Apple to launch entry level 13.3-inch MacBook with Retina display in Q2, report says

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited March 12
A report out of Asia on Sunday claims Apple is preparing a new entry level 13.3-inch MacBook offering that boasts a screen resolution comparable to a MacBook Pro, but comes with a price tag closer to that of a MacBook Air.




According to a report from Digitimes' research arm, Apple's low-end MacBook will be priced in line with, or slightly above, its MacBook Air laptop, which starts at $999. A more expensive version that doubles the amount of onboard flash storage to 256GB sells for $1,199.

Korean display maker LG is said to begin ramping up production of a-Si panels with a resolution of 2,560 by 1,600 pixels at the end of May or early June. That screen resolution is major jump from the 1,440-by-900 pixel panel currently deployed in the MacBook Air, and would qualify as a Retina display.

Whether Apple intends to market the purported laptop as part of the MacBook Air or MacBook lines remains to be seen. If the device does come with "Air" branding, it would be the first to feature a Retina display, bringing Apple's thin-and-light up to par with the MacBook and MacBook Pro families.

Apple was seeking to strike a deal with a Chinese panel manufacturer in a bid to lower build costs, but was ultimately unsuccessful due to unnamed issues, the report said.

As for assembly, Quanta will reportedly handle 70 percent of orders, while Foxconn takes the remaining 30 percent. Apple is purportedly aiming to ship six million units in 2018, though Digitimes expects units ales to be closer to four million.

The report echoes recent predictions from well-connected KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who in a note to investors last week said Apple is working to release a revamped MacBook Air model sometime in the second quarter of 2018.

Finally, today's report claims Apple suppliers have started parts shipments for refreshed iPad and iPad Pro models, which are expected to ship in the second quarter and second half of 2018, respectively. While the entry level version is likely to see only minor internal upgrades, some rumors suggest Apple is working to implement the TrueDepth camera system and Face ID in its next-generation iPad Pro lineup.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    This will be a killer product 
    albegarc
  • Reply 2 of 28
    Slightly smaller, retain USB-A ports, retain keyboard, Retina display = big seller.
    racoleman29ryanistheryanairnerdbaconstangdeepen03
  • Reply 3 of 28
    I'd love to see something more than 8 GB of RAM offered. I know not everyone needs it, but considering that 8GB has been the largest option since 2012, it would be nice to get a bump. 
    GeorgeBMacalbegarc
  • Reply 4 of 28
    Woa, little timmy cookie is releasing a new mac? OMG!
    albegarc
  • Reply 5 of 28
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 2,726member
    I'd love to see something more than 8 GB of RAM offered. I know not everyone needs it, but considering that 8GB has been the largest option since 2012, it would be nice to get a bump. 
    Yes, I agree...
    At this point, 8Gb is pretty much base level.  A $1,000+ laptop should have more...
    albegarc
  • Reply 6 of 28
    john f.john f. Posts: 84member
    With the current 12" MacBook being more "Air" than the 13" MacBook Air, what are they going to name this new 13" MacBook? The "Air" naming scheme has already been dropped for the iPad, so MacBook will follow suit.

    I think they are simply going to drop the price of the current 12" MacBook to entry level price -- probably $1099 for base model 128GB MacBook -- and then place this new 13" MacBook at the current 12" MacBook price. That would make much more sense.

    Knowing Apple, the new 13" MacBook will only get two USB-C ports -- one of which will be to charge -- no SD and no thunderbolt. It will cost $1299 for the 256GB model and will replace the entry level MacBook Pro (the one without Touch Bar).
    edited March 12 randominternetpersonjasenj1
  • Reply 7 of 28
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,535member
    mindwaves said:
    Slightly smaller, retain USB-A ports, retain keyboard, Retina display = big seller.
    Why would Apple go backwards? The current MacBook and MacBook Pro with USBC and the butterfly keyboard sell really well. They're not going backwards. Yes, maybe it would sell the way you have it, but thats not going forward with technology. 
    edited March 12
  • Reply 8 of 28
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,535member

