Rumor: Apple lining up suppliers for Retina MacBook Air, next-gen iPad

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
A pair of new reports claim Apple is gearing up to launch both a MacBook Air equipped with a Retina display, as well as a new 9.7-inch iPad with revamped touchscreen technology.

MacBook Air


The reports from Taiwanese news agencies were summarized by (1, 2) EMS One on Tuesday, and were highlighted by Macotakara.

One of the reports claims that Apple plans to launch a revamped MacBook Air with Retina display in the third quarter of 2013. It said that parts are scheduled to begin shipping in the second quarter of the calendar year.

Apple began offering high-resolution Retina displays on its MacBook Pro lineup in 2012 with redesigned, thinner hardware, though the company also continues to offer its legacy Pro designs with lower resolution screens and integrated disc drives.

Tuesday's report is the first such claim that Apple may be planning to launch new MacBook Airs with Retina displays this year. Given that the MacBook Air lineup represents Apple's most affordable notebooks starting at $999, and also that the MacBook Pros with Retina displays carried a significant premium before Apple initiated a price cut last week, Tuesday's rumor should be taken with a grain of salt, as its possible that the pricing and power capabilities for a high-resolution MacBook Air may not yet be attainable.

iPad mini


The second report filed on Tuesday reiterated claims that Apple's next-generation full-size iPad will utilize the same "GF2" display technology currently found in the 7.9-inch iPad mini, instead of the thicker glass-on-glass design featured in the current fourth-generation iPad. Apple's fifth-generation iPad is expected to feature a similar design to the current iPad mini, making it thinner and lighter.

The report claimed that Apple has begun lining up suppliers for its next iPad, with companies including Nitto Denko, TPK, and Japan Display Inc., with assembly by Apple's regular partner Foxconn. It was suggested that Wintek could lose out on iPad orders for the next-gen model.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    kpomkpom Posts: 653member
    Count me in if Apple can offer an 11.6" MacBook Air with Retina Display. I recently switched from an 11.6" Air to a 13" rMBP. I like the display, but miss the portability of the MacBook Air.
  • Reply 2 of 25
    irelandireland Posts: 17,743member
    kpom wrote: »
    Count me in if Apple can offer an 11.6" MacBook Air with Retina Display. I recently switched from an 11.6" Air to a 13" rMBP. I like the display, but miss the portability of the MacBook Air.

    I like your use of 'rMBP'.
  • Reply 3 of 25
    Waiting for 15" MacBook Air. Retina display not needed, just more and bigger screen with less weight & cost than MacBook Pro.
  • Reply 4 of 25
    Waiting for 15" MacBook Air. Retina display not needed, just more and bigger screen with less weight & cost than MacBook Pro.
    I can't imagine this happening. The MBA is an ultra portable laptop. A 15 inch design is by its nature not ultra portable. I've been wrong before but don't think we will see a 15 in MBA.
  • Reply 5 of 25
    antkm1antkm1 Posts: 1,441member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Phil Sukalewski View Post



    Waiting for 15" MacBook Air. Retina display not needed, just more and bigger screen with less weight & cost than MacBook Pro.


    You'll be waiting a while for that.  Just like how I'm waiting for a 13" iPad.


    If you look at the design principles behind the Macbook Air (portability, light weight, thin form factor - which comes at a cost to Processor Speed, SDD size, display quality) you'll notice that those principles are all pointing to the key factor behind the design: Portability.  Nothing about a 15" notebook computer equates to portable.

  • Reply 6 of 25
    I'm wondering if apple is considering to revive the docking concept. E.g. having an iPad with a docking station containing additional flash storage, GPU and CPU power, keyboard, a display connector and a teaked OS that enables seamless transition between docked and undocked.
    If I look at my usage, many tasks can be handled easily on the iPad, sometimes I miss a physical keyboard, and sometimes screen real estate and horsepower. Currently, this means I have an iPad mini to carry along and casual stuff "on the couch", a bigger iPad for some special tasks, a MBP hooked up to a Display for the rest. Feels kind of redundant somehow.
  • Reply 7 of 25
    antkm1antkm1 Posts: 1,441member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by WonkoTheSane View Post



    I'm wondering if apple is considering to revive the docking concept. E.g. having an iPad with a docking station containing additional flash storage, GPU and CPU power, keyboard, a display connector and a teaked OS that enables seamless transition between docked and undocked.

