updated 11:45 am EDT, Mon July 18, 2011
Wednesday morning pegged as specific target
OS X Lion and new MacBook Airs will arrive later this week, say sources for AppleInsider. The people are described only as having "proven track records" and being in a "position to know." One source further states that the products will specifically be released on Wednesday, at 8:30AM Eastern time. The claim is consistent with past Apple product launches, particularly as the online Apple Store normally updates with any new products a few minutes after 8:30 unless the refresh is tied to an Apple PR event.
Earlier reports suggested that Lion and new Airs might be released last week, but ultimately changed their tone and pointed to the current week. Regardless, Apple is believed to want Lion and new Airs to ship simultaneously. The Airs should make the switch to Intel's Sandy Bridge platform and include Thunderbolt ports. They may also come with 4GB of RAM by default, and likewise drop 64GB as the base-level SSD size in favor of 128GB.
Lion will cost $30 through the Mac App Store, but should be preloaded on any new Macs. A number of Lion-compatible third-party programs are already appearing for sale; the OS itself officially went gold on July 1st.