Apple poised to build nearly 400K next-gen MacBook Airs this month

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
The second-generation of Apple's revitalized MacBook Air notebooks are scheduled to enter mass production during the month of June, with an initial build volume hovering around 400,000 units.



Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo exclusively told AppleInsider that the Mac maker has placed orders for the production of a total of 380,000 Sandy Bridge-based 11.6 and 13.3-inch MacBook Airs this month.



The analyst, whose industry checks have long provided accurate insight into the Cupertino-based company's future hardware plans, notes that roughly 55 percent (or 209,000) of those MacBook Airs will be of the 11.6-inch varieties, which have proven slightly more popular than the 13.3-inch offerings due to their more attractive entry-level price points.



In addition, Kuo notes that Apple plans to wind down production of existing MacBook Airs this month with a final run of 80,000 units, bringing the total number of MacBook Airs slated for production in June to 460,000.



The new thin-and-light MacBook Air launched in late 2010 with a new 11.6-inch model and a lower $999 introductory price. The device was an instant hit, and made the MacBook Air one of the most popular products in the Mac lineup overnight.



While showing off Mac OS X 10.7 Lion at this week's Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, noted that the Mac has outgrown the PC market every quarter over the past five years. He singled out the new MacBook Air as one reason why Apple has found such success while the rest of the market continues to struggle.



"It's beautiful, it's thin, it's light, it's fast," he said. "The whole PC industry wants to copy it."







He added that Apple has been leading in notebooks for awhile, and was the first major PC maker to drive a majority of their computer business to portable machines. Today, almost three-quarters of the Macs shipped by Apple are notebooks.



And a big part of that notebook lineup has become the MacBook Air. A person familiar with Apple's supply chain told AppleInsider in March that the ultra-thin notebooks were then selling in volumes roughly half that of MacBook Pros, as customers have embraced the thinner, lighter and less expensive offerings during a phase when computing is increasingly shifting to the mobile space.



Apple shipped more than a million units of the new MacBook Air in its first quarter of availability, but rumors of an upgraded model with Intel's latest generation Sandy Bridge processors quickly began to swirl as far back as February.



The new MacBook Airs set to go into production this month will move to to Intel's 32-nanometer Sandy Bridge architecture, with the chipmakers' latest ultra-low-voltage Core i5 and Core i7 chips. With the upgrade to Sandy Bridge, which sport between 3MB and 4MB of Smart Cache and support a theoretical maximum of 8GB of internal system memory, the mid-2011 MacBook Airs will jettison two-year-old Penryn-based 45-nm Core 2 Duo chips found in the current offering.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 99
    I am waiting to pull the trigger on the 13 inch MacBook Air with Sandy Bridge and Thunderbolt. I was considering the 13 inch MacBook Pro but the screen resolution on the MacBook Pro is actually worse than the Air so no deal there.



    A bonus would be an option for 8 GB RAM.
  • Reply 2 of 99
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,713member
    I've had the cash ready and waiting for an i5 MBA with 4GB and the Thunderbolt port since February (when I bought and returned a 13" MBP). C'mon Apple, take my money already!
  • Reply 3 of 99
    frugalityfrugality Posts: 410member
    I, too, have been waiting for this refresh to buy a top-end Air to replace my 2008 MBP.
  • Reply 4 of 99
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The second-generation of Apple's revitalized MacBook Air notebooks are scheduled to enter mass production during the month of June, with an initial build volume hovering around the 400,000 units....



    I just hope they prove sturdier and more capable than the original hard drive models.



    There was a similar love affair when the first model arrived, but looking back over their lifetime, they became one of the most fragile, problematic computers Apple had produced in a very long time. I pity anyone who bought an original MacBook Air and didn't buy AppleCare.



    The solid state drive should alleviate most of the original's problems, but we won't really know how good this generation is for a few years anyway.
  • Reply 5 of 99
    joseph ljoseph l Posts: 197member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    I pity anyone who bought an original MacBook Air and didn't buy AppleCare.






    Bull. Compared to every single imitation MBA that the craptastic manufacturers like Dell and Sony shovel out onto the market, the MBA is extremely durable.
  • Reply 6 of 99
    d-ranged-range Posts: 396member
    13" Core i5 MBA with performance similar to the current i5 MBP = instant buy for me, I've been waiting and waiting to replace my late 2008 MacBook (the first aluminum one) but even though the last generation MBP's are blazing fast, I was still a little disappointed that on the outside, it's exactly the same machine as what I already have. The MBA on the other hand is not a big enough step up from my MacBook In terms of performance, so right now Apple simply doesn't have a laptop offering for me, thanks to the fact they made the alu MacBooks too good, there's just not enough reasons to replace them
  • Reply 7 of 99
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    I just hope they prove sturdier and more capable than the original hard drive models.