    If I look at my usage, many tasks can be handled easily on the iPad, sometimes I miss a physical keyboard, and sometimes screen real estate and horsepower. Currently, this means I have an iPad mini to carry along and casual stuff "on the couch", a bigger iPad for some special tasks, a MBP hooked up to a Display for the rest. Feels kind of redundant somehow.


    When did Apple ever have a docking concept as you describe it?  They had a dock, but the only link it had was a USB for syncing.


    Asus makes a tablet that does this already.  As much as I kind of agreed with you before the iPad first deputed as was still rumored.  I just can't see this happening.  I still kind of agree that with the iPad, I don't use my MBP as much as I would like.  It's now more of a server for my personal files that I don't want on the cloud or don't want to pay to store on the cloud and would rather just Wifi sync.  However, if I want to do anything in iWork suite, I'd rather use my Mac.  But for just about everything else, i'd rather use my iPad.


    That all being said, right now sitting in a hotel in China with only a wired connection and no Wifi options (can't get the Airport express configured), I'm really glad I brought my Mac with me.

  • Reply 8 of 25
    neilmneilm Posts: 874member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post


    When did Apple ever have a docking concept as you describe it?



    I think you'd have to go back to the PowerBook Duo (discontinued February 1997) and its Duo Dock expansion. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PowerBook_Duo

  • Reply 9 of 25

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post





    I like your use of 'rMBP'.


    I like it too. It has become common now. Look for it as a hashtag on Twitter.

  • Reply 10 of 25

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Phil Sukalewski View Post



    Waiting for 15" MacBook Air. Retina display not needed, just more and bigger screen with less weight & cost than MacBook Pro.


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ndirishfan1975 View Post





    I can't imagine this happening. The MBA is an ultra portable laptop. A 15 inch design is by its nature not ultra portable. I've been wrong before but don't think we will see a 15 in MBA.


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post


    You'll be waiting a while for that.  Just like how I'm waiting for a 13" iPad.


    If you look at the design principles behind the Macbook Air (portability, light weight, thin form factor - which comes at a cost to Processor Speed, SDD size, display quality) you'll notice that those principles are all pointing to the key factor behind the design: Portability.  Nothing about a 15" notebook computer equates to portable.



     


    I disagree that 15" and MBA design are mutually exclusive. There is nothing rational in stating "nothing about a 15" notebook computer equates to portable". You are simply not qualified to draw such a distinction. Portability is as much as dimensions as it is about weight. Arguably, weight is in fact more important, since most 15" computers fit just fine in most laptop bags or backpacks, particularly if they are thin. The 13" MBA weighs 2.96 lbs. The 15" MBP weighs 5.6 lbs. The 15" rMBP weighs 4.46 lbs. Many people would find a 15" MBA that weighs around 3.5 lbs to be quite interesting.


     


    It's really a question whether Apple considers that, by introducing a 15" MBA, the MBP and MBA products lines may be too convergent. In fact, the same question applies in deciding whether to release RP versions of MBA, assuming the technology issues have been overcome.

  • Reply 11 of 25
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    kpom wrote: »
    Count me in if Apple can offer an 11.6" MacBook Air with Retina Display. I recently switched from an 11.6" Air to a 13" rMBP. I like the display, but miss the portability of the MacBook Air.

    When they add retina to the MBA, I'm not sure what justification remains for the 13" MBP to remain a separate product.

