June this year. Could be the new design MBP & MBA.
post #14 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

Apple should release a 400 to 600 g MacBook Air, as small as possible. Because here the number one priority is mobility, for Keynote and PowerPoint presentations. The Mac in your pocket. Always. For power, just get a MacBook Pro.

It's called an iPhone, zunx.

Develop your presentation on your iPad or MacBook Pro. Sync it to iCloud. You're iPhone's in your pocket; take it out. Open Keynote on your phone. VoilÃ*. Give your presentation right from your phone. Keynote even gives you a laser pointer. I've done it; it's amazing.
post #15 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

So it looks like a low profile role out then? No big show and tell. My hope is there will be 1+ TB solid state drives at affordable prices in the near future, at least in Apple equipment even if in nothing else. That's when MBP's days are numbered.

A 480GB SSD chip upgrade for the air is $1079 at OWC. The Macbook Pro should be safe for a while.

Apologies to those who are uncomfortable with the word "pro" in their iProducts.
post #16 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toruk View Post

Keio University and Toshiba claim to have developed a technology that allows for SSDs with a capacity of 1TB to be made "with a footprint no larger than a postage stamp." Toshiba expects to be able to produce a proof of concept version in 2012.

Hopefully as Apple sources some of its NAND flash memory chips from Toshiba, Apple maybe able to provide Macs with 1TB SSDs in the near future.

Very interesting but I shudder to think how much it would cost. Let's hope SSD prices finally start to fall this year as more people use them.
post #17 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by williamh View Post

If you have a MBA and often find you need an ethernet port, I can understand your criticism.

If you don't yet have a MBA and think you will often need one, you may find you don't. When I got my MBA, I bought the USB-ethernet adapter at the same time. When the adapter remained in the package for a few months, I got rid of it. I like the current arrangement that keeps the MBA nice and light and small and elegant. The USB-ethernet adapter ought to be fine for people who need to get wired in, I suspect the majority of owners never need to.

I don't think they need a dedicated ethernet. But when traveling there are still some hotels that have it in the rooms, so I just pack the adaptor. No big deal. It's small. Just pack it and the charger, etc.
post #18 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toruk View Post

Keio University and Toshiba claim to have developed a technology that allows for SSDs with a capacity of 1TB to be made "with a footprint no larger than a postage stamp." Toshiba expects to be able to produce a proof of concept version in 2012.

Hopefully as Apple sources some of its NAND flash memory chips from Toshiba, Apple maybe able to provide Macs with 1TB SSDs in the near future.

Wow! What is the power consumption like of these things I wonder ... you could get a load of them in at that size ... now we need ZFS more than ever.
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post #19 of 46
There's no sign at present of high capacity SSDs coming down in price. A 500GB SSD still runs $800-1000 or more.

Re ethernet ports, that's not likely to happen on the Air format laptops. Very good speed can now be had via WiFi, with the (expensive) higher speed alternative being via Thunderbolt to an Apple monitor, which effectively serves as a dock. It's worth noting that the USB-ethernet adapter is slower than WiFi.
post #20 of 46
I need the IR sensor for the remote back, b/c I use it to teach EVERYDAY. I hate packing around my Logitech presenter with the hugh dongle that sticks out on the side of my 11" MBA.
post #21 of 46
IR is horribly unreliable for presentations. Why not just get a Bluetooth presentation remote? No dongle needed then.
post #22 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Wow! What is the power consumption like of these things I wonder ... you could get a load of them in at that size ... now we need ZFS more than ever.

Toshiba claims that the 90 per cent reduction in size has resulted in a 70 per cent reduction in energy consumption and an unspecified reduction in manufacturing costs compared to a standard 2.5-inch HDD. Toshiba also claims to have made it operational with transfer rates of 2 Gbp/s with data transfer that relies on short-range, electromagnetic communication.

Although Toshiba doesn't specify the rotation frequency of the 2.5-inch HDD it uses for comparison, according to Web-Feet Research, 5400 rpm 2.5-inch HDDs typically consume 2.0W during read and 1.8W during write operations and 7200 rpm 2.5-inch HDDs typically consume 2.3W during read and 2.1W during write operations. Therefore, a 70 per cent reduction in power consumption for a typical 5400 and 7200 rpm 2.5-inch HDD is 1.4W or 1.61W during read and 1.26W or 1.47W during write operations respectively.
post #23 of 46
I can see a 15" MBA but I hope there are new MBPs that are ODD free and thin (although not nearly as thin as the MBA) on the horizon, too.

