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Rumor: 12" Retina MacBook Air may be pushed back to 2015, next-gen models hit production in August

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
Rumors out of Taiwan on Friday claim Apple's anticipated 12-inch MacBook Air may be delayed into 2015 due to processor supply constraints, but release of the next-generation 11-inch and 13-inch models will be on time as partner suppliers in East Asia are receiving parts for mass production.

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


In two separate reports, Taiwan's Economic Daily News claims a rumored 12-inch MacBook Air may see its release date pushed back to late 2014 or early 2015, while parts for Apple's refreshed 11- and 13-inch MacBook Air models are now being shipped to partner supplier Quanta ahead of production next month.

Causing the reported delay for the 12-inch model is short supply of Intel's latest 14-nanometer Broadwell chips, the publication said. Current estimates peg release of the mid-size Air at the end of the third quarter or, more conservatively, in early 2015.

The rumor follows a report from June that also hinted at a delayed release for the 12-inch MacBook Air, saying Quanta would start mass production of the thin-and-light in the third quarter.

In April, noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said he expects Apple to launch an "ultra-slim" stripped-down 12-inch Air with a new fan-less design sporting a "click-less" trackpad as well as fewer inputs and outputs.

As for the upcoming 11- and 13-inch model revamps, Quanta is reportedly receiving components like processors, chassis and screens from OEMs for assembly in August. The firm is expected to begin volume shipments at the end of the month ahead of sales in October.

Apple most recently updated its MacBook Air lineup with a minor speed bump in April.
post #2 of 54
I think this device makes a lot of sense.

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post #3 of 54
And next week we'll get a report that these "supply constraint" issues have been resolved. Honestly is there ever an Apple product that isn't rumored to be delayed because of rumored production issues/supply constraints?
Quote:
new 11 and 13-inch MacBook Air models are set to enter production next month with new processors, chassis, screen, and other components.
Does this mean the existing MBA's are being redesigned?
Edited by Rogifan - 7/18/14 at 6:52pm
post #4 of 54

What is deal with a 12" screen?  Why not Retina for both 11" and 13" models.   What am I missing with a 12" model?

post #5 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

What is deal with a 12" screen?  Why not Retina for both 11" and 13" models.   What am I missing with a 12" model?

With the new design of the MBPs the 13" MBA is very close to the 13" MBP, and having just an 11" MBA, especially when it's 16:9 isn't a great machine. Making it 12" would seem to be a much better fit wit the 13" and 15" MBPs.

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

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post #6 of 54
The current AppleTV is practically overpowered for what it does. Until Apple announces an AppleTV SDK, there's probably no reason to expect a update.
post #7 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismarty View Post

The current AppleTV is practically overpowered for what it does. Until Apple announces an AppleTV SDK, there's probably no reason to expect a update.

Or until 4K UHD videos or H.265 encoded videos are available on iTS which would mean a better GPU, better HDMI spec, and new decoder, but I would also like 802.11ac, more antennas, BLE or GigE added.
Edited by SolipsismX - 7/18/14 at 7:26pm

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post #8 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

With the new design of the MBPs the 13" MBA is very close to the 13" MBP, and having just an 11" MBA, especially when it's 16:9 isn't a great machine. Making it 12" would seem to be a much better fit wit the 13" and 15" MBPs.
So why would the 11" and 13" MBA's be getting new screens, chassis and processors? Wouldn't Apple just phase them out and have 12", 13" and 15" MBPs? And if hell froze over maybe bring back the 17" MBP?
post #9 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

So why would the 11" and 13" MBA's be getting new screens, chassis and processors? Wouldn't Apple just phase them out and have 12", 13" and 15" MBPs? And if hell froze over maybe bring back the 17" MBP?

If the 12" MBA can't launch then perhaps they will just do an update to the MBA. Or perhaps they are bringing the basic MacBook brand back. I personally hope the 11" and 13" MBAs go away.

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

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post #10 of 54
So how does an unannounced product with no release date get delayed?
post #11 of 54
@solipsismx
Why do the MBAs bum you out? I have an 11" and love it. It's not my main machine, that's the iMac, but it does a great job and is verrrrry portable.
post #12 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


With the new design of the MBPs the 13" MBA is very close to the 13" MBP, and having just an 11" MBA, especially when it's 16:9 isn't a great machine. Making it 12" would seem to be a much better fit wit the 13" and 15" MBPs.


