updated 08:35 am EDT, Wed May 18, 2011
MacBook Air Sandy Bridge put in June or July
Apple's upcoming Sandy Bridge-based MacBook Air has been pegged once more for the early summer. The ultraportable's shipments have been narrowed down to late May for a release in June or July. Apple's practices suggested the launch would be "considerably large" and outpace those with other computer builders, enough that Digitimes understood the supply chain was leaning primarily on Apple for success.
Individual part suppliers had also been named in a rare breakdown of Apple's plans. Auras Technology would provide thermal modules, Catcher would provide the unibody case, Dynapack and Simplo Technology would offer the lithium-ion batteries, and Shin Zu Shing would supply the display hinge. Quanta would only be responsible for the final assembly.
The new system is still expected to ship in 11.6- and 13.3-inch versions with Thunderbolt ports. Very few details have emerged of the processors themselves, but Apple would most likely have to use an ultra-low voltage 1.4GHz Core i5 in the smaller system and a 2.1GHz or 2.3GHz Core i7 for the larger Air. More RAM and larger storage are other possible upgrades.
A new Air would help Apple achieve exceptionally high notebook volumes. Shipments would bounce back from a slight decline in the winter to about 2.7 million to reach three million. Combined with the new iMac, the figures could see Apple once again break past four million Macs total in the period.