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post #24 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Ethernet port, please.

My Ethernet adapter only comes out every 3 months or so. Such an unnecessary port.
post #25 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by capoeira4u View Post

I need the IR sensor for the remote back, b/c I use it to teach EVERYDAY. I hate packing around my Logitech presenter with the hugh dongle that sticks out on the side of my 11" MBA.

What about getting a Bluetooth remote control?

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #26 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Hey I can top that ...For gloating ... I was berated by a certain Global Mod on AI a decade ago for an anti Microsoft comment. He then went on to remark to someone that agreed with him that this Digitalclips guy had a problem (his words were stronger) and wished people would get off thinking Apple had a snowball's chance in hell of ever competing against Microsoft and should just be happy being a niche player.

I remarked recently on forum where readers were complaining about having to upgrade macs every five years, that if instead of spending $2000 on a computer ten years, one would have purchased $2,000 of AAPL, today it would be worth $150,000. On the other hand if one would have purchased $2,000 of MSFT at the same time, it would now be worth $1,000.
post #27 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by williamh View Post

If you have a MBA and often find you need an ethernet port, I can understand your criticism.

If you don't yet have a MBA and think you will often need one, you may find you don't. When I got my MBA, I bought the USB-ethernet adapter at the same time. When the adapter remained in the package for a few months, I got rid of it. I like the current arrangement that keeps the MBA nice and light and small and elegant. The USB-ethernet adapter ought to be fine for people who need to get wired in, I suspect the majority of owners never need to.

This is a great post. I bought every adapter possible when I got my 11" MBA. I've used the Ethernet adapter 2 or 3 times, VGA adapter twice (client's projectors), and the SuperDrive twice. Oh well...I guess I bought piece of mind.
post #28 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by williamh View Post

If you have a MBA and often find you need an ethernet port, I can understand your criticism.

If you don't yet have a MBA and think you will often need one, you may find you don't. When I got my MBA, I bought the USB-ethernet adapter at the same time. When the adapter remained in the package for a few months, I got rid of it. I like the current arrangement that keeps the MBA nice and light and small and elegant. The USB-ethernet adapter ought to be fine for people who need to get wired in, I suspect the majority of owners never need to.

It’s especially not a problem, since you need to carry an Ethernet cable anyway (if you go places with no WiFi). So, just click the adapter onto the cable you’re already carrying, and it’s really not one more part to keep track of.

(I got one of the first Airs, and all the adapters... In all those years, I’ve used the Ethernet once or twice for LAN gaming, the dialup modem once or twice out in the boonies as an emergency backup connection, the video connectors... never until now when I bought a projector, and again, I need a cable for it anyway so the adapter just sits on the end of the cable permanently. I got a USB hub and use it for only one thing: serious FPS gaming where I use an external games drive, mouse, and left-hand gamepad simultaneously. That’s the only time I need more than 2 USB ports at once. I have never used an optical drive at all! Once or twice I’ve used AirDisc. And I’m not a light user: the Air is my primary machine, used for work and play 24/7. I game on it, run my business, and do graphics/animation work. All of which I can grab with one hand and run out the door—or to another room--without a second thought. It’s great!)
post #29 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by superdx View Post

My Ethernet adapter only comes out every 3 months or so. Such an unnecessary port.

Agreed. Hell, I can't even remember the last time I used the ethernet port on my MBP :-\\
post #30 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Ethernet port, please.

lol, good one. While we're at it I also demand a serial and vga port.
post #31 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I can see a 15" MBA but I hope there are new MBPs that are ODD free and thin (although not nearly as thin as the MBA) on the horizon, too.

I can't see a new 15 inch Air unless the new Macbook Pro 15" comes with a very high definition screen.

The current Macbook Air 13" has the same screen resolution as the standard Macbook Pro 15".

A Macbook Air 15" will have to have a higher resolution than the 13" unless Apple's returning to the iBook G4 12" and 14" philosophy - two different sizes with the same resolution.
post #32 of 46
I would expect ethernet to survive in the MBP but not in a 15" MBA.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #33 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiA View Post

I can't see a new 15 inch Air unless the new Macbook Pro 15" comes with a very high definition screen.

