Apple could use Kaby Lake processors in 2018 MacBook Air refresh

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited July 2018
Apple could use 8th-generation Kaby Lake processors in mid-range MacBook or MacBook Air models later this year, a Taiwanese report claims, with Apple thought to be using the more established processors from last year instead of newer variants due to implementation issues.




A report from the Economic Daily News advises an incoming 13-inch Apple notebook may have slower shipments than first thought, due to Apple deciding to use the refreshed Kaby Lake processors. It is suggested the decision was made because of potential cooling issues with newer generations of processor, as well as Intel's continued delays in producing newer generations of processor.

It is claimed Apple was keen to use 10-nanometer Cannon Lake chips in the Macbook, but continued deferment leaves Apple with little choice but to use the older 14-nanometer Kaby Lake versions.

It is unclear what computer the article refers to, as it mentions a "13-inch MacBook." The MacBook line has a 12-inch monitor, while the MacBook Air has a 13-inch display. Of the two, it is more likely to be the MacBook Air, if the 13-inch display distinction is accurate.

While not Cannon Lake, the change to Kaby Lake is likely to give the MacBook Air line a boost, as they currently employ fifth-generation Core i5 and Core i7 Processors.

A lower-cost MacBook Air update has been rumored for a while, with initial suggestions having pointed to a second-quarter 2018 update for the product line -- which was clearly missed.

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 21
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,194member
    Apple needs to get its low end laptop story figured out. Having MBA, rMB and non-touch bar MBP in the lineup is too messy. On John Gruber’s latest podcast Marco Arment said Apple needs to keep the Air branding. I disagree. They removed it from the iPad, now is time to remove from the Mac. Personally I think Apple should make the rMB the cheapest model in the lineup and keep the non-touch bar MBP as one step up in price and just call both of them MacBook. Though that could be confusing as one is fanless and the other is not. But it would be better than what we have now.
    edited July 2018 macplusplusblastdoor
  • Reply 2 of 21
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,954member
    Apple needs to get its low end laptop story figured out. Having MBA. rMB and non-touch bar MBP in the lineup is too messy. On John Gruber’s latest podcast Marco Arment said Apple needs to keep the Air branding. I disagree. They removed it from the iPad, now is time to remove from the Mac. Personally I think Apple should make the rMB the cheapest model in the lineup and keep the non-touch bar MBP as one step up in price and just call both of them MacBook. Though that could be confusing as one is fanless and the other is not. But it would be better than what we have now.
    I agree -- dump Air. 

    I don't think it would *literally* be the non-touch bar MBP as the one step up in price, but I agree that in spirit that's more or less what they should do. 


  • Reply 3 of 21
    urashidurashid Posts: 92member
    Kaby Lake 7th gen, Kaby Lake 8th gen.  Intel, this is very confusing :)

    If the Retina rumours are true, I will happily give up my plans for the new MacBook Pro and wait for this Macbook Air.
    edited July 2018
  • Reply 4 of 21
    thttht Posts: 3,249member
    It is unclear what computer the article refers to, as it mentions a "13-inch MacBook." The MacBook line has a 12-inch monitor, while the MacBook Air has a 13-inch display. Of the two, it is more likely to be the MacBook Air, if the 13-inch display distinction is accurate. 

    The current MB12 and MBP13FN uses Kaby Lake processors.

    I do not recall if there is a “Coffee Lake” 5 W version, but I vaguely think there isn’t any, and any successors at the 5 W TDP has to wait for Cannon Lake or whatever Intel 14nm+++++ version Intel will use as a stopgap to Cannon Lake.

    If there is a MBA13 replacement, it will likely use 15W TDP Coffee Lake processors. If Apple is going to offer a fanless 13” laptop of the same ID as the MB12, they can configure those 15W TDP Coffee Lake processors down to about 10W and squeak on by. Or continue on with Kaby Lake 15W processors and configure down. But the Coffee Lake processors have HEVC hardware support. I would think they would want that.
    entropys
  • Reply 5 of 21
    backstabbackstab Posts: 138member
    Meh. Dump the MacBook Air.
    Put another USBC port on the other side of the MacBook, and call it a day.