Agree.  I love my MBA, but am now considering a 13" MBP instead for the extra horsepower.  Now that they shaved the weight down even more, it's blurring the line between that and the MBA.  I'm still waiting till the end of this year to see what Apple has in store for these two models.

post #13 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

What is deal with a 12" screen?  Why not Retina for both 11" and 13" models.   What am I missing with a 12" model?

Yeah, this rumor is lacking in a lot of detail. I thought Apple might be aiming for a 12" MBA to discontinue the 11" and 13" models and then be able to lower the cost of of the 12" due to doubling the scale of production. No word on whether the screen will be retina but Intel is crowing about a retina screen on the laptop they want to put out early next year. It's supposed to be based on the same CPU chip Apple intends to use and be super easy on the power consumption. . . So I can't see Apple not meeting the fabled Intel specs too.

As far as the MB and MBPr, I have no idea what Apple may be planning to do to further enhance those models. They could shoehorn in the guts of a iPhone or iPad so a person possibly could develop and test on the same computer as well as run iOS apps, I suppose. Apple has the portable laptop at about at the top of what it can do, I think, and it's getting harder to different the Apple product from the rest of the heard on specs alone... whatever Apple does will be unexpected to me.
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post #14 of 54
 
Rumor: 12" Retina MacBook Air may be pushed back to 2015, next-gen models hit production in August

 

So two products that don’t exist, one of which can’t, aren’t happening. Good to know.

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post #15 of 54
It actually hasn't been "delayed": the rumor mill is simply correcting its earlier mistake.

Folks, it ships when it ships.

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post #16 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

[...] I would also like 802.11ac, more antennas, BLE or GigE added.

 

The TV ethernet port is 10/100?! Does that mean having it hard-wired to my Time Machine router is dragging down the speed of the GigE devices plugged into it, or does the TM manage flow control?

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post #17 of 54

SCREW the Air! Where's my @#$&!!! Mac mini?!

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post #18 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


So why would the 11" and 13" MBA's be getting new screens, chassis and processors? Wouldn't Apple just phase them out and have 12", 13" and 15" MBPs? And if hell froze over maybe bring back the 17" MBP?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

And next week we'll get a report that these "supply constraint" issues have been resolved. Honestly is there ever an Apple product that isn't rumored to be delayed because of rumored production issues/supply constraints?
Does this mean the existing MBA's are being redesigned?

 

IMO, Broadwell's slipping shipping date has kind of thrown the whole industry upgrade cycle off for 2014.  It's not just Apple doing minor refreshes and holding off new machines, it's all the PC makers as well.  So yeah, in this case there's a real, documented and major supply constraint on new CPU's.

So no relative disadvantage for Apple (unlike the days when Intel chip advances were leapfrogging PowerPC chip development), but if the "12" Retina" is real, I'm doubting anything much more than another spec bump or something.  Can't imagine they'd just toss retina screens into these shells with basically the same Haswells behind 'em..... ...and then make a big deal out of consolidating the Air line into one machine six or eight months later....

....as two retinas this year would kind of suck some of the air out of the release. 

And I really don't want to commit to a 1440x900 machine when I know the days of that res are numbered....

So much for Moore's law this go round....

 


Edited by bigpics - 7/19/14 at 8:14am

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post #19 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

It actually hasn't been "delayed": the rumor mill is simply correcting its earlier mistake.

Folks, it ships when it ships.
Of course Apple has internal deadlines and those can be missed for any number of reasons. But I highly doubt anyone outside of Apple know what those deadlines are. And the manufacturing partners that do don't leak because they want to do business with Apple in the future.
post #20 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpics View Post


IMO, Broadwell's slipping shipping date has kind of thrown the whole industry upgrade cycle off for 2014.  It's not just Apple doing minor refreshes and holding off new machines, it's all the PC makers as well.  So yeah, in this case there's a real, documented and major supply constraint on new CPU's.


So no relative disadvantage for Apple (unlike the days when Intel chip advances were leapfrogging PowerPC chip development), but if the "12" Retina" is real, I'm doubting anything much more than another spec bump or something.  Can't imagine they'd just toss retina screens into these shells with basically the same Haswells behind 'em..... ...and then make a big deal out of consolidating the Air line into one machine six or eight months later....