HiPDI display, 3-4 USB ports, the inclusion of the separate mic port along with the combined headphone/mic port, FW800 (at least for awhile), user-replacable RAM sticks, longer battery life, and a 2.5" drive space (though perhaps only for a 7mm drive). I'd also like an option for cellular connectivity built in but I'm not holding my breath on that one and frankly tethering my iPhone is simple enough.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #34 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by efithian@mac.com View Post

I remarked recently on forum where readers were complaining about having to upgrade macs every five years, that if instead of spending $2000 on a computer ten years, one would have purchased $2,000 of AAPL, today it would be worth $150,000. On the other hand if one would have purchased $2,000 of MSFT at the same time, it would now be worth $1,000.

Good point. Happy to say I did purchase AAPL a long time ago ... unlike that AI Global Mod I mentioned I actually always did believe Apple would pull ahead of Microsoft in my life time
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post #35 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toruk View Post

Toshiba claims that the 90 per cent reduction in size has resulted in a 70 per cent reduction in energy consumption and an unspecified reduction in manufacturing costs compared to a standard 2.5-inch HDD. Toshiba also claims to have made it operational with transfer rates of 2 Gbp/s with data transfer that relies on short-range, electromagnetic communication.

Although Toshiba doesn't specify the rotation frequency of the 2.5-inch HDD it uses for comparison, according to Web-Feet Research, 5400 rpm 2.5-inch HDDs typically consume 2.0W during read and 1.8W during write operations and 7200 rpm 2.5-inch HDDs typically consume 2.3W during read and 2.1W during write operations. Therefore, a 70 per cent reduction in power consumption for a typical 5400 and 7200 rpm 2.5-inch HDD is 1.4W or 1.61W during read and 1.26W or 1.47W during write operations respectively.

It is almost science fiction isn't it? Thank you for the information. Our MBPs (wife and I) are only sixth months and a year old so by the next refresh for us, usually three or four years, I will no doubt be able to buy a MBAs with lots of storage
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post #36 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

lol, good one. While we're at it I also demand a serial and vga port.

You forgot the floppy disk drive too! Oh and a modem too?
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post #37 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

What about getting a Bluetooth remote control?

Or he can use his iPhone/iPod.
post #38 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

It is almost science fiction isn't it? Thank you for the information. Our MBPs (wife and I) are only sixth months and a year old so by the next refresh for us, usually three or four years, I will no doubt be able to buy a MBAs with lots of storage

I'll be buying soon. My MBP is a late 2006 model with 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo but limited to 3 GB of RAM. That's by far the longest I've ever used a computer, but money has been tight. Hopefully, things will loosen up this spring or summer and I'll be in the market. I love the MBA, but I think the screen size is a bit too small and I really don't have a problem with the bulk (my 17" MBP is only a minor inconvenience when I travel). If they make a 15 or 17" MBA, that's what I'll get. If not, probably an MBP.
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post #39 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I love the MBA, but I think the screen size is a bit too small and I really don't have a problem with the bulk (my 17" MBP is only a minor inconvenience when I travel). If they make a 15 or 17" MBA, that's what I'll get. If not, probably an MBP.

I'm kind of in the same boat. I bought my unibody 17-incher just about 3 years ago. I've swapped out the hard drive for an OWC Mercury SSD so the speed boost has been holding me at bay. If Apple were to release a 17" Air I'd give it strong consideration. I've thought of downsizing to a 15" display but the thing that keeps me in the 17" camp is, well the screen size, & such great speakers! I don't know if they could put the same awesome speakers in a 17" Air?
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post #40 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by DHagan4755 View Post

I'm kind of in the same boat. I bought my unibody 17-incher just about 3 years ago. I've swapped out the hard drive for an OWC Mercury SSD so the speed boost has been holding me at bay. If Apple were to release a 17" Air I'd give it strong consideration. I've thought of downsizing to a 15" display but the thing that keeps me in the 17" camp is, well the screen size, & such great speakers! I don't know if they could put the same awesome speakers in a 17" Air?

I have the 17" MBP as well, I love the machine but the speakers are awful! I got a Jambox to throw in my luggage and in general much happier with it!
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