Rumor: Apple buying screens for 13" MacBook, could signal end of MacBook Air

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
Reports from the supply chain suggest that Apple has picked a supplier for 13-inch screens for a new MacBook -- which if accurate may mean that the MacBook Air's days are numbered.




According to a report on Tuesday from supply chain monitor DigiTimes, Apple has tapped General Interface Solutions for LCD modules. The modules are said to be for an "entry-level" 13-inch MacBook, allegedly due in the second half of 2018.

The report has very little actual data about a new MacBook model, and the orders ultimate destination may have been misinterpreted by DigiTimes. Apple already has a 13-inch LCD screen supplier for the MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro, and if the orders are actually going to Apple at all, it is possible that they are for either of those products in an effort to diversify suppliers of crucial components.

Apple is not expected to make a major renovation to the MacBook Pro in 2018. However, this does not preclude a processor swap, or a screen from a new supplier in a refresh.

DigiTimes does generally provide accurate information from within Apple's supply chain, but has a poor track record for predicting Apple's future product plans.

As a result of orders for any rumored future Apple product, the company is expecting to double it's monthly LCD screen production before the end of 2018. Between the new LCD orders and any successor to the OLED iPhone X, GIS is expected to see a revenue rebound.

Apple's MacBook Air hasn't seen a big revision since 2015. The last minor update consisted of a minor speed and RAM bump at the 2017 WWDC. It is Apple's last laptop without a Retina screen, and retails for $999 for a 1.8GHz dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of flash storage.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    Introduce a 13" MacBook with higher specs. Drop the existing one to $999. All good. (Fingers Crossed)
    bb-15chiacurtis hannahksecjony0deepen03
  • Reply 2 of 36
    tipootipoo Posts: 843member
    Dropping the MBA would be fine by me, but at least the Macbook 12" has to take over its price slot then. 

    Matching the Pro 13"s size is kind of weird as they'd be so similar, makes more sense to me to drop the "Pro" moniker from the nontouchbars name and just have it become the 13" macbook. 
    edited January 23 adm1chasmcurtis hannahdeepen03
  • Reply 3 of 36
    robjnrobjn Posts: 186member
    The Air already has replacements in the existing product line. It only continues to exist to hit an entry level price point. I doubt this rumor really points to an all new machine, it’s probably just a new supplier for the existing 13 McBook Pro panels.
    curtis hannah
  • Reply 4 of 36
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,245member
    tipoo said:
    Dropping the MBA would be fine by me, but at least the Macbook 12" has to take over its price slot then. 

    Matching the Pro 13"s size is kind of weird as they'd be so similar, makes more sense to me to drop the "Pro" moniker from the nontouchbars name and just have it become the 13" macbook. 
    I think this is what Apple was trying to do. The MacBook Air only hung around until Apple could get the 12" MacBook price low enough to take its place. Just like with the original MacBook Air, it was hard at first for Apple to get the price where it is today. Then 12" MacBook keep going down in price and maybe its at a point to where Apple can lower it below $1000 and still make the profits they want. 

    To be its obvious that Apple isn't keeping the MacBook Air around. I honestly don't see a reason to. Their notebook lineup is already has too many models and a MacBook Air simply isn't necessary anymore. 
  • Reply 5 of 36
    According to a report on Tuesday from supply chain monitor DigiTimes, Apple has tapped General Interface Solutions for LCD modules. The modules are said to be for an "entry-level" 13-inch MacBook, allegedly due in the second half of 2018.

    The report has very little actual data about a new MacBook model, and the orders ultimate destination may have been misinterpreted by DigiTimes
    Suppose this blog entry could have ended right there.
    adm1Rayz2016bwintx
  • Reply 6 of 36
    The MBA is the only remaining Apple laptop with a decent keyboard. 
    williamlondonlmackseccroprGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 7 of 36
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,245member
    BittySon said:
    The MBA is the only remaining Apple laptop with a decent keyboard. 
    Thats all a matter of opinion. I happen to like the newer style keyboards. 
    chasmwilliamlondonchiacurtis hannah
  • Reply 8 of 36
    tipootipoo Posts: 843member
    BittySon said:
    The MBA is the only remaining Apple laptop with a decent keyboard. 

    I'm interested in seeing if the next refresh brings a Butterfly 3, that addresses the jamming complaints. The new keyboards may be a love or hate thing, but one thing a keyboard always needs to be is reliable. 