....as two retinas this year would kind of suck some of the air out of the release. 


And I really don't want to commit to a 1440x900 machine when I now the days of that res are numbered....


So much for Moore's law this go round....


 
That's why I have questions about new screens and chassis. Doesn't make sense to me that Apple would redesign the current MBA's if they're going to be replaced by a 12" retina version. Unless this 12" device is something completely different than any of us are expecting.
post #21 of 54
I'm tired of hearing how great Broadwell is supposed to be. It'd better be a pink unicorn with magic shooting out of its ass, whenever it finally ships.

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post #22 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

The TV ethernet port is 10/100?! Does that mean having it hard-wired to my Time Machine router is dragging down the speed of the GigE devices plugged into it, or does the TM manage flow control?

No, only WiFi gets knocked down when devices connect with a slower standard. Ports on a switch are isolated so only the connection to the Apple TV will negotiate 100Mbps and the others should be 1000Mbps if the other device ports and cabling support it.

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

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post #23 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismarty View Post

The current AppleTV is practically overpowered for what it does. Until Apple announces an AppleTV SDK, there's probably no reason to expect a update.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Or until 4K UHD videos or H.265 encoded videos are available on iTS which would mean a better GPU, better HDMI spec, and new decoder, but I would also like 802.11ac, more antennas, BLE or GigE added.

Or if it gets an app store- particularly game-focused.  Thats just it thismarty- by this time- the Apple TV should do more than it currently does.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by baconstang View Post

@solipsismx
Why do the MBAs bum you out? I have an 11" and love it. It's not my main machine, that's the iMac, but it does a great job and is verrrrry portable.

Honestly- it's the screen IMO.  If they upgraded the 11" screen to be on par with the MBP (which the intel GPU can handle)- it'd be perfect.

 

It is weird they'd have an 11, 12, and 13 MBA.  Why not just a 12" (or 11),  and leave the 13 and 15" to MBP?

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post #24 of 54
I bet the "clickless" trackpad still clicks when you press it by using haptics. You could choose either a tactile click, an audio click, both or neither. There have been other rumors that Apple is getting into haptics in a big way and integration into laptop trackpads makes perfect sense. However I still want a touch screen more than retina for cross platform app development.
post #25 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post
 

Why not just a 12" (or 11),  and leave the 13 and 15" to MBP?

 

Price and accommodating more buyers.

 

People complain about the way auto makers sell options, forcing one to buy a higher model with the towing package and fancier transmission and chrome package when all you want is the seat memory. Well, Apple does the same thing. Even if all you want is the bigger screen, you have no choice but to buy the "luxury" model.

 

I think Apple should offer MORE models, not fewer. It's not like the current stable is particularly daunting, especially for a company as big and sophisticated as Apple. More selection makes choices EASIER for buyers, not harder.

 

1. Screen: Small, medium or large?

2. Storage: Small, medium or large?

3. Speed/Power: Basic, medium or fast/powerful?

 

Right now if you want a large screen or lots of storage, you have to pay for a Pro whether you need that speed/power or not. If what you want is a tiny form factor you can't get fast and powerful at all.

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post #26 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post
 

What is deal with a 12" screen?  Why not Retina for both 11" and 13" models.   What am I missing with a 12" model?

This seems to be the popular question.

To which end, it might be good to know the precise difference in power consumption between the regular 13" and the retina 12".

Perhaps the hope of staying as close to the 12-hour standard as possible played some part in the strategy for this machine?

Always assuming it really is in the works...

post #27 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

More selection makes choices EASIER for buyers, not harder.

This doesn't hold up in practise, Apple even specifically made a video to address this point:

"If everyone is busy making everything, how can anyone perfect anything? We start to confuse convenience with joy, abundance with choice. Designing something requires focus. The first thing we ask: What do we want people to feel? Delight. Surprise. Love. Connection. Then we craft around our intention. It takes time. There are a thousand no’s for every yes. We simplify. We perfect. We start over, until everything we touch enhances every life it touches. Only then do we sign our work. – Designed by Apple in California."

