New 13-inch MacBook Air production reportedly pushed into second half of 2018

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited April 30
Apple has yet to start mass production on a rumored MacBook Air refresh, according to a supply chain report, with volume manufacturing for the notebook allegedly delayed to sometime in the second half of 2018 instead of commencing in the second quarter.

MacBook Air


Supply chain partners were apparently informed of the slip in production schedule by Apple, according to sources of DigiTimes. The delay pushes back the rumored model's manufacturing to some point later this year, though exactly when is unknown.

It is claimed Apple did not provide an explanation to vendors for why the production timeline changed. Report sources speculate it could have been caused by shortages of some key components for the notebook, such as processors and other chips.

The deferred manufacturing will apparently cause firms in the supply chain to hold on to more components than usual, while related production lines will be underutilized for the immediate future. It is believed vendors will be affected until Apple starts accepting shipments again, which sources suggest could occur in the third quarter.

As volume production for the annual iPhone refresh is also expected to ramp up in the third quarter, this may cause an employment issue at later manufacturing stages. Downstream assemblers in China may have to compete against each other to assemble the necessary workforce to produce both the iPhone and MacBook Air.

A lower-cost MacBook Air update has been rumored for a short while, with initial suggestions pointing to a second-quarter 2018 update for the product line. Considering the timing of the report, a "second half of 2018" prediction for manufacturing isn't that significant, as the second half of Apple's fiscal year is upon us on Tuesday, and the half-year mark in two months.

The new model is expected to be priced in line with, or slightly above, the current generation MacBook Air's starting price of $999 for a 128GB-capacity storage model. A more expensive version with double the onboard flash storage could sell for $1,199.

The key feature for the model is a speculated resolution jump for the display, moving from 1,440 by 900 pixels in the current generation to a Retina-level 2,560-by-1,600-pixel LG-produced screen, possibly produced by LG.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 64
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,367member
    I hope the whole MBA line comes in multiple sizes, starting at 12", and all use Apple silicon.
    TomEmacxpress
  • Reply 2 of 64
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,719member
    Rats, I am needing a light web/mail Mac for traveling and was waiting for this.
  • Reply 3 of 64
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,392member
    Soli said:
    I hope the whole MBA line comes in multiple sizes, starting at 12", and all use Apple silicon.
    What’s the point of the retina MacBook then? 
  • Reply 4 of 64
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,882member
    Lower price plus delay might imply AMD...
  • Reply 5 of 64
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,367member
    Soli said:
    I hope the whole MBA line comes in multiple sizes, starting at 12", and all use Apple silicon.
    What’s the point of the retina MacBook then? 
    You know the 12" MacBook is an Intel-based machine that starts at $1300, right? 
  • Reply 6 of 64
    TomETomE Posts: 117member
    MacPro said:
    Rats, I am needing a light web/mail Mac for traveling and was waiting for this.


    I would buy one anyway, sell it later, get a new one. That is the way it works.  Always has since inception.  What you have works, but you want a better one.  Buy an Apple product, sell it later, buy another one.

    The writers are semi-Analysts (anal-ysts).
  • Reply 7 of 64
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,719member
    TomE said:
    MacPro said:
    Rats, I am needing a light web/mail Mac for traveling and was waiting for this.


    I would buy one anyway, sell it later, get a new one. That is the way it works.  Always has since inception.  What you have works, but you want a better one.  Buy an Apple product, sell it later, buy another one.

    The writers are semi-Analysts (anal-ysts).
    Thanks for the advice.  Just for the record, I've owned almost every Mac, heck long before Macs in fact, from Apple since Apple][s and bought and sold them all so yes you are absolutely right.  I always get a great price too, I even made a profit on an Intel Cheese grater video editing system I sold to a TV production house in Canada by including my own home made external RAIDs. The thing is I thought this one was imminent and might coincide with my birthday in June (I always try to find an excuse lol)   and I could almost smell the cellophane wrapper, hence 'rats'.  I'm retired now and it's a pure indulgence as I already have half a dozen Macs of various configurations so I'll just wait this time.  Christmas maybe?  :)
  • Reply 8 of 64
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    I hope the whole MBA line comes in multiple sizes, starting at 12", and all use Apple silicon.
    What’s the point of the retina MacBook then? 
    You know the 12" MacBook is an Intel-based machine that starts at $1300, right? 
    Are you expecting the upcoming Air to eschew Intel processors?
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 9 of 64
    ...wow let's hope this is great news - retina with hopefully a 16G ram and <gasp> faster discrete graphics options too, pretty please...?
    edited April 30
  • Reply 10 of 64
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,601member

