Apple once again rumored to launch MacBook Air with Retina display this year

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited May 2014
The latest supply chain rumors add to claims that Apple is planning to launch a new MacBook Air with a high-resolution Retina display later this year, bringing the same pixel-packing power already found in the company's MacBook Pro lineup.

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The latest claims come from the usual Taiwan-based supply chain sources at DigiTimes, which chimed in once again this week with expectations that Apple will launch a MacBook Air with Retina display in the second half of 2014. It should be noted that the publication is notorious for being the source of numerous Apple-related rumors, many of which turn out to be incorrect.

The report comes on the heels of a separate rumor that suggested Apple is planning to launch a 12-inch fan-less MacBook with a 12-inch Retina display. Given that the current MacBook Air models sport screen sizes of 11.6 and 13.3 inches, it's possible that this new, ultrathin model could be a successor to both, simplifying the MacBook Air lineup with a single Retina display model.
Rumors of a new MacBook with a 12-inch Retina display continue to pick up steam.
Apple took a similar approach in 2012, when the company opted to discontinue its 17-inch MacBook Pro. That model was replaced by a 15.4-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, and Apple eventually expanded its "Retina Pro" notebook lineup with a 13-inch model a few months later.

When the new premium-priced Retina display models were introduced, Apple also continued selling its legacy non-Retina models at more affordable price points. If Apple were to employ the same tactic for its MacBook Air lineup, it could offer a 12-inch Retina display model, along with non-Retina 11- and 13-inch models.

Word of a radically redesigned 12-inch MacBook with Retina display was first revealed by well-connected insider Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities last October. He said the new model is expected to sport an "ultra-slim clamshell form factor," which will offer a marriage between the portability of the 11-inch MacBook Air and the greater productivity offered by the 13-inch model.

According to Kuo, the new MacBook is expected to "redefine laptop computing once again following the milestone created by the MacBook Air."

In addition, this week's latest DigiTimes report also claimed once again that Apple is planning to launch a new jumbo-sized 12-inch iPad later this year. This information is viewed as more suspect, as Kuo signaled in February that Apple is unlikely to launch a larger, still-in-development iPad this year.

And DigiTimes itself even claimed that Apple had halted development of its so-called "iPad Pro" earlier this month, reporting that the company felt there was a "lack of support from related platform developers and ecosystems" for a larger tablet. That report was from just 12 days ago, meaning the publication's supply chain sources have contradicted one another in a span of less than two weeks.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 57
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    Was it just my wallet that screamed in fear or did everybody's do the same thing?
  • Reply 2 of 57
    gtr wrote: »
    Was it just my wallet that screamed in fear or did everybody's do the same thing?

    Lol I've been trying to hold out cause my MBP is in good shape, but I've been wanting an air... But If they release a MBA with retina... Shut up and take my money !!
  • Reply 3 of 57
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,730member

    Ahhh...the next generation netbook finally gets an update. 

  • Reply 4 of 57
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    A DigiTimes rumor? It MUST be true.
  • Reply 5 of 57
    jusephejusephe Posts: 108member
    OMG... I want this !

    Well assuming the current Mac book Air design is from [B]late 2010[/B] it will be thinner... a lot thinner => a lot lighter... Under 2 pounds notebook anyone ?
    It will probably last just as long as the 2013 Mac book Air, but if it's between 11" and 13" the battery life will be certainly in the 9-12 hours range. If I was Apple I would work hard to hit that upper boundary though.
    The retina display resolution is still unclear ( last time Airs resolution changed it was higher than the (non retina) Mac book pro back then ) but honestly who cares, it's retina !

    Putting all of these things together... It's a win win win for Apple.
  • Reply 6 of 57
    Well maybe the rumoured larger ipad and the rumoured 12 ins MacBook Air are actually the same product. No-one will know until Apple wants to tell us!
  • Reply 7 of 57
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,809member

    I have two bytes for you: A 8

  • Reply 8 of 57
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member
    I hope Apple doesn't make their new model line too complicated. I'm still using an ancient white MacBook for on the go because none of their current models quite fit what I want.

    * 11" MBA. I like the size, but the screen is too pixelated.

    * 13" MBA. The screen is OK, but the RAM is soldered in and the cost of more RAM is grossly inflated.

    * 13" MBP. OK and I like being able to add my own RAM, but the MBP with R is only $100 more.

    * 13" MBP with R. Fine features, but it's now more in weight and cost than I want simply for writing on the go.

    The choice that'd get my attention? A 12" MBA with R and 8 Gig of memory reasonably priced.
  • Reply 9 of 57
    For some reason I'm thinking that Apple are going to bring out some sort of ARM-powered MBA, like a chromebook. The groundwork has been lain with A7... That said, from a dev's perspective, an ARM-powered laptop wouldn't make the most sense, and I doubt Apple would take that gamble, given the Mac's market share.

