Rumor: Apple to unveil redesigned MacBook Airs, new 15" model at WWDC 2016

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited December 2015
A rumor circulating in the Far East claims Apple plans to introduce a revamped MacBook Air lineup at its Worldwide Developers Conference in 2016, extending the form factor to include a 15-inch model potentially in lieu of an 11-inch version.




Citing supply chain sources, Taiwanese publication Economic Daily News, which has a spotty track record of accurate Apple predictions, reported on Monday that the company is working with suppliers on an all-new MacBook Air series due to launch at next year's WWDC.

Of note, instead of keeping the thin-and-light lineup's familiar 11- and 13-inch screen sizes, sources say Apple intends to completely overlap its MacBook Pro line all the way up to a 15-inch model. Going even further, the distinguishing 11-inch MacBook Air might get nixed altogether. Economic Daily News quizzically believes this year's 12.9-inch iPad Pro launch means there is a "big chance" that the 11-inch MacBook Air will be scrapped.

Apple is supposedly working out final designs and is in discussions with partner suppliers as part of that process, but sources say to expect a completely new aesthetic. Inside, the 2016 MacBook Air is said to pack new battery packs, cooling modules, panels and more into a revamped metal chassis.

Aside from those sparse details, the publication's sources shared precious little else before descending into banal "thinner, lighter, faster" claims, invariably safe bets for contemporary Apple prognosticators.

While a reshuffled MacBook Air lineup is a possibility, today's rumor smacks more of a long-awaited MacBook Pro refresh. Apple's top-of-the-line MacBook Pro laptops currently come in 13- and 15-inch flavors and are due for a redesign. A similar scenario played out last year when Apple's supply chain began leaking information about what would ultimately become the 12-inch MacBook with Retina display. At the time, sources claimed the 12-inch laptop would receive MacBook Air badging.

Based on its current MacBook products, which come with 11-, 12-, 13- and 15-inch screens, it seems unlikely that Apple would muddy the waters by axing the smallest screen size in favor of doubling up on the top end. If the rumor holds true, however, Apple would be selling one 12-inch laptop, three 13-inch devices -- iPad Pro, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro -- and two 15-inch models.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 111
    dk49dk49 Posts: 16member
    I hope (and wish) that 2016 Air has retina display.
    sarges
  • Reply 2 of 111
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,257member
    Air? Hello?
    The 12" MacBook is the way forward in my eyes. But one more iteration with the air probably makes sense before end of life. When The MacBook Pro with a dedicated GPU can go fan-less it would also be ready for the new thin design.. But I rely on Thunderbolt a lot.. It'd be sad to let go of thunderbolt. I guess USB c is good enough for most uses.
  • Reply 3 of 111
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member

    Macbook Air or Macbook?

  • Reply 4 of 111
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1 Type-C (reversible) and SDXC reader supporting UHS-II maximum speed (300 Mbps)?
  • Reply 5 of 111

    This is good news for me as I want to buy a Macbook Air. I think the Macbook pro is too Heavy, but the Macbook is too slow. But I really want a retina display, so I guess I should settle for a Pro. I do not agree with the article that the redesign of the Pro is due for a refresh. I think they will keep the design for at least two years more. So my guess is that this is the rumored 14" Macbook they are talking about, which I guess also would suit my needs I guess if the processor gets faster.

  • Reply 6 of 111
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,113member
    Seriously? Another eight months before we get skylake?

    Just whack a retina display and 8GB ram in the current MBA form factor and I will buy three. Immediately.

    Problem is I need to purchase them for Christmas. Otherwise, at the moment I am seriously looking at dell XPS or HP spectre x360. Both with Skylake, decent amount of RAM and retina like displays. Same price range.
  • Reply 7 of 111
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    dk49 wrote: »
    I hope (and wish) that 2016 Air has retina display.

    Get a MBP.
  • Reply 8 of 111
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    entropys wrote: »
    Seriously? Another eight months before we get skylake?

    Just whack a retina display and 8GB ram in the current MBA form factor and I will buy three. Immediately.

    Problem is I need to purchase them for Christmas. Otherwise, at the moment I am seriously looking at dell XPS or HP spectre x360. Both with Skylake, decent amount of RAM and retina like displays. Same price range.

    Buy a rMBP. It makes zero sense for Apple to add retina to the MBA when the rMBP exists. This rumor makes zero sense. The only thing the MBA got this year was a spec bump. If Apple was planning to keep the line around how come only the rMBP and rMB got the new trackpads? Also this rumor says these redesigned Airs will be coming out at WWDC. Seriously? PC OEMs are releasing Skylake devices right now. Dell just updated their XPS lines. I'm highly skeptical that Apple will wait 7 months to update Macs with Skylake. Plus the past two WWDC's have been hardware free and now with iOS, OS X, watchOS, tvOS, 3D Touch, iPad Pro and Apple Pencil I think Apple can easily fill up two hours just talking software updates.

