Rumor: Apple's new 12-inch MacBook Air with Retina display to launch this quarter

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2015
Apple's anticipated MacBook Air with 12-inch Retina display could launch as soon as this quarter following the start of production by Quanta Computer, according to the latest supply chain rumor out of the Far East.




"Volume production" of the new 12-inch MacBook Air recently began, paving the way for a first-quarter launch, according to DigiTimes, which cited sources within the Taiwan-based supply chain. Quanta is said to have recently hired more workers, and could add as many as 30,000 more this quarter, as it ramps up not only for the new MacBook Air, but also the Apple Watch.

Tuesday's report also claimed that the Retina MacBook Air is expected to replace Apple's current entry-level 11-inch MacBook Air. The report claimed that the 13-inch model, which lacks a Retina display, will continue to be available.

The report, of course, should be taken with considerable skepticism, as DigiTimes has an exceptionally poor track record when it comes to predicting Apple's future product plans.

Still, last week at CES, Intel officially unveiled its "Broadwell" lineup of next-generation processors. The 14-nanometer chip technology is expected to be the centerpiece of Apple's new MacBook Air, which is rumored to feature an ultra-thin design lacking even a fan for cooling.

Purported details about the anticipated 12-inch MacBook Air have also begun to surface ahead of the rumored launch, including claims that Apple will rely on the new, smaller, reversible USB 3.1 Type-C connector, eschewing established full-size USB plugs. The new MacBook Air is also rumored to feature a "click-less" trackpad, and fewer physical inputs and outputs.

Faced with delays for Intel's Broadwell processors, Apple last April opted for a minor speed boost on its existing MacBook Air lineup. The CPUs were increased by just 100 megahertz, but Apple also increased value, cutting $100 off the models to reach a new starting price of $899 for the 11.6-inch model.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    An even thinner rMBA, i.e. including retina, would be and absolutely awesome beauty! I don't mind if the number of ports decrease. The MBA is all about portability, not connectivity – but because of that, MagSafe is imperative!
  • Reply 2 of 38
    Digitimes .. they have a 10% accuracy rating in 2014..

    I know.. I was surprised it was that high as well!

    That said.. everyone else is saying Q2 or Q3 (mid-2015) for Retina MBA.. not Q1..

    I would be very, very surprised if it came out Q1.. My belief is they are skipping Broadwell and going Skylake.. which is due out mid 2015 and why they were able to drop all those ports.. They are going Wireless 4k display, wireless charging and wireless device connectivity. Which is Skylake's big attraction, the ability to cut the wires..

    Doesn't mean Broadwell won't come to current MacBooks.. Probably will.. but I'd say it's a safe bet the new Retina Macbook Air is Skylake.
  • Reply 3 of 38
    From what I've heard, Digitimes is just fine, its the idiots who can't read Mandarin properly that get it wrong, and then they blame Digitimes.

    AI isn't exactly a paragon of accuracy either, since they rely on Ho Chi Minh so much.
  • Reply 4 of 38
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Adrayven View Post



    Digitimes .. they have a 10% accuracy rating in 2014..



    wireless charging 

    The only thing worse than citing digtimes as a source, is mentioning the pathetic gimmick known as wireless charging in any serious way.

  • Reply 5 of 38
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post



    AI isn't exactly a paragon of accuracy either, since they rely on Ho Chi Minh so much.

    Um, they have to get their information from somewhere, unless you prefer to wait until it hit newspaper headlines...

     

    And MING CHI KUO has a great track record and extremely high accuracy percentage. I don't know how you intended your remark but that easily be viewed as extremely inappropriate.

  • Reply 6 of 38
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,378member

    LOL, I dismissed this rumor as poppycock when I got to the word "Digitimes".

  • Reply 7 of 38
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pmz View Post

     

    Um, they have to get their information from somewhere, unless you prefer to wait until it hit newspaper headlines...

     

    And MING CHI KUO has a great track record and extremely high accuracy percentage. I don't know how you intended your remark but that easily be viewed as extremely inappropriate.




    Yeah, he's great. Like how we had different iPhone events and launch times last year, and we totally got that new Apple TV, and how the 6 Plus was going to be delayed.  :no:

     

    Guessing we'll get new iPhones and iPads every year is hardly a notable achievement.

  • Reply 8 of 38
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I see the folks over at MacRumors are already freaking out over this rumored product. You know it would be refreshing if people waited until something was announced before freaking out and pissing all over it. We don't know if the prototype leaked to wonder boy Mark Gurman is the final product and if it is we don't know how Apple is going to position this product in their lineup. And we also don't know what changes (if any) they're making to the MBP line up. Too much incomplete information to be pissing all over this product already.
  • Reply 9 of 38
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    I see the folks over at MacRumors are already freaking out over this rumored product. You know it would be refreshing if people waited until something was announced before freaking out and pissing all over it. We don't know if the prototype leaked to wonder boy Mark Gurman is the final product and if it is we don't know how Apple is going to position this product in their lineup. And we also don't know what changes (if any) they're making to the MBP line up. Too much incomplete information to be pissing all over this product already.



    Personally, I think they're going to position it like the original MBA, a premium ultraportable laptop, and the current Airs will be like the old MacBooks, the general purpose machines.

  • Reply 10 of 38
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    I think sooner than later for this sounds better, but I've long been perplexed that Apple keeps wanting to clump all their HW releases into the same quarter.

    I'm hoping for the fan-less, Retina MBA, a 4K-capable Apple TV, and the ?Watch to be demoed at the next event.

    pmz wrote: »
    The only thing worse than citing digtimes as a source, is mentioning the pathetic gimmick known as wireless charging in any serious way.