    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    I hope the whole MBA line comes in multiple sizes, starting at 12", and all use Apple silicon.
    What’s the point of the retina MacBook then? 
    You know the 12" MacBook is an Intel-based machine that starts at $1300, right? 
    Are you expecting the upcoming Air to eschew Intel processors?
    Its very possible...Apple CPU based Mac laptop? Competes in the education sector? 
  • Reply 11 of 64
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,750member
    Let's see what we have here ... we have Apple slipping rumored release dates on rumored product refreshes with rumored feature updates built around rumored manufacturing partner changes. Very solid data if you ask me. Let's now all commence to planning the rest of our day around equally fact filled rumors of the impending arrival of an army of Leprechauns riding pink unicorns coming from the future to gift us all with fairy dust filled eggs from the Easter Bunny.  
  • Reply 12 of 64
    ...wow let's hope this is great news - retina with hopefully a 16G ram and <gasp> faster discrete graphics options too, pretty please...?
    That's already available. It's called the MacBook Pro.
    fastasleepaknabi
  • Reply 13 of 64
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,781member
    MacPro said:
    Rats, I am needing a light web/mail Mac for traveling and was waiting for this.
    My local MediaMarkt has piles of MBAs on sale for 882€ (which includes 22% sales tax). 

    Don't give up hope for some kind of replacement in the short term.
  • Reply 14 of 64
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,717member
    dewme said:
    Let's see what we have here ... we have Apple slipping rumored release dates on rumored product refreshes with rumored feature updates built around rumored manufacturing partner changes. Very solid data if you ask me. Let's now all commence to planning the rest of our day around equally fact filled rumors of the impending arrival of an army of Leprechauns riding pink unicorns coming from the future to gift us all with fairy dust filled eggs from the Easter Bunny.  
    It doesn't take too much rumor or imagination to recognize a product that should have been updated a long, long time ago either being further delayed, or just plain delayed for (insert lame reason here). I think people are just getting sick of bad Mac news/rumors every day because of Apple's incompetence.

    ...wow let's hope this is great news - retina with hopefully a 16G ram and <gasp> faster discrete graphics options too, pretty please...?
    That's already available. It's called the MacBook Pro.
    I don't think people should have to buy a MacBook Pro to get some of that, though. Maybe the 16 GB or RAM or *discrete* GPU, but there should be a non-pro machine with a good screen and good-enough GPU.
  • Reply 15 of 64
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,367member
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    I hope the whole MBA line comes in multiple sizes, starting at 12", and all use Apple silicon.
    What’s the point of the retina MacBook then? 
    You know the 12" MacBook is an Intel-based machine that starts at $1300, right? 
    Are you expecting the upcoming Air to eschew Intel processors?
    Expecting? No.

    Hoping? Yes. 

  • Reply 16 of 64
    cgWerks said:
    I don't think people should have to buy a MacBook Pro to get some of that, though. Maybe the 16 GB or RAM or *discrete* GPU, but there should be a non-pro machine with a good screen and good-enough GPU.
    My wife's MacBook Pro is getting pretty old so today I went to Apple's site to see what a new one costs. I was genuinely shocked to discover that I can't buy a 15" Apple laptop with a TB of storage for less than CAD$4000 (USD$3000). With AppleCare, taxes, and a few adaptors to accommodate the USB-C connectors, we're looking at just shy of CAD$5000.

    Looks like her existing MacBook Pro is going to get even older. WAAAY older, at this pace.

    Lately a few things have had me thinking about how committed I am to staying with an all-Apple setup -- loads of software glitches, troublesome iPhones, disappointment in the 4K Apple TV -- so just for giggles I'd like to check how green the grass is on the other side of the fence. Anyone have suggestions of high-quality Wintel laptops you would actually consider buying for yourself?
    DavidAlGregorymuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 17 of 64
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,601member
    cgWerks said:
    I don't think people should have to buy a MacBook Pro to get some of that, though. Maybe the 16 GB or RAM or *discrete* GPU, but there should be a non-pro machine with a good screen and good-enough GPU.
    My wife's MacBook Pro is getting pretty old so today I went to Apple's site to see what a new one costs. I was genuinely shocked to discover that I can't buy a 15" Apple laptop with a TB of storage for less than CAD$4000 (USD$3000). With AppleCare, taxes, and a few adaptors to accommodate the USB-C connectors, we're looking at just shy of CAD$5000.