This is what a thousand yes's looks like:

http://www.android.net/forum/android-phones-model/

and a thousand no's looks like this:



You can't obviously reduce the choice to one model and one spec but that is in fact the ideal and simplest option for a buyer and as specs increase, Apple can converge to this. You don't need to choose between 15 different processors that vary small amounts in speed (and Intel doesn't need to build that many but they do). All you need is a cheap option where you don't care about speed and a fast option where you do. You don't need to choose between 5 different screen sizes, the ideal there for laptops would be 2 options: ultraportable and productive i.e 12" and 15".
post #28 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post


I think Apple should offer MORE models, not fewer. It's not like the current stable is particularly daunting, especially for a company as big and sophisticated as Apple. More selection makes choices EASIER for buyers, not harder.

1. Screen: Small, medium or large?
2. Storage: Small, medium or large?
3. Speed/Power: Basic, medium or fast/powerful?

Disagree. Apple should focus and not shotgun approach. Also more choices mean more confusion. Witness the variations of Windows. Witness restaurant menus.
post #29 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I'm tired of hearing how great Broadwell is supposed to be. It'd better be a pink unicorn with magic shooting out of its ass, whenever it finally ships.


Actually, it's going to mostly be an power efficient pink unicorn with with otherwise about the same magic as Haswell shooting out of its ass...  ;)

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post #30 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpics View Post


Actually, it's going to mostly be an power efficient pink unicorn with with otherwise about the same magic as Haswell shooting out of its ass...  1wink.gif

If it ships. At this point they might consider ditching Broadwell for the follow on generation. If not that a more limited Broadwell release.
post #31 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrangerFX View Post

I bet the "clickless" trackpad still clicks when you press it by using haptics. You could choose either a tactile click, an audio click, both or neither. There have been other rumors that Apple is getting into haptics in a big way and integration into laptop trackpads makes perfect sense. However I still want a touch screen more than retina for cross platform app development.

Haptics is grossly over rated. It has its place on something like an iPhone but on a laptop I can't see a rational reason to support Haptics in place of a real mechanical switch with real travel and feedback.
post #32 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

So why would the 11" and 13" MBA's be getting new screens, chassis and processors? Wouldn't Apple just phase them out and have 12", 13" and 15" MBPs? And if hell froze over maybe bring back the 17" MBP?

I really like the idea of 2" increments to the MBP line up. In this case machines of 12", 14" and 16". A 17" laptop is pretty huge and frankly for many uses very cumbersome to work with. Often you are just as well off putting a desktop machine on a cart with a large monitor.

The thing here is that each of these screen sizes could be stuffed into machines only slightly bigger than what Apple ships today. If they pay careful attention to aspect ratio and the bezel areas they might be able to ship such machines in the same foot print as today's machines.

Such a line up would take care of the MBP line up but an ultra low cost, very portable product is still needed. This would still be filled by MBA models. Apple can provide real differentiation here by plugging higher performance chips, GPUs, more RAM and such into the MBP models. I would probably go with just one MBA model at 12" for this sort of line up. Id be happy to see quad cores in the MBP for a big differentiating feature with double the RAM.
post #33 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post
 

 

Price and accommodating more buyers.

 

People complain about the way auto makers sell options, forcing one to buy a higher model with the towing package and fancier transmission and chrome package when all you want is the seat memory. Well, Apple does the same thing. Even if all you want is the bigger screen, you have no choice but to buy the "luxury" model.

 

I think Apple should offer MORE models, not fewer. It's not like the current stable is particularly daunting, especially for a company as big and sophisticated as Apple. More selection makes choices EASIER for buyers, not harder.

 

1. Screen: Small, medium or large?

2. Storage: Small, medium or large?

3. Speed/Power: Basic, medium or fast/powerful?

 

Right now if you want a large screen or lots of storage, you have to pay for a Pro whether you need that speed/power or not. If what you want is a tiny form factor you can't get fast and powerful at all.


And that is how business works and money is made.

 

All of Apple's Macs should see a 20% price cut for completely unrelated reasons, but I do not agree with your idea that more models is better than fewer models. I dislike other companies that say THIS is the product at $XXXX....but you can get a bastardized version of it for $XXX... #consumerchoice

 

No. All that does is cheapen your offering and lead to poor customer satisfaction. The same customer would have been thrilled with your product instead of disappointed had they simply paid a little more for the MUCH better version of what you offer.

post #34 of 54
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post
At this point they might consider ditching Broadwell for the follow on generation.