    What about ?Watch? Or are using the term wireless as being independent of inductive charging?

    pmz wrote: »
    Um, they have to get their information from somewhere, unless you prefer to wait until it hit newspaper headlines...

    But it doesn't have to be DigiTimes. I'll reply to the people on such threads but I won't read the articles if I know they are from DigiTimes. In fact, it's to many of the unsubstantiated and/or ridiculous rumour articles that make me often skip the articles completely.

    Personally, I think they're going to position it like the original MBA, a premium ultraportable laptop, and the current Airs will be like the old MacBooks, the general purpose machines.

    I don't think so. I think the low cost, now that the components are less expensive than the original, is an undeniable part of its success. My guess is it starts under $1000.
  • Reply 11 of 38
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post



    I think sooner than later for this sounds better, but I've long been perplexed that Apple keeps wanting to clump all their HW releases into the same quarter.



     I think the low cost, now that the components are less expensive than the original, is an undeniable part of its success. My guess is it starts under $1000.

    So the current MBA's stick around as just another option for a few years? Or go away entirely?

  • Reply 12 of 38
    So the current MBA's stick around as just another option for a few years? Or go away entirely?

    I think the 11" and 13" would go away completely. My minor and major reasoning, respectively, is the 11" — especially at a 16:9 aspect ratio — is too small for prolonged periods of use and the 13" is far to close to the 13" MBP since it's design change. I think a 12" MBA would fill that spot beautifully, and I even suggested such an option when the HDD- and ODD-less 13" MBPs arrived on the scene, which was long before these rumours started up.

    Honestly, I hope it's ARM, but I expect it to be Intel-based.
  • Reply 13 of 38
    appexappex Posts: 687member

    No thunderbolt (great for target disk mode troubleshooting), no purchase.

    Only one USB port, a deal breaker. At least two required for pendrive sharing and wireless presentations with devices like this:

    Keyspan Wireless Presentation Remote for Conferences, Boardrooms and Classrooms

    Model Number: PR-US2

    http://www.tripplite.com/wireless-presentation-remote-control-laser-pointer-2-button-mouse~PRUS2

  • Reply 14 of 38
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,787member
    pmz wrote: »
    The only thing worse than citing digtimes as a source, is mentioning the pathetic gimmick known as wireless charging in any serious way.

    LOL.

    I never did understand the glow over wireless charging. It strikes me as being as smart as trying to turn the inside of your home into a microwave oven.

    As for Digitimes who knows what the basis for the article is, all I know is that Apple needs to release Broadwell based machines as soon as possible. The competition is really heating up in the space occupied by the MBA. So I could see a new MBA in a few day but no more than a month from now.

    Here is the thing, if the design isn't written in granite by now Apple has problems. Intel literally gave them an entire extra year to get the design right. So if this machine isn't ready to go soon I have to wonder if Apples Mac development team lost their rudder.
  • Reply 15 of 38
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,787member
    solipsismy wrote: »
    I don't think so. I think the low cost, now that the components are less expensive than the original, is an undeniable part of its success. My guess is it starts under $1000.

    People could be surprised, it may come in under $700. A fanless machine simply won't have the performance to command prices higher than $1000. Beyond that the minimalist design means less "stuff" to go into the box. Less stuff means a lower price.
  • Reply 16 of 38
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post





    I think the 11" and 13" would go away completely. My minor and major reasoning, respectively, is the 11" — especially at a 16:9 aspect ratio — is too small for prolonged periods of use and the 13" is far to close to the 13" MBP since it's design change. I think a 12" MBA would fill that spot beautifully, and I even suggested such an option when the HDD- and ODD-less 13" MBPs arrived on the scene, which was long before these rumours started up.



    Honestly, I hope it's ARM, but I expect it to be Intel-based.



    I'd love for it to be ARM. I've been pushing for this. And I still think Nadella would be more than happy to offer the full blown version of Office from the Surface RT/2 to Apple, just to help recoup the development cost.

  • Reply 17 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post





    I think the 11" and 13" would go away completely. My minor and major reasoning, respectively, is the 11" — especially at a 16:9 aspect ratio — is too small for prolonged periods of use and the 13" is far to close to the 13" MBP since it's design change. I think a 12" MBA would fill that spot beautifully, and I even suggested such an option when the HDD- and ODD-less 13" MBPs arrived on the scene, which was long before these rumours started up.



    Honestly, I hope it's ARM, but I expect it to be Intel-based.

    I think you're half right.  The 11" MBA goes away and the current 13" MBA sticks around but with a reduced price.  The 13" & 15" MBP disappear.  As far as pricing goes for the 12" MBA, assuming it has a Retina Display, I say it starts at $999 for 128GB and $1,199 for $256GB.

  • Reply 18 of 38



    With a laptop this thin one word  "Bendygate" I sat on my laptop and it bent ;)

  • Reply 19 of 38
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    wizard69 wrote: »
    People could be surprised, it may come in under $700. A fanless machine simply won't have the performance to command prices higher than $1000. Beyond that the minimalist design means less "stuff" to go into the box. Less stuff means a lower price.

    I doubt it would be that cheap. On John Gruber's latest podcast he says he thinks it could be around $1400. This is Apple we're talking about. If Apple sold it for $999 I would be shocked.
  • Reply 20 of 38
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    canukstorm wrote: »
    I think you're half right.  The 11" MBA goes away and the current 13" MBA sticks around but with a reduced price.  The 13" & 15" MBP disappear.  As far as pricing goes for the 12" MBA, assuming it has a Retina Display, I say it starts at $999 for 128GB and $1,199 for $256GB.

    I hope if Apple keeps around the 13" non-retina Air they're aggressive on the pricing. But my guess is they won't be because Schiller will want to upsell people to this new device or a 13" rMBP.
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