    Thank you, Apple. I appreciate you always doing what I say.
    Good doggie!
    stompyking editor the grate
  • Reply 6 of 21
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,194member
    blastdoor said:
    Apple needs to get its low end laptop story figured out. Having MBA. rMB and non-touch bar MBP in the lineup is too messy. On John Gruber’s latest podcast Marco Arment said Apple needs to keep the Air branding. I disagree. They removed it from the iPad, now is time to remove from the Mac. Personally I think Apple should make the rMB the cheapest model in the lineup and keep the non-touch bar MBP as one step up in price and just call both of them MacBook. Though that could be confusing as one is fanless and the other is not. But it would be better than what we have now.
    I agree -- dump Air. 

    I don't think it would *literally* be the non-touch bar MBP as the one step up in price, but I agree that in spirit that's more or less what they should do. 


    I get why they kept it around but at this point no low end Apple product should be using a crappy display. If Apple keeps the Air around and just puts a Retina display in it everyone will say why the heck didn’t you do this 3 years go and what the heck is the rMB for then. I can’t see Apple doing that so get rid of the current Airs and the Air branding and just have MB and MBP.
    blastdoor
  • Reply 7 of 21
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,979member
    I'd keep it around and make it K-12 only (Educational). Use their own CPU's/GPU. 
  • Reply 8 of 21
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
     Apple can probably make much higher margins by using these older processors. Presumably, they are available much more cheaply.

     Most people are going to buy a new lapropbased on name and reputation anyway. They don't care Which processor is used so long as it is good enough for their needs. Most people couldn't tell you  anything about the processor, except that it is the latest one to be included in their brand new model laptop. 

     Apple is being smart here.
  • Reply 9 of 21
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,850member
    The MBA is probably still it’s top selling laptop, which is why it is still around. At this point though its geriatric status is embarrassing. Mac decisions in the last five years have been pretty bad as a whole when you think about it.
    Just upgrade the form factor with a current chip, a current USB-C/tb port, keep usba and SD card slot, and update the screen. Sell tons of them.
  • Reply 10 of 21
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,194member
    entropys said:
    The MBA is probably still it’s top selling laptop, which is why it is still around. At this point though its geriatric status is embarrassing. Mac decisions in the last five years have been pretty bad as a whole when you think about it.
    Just upgrade the form factor with a current chip, a current USB-C/tb port, keep usba and SD card slot, and update the screen. Sell tons of them.
    If it’s still their top selling laptop it’s because of price. Not ports or keyboard.
  • Reply 11 of 21
    anomeanome Posts: 1,297member
    entropys said:
    The MBA is probably still it’s top selling laptop, which is why it is still around. At this point though its geriatric status is embarrassing. Mac decisions in the last five years have been pretty bad as a whole when you think about it.
    Just upgrade the form factor with a current chip, a current USB-C/tb port, keep usba and SD card slot, and update the screen. Sell tons of them.

    It's still around because they can't get the 12" MacBook below US$1000. That's also one reason the MBA is so popular. If they could shed just a few hundred more off the MB price, I suspect the Air would disappear.

    I wonder if they'd be able to manage it using their iPhone sales model - keep the previous year's model in the line-up as a cheaper option. However, PC sales may not work that way, since a lot more importance is given to using newer, faster processors, and the market tends to run on a slower upgrade cycle. Also, it might not be solely the cost of the processor that's keeping costs so high.

    Another reason they might not want to kill the Air is that they are still getting flack for the Butterfly keyboard, and the change in ports. They might be waiting for either the fuss over the keyboard to settle down, or for them to finally get a version that pleases everyone before getting rid of the last laptop without it.

