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Apple may ship huge numbers of new MacBook Air in September

updated 10:45 am EDT, Fri August 6, 2010

Analyst sees new two new MacBook Air models

Apple is planning a huge ramp in production for a new MacBook Air that could suggest a much more mainstream design, BMO analyst Keith Bachman said today. An investigation into the supply chain suggested that two models are enroute in September that would ship in numbers far larger than for the existing Air. The researcher didn't yet have specs but believed the volume was a sign it would cost significantly less than the $1,499 Apple asks today.

Rumors of a new Air have relatively few details, but it's believed Apple is repositioning the ultraportable as a mainstream notebook. As part of the shift, it would shrink from a 13.3-inch display to 11.6 inches and would use Intel's newer ultra-low voltage Core iX processors, which while slower are inexpensive enough that they have reached inexpensive systems like the Acer TimelineX, which costs as little as $600 for a Core i3 system. It's not certain if Apple would keep its preferred NVIDIA graphics, though, as an NVIDIA licensing dispute with Intel would prevent the use of an integrated chipset like the GeForce 320M with anything newer than a Core 2 Duo processor.

The new Air, combined with holiday shipments, is expected to push Apple's notebook shipments alone to as much as 2.9 million by the end of the ongoing summer quarter. A figure as high raises the possibility of Apple selling over four million Macs in one quarter in light of new iMac updates giving a boost to desktops.

Bachman also claims to have knowledge of at least two new iPods also arriving in September. One would be the fourth-generation iPod touch, but the iPod nano is due to get the largest revision. It would be "much smaller" than before and would drop the longstanding click wheel, though he refrained from saying it would use a touchscreen. The changes were enough to raise concerns that the iPod shuffle might not continue into the next generation.

A leaked very small Apple touchscreen has fueled speculation that the iPod shuffle might be replaced by a touchscreen device that would fulfill a role similar to that of the SanDisk Sansa Clip+.

by MacNN Staff



  1. timbck2

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Can you say "netbook"?

    your comment

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This won't work. We all know netbooks failed because no one wants that small of a screen. And underpowered just means 'slow'.

    Oh, wait, Apple's making it. So it will be 'huge'! Esp. for those looking to throw down $999 on a lighter macbook.

    But I'm not sure how one can expect it to really push notebook sales up. The MacBook air didn't exactly fly off the shelves.

  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969



    High volume and low spec could allow a low price and be an alternative for those who want osX on a iPad.

  1. IxOsX

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Good perspectives?

    The perspectives look good. Lets see what happens!!!

    I have had so many disappointments in recent times with Apple products, concerning the cost VERSUS quality, that I don't know already what to expect.

    I hope we will all be positively amazed, this time by Apple. But I am skeptical!

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This is a great idea

    Lower cost, smaller screen = sales, huge sales.

    We can deride netbooks all we want, but they sold. Multiple millions.

    I like the extra portability of a smaller machine, and 11" is still huge for a netbook.

    Get the cost down, plus Mac OS X sweetness, this is a clear winner.

    Even if its got the Apple tax compared to other netbooks (which can go as low as sub $300) I'm glad apple continues to add products to its mix, and this is a product I would certainly be interested in purchasing.

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    So what does this mean

    for the iPad? Why would you want to drop $700 for an limited function device like the iPad when you could get an Air that runs OSX for a few hundred more? Won't this cannibalize iPad sales?

  1. Geordiekeith

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Fingers crossed

    This is the product I want, that I have wanted since the 12" powerbook was retired, and why I am writing this on a Lenovo Hackintosh...

    I have always paid the so-called Apple tax (for 25 years) but only for products that fit my needs - so no iPad, no MacBook Air (still too large - thin but large).

    BTW, how wide is the current Mac Wireless keyboard? The argument used to be a MacBook had to have a full size keyboard, but they seem to be gettting smaller to me.

  1. jdonahoe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I like the idea of an official Mac netbook

    I like the idea of an official Mac netbook. I'm using a Dell Hackintosh, but it is limited to 2GB of ram (which I would have to completely disassemble the netbook to upgrade to the 2GB) and the resolution of the screen is 1024x576. Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator don't want anything less than 1024x640. Leave it to Apple to make a good netbook and I'll pay the tax to get one. In the meantime, I'm enjoying the h*** out of my 10.1" Hackintosh Air.

  1. nicmar

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The 11.6" MacBook compared to the current 13.3"

    I currently have an Asus EEE PC 9", and it's great for traveling sizewise, although the keyboard is cramped. I'm starting to like MacBooks and would love a MacBook Air 11.6", since it would have a full size keyboard.

    I'm longing for it so much so I imagined how it would look compared to the current 13.3" MacBook Air. Here are the results of my speculations:

    Let me know what you think! :)

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