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Apple rumored with 15-inch MacBook Air in early 2012

updated 07:50 am EST, Mon November 28, 2011

Apple thin 15-inch may be next MacBook Air

Apple's very thin 15-inch system due next year is a MacBook Air, part suppliers claimed Monday. Supporting earlier talk of parts being on their way, Digitimes heard that test production was underway with a 15-inch model adding to refreshes of the 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch versions. All of them would arrive in the first quarter of 2012, or before the end of March.

No details of the systems themselves were given out, although Apple is most likely to use Intel's Ivy Bridge processors. The 22 nanometer chips are believed due in or near March and may be instrumental to getting longer battery life and faster graphics.

Separate retail contacts also argued that Apple would drop the price on existing MacBook Air models in the run-up to the update. The claim appears more speculative than based in fact, however, as Apple rarely cuts prices on unsubsidized devices if it doesn't expect to make the cut permanent.

A larger screen on an Air, if accurate, would be a signal that Apple believed the ultraportables could cover a wider use case and take over some of the uses of mainstream desktops. Apple hasn't shown any indications that it will drop the MacBook Pro and may turn more to performance and expansion alone as the differences, rather than counting on screen size.

by MacNN Staff



  1. qazwart

    Joined: Dec 1969



    There won't be any MacBooks... Just MacBook Airs.

    What's the difference between a 13" MacBook and a 13" MacBook Air?

    * DVD Drive.
    * FireWire port
    * Processor (but not by much).
    * SSD Drive in Air standard
    * $100 price difference

    Okay, the DVD is going the way of the Floppy. SSD will end up replacing the hard drive in a couple of years. And, FireWire can easily be replaced with the Thunderbolt port.

    Take a MacBook Pro. Remove the DVD and the FireWire port. Replace the hard drive with a SSD, and you have a MacBook Air with an Ethernet port. The price will be the current price of the MacBook Pro.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "Separate retail contacts also argued that Apple would drop the price on existing MacBook Air models in the run-up to the update."

    No, I don't think so. As stated in the article, Apple doesn't do that.

    @qazwart: Steve Jobs, on one occasion, had introduced a new MacBook Air by saying "One day, all notebooks will look like this" - or something to that effect. So yeah, it's safe to assume that the MacBook Pro, as we know it, will cease to exist one day. Like on the Mac mini, the optical drive will be the first feature to go. I just hope they keep a model with a dedicated GPU around.

  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Smart combo drives

    There's a hitch in the make-the-drive an SSD scheme. Quite a few people are using a laptop as their only computer and for that they need an enormous storage capacity, one that would cost quite a bit as an SSD.

    Apple's best move would be to make OS X smart enough to regard a pair of drives, one a SSD and one a HD as a single drive from the user's perspective. Behind the scenes, it would be rearranging everything, apps and documents. The operating system, along with oft-used apps and documents, would be on both drives (the hard drive being a backup). Little used data would be only on the HD. More use would move data to the SSD. Less use would leave it on the HD.

    And most of the time, the system would be working well enough that the HD could be powered down, extending battery life.

  1. efithian

    Joined: Dec 1969


    MBA 15 vs Mini

    The SSD storage problem in the MBA 15 might be solved by an SSD drive, say 240gb and a HD say 750gb. This is what I have in my Mini and it works great. Probably not enough room for a 9.5mm drive in the MBA 15. It also needs a matte screen option.

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