Rumor: Apple's 12" MacBook Air with Retina display to enter production in Q1 2015

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2015
Apple's supply chain are said to be gearing up for mass production of the long-rumored next-generation MacBook Air with a high-resolution Retina display, according to a new rumor.




The new 12-inch MacBook Air is alleged to begin mass production in the first quarter of 2015, according to DigiTimes. While the publication does have a poor track record with respect to Apple rumors, the timing does make sense, as Intel's next-generation low-power Broadwell processors are set to become available early next year.

Monday's report claimed that the new MacBook Air with Retina display will indeed feature Intel's Broadwell, along with a new chassis that's expected to be thinner and lighter than ever. According to the usual unnamed supply chain sources, it was said that mass production has been "hampered by low yield rates."

With yield issues being "gradually resolved," mass production of the ultrathin portable is expected to take place next quarter. The report said the notebook, expected to be built by Quanta computer, will target the high end and will have limited shipments.

Reports originally suggested that Apple's 12-inch Retina MacBook Air would launch this year, but production was allegedly delayed after Intel's Broadwell chips were late to the market. The notebook is believed to be heavily dependent on Intel's next-generation 14-nanometer chips for its unique design.

According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, the next-generation MacBook Air is expected to feature a stripped-down 12-inch form factor with a fan-less design, fewer inputs and outputs, and potentially a click-less TrackPad.

The existing MacBook Air lineup was given a minor speed bump in April with a minor speed bump and accompanying price cut. The current MacBook Air lineup comes in two screen sizes of 11.6 and 13.3 inches.

In addition, Monday's report also alleged that Apple's supply chain is gearing up for production of the Apple Watch. Apple has already said that its wearable device will debut in early 2015.
«134567

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 125
    I don't buy it.
  • Reply 2 of 125
    irelandireland Posts: 17,571member
    I desperately want this product. I value my eye sight, I write a lot and have an iMac 5K for the heavy lifting. Retina screens are way less straining on those precious eye balls.
  • Reply 3 of 125

    can't wait to get this and retire my heavy rMBP 15'

  • Reply 4 of 125
    Wonder how Apple would price this. The original Air was quite expensive compared to the rest of their notebooks, even though it was relatively underpowered. Now we already have the fairly svelte 13" Retina Macbook Pro, and rumor also has it that a 12" iPad is in the works — if so it's a given that it too will sport a Retina display. Hard to imagine either of these speculative devices starting in the same ball park as the 13" MBP but I guess anything is possible at the launch of a new product. Oh well, which ever comes out first, know I'll be in line. And probably for which ever comes out next, too.
  • Reply 5 of 125
    andyapple wrote: »
    Wonder how Apple would price this. The original Air was quite expensive compared to the rest of their notebooks, even though it was relatively underpowered. Now we already have the fairly svelte 13" Retina Macbook Pro, and rumor also has it that a 12" iPad is in the works — if so it's a given that it too will sport a Retina display. Hard to imagine either of these speculative devices starting in the same ball park as the 13" MBP but I guess anything is possible at the launch of a new product. Oh well, which ever comes out first, know I'll be in line. And probably for which ever comes out next, too.

    12" iPad, $799 and 64GB. 12" Retina MBA, $1199. Maybe $1099. They'll keep the existing MBA's in production for a little while, especially the 11" model.
  • Reply 6 of 125
    Quote: "... along with a new chassis that's expected to be thinner and lighter than ever."

    I remember when this obsession among designers started. It was the 2004 Motorola Razr, of which Wikipedia says:

    ------
    Because of its striking appearance and thin profile, it was initially marketed as an exclusive fashion phone, but within a year, its price was lowered and it was wildly successful, selling over 50 million units by July 2006. Over the Razr's four-year run, the V3 model sold more than 130 million units, becoming the best-selling clamshell phone in the world to date.
    --------

    It was also a piece of junk and many of those sales were replacements. I know. I owned two and both quit working soon after I got them.

    That's why the similarly built MacBook Air is ""hampered by low yield rates." That's corporate-speak for the fact that a lot of them aren't even working at the end of the assembly line. You can imagine what thanks likely to mean two or three years out. Apple could be looking at a production disaster here, a failure rate so high, it has to waive that one-year warranty.