    Looks like her existing MacBook Pro is going to get even older. WAAAY older, at this pace.

    Lately a few things have had me thinking about how committed I am to staying with an all-Apple setup -- loads of software glitches, troublesome iPhones, disappointment in the 4K Apple TV -- so just for giggles I'd like to check how green the grass is on the other side of the fence. Anyone have suggestions of high-quality Wintel laptops you would actually consider buying for yourself?
    Look to see if there's refurbs available on Apple's website. Sometimes you can get pretty good deals and they're just as good as a new Mac and you can still get AppleCare for it as well. If not, it still retains the 1yr warranty. 
    edited April 30 cgWerks
  • Reply 18 of 64
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,717member
    cgWerks said:
    I don't think people should have to buy a MacBook Pro to get some of that, though. Maybe the 16 GB or RAM or *discrete* GPU, but there should be a non-pro machine with a good screen and good-enough GPU.
    My wife's MacBook Pro is getting pretty old so today I went to Apple's site to see what a new one costs. I was genuinely shocked to discover that I can't buy a 15" Apple laptop with a TB of storage for less than CAD$4000 (USD$3000). With AppleCare, taxes, and a few adaptors to accommodate the USB-C connectors, we're looking at just shy of CAD$5000.

    Looks like her existing MacBook Pro is going to get even older. WAAAY older, at this pace.

    Lately a few things have had me thinking about how committed I am to staying with an all-Apple setup -- loads of software glitches, troublesome iPhones, disappointment in the 4K Apple TV -- so just for giggles I'd like to check how green the grass is on the other side of the fence. Anyone have suggestions of high-quality Wintel laptops you would actually consider buying for yourself?
    It is getting a bit crazy, and then the exchange rate just rubs a bit more salt...  I could swear the last 15" MacBook Pro I purchased new (late-2000s) cost under $2000.

    My son is chomping at the bit to buy his first MBP. He's been saving like crazy and finally has like $2400, which will get him a bottom of the line 13" MBP, refurb. (I think I've convinced him to hold off until June to see if we get some better replacements.)

    And, yes, any MBP I'd consider currently would be ~$3k+. I'm not willing to spend that much on a machine with all the problems of the current models, and hesitant to buy a 2015 w/o TB3. So, I'm getting a desktop (if Apple had something good there) and/or waiting until June as well to see what happens. It's the first time I've ever not known what Apple product to buy, if not had a list of models I wanted.

    re: grass greener - The big problem - at least from my perspective - is the whole eco-system and then certain pieces of software. For others, the OS would also heavily factor in (or at least more heavily than for me). Since I have an IT background and spent a lot of my career on Windows, I know I could put up with it. But, making a whole eco-system swap isn't so easy, and I'd have to give up a few key apps I enjoy.

    As for laptops, I'd suggest the Dell XPS series, as I've heard great things about them from friends and general industry buzz. I think there is also some nice stuff in some of the speciality systems, but they tend more towards gamers. My wife has a pretty nice 'surface-like' machine she got from work, and I can't recall the brand right now. She like it quite a bit, but it wouldn't a 15" MBP replacement... more of a MacBook/Surface competitor.

    Oh, and Macxpress is absolutely right about the Apple refurbs. You'll save a couple hundred dollars (or more) and I've actually found them to be more reliable than new (based on a rather limited sample size, admittedly).
    edited April 30
  • Reply 19 of 64
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,332member
    Hp Spectre x360.
    lenovo yogo 920
    lenovo Thinkpad x1 carbon.

    Dell xps, but the camera placement is a fail. None of the above have as good a trackpad as a Mac laptop, but otherwise....
    edited April 30
  • Reply 20 of 64
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,717member
    Just to follow up on the above... 
    The laptop/tablet my wife recently got from work is a Lenovo Miix 520, so it's a bit better than a current MBA and seems to cost a bit more as well (though I don't know the pricing of her particular model). It seems very well built, though not as 'clean' of design as Apple's. That said, my wife likes it enough (she uses Apple at home, and currently uses a 1-yr-old MBA... and Windows at work), that she said she'd buy one like that for home over a MBA (or whatever Apple has) if our household were to switch to PCs.
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