    There was a similar love affair when the first model arrived, but looking back over their lifetime, they became one of the most fragile, problematic computers Apple had produced in a very long time. I pity anyone who bought an original MacBook Air and didn't buy AppleCare.



    The solid state drive should alleviate most of the original's problems, but we won't really know how good this generation is for a few years anyway.



    I have not really had issues with the original MBA that we use in our lab. I would however like the backlit keyboard to return. I they can do that then I will definitely consider a MBA for my next laptop.
  • Reply 8 of 99
    joseph ljoseph l Posts: 197member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by d-range View Post


    The MBA on the other hand is simply not a big enough step up from my MacBook In terms of performance, so right now Apple simply doesn't have a laptop offering for me,







    If you want specs, get a Dell.



    If you want a 10 hour battery life, get an Apple. That's the difference.
  • Reply 9 of 99
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member
    THE MAIN reason to buy the MacBook Air 11.6-inch is NOT because it is cheaper, but because it is lighter and smaller. Apple should make an even lighter (400 to 600 g) and smaller (7-inch) MacBook Air.
  • Reply 10 of 99
    i'll wait for the A6 MacBook Air in 2012.
  • Reply 11 of 99
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zunx View Post


    THE MAIN reason to buy the MacBook Air 11.6-inch is NOT because it is cheaper, but because it is lighter and smaller. Apple should make an even lighter (400 to 600 g) and smaller (7-inch) MacBook Air.



    Apple will never make a MacBook without a full size keyboard.
  • Reply 12 of 99
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,270member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    I pity anyone who bought an original MacBook Air and didn't buy AppleCare.




    I didn't buy AppleCare with my first gen "Air" and I never needed it. It was a great machine - My only real concern was that stupid latch that hid the USB port and headphone jack.



    I'm rocking the 11" Air now and I think it may be the best machine I've ever owned.
  • Reply 13 of 99
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    theoretical maximum of 8GB of internal system memory



    The backlit keyboard is sorely missed, but I'm not buying an OSX computer without 8GB of RAM, so I really, really hope they support this. There's simply no other reason for me to buy a Pro over an Air.
  • Reply 14 of 99
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,270member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zunx View Post


    THE MAIN reason to buy the MacBook Air 11.6-inch is NOT because it is cheaper, but because it is lighter and smaller. Apple should make an even lighter (400 to 600 g) and smaller (7-inch) MacBook Air.



    Right. I didn't care about the price... I bought it because of it's small footprint. And they do make a smaller "Air", it's called iPad.
  • Reply 15 of 99
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,270member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by smack416 View Post


    The backlit keyboard is sorely missed, but I'm not buying an OSX computer without 8GB of RAM, so I really, really hope they support this. There's simply no other reason for me to buy a Pro over an Air.



    Ha, I thought I would miss the backlit keyboard, too. Turns out, the keys illuminate off the lighting from the screen - I've never looked back.
  • Reply 16 of 99
    29922992 Posts: 202member
    as I type, this generation 13"MBA is fast enough for regular users. Who is in need for PRO performance, already has a MBP. However, better performance for same money, nobody will say NO!



    However, backlit keyboard and screen brightness auto-adjustment would be a welcomed addition tho..
  • Reply 17 of 99
    boeyc15boeyc15 Posts: 985member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by smack416 View Post


    The backlit keyboard is sorely missed, but I'm not buying an OSX computer without 8GB of RAM, so I really, really hope they support this. There's simply no other reason for me to buy a Pro over an Air.



    Yes a lighted key board... will they do it?



    Ever since getting thinkpads with their keyboard illumination... wow its nice to have. Using a work laptop now without it, as you say, its sorely missed.
  • Reply 18 of 99
    myapplelovemyapplelove Posts: 1,515member
    better start prepping ebay for my old air..



    btw, come on apple, put an ips screen to this little baby, the ipad has one.
  • Reply 19 of 99
    takeotakeo Posts: 414member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joseph L View Post


    If you want specs, get a Dell.



    If you want a 10 hour battery life, get an Apple. That's the difference.



    Umm... the 2010 MBA doesn't get anything even CLOSE to 10 hours. I'm lucky to get 4 hours out of the claimed "5 hours battery life" on my 2010 11" MBA. Hopefully the Sandy Bridge processor will improve that. It's the one thing I really don't like about my MBA.
  • Reply 20 of 99
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zunx View Post


    THE MAIN reason to buy the MacBook Air 11.6-inch is NOT because it is cheaper, but because it is lighter and smaller. Apple should make an even lighter (400 to 600 g) and smaller (7-inch) MacBook Air.



    No, Apple should make 15" MBA with gorgeous screen.
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