    My guess is it's the Pros being redesigned and we may see them announced at a Q1 event.
  • Reply 9 of 111
    I don't think Apple can hold off until WWDC. Their whole notebook lineup is looking pretty damn sad right now. The MacBook Air is using decades old display technology and the MacBook Pro has the best processor from 2013. They need to ditch the Air, and release a 14" MacBook with a U-Series processor, along with a revamped MacBook Pro, in December or January. Beyond that...I'm not the slightest bit interested in buying old technology.
  • Reply 10 of 111
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I don't think Apple can hold off until WWDC. Their whole notebook lineup is looking pretty damn sad right now. The MacBook Air is using decades old display technology and the MacBook Pro has the best processor from 2013. They need to ditch the Air, and release a 14" MacBook with a U-Series processor, along with a revamped MacBook Pro, in December or January. Beyond that...I'm not the slightest bit interested in buying old technology.

    The Air will hang around until the rMB comes down In price and the rMBP gets a weight reduction. Though I could see Apple getting rid of the 13" and keeping the 11" around as an entry level laptop. No way Apple waits until WWDC to update their laptop line.
  • Reply 11 of 111

    The distinction between MB and MBA is just confusing. To the non-Apple fan, but simply Apple user, the MB seems to be the MBA. All people I know don't get the difference. And I don't get it either.

  • Reply 12 of 111
    kpluckkpluck Posts: 500member

    Whatever they do I hope they keep up their current trend of making things thinner with fewer ports. There is nothing I like better than a thin laptop with a bunch of dongles/hubs hanging off it!

     

    -kpluck

  • Reply 13 of 111
    I don't think Apple can hold off until WWDC. Their whole notebook lineup is looking pretty damn sad right now. The MacBook Air is using decades old display technology and the MacBook Pro has the best processor from 2013. They need to ditch the Air, and release a 14" MacBook with a U-Series processor, along with a revamped MacBook Pro, in December or January. Beyond that...I'm not the slightest bit interested in buying old technology.

    The 13" MBP is using Broadwell, not Haswell. And Skylake isn't that much of a speed benefit, so unless Apple plans to go to DDR4 with the 15" there's very little point in rushing. I actually am not sure Intel has the requisite Skylake chips for the 15" ready.

    The Air is doomed. This rumor is for a thinner rMBP.
  • Reply 14 of 111
    macapfel wrote: »
    The distinction between MB and MBA is just confusing. To the non-Apple fan, but simply Apple user, the MB seems to be the MBA. All people I know don't get the difference. And I don't get it either.

    It's a good thing Apple has never had three laptop models before, they've always had MBA and MBP, no MacBook.

    Oh, wait...
  • Reply 15 of 111
    I am still using my maxed out MBP from 2012. Normally I upgrade overtime a new model comes out. I can honestly say that I am not sure what would make me need to upgrade at this point. I have it hooked to 2 27" monitors which is perfect for work most work loads. Of course I will welcome any upgrades that speed performance up...but is it a necessity? No.

    I would like to see a better technology for airplay that offers lag that is low enough to be unnoticeable. Need this for the perfect extended desktop and also for presentations.''

    11" seems too small. 12" is a great starting point to be usable. Seems they should just do 12", 14" and 16". Or something similar. More importantly they need to make sure they distinguish the models. Really just need a consumer MBA or MB and pro series. Not 3 buckets IMO.
  • Reply 16 of 111
    macapfel wrote: »
    The distinction between MB and MBA is just confusing. To the non-Apple fan, but simply Apple user, the MB seems to be the MBA. All people I know don't get the difference. And I don't get it either.

    The MacBook is Apple's lightest laptop and includes a Retina display. The MacBook Air is Apple's 2nd lightest laptop and doesn't include a Retina display. It's Apple most affordable laptop and has the best battery life of all their laptops. It is also more powerful then the MacBook.
  • Reply 17 of 111

    I think all three types of apple laptops have their flaws at the moment :

     

    - the pro is seriously due for SkyLake upgrades. Unless you really need one, don't buy right now. 

     

    - the air has a seriously dated screen. I don't think there are ANY windows laptops in that price range with non-retina. In fact, it is a bit shameful that apple dares to sell such screens for such prices. Also, 4GB Ram ? 128GB HD ? Comon, seriously ? 

     

    - the macbook is 1st gen and really too slow for anything beyond tablet-speed-requirements. Maybe if the A10 is fast enough... but then we'll be stuck with an emulation layer like when they went from PPC to intel (rosetta), which will cause another slowdown

     

    IMHO the air is a dead end and eventually they will release an A10 or A11 processor fast enough to power the macbook. We'll have the macbook and the macbook pro. 

  • Reply 18 of 111
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by portcity View Post





    The MacBook is Apple's lightest laptop and includes a Retina display. The MacBook Air is Apple's 2nd lightest laptop and doesn't include a Retina display. It's Apple most affordable laptop and has the best battery life of all their laptops. It is also more powerful then the MacBook.



    Ahh! OK. It's so super simple – how could I miss this?

  • Reply 19 of 111
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by portcity View Post





    The MacBook is Apple's lightest laptop and includes a Retina display. The MacBook Air is Apple's 2nd lightest laptop and doesn't include a Retina display. It's Apple most affordable laptop and has the best battery life of all their laptops. It is also more powerful then the MacBook.



    even reading this is confusing, let alone explaining to a non-experienced buyer what their best choice is. I've bene using macs professionally for 20 years and still find it hard at the moment to choose a new laptop for my teenage kids ! 

  • Reply 20 of 111
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TechProd1gy View Post



    I would like to see a better technology for airplay that offers lag that is low enough to be unnoticeable. Need this for the perfect extended desktop and also for presentations.''

     

    It is called the new AppleTV + 802.11ac.

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