    Dell introduced a maglev keyboard that lets them tune throw and pressure curves more precisely, that would be an interesting idea in this tight space. Not that I expect Apple to, but a significant change here will be interesting to look at. 
    curtis hannahksec
  • Reply 9 of 36
    lmaclmac Posts: 131member
    BittySon said:
    The MBA is the only remaining Apple laptop with a decent keyboard. 
    I completely agree. I have avoided a new Mac laptop and am hanging onto my Air until there's something reliable to buy.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 10 of 36
    lmaclmac Posts: 131member

    macxpress said:
    BittySon said:
    The MBA is the only remaining Apple laptop with a decent keyboard. 
    Thats all a matter of opinion. I happen to like the newer style keyboards. 
    It's not a matter of style. The new butterfly keyboards are very unreliable and Apple knows it.
    ksecwilliamlondon
  • Reply 11 of 36
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,245member
    lmac said:

    macxpress said:
    BittySon said:
    The MBA is the only remaining Apple laptop with a decent keyboard. 
    Thats all a matter of opinion. I happen to like the newer style keyboards. 
    It's not a matter of style. The new butterfly keyboards are very unreliable and Apple knows it.
    Do you have any numbers to explain your claim that the new keyboards are unreliable and that Apple knows it, or did you just read and article and that's your proof? Like I said, I like the newer style (and yes its a style) keyboards. Never an issue for my keyboard on my 12" MacBook. 
    macpluspluschiaStrangeDayswilliamlondon
  • Reply 12 of 36
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,459member
    DAalseth said:
    Introduce a 13" MacBook with higher specs. Drop the existing one to $999. All good. (Fingers Crossed)
    Bingo!
  • Reply 13 of 36
    macxpress said:
    lmac said:

    macxpress said:
    BittySon said:
    The MBA is the only remaining Apple laptop with a decent keyboard. 
    Thats all a matter of opinion. I happen to like the newer style keyboards. 
    It's not a matter of style. The new butterfly keyboards are very unreliable and Apple knows it.
    Do you have any numbers to explain your claim that the new keyboards are unreliable and that Apple knows it, or did you just read and article and that's your proof? Like I said, I like the newer style (and yes its a style) keyboards. Never an issue for my keyboard on my 12" MacBook. 
    The original MacBook keyboard was unreliable. Before I retired last year I was associated with the computer repair unit at a large university. We repaired the equipment we sold on campus and we were seeing between 10%-15% of the MacBooks we sold coming back with keyboard problems. Sometimes the problems could be solved with compressed air but more often than not we ended up replacing the top case, which is NOT an easy thing to do with those units. The newer butterfly keyboards in the newer MacBooks and MacBook Pros is much better than the first generation. (I have a 2017 15" MacBook Pro and love it.)
    chiaGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 14 of 36
    ksecksec Posts: 1,485member
    It is much better then the first version simply because the first version is crap, and that by no means make the 2nd generation butterfly keyboard great. We still need improvements.

    13" Screen. or may be they are brining Retina to Macbook Air? The cost difference is absolutely minimal from BOM perspective. 

    Otherwise it wouldn't make sense to have next size of Macbook in 13", far too close to 12". It would have to be 14" at least.
    BittySonwilliamlondonentropys
  • Reply 15 of 36
    gustavgustav Posts: 819member
    lmac said:

    macxpress said:
    BittySon said:
    The MBA is the only remaining Apple laptop with a decent keyboard. 
    Thats all a matter of opinion. I happen to like the newer style keyboards. 
    It's not a matter of style. The new butterfly keyboards are very unreliable and Apple knows it.
    I haven't had an issue with my butterfly 2 keyboard after months of use. I remember back when Apple switched keyboards from the taller, sculpted keys to the flat ones - around the time the white MacBooks were introduced. People complained exactly the same way as they are now. It settled down eventually.
    williamlondonchia
  • Reply 16 of 36
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 776member
    There is still a lot to like about the MBA:

    The only MacBook with that type of keyboard
    Price
    Ports
    Magsafe
    Portability comparable to the Macbook
    i5 or i7 CPU
    HD camera
    Longer battery runtime than Macbook
    SD card slot

    I suspect it is still a good seller in spite of the low res screen. When I visit colleges I notice that it is the most common model used by students. With an educational discount they can probably get their hands on the base model for about $800.
    entropys
  • Reply 17 of 36
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,002member
    Will this new MacBook have more than one port and at a similar price point?
    Until then this speculated machine ain’t no MBA replacement.
    edited January 23 williamlondon
  • Reply 18 of 36
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,390member
    linkman said:
    There is still a lot to like about the MBA:

    The only MacBook with that type of keyboard
    Price
    Ports
    Magsafe
    Portability comparable to the Macbook
    i5 or i7 CPU
    HD camera
    Longer battery runtime than Macbook
    SD card slot

    I suspect it is still a good seller in spite of the low res screen. When I visit colleges I notice that it is the most common model used by students. With an educational discount they can probably get their hands on the base model for about $800.
    Im not sure Apple cares if a new model has features users want or need.   I could see this replacement having exactly one USB-C port and a splash screen that is the middle finger pointing at you.   

    Unless somebody with significant influence at Apple turns things around i can see MacBooks going portless.  Apple seems to be in denial when it comes to users that do more with their machines than watching you tube videos.    Combine that with watered down MBPs and the future doesnt look that bright for tech users at Apple.  
    williamlondon
  • Reply 19 of 36
    In spite of all the complaints people are purchasing a lot of Apple laptops these days.
    williamlondonchiamacxpress
  • Reply 20 of 36
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,112member
    I hope they don't drop the Air moniker. It's a great name and I hope it evolves into an ARM-based Mac line of various display sizes. Air also fits in with the already ARM-based iPads. Perhaps even make it convertible and touchscreen (and possibly with a convertible OS)… assuming there is an actual market for that.
    GeorgeBMac
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