    In the 15" model, you get a faster processor, more RAM capacity, and discrete GPU. You don't get the discrete GPU in the 13", so I'm not sure there's much reason for continuing a separate line in that size.
  • Reply 12 of 25
    antkm1antkm1 Posts: 1,441member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


     


     


     


    I disagree that 15" and MBA design are mutually exclusive. There is nothing rational in stating "nothing about a 15" notebook computer equates to portable". You are simply not qualified to draw such a distinction. Portability is as much as dimensions as it is about weight. Arguably, weight is in fact more important, since most 15" computers fit just fine in most laptop bags or backpacks, particularly if they are thin. The 13" MBA weighs 2.96 lbs. The 15" MBP weighs 5.6 lbs. The 15" rMBP weighs 4.46 lbs. Many people would find a 15" MBA that weighs around 3.5 lbs to be quite interesting.


     


    It's really a question whether Apple considers that, by introducing a 15" MBA, the MBP and MBA products lines may be too convergent. In fact, the same question applies in deciding whether to release RP versions of MBA, assuming the technology issues have been overcome.



    What makes a person qualified to qualify portability in Laptops?  Do you need a degree?  A special Certification?  I don't think your'e qualified to determine how much a fantasy 15" MBA might weigh.  Unless your name is Jonny Ive.


     


    We're just stating a pretty common opinion about what's portable.  The rMBP 15" is about as close as you're going to get for a 15" MB Air.  See post #9 for additional thoughts.

  • Reply 13 of 25
    antkm1antkm1 Posts: 1,441member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    When they add retina to the MBA, I'm not sure what justification remains for the 13" MBP to remain a separate product.



    In the 15" model, you get a faster processor, more RAM capacity, and discrete GPU. You don't get the discrete GPU in the 13", so I'm not sure there's much reason for continuing a separate line in that size.


    Totally agree with you there.  I'm just surprised Apple hasn't dropped the "Air" nameplate and just call them the Macbook.  might make the distinction between the Macbook Pro and the Air clearer.  One is the basic Mac and the other the Pro version [premium].  Jobs himself said the Air was the future of the Macbook when the Air deputed.

  • Reply 14 of 25


    What about the battery?


    The MBA can't afford to lose battery life.

  • Reply 15 of 25

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


     


     


     


    I disagree that 15" and MBA design are mutually exclusive. There is nothing rational in stating "nothing about a 15" notebook computer equates to portable". You are simply not qualified to draw such a distinction. Portability is as much as dimensions as it is about weight. Arguably, weight is in fact more important, since most 15" computers fit just fine in most laptop bags or backpacks, particularly if they are thin. The 13" MBA weighs 2.96 lbs. The 15" MBP weighs 5.6 lbs. The 15" rMBP weighs 4.46 lbs. Many people would find a 15" MBA that weighs around 3.5 lbs to be quite interesting.


     


    It's really a question whether Apple considers that, by introducing a 15" MBA, the MBP and MBA products lines may be too convergent. In fact, the same question applies in deciding whether to release RP versions of MBA, assuming the technology issues have been overcome.



    I don't believe Apple will be making a 15" Air anytime soon. I can however see the allure of a larger screen, battery and portability of such a computer.  I also don't feel it would need to have a retina display as this could be one more thing to differentiate the Air from the Pro line.

  • Reply 16 of 25


    I would sell my 2011 MBA 13" and also spring for an 11" Retina MBA and a Retina iPad mini. In a heartbeat. I hope these rumors are true.

  • Reply 17 of 25


    Originally Posted by brutus009 View Post

    What about the battery?


    The MBA can't afford to lose battery life.



     


    Haswell, baby. Haswell. It will make up for any extra power drawn by the backlight/screen… and THEN some.

  • Reply 18 of 25

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Carthusia View Post


    I would sell my 2011 MBA 13" and also spring for an 11" Retina MBA and a Retina iPad mini. In a heartbeat. I hope these rumors are true.



    This. That is my dream setup, would love if it pans out before I start residency in July!


     


    (Come on Haswell...)

  • Reply 19 of 25
    r00fusr00fus Posts: 245member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post





    I like your use of 'rMBP'.


     


    I hereby nominate the retina Macbook Air by the moniker rMBA... anyone with me?  (it's better than my distant runner up - Mac RetinAir)

  • Reply 20 of 25


    Originally Posted by r00fus View Post

    I hereby nominate the retina Macbook Air by the moniker rMBA... anyone with me?


     


    Obviously this is what it will be called.

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