  • Reply 12 of 21
    ...the option of 16G ram (and retina display/bumped graphics) would make my decision tougher...!
  • Reply 13 of 21
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,850member
    It's still around because they can't get the 12" MacBook below US$1000

    Can’t, or won’t?
    market positioning is another example of bad Mac decisions the last five years.
    edited July 2018
  • Reply 14 of 21
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,582member
    entropys said:
    It's still around because they can't get the 12" MacBook below US$1000

    Can’t, or won’t?
    market positioning is another example of bad Mac decisions the last five years.
    Yes, their decisions are so bad they’re growing sales while the PC sector is declining. Oops. Poor Apple!
    williamlondonchiaanome
  • Reply 15 of 21
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,669member
    entropys said:
    The MBA is probably still it’s top selling laptop, which is why it is still around. At this point though its geriatric status is embarrassing. Mac decisions in the last five years have been pretty bad as a whole when you think about it.
    Just upgrade the form factor with a current chip, a current USB-C/tb port, keep usba and SD card slot, and update the screen. Sell tons of them.
    If it’s still their top selling laptop it’s because of price. Not ports or keyboard.
    Exactly - there's definitely a market for a more reasonably priced laptop. After the Air, the next option starts at $1300 and you're looking at $1700 to get one with a reasonable amount of storage. Not everyone wants the ability to run dual 4k displays off their laptop; they just want a good laptop.
  • Reply 16 of 21
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,194member
    entropys said:
    It's still around because they can't get the 12" MacBook below US$1000

    Can’t, or won’t?
    market positioning is another example of bad Mac decisions the last five years.
    Yes, their decisions are so bad they’re growing sales while the PC sector is declining. Oops. Poor Apple!
    Really? Last quarter Apple reported Mac sales were down 3% YOY. The quarter before that they reported sales down 5% YOY.

    https://www.apple.com/newsroom/pdfs/Q2_FY18_Data_Summary.pdf

    https://www.apple.com/newsroom/pdfs/Q1_FY18_Data_Summary.pdf
    blastdoor
  • Reply 17 of 21
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,194member
    MplsP said:
    entropys said:
    The MBA is probably still it’s top selling laptop, which is why it is still around. At this point though its geriatric status is embarrassing. Mac decisions in the last five years have been pretty bad as a whole when you think about it.
    Just upgrade the form factor with a current chip, a current USB-C/tb port, keep usba and SD card slot, and update the screen. Sell tons of them.
    If it’s still their top selling laptop it’s because of price. Not ports or keyboard.
    Exactly - there's definitely a market for a more reasonably priced laptop. After the Air, the next option starts at $1300 and you're looking at $1700 to get one with a reasonable amount of storage. Not everyone wants the ability to run dual 4k displays off their laptop; they just want a good laptop.
    I’d love to know why the one port fanless MB is still so expensive. Apple should be able to bring the price down by now.
    blastdooravon b7williamlondon
  • Reply 18 of 21
    TomETomE Posts: 146member
    Since we are voting on the new MacBook "Air" or what ever it will be called.

    13" New MacBook Air
    1 USB-C Port
    Maybe a Monitor Port or a Second USB-C port
    1 USB -B Port
    1 Card Slot
    1 Earphone plug
    Retina Display
    Better Speakers
    an A-Series Processor - then it could support some iOS Apps - If it has a keyboard, I would prefer a Mouse to a Touch Screen - or at least I think I would prefer the mouse.
    The Original MacBook Air Keyboard Mechanism - I cannot attest to the newest ButterFly Mechanism, but the Original Keyboard worked.

  • Reply 19 of 21
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,954member
    anome said:
    entropys said:
    The MBA is probably still it’s top selling laptop, which is why it is still around. At this point though its geriatric status is embarrassing. Mac decisions in the last five years have been pretty bad as a whole when you think about it.
    Just upgrade the form factor with a current chip, a current USB-C/tb port, keep usba and SD card slot, and update the screen. Sell tons of them.


    I wonder if they'd be able to manage it using their iPhone sales model - keep the previous year's model in the line-up as a cheaper option. However, PC sales may not work that way, since a lot more importance is given to using newer, faster processors, and the market tends to run on a slower upgrade cycle. Also, it might not be solely the cost of the processor that's keeping costs so high.

    https://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#Mac

    They’ve definitely cracked the “keep old stuff around longer” nut. Now they just need to figure out how to cut the price on the old stuff AND introduce new stuff. 


  • Reply 20 of 21
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,368member
    Like many others I just don't see why the Air would be needed.  It was the light MB but now they all are.  I'd have thought now they are light a 17" MBP would be more welcomed by pros and semi pros.
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