updated 04:00 pm EDT, Tue May 15, 2012
Feature may be near-exclusive focus of Air refresh
Apple will also announce Retina display-equipped MacBook Airs at this year's WWDC, supply chain sources for 9to5Mac say. The company is already believed to be preparing news of Retina MacBook Pros and iMacs, and an Air would complete the lineup of Macs with built-in displays. 9to5 claims that unlike the Pro, though, the Air's update will be almost entirely about the display, rather than incorporating any major design changes.
The sources add though that the Air will get Ivy Bridge processors, and better graphics technology needed to handle Retina-level resolutions. Batteries will also allegedly get an upgrade, much as the third-generation iPad did, owing to the extra power consumed by high pixel densities.
The people suggest, though, that power demands combined with the Air's thin size may pose some serious challenges to Apple and manufacturers, making it unclear when the new hardware will actually launch. It's also uncertain if the new Airs will get USB 3.0, which may not be so essential for the product line's target audience.
Sources finally say that higher-resolution iMac panels have been spotted in the supply chain, which may support claims by others. When any of the new Retina Macs might go on sale has typically been left unaddressed.