    Since the Razr fad began in the fall of 2004m I do think it is time that Apple design team abandoned a fad that, were it a child, would be entering middle school. If they need artistic jargon to justify that, how about, "Solid is the new thin."

    There's also no practical reason for ultra-thin laptops. It doesn't assist in their transport. Anyone who has any sense carries one around in a well-padded case, particularly given the frailness of those ultra-thin designs. A more solid MBA would need less protection and thus a smaller case for transport. It'd be a better design in every way.

    And if Apple insists on sticking with archaic design principles, it could at least offer customers a choice between thin and solid. Create a EL (for extended life) version of the MBA where the added thickness holds an extra-large battery and makes the unit more solid and reliable.
  • Reply 7 of 125
    Can someone please remind me why Apple decides to produce a 12" MBA, when they have a 11" and 13" MBA. How would the 12" fit into their product line?
  • Reply 8 of 125
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    When has the MacBook Air been hampered by low yield rates? I wasn't aware that it wasn't solid and reliable. :???:
  • Reply 9 of 125
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,118member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Inkling View Post



    Quote: "... along with a new chassis that's expected to be thinner and lighter than ever."



    I remember when this obsession among designers started. It was the 2004 Motorola Razr, of which Wikipedia says:

    Because of its striking appearance and thin profile, it was initially marketed as an exclusive fashion phone, but within a year, its price was lowered and it was wildly successful, selling over 50 million units by July 2006. Over the Razr's four-year run, the V3 model sold more than 130 million units, becoming the best-selling clamshell phone in the world to date.



    It was also a piece of junk and many of those sales were replacements. I know. I owned two and both quit working soon after I got them.



    That's why the similarly built MacBook Air is ""hampered by low yield rates." That's corporate-speak for the fact that a lot of them aren't even working at the end of the assembly line. You can imagine what thanks likely to mean two or three years out. Apple could be looking at a production disaster here, a failure rate so high, it has to waive that one-year warranty.



    Since the Razr fad began in the fall of 2004m I do think it is time that Apple design team abandoned a fad that, were it a child, would be entering middle school. If they need artistic jargon to justify that, how about, "Solid is the new thin."



    There's also no practical reason for ultra-thin laptops. It doesn't assist in their transport. Anyone who has any sense carries one around in a well-padded case, particularly given the frailness of those ultra-thin designs. A more solid MBA would need less protection and thus a smaller case for transport. It'd be a better design in every way.



    And if Apple insists on sticking with archaic design principles, it could at least offer customers a choice between thin and solid. Create a EL (for extended life) version of the MBA where the added thickness holds an extra-large battery and makes the unit more solid and reliable.

     

    Stupidest fucking idea I've ever heard. "Archaic design principles"? The current Macbook Air is insanely thin and can get 13hrs of battery life on a single charge, best in the industry. The iPhone6/6+ (especially 6+) get excellent battery life. Your comment doesnt contain a shred of fact or real reasoning, and your comparison to the razr is just mind-numbingly superficial. The thinness and efficiency of Apple products is a core part of their design, and the design is a core part of their success. And yes, this also has PRACTICAL advantages.  One of the reasons I adore my Macbook Air, besides the fact that its an incredible work machine, is the thinness/lightness which makes me not think twice when I want to take it anywhere. Thank God they don't think like you, and instead of lazily creating an "EL" version, they packed incredible battery life in the thin model. The new macbook will also have excellent battery life- while also being incredibly designed. 

     

    You're one of these people who are absolutely clueless as to the reasons of Apple's success. The sexiness of their products is what attracts new customers, and I have a feeling that if their looked like trucks, in order to appease unappeasable people like you, this would be less so. 

  • Reply 10 of 125



    I'm thinking this new redesigned 12" MacBook Air would replace the existing 11" and 13" MacBook Airs, leaving the 13" and 15" sizes for the MacBook Pro.  As a 13" MacBook Air user, I'd have to see it first, but I think having a 12" retina display and a lighter weight would be tradeoffs I would make.