    Of course what this could be is simply an evolution of the current Haswell chips to super low power, high efficiency.
  • Reply 10 of 57
    doggonedoggone Posts: 174member
    Apple need to take care of both the med and low range with the MBAs. So probably the cheapest current 11 inch model will be around for a while to keep a sub $1000 product available.
    Changes to the trackpad and removal of fans could help Apple increase battery volume and also slim down the unit.
    I do wish Apple could spread out the product announcements like they used to. Not necessarily in time for big meetings but when the product is ready. Releasing all the new products in the fall puts a lot of pressure on ramping up production and the announcements throughout the year keep Apple in the media eye for good reasons.
  • Reply 11 of 57
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,730member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ytsethunder View Post



    For some reason I'm thinking that Apple are going to bring out some sort of ARM-powered MBA, like a chromebook. The groundwork has been lain with A7... That said, from a dev's perspective, an ARM-powered laptop wouldn't make the most sense, and I doubt Apple would take that gamble, given the Mac's market share.



    Of course what this could be is simply an evolution of the current Haswell chips to super low power, high efficiency.

     

    Its called an iPad...

  • Reply 12 of 57
    irelandireland Posts: 17,539member

    I bet ya will see the fanless, Retina Air launched at $999 with impossibly low storage, thus forcing most who want it to pay extra for a larger storage version. OR... the Retina model is sold as the premium model along the lines of the MacBook Pro setup where they keep the non-Retina models around.

  • Reply 13 of 57
    irelandireland Posts: 17,539member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GTR View Post



    Was it just my wallet that screamed in fear or did everybody's do the same thing?

     

    I buy want you need and can afford.

  • Reply 14 of 57
    irelandireland Posts: 17,539member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AAPLfanboy View Post



    Well maybe the rumoured larger ipad and the rumoured 12 ins MacBook Air are actually the same product. No-one will know until Apple wants to tell us!

     

    It that another way of saying the 12" iPad rumours are completely wrong. I think so.

  • Reply 15 of 57
    macxpress wrote: »
    Its called an iPad...

    Sorry, omitted to add "...running OS X."
  • Reply 16 of 57
    irelandireland Posts: 17,539member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Inkling View Post



    I hope Apple doesn't make their new model line too complicated. I'm still using an ancient white MacBook for on the go because none of their current models quite fit what I want.



    * 11" MBA. I like the size, but the screen is too pixelated.

     

    The 11" Air is 135 PPI, the 13" Air is 128 PPI.

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Inkling View Post



    * 13" MBA. The screen is OK, but the RAM is soldered in and the cost of more RAM is grossly inflated.

     

    Honestly the base model 13" Air is a great machine. And yes, so the RAM is soldered on, it's annoying, but if you need the extra 4 GBs of RAM it's no longer a total ripoff to get the Apple upgrade at checkout. It's $100.

     

    $1,199.00 all told.

  • Reply 17 of 57
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by GTR View Post

    Was it just my wallet that screamed in fear or did everybody's do the same thing?

     

    “I feel a disturbance in the finance. As if millions of wallets cried out in terror… and were suddenly… not silenced. Still crying.”

  • Reply 18 of 57
    irelandireland Posts: 17,539member

    Guys, what about an Air that ALSO has an ARM chip for basic tasks and switches to Intel silicon when required?

  • Reply 19 of 57
    irelandireland Posts: 17,539member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DogGone View Post



    I do wish Apple could spread out the product announcements like they used to. Not necessarily in time for big meetings but when the product is ready.

     

    Honestly I don't think they've switched to an all or nothing produce roll out. I'd just say that's the way it went last year. The big issue they're facing now with releasing a new product is they are entering a couple of new categories, and those products can't be rushed like a Samsung or Google roll out.

     

    With TV the true revolution would be to make a batter TV, but as Jobs succinctly pointed out there doesn't seem to be a go-to-market strategy. And seeing as the only chance we had of that was with all the content owners playing ball, which they don't want to do, that's not gonna happen. So it's back to the drawing board for a way to provide a better hockey puck: a product the competition will have an easier time emulating.

     

    And iWatch is a huge problem to solve. I think iWatch will be a very interesting product if it can pull off all of the apparently leaked Healthbook functions non-invasively, but I won't be getting one myself because I don't have any health concerns, there are clocks everywhere and it looks like the one function I'd like in an iWatch (a wireless-to-my-ears music player) is not gonna happen.

  • Reply 20 of 57
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,391member
    Now that Apple has eliminated the ROM drive from the MacBook Pro line and the machines are so thin, I don't see the point of the MacBook Air, except as a potentially less expensive choice. And it can be less expensive by including a lower-level processor and/or keep it non-Retina. In all other respects it can be the same as the MBP unless they can come up with a totally new form factor for the MBA.

    I really don't see the point of a 13" MBA and a 13" MBP. The upper MBA model (1.3GHz i5, 4GB memory, 256GB SSD) is priced the same as the lowest 13" MBP (2.4GHz i5, 4GB memory, 256GB SSD, Retina). The MBA is 8 ounces lighter, but is actually a lousy deal as compared to the MBP. The 11.6" MBA might still make sense if they can price them even lower than the $1199 and $999 base models. Get them down to $999 and $799 and it could open up a new customer base for Apple. Of course, they probably couldn't be Retina at that price.
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