    Woa, little timmy cookie is releasing a new mac? OMG!
    Not like this didn't happen before? 
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 9 of 28
    irelandireland Posts: 17,383member
    A report out of Asia.
  • Reply 10 of 28
    irelandireland Posts: 17,383member
    I figure retaining the USB-A makes little sense. The main things I love about my MBA is the battery life and that it doesn't cost the extortionate prices of the MBP line. Apple should kill off the 12" MacBook lineup IMO and give MBA two thunderbolt 3 ports (and get rid of the MBP with two thunderbolt 3 ports). After that what I want of MBA is that it would retain SD Card and MagSafe. I wouldn't even mind that this would mean it'd lose the old thunderbolt port and in doing so would be down one port. Retina display is probably a requirement for a new laptop in 2018, but for me it would be a bonus. Battery life is my number one concern in a laptop and do not want to lose an hour or two there. Only if they can retain the excellent MBA battery life would I then accept retina—lower cost, battery life and keeping MagSafe or a suitable replacement for it are my primary concerns re MBA. At this point it seems like MB only confuses the lineup. I also like the silver display bezel on MBA and that it does not have a glass display cover. I'd like to retain this, esp. if it keeps the price lower.
    mindwaves said:
    Slightly smaller, retain USB-A ports, retain keyboard, Retina display = big seller.

    edited March 12 linkmanalbegarc
  • Reply 11 of 28
    irelandireland Posts: 17,383member

    john f. said:
    Knowing Apple, the new 13" MacBook will only get two USB-C ports -- one of which will be to charge -- no SD and no thunderbolt.
    Sadly you are probably correct in that it would lose SD and MS, but both thunderbolt 3 ports could act as charging ports. This would be Schiller's justification for booting the mighty MagSafe. 
    edited March 12
  • Reply 12 of 28
    Make the battery bigger/better if you'll put a retina display on it! You're defeating the purpose if you introduce a retina screen with the same battery tech.
  • Reply 13 of 28
    tipootipoo Posts: 935member
    If they take the base 13" rMBP and maybe lose Thunderbolt, and call that the Macbook 13, that would make the most sense. Then get rid of the Air, and have the 12 take over its price. 

    Otherwise it gets way too crowded, MBA 13, budget Macbook 13, Macbook Pro 13 without touchbar, Macbook Pro 13 with touchbar...
    edited March 12 baconstang
  • Reply 14 of 28
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 545member
    Well let me hold off on buying a macbook like I've been tempted for a few a weeks and see what this offers.  Might not be what I want, but worth the wait to see. 
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 15 of 28
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,170member
    Apple’s Mac lineup is so confusing. The iPad was too but now they seem to have that sorted. Get rid of the Air and lower the price of the MacBook. Then you have the MacBook and MacBook Pro like you have the iPad and iPad Pro.
  • Reply 16 of 28
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,519member
    In 2018, Apple is upgrading Macbook Air, Macbook and Macbook Pro.
  • Reply 17 of 28
    ensoniqensoniq Posts: 128member
    Stories like this never really make sense to me. Apple is going to release a 13” retina laptop for less than the 12” retina laptop?  How?  Why?

    If Apple wants the base price to be lower, reduce the 12” MacBook price to $999.  Done. Problem solved.  Lower the 13” Pro prices too.

    What features can Apple cut out of this new 13” machine that aren’t already missing from the 12”?  The 12” has only one USB-C port to share with charging, 8 GB ram max, no memory card slot, and a crappy 480p webcam.  Why would Apple take similar specs, give it an extra inch of Retina display, and sell it for less?

    ONLY if Apple is REPLACING the 12” with the new 13” model...that makes sense.  But not in addition to.  I don’t see how there’s room for both in the lineup...what can they add to the 12” to make it better than this entry 13” and justify an increased price?

    12” be gone, long live a 13” entry MacBook.
    edited March 12
  • Reply 18 of 28
    I agree with the posters above...drop the Air line and drop the Air moniker. Make the current MacBook the entry level at $999. Make another one with higher specs at $1,299. Done and multi-ports be damned! :)

    Oh and maybe make a 'special edition' in "black" for all those noodles out there that will pay extra for a black one! :)

    You have then a very simple laptop line. Two MacBooks and 3 MacBookPro's.

    I have the 2017 rosegold MacBook and it's a masterpiece of engineering and design. I wanted only a few things...the top being a fantastically light weight laptop with a retina screen, max battery life and of course, Apple's latest and greatest MacOS. I bought a 1" rosegold USB to USB-C adaptor for $6 and used it once when my printer dropped wifi at work.

    Best
    edited March 12 randominternetpersonjasenj1
  • Reply 19 of 28
    seankillseankill Posts: 417member
    Still can’t believe MagSafe is gone. When I got my first (and only) MacBook in 2012, I thought was this is an amazingly practical feature. But that’s Apple these days, kill prefect fine features in the name of thickness (lack thereof). 
    edited March 12 boogerman2000jasenj1baconstangMplsP
  • Reply 20 of 28
    “Digitimes expects unit ales to be closer to four million.....”

    Is Apple in the brewing business now as well?

     ;) 
    edited March 12
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