 

How does that make any sense whatsoever? They have NOTHING until 2015 and you want them to ignore that and keep having NOTHING until 2017? THIS HARDWARE until 2017?!

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post #35 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Disagree. Apple should focus and not shotgun approach. Also more choices mean more confusion. Witness the variations of Windows. Witness restaurant menus.

 

I respect your opinion, but I would not frequent restaurant that would only allow me to have vegetables if I ordered the steak and lobster.

 

Forcing buyers into a top-of-the-line machine in order to get a larger screen is a risky strategy. In our case it worked once, in the second case we wound up saying no. What does THAT do to average selling price? This isn't Apple leaving the low-end to others, it's limiting choices for buyers in their own market.

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post #36 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

I respect your opinion, but I would not frequent restaurant that would only allow me to have vegetables if I ordered the steak and lobster.

Forcing buyers into a top-of-the-line machine in order to get a larger screen is a risky strategy. In our case it worked once, in the second case we wound up saying no. What does THAT do to average selling price? This isn't Apple leaving the low-end to others, it's limiting choices for buyers in their own market.

Perhaps restaurants should start offering steaks at 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16 oz. And also ribeye, skirt, sirloin, porterhouse, etc. with 10 different sauces, etc.
post #37 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post
 

And that is how business works and money is made.

 

Unless the buyer decides that Apple doesn't offer a configuration that suits her/his needs and buys something else. Then no money is made at all. We accept that this happens all the time because of price, but I think it's risky to shoehorn buyers in an already rarified segment of the market.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post
 

All that does is cheapen your offering and lead to poor customer satisfaction. The same customer would have been thrilled with your product instead of disappointed had they simply paid a little more for the MUCH better version of what you offer.

 

I'm saying that I believe that dissatisfaction is happening NOW, because buyers have limited choices. In most cases the jump is not "a little more" but "way lots more" and besides, in some cases, price isn't even the objection.

 

Say, for example, I like the styling and lower cost of the Air, but I'd like a TB of storage. Nope, gotta buy a Pro for that. That's arbitrary and causes customer dissatisfaction.

 

Or perhaps my requirements are simple and I'd like a basic machine, but I want a 15" screen. Gotta buy a Pro. That customer may be more than just dissatisfied and actually buy something else. That's not how "money is made."

 

I chose those examples because I think they're realistic and probably quite common. I'm not suggesting that Apple be like Samsung and produce every possible permutation imaginable, but just that they offer good-better-best choices within their existing form-factors. Right now it's similar to shopping for a car and being forced into a truck (and, to a lesser degree, vice-versa).

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post #38 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Perhaps restaurants should start offering steaks at 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16 oz. And also ribeye, skirt, sirloin, porterhouse, etc. with 10 different sauces, etc.

 

Reductio ad absurdum, huh? C'mon... how on Earth do you equate SIX models to a ridiculous array?

 

Air in three screen sizes.

 

Pro in three screen sizes.

 

The End.

 

The only "fixed" variable is screen size. Everything else can be handled with BTO options, which would require only very slightly more SKU's than they already offer -- ones that remove arbitrary limits like storage capacity in the Air. The actual number of available models would not increase substantially so inventory wouldn't become unmanageable.

 

As for buyer confusion, I don't buy it. Screen: Small, medium or large? Storage: Minimal, lots or in-between? Power: Simple, mind-blowing or in-between? Hardly all that daunting.

 

SO, tell me how that would be bad for buyers or bad for Apple? It's win/win.

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post #39 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

Reductio ad absurdum, huh?

Your Harry Potter spells aren't going to work here.
Quote:
C'mon... how on Earth do you equate SIX models to a ridiculous array?

How do you get only 6 models? I get 27 just from what you've stated and that doesn't include the various colours or different cellular frequency bands for different networks. That's 81 different models without including any variance for baseband radio differences.

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post #40 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


If it ships. At this point they might consider ditching Broadwell for the follow on generation. If not that a more limited Broadwell release.

It has been pretty far in the distance for some time, but the tech sites occasionally like to claim that Apple and others will somehow defy intel's rollout schedule. It's also the same thing over again. They say that the generation after is still on target, but they aren't going to ship something for 3 months and then immediately switch over.

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