  • Reply 11 of 125
    gtbuzzgtbuzz Posts: 129member
    Just suppose for a moment it runs OS X and iOS ?
    Maybe even a removable touch screen.
  • Reply 12 of 125
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    What if this device replaced the 11" and 13" MBAs and the 13" MBP and Apple re-introduced a 17" retina MBP? So you'd have 13" MBA (or whatever Apple decides to call it) and 15" and 17" MBPs. I know that's probably never going to happen but I think there is a niche market for a larger screened laptop.
  • Reply 13 of 125
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,756member
    I don't buy it.

    If even half these features are true I won't be buying. First; Apple doesn't need a high end MBA.

    As for me a machine with fewer ports would be asinine.
  • Reply 14 of 125
    macapfel wrote: »
    Can someone please remind me why Apple decides to produce a 12" MBA, when they have a 11" and 13" MBA. How would the 12" fit into their product line?

    Neither of those two current MBAs have Retina displays. And the new model would use an even more incredibly energy efficient processor, for longer run time and/or slimmer lighter form factor. So it would be more of a premium device as compared to these two "entry level" Airs.
  • Reply 15 of 125
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GTBuzz View Post



    Just suppose for a moment it runs OS X and iOS ?

    Maybe even a removable touch screen.



    Well, for this part Continuity would help switching between both – if it'd work properly.

  • Reply 16 of 125
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,756member
    macapfel wrote: »
    Can someone please remind me why Apple decides to produce a 12" MBA, when they have a 11" and 13" MBA. How would the 12" fit into their product line?

    This is so easy! The 12" machine becomes the "small" machine, a 14" machine replaces the 13" machines and a 16" machine replaces the 15" laptop. By significantly reducing bezel size this could happen without wildly increasing macIne physical size. A bit of playing with aspect ratio might help too.

    In any event I really like the idea of a line up including 12", 14" & 16" screen sizes. Apple would need technology to produce machines with almost no in active bezel areas. In any event I could easily see a 12" machine in a chassis not much bigger than the 11" MBA.
  • Reply 17 of 125
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,414member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacApfel View Post



    Can someone please remind me why Apple decides to produce a 12" MBA, when they have a 11" and 13" MBA. How would the 12" fit into their product line?

    uh...right in the middle, numerically...

     

    The thing that seems a little silly about this product to me is,

    size affects battery life.  Apple is very proud of the numbers they claim for the 13",

    but they are greater than for the 11", so, building a smaller Air means sacrificing battery

    while driving that screen - unless they've concurrently come up with a significant bump in battery tech,

    they'll have trouble matching their boasts from even older Air generations...not the direction they like to go,

    so why exacerbate it by downsizing from 13"?

  • Reply 18 of 125
    I don't buy it.

    A 12" Retina MBA that replaces the current MBAs makes a lot of sense to me.
  • Reply 19 of 125
    rogifan wrote: »
    What if this device replaced the 11" and 13" MBAs and the 13" MBP and Apple re-introduced a 17" retina MBP? So you'd have 13" MBA (or whatever Apple decides to call it) and 15" and 17" MBPs. I know that's probably never going to happen but I think there is a niche market for a larger screened laptop.
    gtbuzz wrote: »
    Just suppose for a moment it runs OS X and iOS ?
    Maybe even a removable touch screen.

    Yeah imagine 12" or 13" iPad with a magnetic keyboard cover having the guts of the new Macbook Air inside. So you could run iOS on the touch screen and OS X just by sticking on the KB. Batteries could be inside each unit to help balance both the weight when in laptop mode and the power requirements of the two individual OSs. Beauty part, display could attach in either landscape or portrait mode. I'd be thrilled.
  • Reply 20 of 125
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,756member
    rogifan wrote: »
    When has the MacBook Air been hampered by low yield rates? I wasn't aware that it wasn't solid and reliable. :???:

    What does yield rate have to do with solid and reliable? They could be talking about Intels 14 nm Chips or other hardware. Or they could be talking about any number of other components. Especially in Apples case with the LCD screen, yields are traditionally low here.
Sign In or Register to comment.