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.